We’re just a little past the quarter mark of the 2014 season and the true makeup of the team is starting to emerge. There really aren’t a tremendous amount of surprises so far, but many of the questions we mulled over during the previous hot stove season are now coming into play.
2014 was supposed to be the year that the Mets would return to sustainable dominance in the NL East and perhaps a shoe-in for the regular season after-party. The news that Matt Harvey tore his UCL last season and would miss the 2014 season, certainly dealt a blow to those plans, and many, but not all, are now looking toward 2015 when the Dark Knight returns to turn that big corner.
We all know about the anemic office this season. We can all see it. Many of the same questions we had last season about our offense are still very valid today. The offense still struggles to string hits together on a consistent basis, however I’m still hopeful that our boys will get it together and breathe some life into the remainder of this season.
But as we look ahead to 2015, one can only wonder what the pitching staff is going to look like. Barring any further injuries or setbacks, we are presently eight men deep with only five spots available. Not all of the prospects will make it, and if Sandy does trade a couple of them for a legit bat, the trick will be choosing the right ones to keep.
Here are our current eight options for 2015:
- Matt Harvey - Hopefully our ace will return just as mean and nasty as he was before he got hurt. He was on a historic streak of elite pitching before he went down and in the Cy Young conversation. So far he is having an excellent rehab with zero setbacks.
- Jon Niese – He’s dealt with injuries, but when he’s on the mound, he’s solid and gives us a chance to win nearly every time out. He’s also our only lefthander and under team control through 2016 with two additional options.
- Dillon Gee – He’s underrated because he doesn’t throw the gas like the young studs. So what? He can pitch. He’s under Mets control through at least the end of the 2016 season. Gee has been on of the National League’s top pitchers since May of last season.
- Zack Wheeler – Zack has some great stuff for sure, but has a tendency to be wild and walks too many batters. No one expects a rookie to be putting up numbers like Harvey did last season, but still many do. Wheeler oozes with potential but with the abundance of arms and Wheeler’s ceiling – is he the one that the Front Office moves? There’s only so much room at the inn.
- Rafael Montero – This hard-throwing control artist has everyone excited. He’ll be under team control for a long time. Will he be one of the Chosen Ones for the rotation? Time will tell.
- Noah Syndergaard – He’s on a fast track to the Mets rotation after cruising through three levels of the minors and now knocking at the door in Las Vegas. Some great young arms will end up getting squeezed out. But I’m pretty sure this exciting young righthander won’t be one of them.
- Jacob deGrom – Jacob looked impressive in his MLB debut. He was headed toward the pen before Gee ended up on the DL with a lat strain. Did he just seize his MLB opportunity to get into the starting rotation mix, will he be shifted to the pen in a week’s time, or did he just up his trade value? He’s considered by scouts to be the most polished of our big three.
- Bartolo Colon – Bartolo was signed this year because of Harvey’s injury. He’s under contract for the 2015 season at $11 million, and while the Mets had to give him that second year to get a deal done, he’s likely a candidate for being an expensive long man next season barring a rash of injuries, or a team willing to take on that contract. He’s about to turn 41 and will be 42 next season.
Next year’s rotation will shake out on its own, and we still have three-quarters of this season to get through plus the hot stove season. But here’s my first pass at projecting the 2015 Opening Day Rotation:
1. Matt Harvey
2. Jon Niese
3. Dillon Gee
4. Rafael Montero
5. Noah Syndergaard
With the Mets off tonight, let’s see what your projections look like. Who do we keep, who do we trade. Who comprises your 2015 Rotation.