At their best, the New York Mets have one of the top starting rotations in baseball. Can we really trust each of their starters to be at the top of their game?
Pitching wins championships, right? Well, it’s a start. There’s a lot more needed to finish October as World Series Champion. The New York Mets know this well.
For the past few seasons, the Mets have leaned on their starting pitchers. It worked out well in 2015, landing them in the World Series. Unfortunately, the well-rounded Kansas City Royals took the series.
The plan for the 2019 Mets will once again put a focus on the starting rotation. Jacob deGrom will lead the way with a nice backing from Zack Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard. We can also hope Steven Matz figures things out and perhaps Jason Vargas has a bounce back year.
That’s a whole lot of finger crossing. As good as this rotation looks when compared to some other ball clubs, it’s far from legendary.
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To win with starting pitching, you need a lot more than this crew. deGrom is the surest thing the Mets have and that’s great to see.
It’s the mystery of whether Wheeler’s fantastic finish in 2018 is for real that raises some questions. Also, why has Syndergaard continued to regress? Is he actually more of a mid-rotation arm than an ace?
I’m not a believer in this philosophy the Mets are pushing. At the very least, I don’t think this group of five men are talented enough to ensure the Mets are a playoff team.
The roster needs a few other things to work out in their favor to make the most of this above-average rotation. They need better defensive performances. They need an offense to support the starting staff and better health. Even with those things, are the Mets really much better than a .500 squad?
The upside for the 2019 pitching staff is quickly thwarted by the downside of the bullpen. There aren’t many guys we should have faith in. Once again, we could suffer through a year of wasted starts with poor finishes.
In the older baseball days when starters regularly tossed complete games, a baseball club could load up on starters and win based on this. This no longer works. A win is a team effort often featuring multiple relievers.
I hate to sound sour on the 2019 team before the current year is through. The failure to reach expectations for two consecutive seasons surely makes my thoughts a little more reasonable though, right?
The only difference between this team and an average one is that they don’t have any guarantee slop in the expected rotation. Each of their starters could put in an All-Star effort. They may even end up with multiple Cy Young candidates.
Again, this includes a whole lot of faith in something that hasn’t worked out well.
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Hopefully, the front office realizes this and looks to add a few other weapons.