Merriam-Webster's definition of the word VAUNTED:

"Highly or widely praised or boasted about."

Coming into this season, I'd swigged on the Kool Aid:
This Mets starter group could be one of the great starting 5's in the history of baseball, right?  Vaunted?
How is that working out? 
Not particularly well.
Let's take a brief look:

JAKE DEGROM - I just wrote on Friday that he could, if he stays healthy and at his current elite level for several years, be a Hall of Fame candidate. 
I am sticking to that.  He's great.  Period.
NOAH SYNDERGAARD - another guy with Hall of Fame potential, but a 1-2 season in your 24th year on this planet is not the way to get there. 
He certainly can be a co number 1 with Jake, but he has to prove he can avoid injuries that cost him 4 months.
MATT HARVEY - c'mon, man, I am unable to predict how this guy's career will go from here.  You try if you want to .
In Spring Training, I hoped for 2015 Vintage Harvey.  What we've gotten in 2016 and 2017 is serious injuries and 8-13, 5.00 in 30 starts.  He could return to be effective in 2018, or be finished - hard to tell.  He is arbitration eligible in 2018 and a free agent in 2019 - perhaps the Mets keep him and see if the Dark Knight re-emerges, and trade him at mid-season. 
I guess it depends what arbitrators might think an  8-13, 5.00 ERA guy in 30 starts with a prior star background is worth.  If I'm the arbitrator?  A pay cut.
STEVE MATZ - 15-11, 3.43 in his career - but he has managed just 35 starts in 2 full years, so he fails in category # 1 for a top starter - being able to pitch every 5th day. 
And since he started his career winning 11 of first 12 decisions, pitching like vintage Jerry Koosman, he is just 4-10, pitching more like Mike Pelfrey.  My take?  He is a SP 3 or SP 4 on an average team until he proves otherwise.
ZACH WHEELER - I just never feel that Zach, who many had felt would be a #1 starter quality pitcher, will ever be more than an SP 4 or SP 5.  Struggles too much, pitch counts too high, inconsistent from start to start. 
Career 21-22, 3.79 ERA.  And just 3-6, 4.86 in 2017.  I know, I know, it is his bounce back year - we should all expect struggles. Back to reality: With a strong offense and strong and deep pen, he could be a winning pitcher in the future.  But he in his last 3 years is 3-6, 4.87.
ROB GSELLMAN - we all knew there was a high likelihood of ample Mets' need for and use of a 6th starter, what with Harvey and Wheeler returning from surgery. 
But Gsellman's 4-2, 2.42 late 2016 brilliance collapsed into a 5-5, 6.16 nightmare so far in 2017, which he now observes from the crowded disabled list.  It is unclear if he can be a big league starter going forward based on his awful 2017 to date.
SETH LUGO - he of a 2016 cameo equally as brilliant as Gsellman's, Lugo being a Met had to (of course) get hurt while excelling in the WBC games and miss 10 weeks to start 2017.  He is 4-2, 4.50 since his return, however, and a very impressive 9-4, 3.38 in 2016 and 2017.  He may be a rotation guy for this team from here until whenever. 
And he is 6 for 28 at the plate in his career with 3 doubles and a homer and just 4 strikeouts, which is very impressive.
CONCLUSION: One of the best rotations of all time?  Based on 2016 performance, it is at best in the bottom third of Mets' rotations all time, which is very far from what I'd hoped was possible entering spring training.  If it had even been in the top third of Mets' rotations all time, we'd be smack dab in the middle of a pennant race right now. 
Instead we have a rotation in need of a flotation device. Glug.


Thomas Brennan said...

It was good to see Thor and Harveycthrowing a sideline toss yesterday (after my article was written, natch) and feeling healthy.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

Everybody feels healthy after tossing a ball around at 40 miles per hour :)

Reese Kaplan said...

I'm sure they weren't throwing any breaking balls either.

Thomas Brennan said...

Mack, I wouldn't feel too great tossing balls at 40 MPH right now! But that's why they pay me the small bucks.

Gary Seagren said...

Biggest problem is Thor is still going to train his way so the man/child hasn't learned a thing and my worry is he is already appearing to be Harvey 2.0 when it comes to attitude and off field nonsense so guys is he our big trade chip this off season or not? It is so sad when such a young talented player insists on doing thing's his way on and off the field and just reminds me of where young minds can go as the Jose Fernandez tragedy is an extreme example. Nice guy and a great pitcher who got killed doing stupid things young men do. Now I'm not equating it to Thor exactly but you get the point and I'd much rather go with the guy in DeGrom who's mature enough to "get it".

Mack's Mets © 2012