Predicting The 2013 Mets Starting Rotation

By Mitch Petanick

Sep 19, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets starting pitcher

Matt Harvey

(33) pitches during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The stove is heating up for the New York Mets, as rumors of contract talks with David Wright start to get going. Locking up David long-term seems to be the front office’s first priority this winter. The faster they get that done, the faster they can work on improving the rest of the team around David. One area that the Mets don’t have to spend much time working on is off-season the starting rotation.

While there isn’t much work needed to improve the Mets starting rotation, there are some questions on what the rotation may look like when the team kicks off 2013. Rising Apple is here to put some of those questions to rest. Here is what the starting rotation will probably look like for the New York Mets in 2013:

R.A. Dickey

What a fabulous season Dickey had in 2012. After twenty wins, and talks of a Cy Young award, there simply is no other choice when it comes to the ace of the staff. While I don’t think Dickey will repeat another twenty win season, I do see him winning at least 17 games in 2013. His abdominal tear didn’t seem to affect him at all during the season, so it will be interesting to see if he can pitch even better in 2013 when he’s at full strength. My bold prediction for 2013: Dickey throws a perfect game.

Johan Santana

Johan will be the number two pitcher in the rotation until he inevitably goes on the disabled list. Johan proved in 2012 that he can still be a very effective pitcher. He threw the Mets first no-hitter in franchise history, and solidified his place in Mets history. Look for the lefty to win between 12-15 games in 2013.

Matt Harvey

Everyone loves what they see in the young fire-baller. He seems to have unlimited potential, and is primed to be the ace of this staff in the very near future. However, temper your expectations for 2013, because hitters may be better prepared when facing Harvey. He had the “surprise factor” working in his favor in 2012, but that won’t be the case in ’13. He may suffer some bumps and bruises, but look for him to build on what turned out to be a very successful call-up in ’12. Similar to Santana, look for Matt to end the year with 12-15 wins in 2013.

Jonathon Niese

Jon had a very solid 2012 campaign. At this point, he is probably one of the Mets biggest trading chips this winter. Sources say that the team will be looking for at least two top prospects in return for Niese. If Niese remains with the Mets, expect him to have another solid year, and end the season with 15-17 wins.

Zack Wheeler

This is my boldest prediction going into 2013. I think Wheeler will break into the starting rotation right out of spring training. The Mets will slowly try to bring along Gee, leaving that fifth spot open for Wheeler. My thinking is that the Mets won’t want to rush Gee after the serious injury he suffered in 2012. How long Wheeler remains in the rotation is ultimately up to him, and his performance. He can struggle, and ultimately be sent down to Triple-A once the Mets think Gee is ready. Or he can run away with the opportunity, and Gee will wait in the reserves in case another Mets starter goes down with an injury. Whether or not Wheeler starts the season with the club, he will be in the rotation at some point in 2013. Expect 8-10 wins from Wheeler.

The starting rotation does have a couple of question marks, but it is definitely the strongest area for the Mets moving into 2013. I expect Gee to start the season in the bullpen, and eventually supplant Santana when he makes his regular trip to the DL. I don’t see Gee or Niese being traded because when Santana’s contract is up after 2013, there will be room for both of them in the rotation. Whether or not Dickey remains with the team after 2013 is still up for debate as well. But for now, the rotation for 2013 will be Dickey, Santana, Harvey, Niese, Wheeler, and Gee as a long reliever and spot starter unless someone gets injured.