Posted by Ernest Dove at 10:00 AM
So for awhile now the Mets and us fans have preached the same thing over and over. We've got a depth in starting pitching like never before. Up and down the farm system stands a nice group of young arms. And during the spring of 2015, once the dust began to settle, and decisions were made, it was already pre determined to argue amongst ourselves and in the social media about who stayed, who remained in the minors, and how soon people start moving. It's now June, and I've noticed a few things.
The Mets and their depth of 7-8-9 capable starters hasn't looked so Amazin lately. Before the season even started, Zack Wheeler was lost, Corey Mazzoni was traded away, and the organization appeared to remain confused about the true role of Rafael Montero.
Now, some months into the season, Noah Syndergaard has finally found his way into the rotation, and Steven Matz is pretty much a major league pitcher stuck in the heat waiting out either the super two or a trade to happen (or both). However, further along the system, I've noticed that Tyler Pill, Matthew Bowman and Darin Gorski have all been extremely unproductive, even considering the league they are pitching in. So, if I were to think further ahead in the season, where does all this initial depth fall into place now?
If all goes 'according to plan?', perhaps the Mets are looking to go with a rotation of Harvey, Colon, deGrom, Thor and Matz into the late summer. Obviously, first things first, they would have to trade both Gee and Niese. Say what you want about these two veteran major leaguers, the fact remains that they (at times) have carried the team through horrible seasons, produced quality starts over the years, and were seemingly becoming more and more healthy (this past Gee injury should have been an easy 15 day or less situation but they kept him down remember?).
So, in the end, this particular scenario would result in a 42 year old, and 4......count em......4 other pitchers who will ALL be monitored closely with their pitches and innings throughout the season. But again, I know nothing of the inner workings in the organization. Perhaps this is all well thought out. Technically, the Mets now may have themselves two very capable rubber arms in the bullpen with Carlos Torres and Erik Goeddel. And Familia, for better or worse (thinking long term), has experience closing games out with more then 3 outs to get. Will this be enough?
You know, for me, I'm designating a true wildcard in this entire scenario. One Rafael Montero.
You know, the guy who also (like Gee) has gone from long term future starter, to bullpen, to minor league starter, to trade bait, to bullpen, to the DL. Last I heard Montero was at least working out and pitching from some kind of mound (flat or whichever) which would possibly suggest some kind of return in the coming couple of weeks. I feel as though his overall health down the stretch is extremely import.
In fact, in my opinion, if the Mets were two trade away both guys listed above, it would make it that much more important to place Montero back at AAA for the season. Then look into utilizing Montero as needed for spot starts, and most likely a prominent role in September as the innings caps for pretty much the entire rotation that would be left would be going through. More then just worrying about Colon's age, Harvey's lack of pinpoint accuracy, Thor's emotions and the unknown of a solid by experience-less Matz, I believe that Montero's perceived health ongoing would have to play into the front office decisions with their excess starters right now.
What the Mets need now more then every on this team is stability. Despite all the injuries, they remain (barely) above .500, and guys are starting to come back. And, as the organization plans out the makings of their infield, bench, rotation and bullpen, there will have to be some kind of resolutions, and some form of leaving things be once the players are in place.
If Murphy is to be the third baseman, then make him your third baseman. If Wilmer is sticking at short, then no longer worry about the discussion and leave him there. Herrera is still young, but if he's your second baseman, then leave him there regardless of his needed time to adjust back to the bigs and get his swing back.
And if the trades of Gee and Niese both give you prospects and maybe a bench player or two, then designate their roles and assignments and stick to it.
Either way, I continue to question the idea of trading away both guys right now. Yes, Gee doesn't want to be in the bullpen. And I'm sure Niese would be even worse if they even tried that with him. But again, I don't work for the Mets. I honestly can't even give a true opinion on what to do because I don't a true opinion on how to resolve the situation. I'm simply throwing in my 2 cents, and throwing out a question that makes sense asking.
What does everyone else think here? Please, put aside the thoughts of Gee/Niese and their low 90s fastballs, and recent poor outings. Think of it business terms, current terms, long term planning and the structure and stability of this team. Also, please consider the fact that all these rookies like Muno, Ceciliani, Leathersich , Robles are just adding to too many unknowns and experience right now. So how many more positions on this roster can be filled with rookies, and will the veterans like Cuddyer and Granderson ever truly be consistently productive over long stretches of this season to balance out the inexperience, and will guys like Parnell and Black immediately show back up throwing 95+ and being better options in the pen long term?