So when is the next wave of starting pitching coming?
We’ve been waiting for the day when the young studs in Las Vegas get to double down and make their way into the Mets starting rotation. Rafael Montero is expected to be first. Noah Syndergaard isn’t expected to be far behind. The forgotten one is the one who’s off to the best start in AAA – Jacob deGrom.
But barring injury, when would we be seeing these guys? The current guys in Queens are pretty good and there’s nobody that’s pitching his way out of the rotation anytime soon.
Jenrry Mejia entered this season as the low man on the Mets Pitching Totem Pole. He may be the most fragile, but he was also the first in line to get bumped were he to falter. So what has he done? He’s pitched to an ERA of 1.99, held opponents to a .193 batting average, and struck out more than a batter an inning. Other than needing to cut down on his walks, he’s been outstanding and the Mets’ best pitcher. He’s grabbed his opportunity and he’s running with it.
Jon Niese has also pitched very well with an ERA of 2.45. He’s also on the fragile list what with the shoulder and elbow issues over the past year. I still wouldn’t be surprised if he’s the one that ends up missing time and opens a rotation spot for one of the Triple A trio. However, he’s pitched impressively and has shown no signs of backing down.
Dillon Gee has been better than his 3.58 ERA reflects. Had he not been repeatedly left in one batter too long, his ERA would be more reflective of his 1.04 WHIP and the .208 batting average that he’s held opponents to. He may not be the sexy power pitcher that’s going to grab the headlines, but he is a solid MLB pitcher and middle of the rotation guy that will take the ball every five days and give the team a chance to win. Every team needs someone like Gee. We already have him. If he threw lefthanded, most of the General Managers in Major League Baseball would be lining up to take him off our hands.
We’ve heard every old and fat joke there is when it comes to Bartolo Colon. We know he has a PED history. Toss aside the one outing in Anaheim where he was his own Gas House Gang, and he’s pitched to a 2.33 ERA with a WHIP of 1.04 and a strikeout to walk ratio of 23:1. On Thursday against the Cardinals, he pitched like an ace. What’s not to like?
The only weak link in the Mets rotation at this point this year has been Zack Wheeler. He’s not going anywhere and I’m not worried about him. I’m not among those that expected Zack to naturally vault into the stratosphere the way Matt Harvey did in his second year. Let him find his way. He’ll get there. The biggest question I have with him is if the Mets continue to play well and actually make a run at a wild card spot, does he get shut down due to innings limits?
With the five guys we’re currently rolling out – we may be waiting for the kids on the farm longer than we originally expected. This is a good problem to have.