Bryan Zarpentine | Rant Sports- Since the end of last season, it’s been nothing but soap opera drama between the New York Mets and pitcher Dillon Gee. There’s been incessant trade talk, back and forth moves between the starting rotation and the bullpen, a few less-than-professional words from Gee and several poor performances. But it’s all over now, as the Mets have designated Gee for assignment, which is the right move to make. Parting ways with Gee will allow the Mets to simplify a complicated and distracting situation. They can move forward with five starters on their roster instead of six, and they can now focus their efforts on trying to find a way to insert Matz into the rotation, even if it’s only for a spot start. Moreover, the Mets no longer have to worry about a disgruntled Gee in the bullpen and wonder how he’ll perform in that unfamiliar role. Even if the Mets can’t find a trade partner for Gee, it’s best to bring clarity to the situation.
(Chris Soto: I 100% agree....forget about whether the Mets were in the wrong for bouncing him back and forth, or, if Gee was wrong for not doing the job that was asked of him. At the end of the day, the whole "rolling" six man rotation was not working. It turned one of the Mets biggest strengths into an inconsistent mess outside of Jacob deGrom. Thankfully the fiasco is over now, next on the list.....trying to figure out how to squeeze Steven Matz into the equation.)
John Harper | NY Daily News- As good as their pitching is, then, the Mets have some issues to sort out, and they took a step toward doing that by cutting ties with Dillon Gee on Monday. In and of itself that’s hardly a game-changer, but as a move that brings Steven Matz a step closer to the big leagues, it was as timely as it was necessary. As a finesse pitcher who relies on precision, Gee was ill-suited to pitching irregularly, but at least GM Sandy Alderson had the good sense to pull the plug quickly on the experiment. The Mets still need a plan to make sure they don’t run out of their allotted innings for Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Syndergaard, but forcing the issue with Gee as the occasional sixth starter made no sense. Meanwhile, in Matz they have a top prospect dominating the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. Two weeks ago a scout who had seen three of Matz’s starts told me simply, “He’s ready for a higher league."
(Chris Soto: Without a shadow of a doubt....Matz is ready for the MLB. Not only that, but there are eyes around baseball who think that of all the young arms the Mets have.....Matz could be the best. During his last start in Las Vegas there were reportedly 25-30 scouts on hand to see him pitch. A handful of people think that he could be the next Clayton Kershaw. Surely, these are unreasonably lofty expectations, but, the fact that it's being talked about shows just how badly the Mets need to find a way to squeeze him into the big leagues.
Mike Puma | New York Post- Noah Syndergaard remains in play for a bullpen stint this season.
In confirming a Post report that Syndergaard has been discussed for a bullpen role, general manager Sandy Alderson on Monday indicated a move could come at any point. “I wouldn’t rule out the possibility at any time during the year,” Alderson said before the Mets beat the Blue Jays 4-3 in 11 innings. “It actually goes back to this question about managing innings. It’s another way to manage innings.”
(Chris Soto: I had quite the knee jerk reaction to this yesterday without really looking into the data. Syndergaard is actually one of the most handcuffing guys Sandy has ever had to deal with. Due to his rapid rise up the Mets system, Syndergaard has not reached the innings cap needed to get through a full MLB season. After throwing only 133 IP last season, Syndergaard should only be in line to throw 165 - 170 IP in 2015. At his current efficiency rate, Syndergaard is scheduled to run out of innings during the 1st week or so of September. Perhaps the Mets can do what they did to Jacob deGrom last season and have him take a 3 week spell on the 15 day DL for a "phantom" injury in order to stretch those final innings into late September.)
Joe Vasile | Beyond the Box Score- After a metoric rise through the New York Mets farm system which took him from the Florida State League at the start of 2013 to winning the National League Rookie of the Year award at the end of 2014, Jacob deGrom seemed to be a potential candidate for regression. In his sophomore campaign, he’s been able to evade the dreaded sophomore slump and has been even better. His FIP has held steady despite regression in his HR/FB ratio [and] he has also cut down on the walks further, lowering his walk percent from 7.6 to 5.1. FanGraphs shows deGrom allowing 14.2 percent fewer hard-hit balls this season [and] batters are pulling fewer balls. One reason for this is that deGrom’s four-seam fastball has taken a leap forward this year. According to data compiled at Brooks Baseball, deGrom is throwing his fastball nearly a mile-per-hour faster this year (95.45 compared to 94.49 in 2014), and the pitch is getting an additional inch of armside run.
(Chris Soto: If you haven't followed BTBS yet...you really should, these guys are great. I knew deGrom's stuff looked better, but, this is the kind of data that supports that kind of thinking. He has gone from an interesting back end rotation arm, to a solid mid rotation piece, to be the #2 guy on the Mets staff, to now jumping Harvey and being THE GUY that you expect to win on a nightly basis. Even in the fantasy world, deGrom is listed as the 6th best SP overall, only behind the likes of Scherzer, Keuchel, Sale, Archer, and Cole and that's WITH his rough start in 2015. Over the past 30 days, deGrom has been the best guy SP in fantasy baseball.)