Posted by Mack Ade at 8:00 AM
Here’s what would be my Las Vegas starting pitching would be on opening day –
SP – Zack Wheeler – One thing that’s important here… Wheeler is far past the prospect age. He will pitch… I assume he will pitch… 2017 as a 27-year old. My guess is that Alderson and Company would never tell you this publicly but I would think they now regret not dealing him off. I would start him off slowing in Vegas and be quietly shopping him in a package that includes Nimmo, T.J., and Gsellman. You probably could get a killer catcher or second base prospect.
SP – Robert Gsellman – Gsellman was one of top five most valuable Mets in 2016. 8 games, 7 starts, 4-2, 2.79. Sure, his WHIP was 1.27 but these are all-star kind of numbers for a guy that had a AAA ERA of 5.73. He’ll only be 23 next season so stash him away in Vegas and await the mash phone to ring, or, as I said above, maximize your position here and package him in a deal for a premium catcher or second baseman.
SP – Seth Lugo – This is even a better story than Gsellman. Lugo was a 34th round pick in 2011 who basically limped his way through the system until 2015 when he went 6-5, 3.80, in 19 starts for Binghamton. 2016 looked like a complete bust in Vegas (21-G, 14-starts, 6.50) until he too was called to Queens for the pennant run. What a contribution… 17-G, 8-starts, 5-2, 2.67). Lugo is of prime age in 2017 (27) and he too would sit by the phone after every Mets game.
SP – Gabriel Ynoa – It’s not easy producing a below 4.00-ERA in the PCL, but Ynoa made it by 0.03 last season (25-starts, 12-5, 3.97). He didn’t have the late season Mets success that both Gsellman and Lugo had (10-G, 3-starts, 1-0, 6.38), but he definitely earned himself an invite back in 2017 to rejoin the Vegas rotation.
SP – Andrew Barbosa – A real potential rags-to-riches story here. The 6-8 Barbosa was a 36th round draft pick in 2011 by Arizona. Never got above A+ ball and wound up pitching for the Indy Long Island Ducks in 2015. The Mets signed him for the 2016 season and quickly worked him through the GCL Mets (0.00), St. Lucie (0.40), Binghamton (2.33), and Las Vegas (1.80). He’ll be 29 this season and the Randy Johnson pitch-a-like will be a solid part of my Vegas rotation this season.