NY Mets: Building the perfect yet realistic starting rotation for 2021

Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Jacob deGrom, New York Mets (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 29: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets in action against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field on September 29, 2019 in New York City. New York Mets defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-6. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

Noah Syndergaard

Noah Syndergaard can be a crucial key to the Mets’ success in 2021. Syndergaard is expected back in June after tearing his UCL and undergoing Tommy John Surgery in March. If he comes back and pitches as he did in 2015-2018, this Mets team could be serious contenders. If he is healthy and pitches like we all know he is capable of, he would slot in behind Jacob deGrom as the number two starter and would be in front of Bauer and Stroman to create a lethal 1-4 in the rotation.

The problem with that is we really don’t know what to expect with Syndergaard. Health has been an issue in the past and coming off of a major injury who knows if he will be able to stay healthy. We don’t even know if he will actually be able to return in June, hopefully, he will.

When last seen on a baseball field, Syndergaard was wrapping up his worst season in the majors going 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA, striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings. The reason he struggled so much was the number of hits he gave up. Syndergaard allowed 194 hits in 197.2 innings pitched a very high number. Syndergaard did well in just about every other category. He walked only 2.3/9, allowed just 1.1 HR/9 and that is shown in his FIP which was 3.60.

I believe that a percentage of the hits he allowed might have been due to the poor defense the Mets put on the field most nights. The balls the opposition put in play found holes, they didn’t leave the ballpark. My hope is the Mets upgrade their team defense which should help pitchers like Syndergaard and Stroman who allow a fair amount of contact.

Even with 2019 being his worst season, Syndergaard still did things well. He pitched deep into virtually every game. He had a stretch in which he pitched at least seven innings six straight times. Syndergaard also started off and ended slowly, in the middle of the season he was pitching very well.

I don’t believe the Mets need Syndergaard to be the all-star he was in 2016 for them to win games. If he can give the Mets quality starts they should be in good shape. Hopefully, he regains his all-star form, but coming off of a major injury like this with his injury history I would be surprised. I really just hope he can last the season once he finally comes back.