We all have different expectations for the new members of the New York Mets roster. Someone like Justin Verlander is supposed to lead the charge, compete for a Cy Young, and most importantly bring the team a championship.
There are other, more minor characters who will try to make their own mark along the way. Some will outshine what we have planned for them. Others will fall short.
One newcomer to the roster seems fully capable of exceeding expectations while another gives me the sense he’ll underperform, in part because many are expecting too much.
NY Mets pitcher Elieser Hernandez will find his groove in the bullpen
Elieser Hernandez is maybe the most important and equally forgotten addition by the Mets this offseason. Acquired from the Miami Marlins in a trade, he’s coming off of a rough season down in Florida. There is no good way to spin his 6.35 ERA from last season or even the 5.04 one from his career in 90 games pitched.
The Mets will use Hernandez in a different way. He’s not going to get a chance to start games unless absolutely necessary. An option for the team in games where they may need an opener, we’ll see him, instead, work as a long man and look to channel his inner Trevor Williams.
It’ll be easy for Hernandez to exceed expectations simply because they aren’t so high. He’s no sure thing to make the Opening Day roster. I do think he will and we’ll get a much better performance than expected. Cutting down on home runs (a lifetime rate of 2.1 per 9) will be one of the biggest determining factors. It’s one of his more obvious issues. Jeremy Hefner will need to work some magic earl on in spring training.
NY Mets pitcher Jose Quintana will not anywhere near as good as last year
Jose Quintana was awesome with the St. Louis Cardinals last year. For a while, he was even one of the best pitchers in the league during his time with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In what turned out to be a very good season of redemption for him, Quintana did enough to earn the trust of the Mets front office to become a target of theirs.
As good as he was, we should not expect him to have anything close to the 2.93 ERA he finished the year with. Only a season earlier he had a 6.43 ERA and was relegated to bullpen duties. He’s as much of a wild card for the Mets rotation as Carlos Carrasco who could have a chance to be sneakily good or a burden as the season progresses.
Two things are most worrisome for Quintana. He does not go deep into games. The Mets will count on him to get them through five. It may allow his numbers to look good because he isn’t getting through the lineup for a third time. The other concern is the dwindling strikeout rate. Although he has never been a top K guy, the 7.4 per 9 last season does seem a little low. The Mets’ position players will be hard to work.