1/25/17

Richard Jones - 2017 Projections for the Mets Starting Pitchers

11 comments

I saw some 2017 projections for the Mets starters recently. They made no sense to me. There's very little science that you can put into projections like that. Bill James did publish some work that shows how players progress and regress during their careers. He has thousands of players stats to work with. You can see players as a whole progressing into their early thirties before they begin a downward curve of regression. There are players who don't fit the normal curve, like Barry Bonds who had his best seasons when he was in his late thirties and early forties. Then there are individual circumstances such as injuries and recovering from a year plagued by injury.

If you're going by stats alone each Met pitcher should have a slightly better year than he had in 2016. Every starting Met pitcher is still at an age when you would expect a player to progress. Many of the projections I have seen for Noah Syndergaard show a regression from the 2016 season. Most of these actually show an increase in innings which would suggest that the predicted regression is not caused by health issues. Predicting Syndergaard is healthy for 2017 and regresses is non-sense. There is absolutely no data to back that. To predict health issues would require information that fans like myself and like most professional writers have no access to.

My projections below are based on 5% stats and science and 95% my gut feeling. I don't believe anyone else is capable of doing any better unless you have access to their medical records. So don't take my projections or anyones elses serious. It's just for fun. We can comeback and revisit these in October.

I'm going to start with Matt Harvey. I saw the very short video he posted. He looked like he is in the best shape of his career. I feel he is 100% healthy and extremely motivated. I'm predicting a return to dominance and the Mets ace.


Next is Noah Syndergaard. I expect him to stay healthy. I believe his size and easy mechanics will keep him that way. I don't see any reason not to expect him to build off of last year.


Jacob deGrom returns to form. Before his injury he had been the Mets most consistant starter over the last 2 and a half seasons. He is the easiest to predict.


Matz is much more difficult to predict. He hasn't been able to put together a real long string of healthy games. I was real aggressive on my predictions for Harvey. I'm being more conservative with Matz. If he stays and pitches healthy he should perform better but that's a big if.


Wheeler is another difficult if not impossible prediction. How will the Mets use him? Will he be healthy? Even when he did start and was healthy he never came near fulfilling his potential. I always thought Mike Pelfrey had great stuff when he was with the Mets. He never could figure it out. Wheeler's stuff is even better but will he figure it out. He could easily put the numbers up that deGrom does. The question is will he?


I don't believe the Mets will go to a full 6 man rotation but I do believe they will limit the innings of several of their starters. Having a 6th starter like Gsellman will make that easy. I still believe he will get 20 to 25 start even if the other 5 stay healthy. They can start Wheeler in the bullpen or give him an extended spring traing. They can take turns shutting down Harvey, Matz, deGrom, and Wheeler to limit their innings. I don't think there will be an issue getting him starts. I believe he was the real deal last year.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

If these predictions come to fruition, then the Mets are gonna win a lot of games!
-Sam L

Thomas Brennan said...

Richard, nice analysis. I saw the Harvey clip and was very, very pleased with it. Hopefully it is a precursor of big thing4. Thor could be Gooden 1985. Matz I believe will be great. He WAS great til the big chip in the elbow, now removed. Will be great again. Jake? You nailed it. Wheeler? Wild Card, but Gsellman and Lugo give them very solid back ups. Looking great going into 2017, it seems.

Audrey Raffle said...

please post a link to the Harvey Video

You're projecting (HOPING?) for about 1000 innings from starting Pitchers.... The WHIP and ERA projections of the top 3 starters are Optimistic--a .92 whip for Harvey, etc. His projection is An Historic Season!

Well..why not?

In reality, this is entirely about Health...they don't need 3 Cy Young Performances to win their division.....they do need about 600 innings from their top 3 starters--- frankly, pick ANY 3.

4 of the 6 guys were NOT PITCHING at the end of the year. Harvey and deGrom and Wheeler saw a Live Surgeon more recently than a Live Batter.



eraff said...

Above was MY comment--- oops...

please post a link to the Harvey Video

You're projecting (HOPING?) for about 1000 innings from starting Pitchers.... The WHIP and ERA projections of the top 3 starters are Optimistic--a .92 whip for Harvey, etc. His projection is An Historic Season!

Well..why not?

In reality, this is entirely about Health...they don't need 3 Cy Young Performances to win their division.....they do need about 600 innings from their top 3 starters--- frankly, pick ANY 3.

4 of the 6 guys were NOT PITCHING at the end of the year. Harvey and deGrom and Wheeler saw a Live Surgeon more recently than a Live Batter.

Reese Kaplan said...

Are we assuming no role for Seth Lugo?

Richard Jones said...

eraff I have a short break at work. I saw the Harvey video on the Mets facebook page.
Like I said in my post don't take my projections seriously. I believe God is the only one who can project with certainty. I am a Met fan so maybe there's hoping involved.
I think deGrom has an even chance to exceed or fall short of my projections. The same with Syndergaard. Barring injury what reason would there be for him not to improve on last years numbers. I did go out on a limb with Harvey. I'm projecting him, near his ceiling. Matz can easily exceed my projection. If he can pitch healthy for a good part of the year I think he will.

Reese I see Lugo in the pen and making a few spot starts if all the other Met starters stay healthy. I don't see him getting enough starts for me to project him as a starter. Again that is assuming no starters get traded and no starters go do for a sustained period of time.

Thomas when I saw Syndergaard pitch against the Royals at the beginning of last year I thought we were about to see an epic season. He back off of his slider which I believe was wise. He can use that frequently and put up a Gooden type season in my opinion but that would be reckless with his arm. I believe he should save that for big games and keep his arm healthy. I'll be happy if he maintains 2016 levels.

The one big thing my projections are based on is health. Assuming they all stay healthy is a big assumption.

Mack Ade said...

69 wins for these guys?

That's a lot for a starting rotation.

Richard Jones said...

Mack some of the late 90s brave teams had 90 wins by their starters. I think 69 in in reach if they all stay healthy. They haven't been able to all do that at the same time so it wouldn't surprise me if a couple of them go down. If they do stay healthy I am expecting big things from them.

eraff said...

6 starters with Projections--- He's projected 156 starts... so...that would leave some spot starts

Mack Ade said...

Richard -

I go back to that great Orioles 4-man roster that had four 20+ win seasons.

Richard Jones said...

I´m certain of only one thing concerning my projections. I will not be right on any of them. I´ḿ hopeful I´ll be close on most and that a couple will exceed my projections.

Mack's Mets © 2012