The New York Mets could really use a dependable starting pitcher right now.
For years, the New York Mets were patiently waiting for their five young starters to be able to pitch through the rotation. These 5 starters could have been considered all aces on any other staff.
However, after years of injuries and ineffective pitching, the five starters, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey are all healthy and finally pitching through the rotation.
The result? More hype than success.
Matt Harvey, who was known as the Dark Knight, is no longer a superhero. Wheeler, who was the first major acquisition for Sandy Alderson when he traded away Carlos Beltran, did not even make the team out of Spring Training.
Steven Matz has been hot and cold at best, and seems to be his worst enemy, losing command and giving up runs on pitching mistakes, all while claiming that he has no health issues. That means there is a lack of confidence.
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Even though Noah Syndergaard missed most of the year last season, he came back strong in September and looks better than ever. Jacob deGrom was the only pitcher who made it through 2017 without a DL stint has also been a bonafide ace in 2018 as well.
The Mets do have Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo who could fill in where needed in the rotation, however, both pitchers have been rather effective in the bullpen. Jason Vargas has been on the DL after he fractured his hambone in his right, non-pitching hand, however, should be returning to the club in the next 10 days.
Even with Vargas, the Mets are going to have to look very seriously before the trade deadline to acquire at least one bonafide starting pitcher who can give them innings.
Sandy Alderson had a unique opportunity to acquire some high-end free agents this offseason because of all the players that remained unsigned through March. Two of those players were Lance Lynn and Alex Cobb. Lynn wound up signing a one-year deal for $12 million, which frankly is a bargain.
Typically, Lynn would have signed a three-year deal for $13-15 million annually, so the Mets could have offered the same deal he signed with the Twins or signed him to a two or three-year deal.
After his Tommy John surgery, Lynn has been durable and effective. Cobb wound up signed a much larger deal with the Baltimore Orioles who basically bid against themselves when they could have signed him for fewer years and less money.
The Mets are going to have to acquire a pitcher like Lynn if they expect to make the postseason.
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This also means that Harvey, Matz, and Wheeler should not think of themselves as locks in the rotation and have to realize that continued start of ineffectiveness is going to result in trades, demotions or even being designated for assignment before the trade deadline.