What was once strong now is weak. I say the same thing about my own diet every month until I see Entenmann’s is half off. I fear we’ll have the same feeling about the New York Mets rotation in 2022.
So much has changed with the Mets starting rotation from the first half of 2021 and the latter part. Sans Jacob deGrom, the club has had even greater issues than just the loss of their ace. Tylor Megill and Taijuan Walker each hit a wall. Carlos Carrasco never really seemed to have any sort of consistency at all.
The other two main starters, Marcus Stroman and Rich Hill, have been effective but finding wins has been nearly impossible for either. The starting rotation has been a mess in these final few weeks and it might not get much better in 2022.
The Mets starting rotation has a lot of questions going into the offseason
Beyond deGrom, what certainty is there? Even he has the injury factor to keep us from getting too excited. deGrom’s IL stint wasn’t supposed to erase nearly his entire second half of this year. In a flash, his year was cut in two.
To make matters worse, Stroman and Hill are the two Mets starters heading toward free agency. Easily their two most consistent arms down the stretch, it’s beginning to look like the club could have a problem on their hands in the rotation.
Carrasco and Walker are both signed to major league contracts for next season at modest price tags if effective. It’s hard to imagine anything for them other than a spot in the rotation. This leaves the team with two more spots to fill and they better fill them right.
Without getting into all of the external options, let’s consider who the club already has. Re-signing Stroman makes a lot of sense. We should expect the team to make an effort to do so.
The team could always use the final spot with Noah Syndergaard but after missing as much time as he has due to Tommy John Surgery, I wouldn’t put much faith in him being brilliant.
A rotation of deGrom, Carrasco, Walker, Stroman, and Syndergaard looks terrific on paper. It’s five guys with experience, All-Star selections, and maybe some burgers and fries—there are five of these guys after all.
Add in the depth of Megill and David Peterson, the Mets seem to be in pretty good shape with their rotation. That’s until history repeats itself all over again.
Mets starting pitching depth needs to be constructed the right way
Injuries are impossible to prevent. They definitely had a negative effect on this Mets season. The unexpected loss of deGrom and the prolonged absence of Syndergaard could always happen again. More alarming is how poorly Carrasco and Walker have been overall. Carrasco seemed like a sure thing. Walker, after dazzling us for months, looked like he could be, too.
Instead, all of these starters leave us with more questions than answers. Can the team realistically buy the best starting pitching available while still addressing their needs at the plate? It’s troubling that the offseason hasn’t even begun yet but the issues are clear already.
Navigating this offseason will be a challenge. We saw the club balk at offering the largest deals to several of the highest-priced free agents last winter. We’ve seen them continually refuse to trade away top minor league talent.
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The Mets have a lot of needs to address. More so, they’ve got a lot of prayers, finger crossing, and wishes to make when it comes to the starting rotation.