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Mets need to maximize their rotation

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Aug 15, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (center), Steven Matz (left) and Jacob deGrom against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 15, 2016; Phoenix, AZ, USA; New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard (center), Steven Matz (left) and Jacob deGrom against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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The Mets need to play to their strengths and allow their young starting pitchers to pitch deeper into games.

The 2017 baseball season is approaching its third week. Through 14 games, the Mets are at .500 (7-7). They followed a promising five game winning streak with a four game slide that they are currently in. In even greater perspective, the Mets lost while Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey were on the mound. The common factor in these four losses is the bullpen. Barring a Bad News Bears-like botch of a popup by Jose Reyes last night, the bullpen has given up leads or ties in all of these losses.

In its defense, the Mets bullpen is without its shutdown closer Jeurys Familia. He is primed to return later this week. The likes of Fernando Salas and Addison Reed have been good for the Mets but Salas’s overuse seems to be catching up to him. Rafael Montero has been awful in his appearances. Jerry Blevins, Josh Smoker, and Josh Edgin round out a diverse group with left-handed options, as well.

A major storyline of the Mets is the organization’s philosophy on preserving the starting rotation. Going back to 2015, Mets fans have been salivating over the emergence of four stud power pitchers. However, 2016 was a major drawback on these pitchers’ development mainly due to the injuries experienced by three of the starting five (this doesn’t count Zack Wheeler, who was already sidelined with Tommy John surgery).

As this season progresses, fans and analysts alike are shouting their opinions on how many innings each starter can last, pitch counts and the like. Ultimately, the Mets will have to strike a balance with the starting rotation and the bullpen in order to compete for that elusive world championship.

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