Mickey Callaway and Dave Eiland are starting to tap into the full potential of a New York Mets rotation that is now showing signs of performing to their collective potential
Amid talks of possibly being sellers once again and with an 11-1 start out of sight, the New York Mets face another long summer of questions to be answered. Some of the obvious ones have already been answered with more to come.
Ahem, when is Jose Reyes finally going to be done in New York?
Mickey Callaway has absorbed some criticism and while I’m not making excuses for him, it’s a tough ask for a first-time manager taking over a team that’s hamstrung by an ownership that doesn’t seem fully committed to putting the best product on the field. However, Callaway along with pitching coach, Dave Eiland are already reaping some early benefits in New York when it comes to the rotation.
Look at two guys who were facing some questions heading into the year in Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler. After dealing with a litany of injuries, Matz has come back to have a much improved year to this point. Through 12 starts, Matz is well on pace for a new career best in hits per nine innings allowed (7.2 entering the week).
Another thing that has stood out about Matz is dealing with an inflated walk rate. Though his walks are up, he has found ways out of different situations. Opposing hitters are only batting .198 against Matz with runners on this season. That’s in a sample size to date of 86 at-bats.
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Wheeler has shown signs that he’s getting back to his pre-Tommy John form that he showed down the stretch of 2014. Since getting knocked around in his first May start against Colorado, Wheeler has allowed two earned runs or less in four of his last six starts. Over his last four starts, Wheeler has surrendered two extra-base hits.
Above all, Wheeler and Matz have been there every fifth day since the former was recalled from Las Vegas where he began the season. That has been the overlying issue with these two guys and a big question has been answered definitively thus far.
It can easily get lost in the shuffle with all the struggles of the offense and bullpen. However, Jacob deGrom is a top three Cy Young candidate in the National League. Add in what was mentioned above about Matz and Wheeler.
By the way, Seth Lugo continues to do everything asked and is making it almost impossible to keep him in the pen. Although, he does add a viable option to a struggling unit.
The rotation is finally looking like it’s on track to fulfilling the potential that has been highly discussed for the past handful of seasons. And I haven’t even mentioned Noah Syndergaard who we all know is an ace when at his best.
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Yes, there is still more than half the season to go but the rotation is showing signs of turning back into a strength for the Mets. It’ll at least provide something positive to get the orange and blue faithful through what looks to be another long summer.