Posted by Mack Ade at 10:00 AM
In regards to the question posed on whether the Mets should go after another starting pitcher...
First and foremost, I think the NY Mets need to learn how to make the most out of what they have on this team already and also with the talent from their AAA Vegas team.
Certainly the 2017 NY Mets have 3-4 starting pitchers who are no strangers to the DL in recent seasons past. However, the Mets also have eight really strong starting pitchers to start this 2017 season, once Lugo is back whole. That's a lot and way above the average for most teams in MLB. But considering history alone, the Mets should once again anticipate possibly four starters going down this season too, although hopefully not all at once like 2016. It might make some sense.
Stephen Matz may be another Scott Kazmir, injury wise. He is this team's only lefty starter. It is perhaps why some Mets fans may have thought that by trading Matt Harvey for Chris Sale (back when the White Sox rumblings were suggesting Chris may be on the trade block) may have made some sense going forward. For instance here, Harvey plus someone like a Logan Taylor in a package since Matt is one of those DL players himself and it is not 100% certain whether Matt Harvey will ever truly be (again) as he was to start his career. Although one can only hope.
When you consider that every starter on this 2017 rotation throws really hard, it is not difficult to anticipate that more injuries may happen again this season. Some fans have vehemently suggested that the Mets go to a six-man rotation to possibly help and prevent a repeat injury scenario to last season. An extra days rest might help here.
By learning to utilize better what they already have here, I meant that within the Mets own bullpen, Hansel Robles was a starter down in MiLB. Hansel is early enough into his own career that it might be possible to stretch him back out to start games, if case need be. Down at Vegas, they have Logan Taylor. However here, both Hansel and Logan are right-handed starters. From the left-handed side, things are a little too thin in MetsLand. I could see sniffing Scott Kazmir (a lefty) as a potential trade idea for here. But Scott is not yet fully back from a more recent arm injury and arm injuries are not foreign to him. Scott has lost his fastball as of late. From the old file, there is lefty ex-Met starter Chris Capuano. But he too is trying to get back from his own arm issues of recent and it has been rough for him.
It's worth a sniff to see if any team might be willing to trade a really decent lefty starter, young or older. The 2017 Mets roster does have a couple of areas where they could deal from depth. I could see thinning he outfield one player more. Possibly Granderson who is not really a lead-off batter and hits for too low a batting average to be in the very heart of the Mets batting lineup. Plus, would it kill this team to try and get Cecchini, Nimmo, Conforto, and TJ Rivera into more games? Yes, yes, I know that Amed Rosario is the heir apparent superstar Mets shortstop and all, but we need to be reminded here that so too were a lot of past Met players given such billing, and later on ended up elsewhere with short careers and pedestrian statistics to show for it. Nothing is ever really cast in granite in sports.
This to me now, is the quiet before the storm. The injury bug has not landed here, yet. But I am certain from history, that it will. The NY Mets are a deeper team than even in 2016, but maybe have the insect repellent on-hand anyway?