3) Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana signed a two-year deal to be the Mets fourth starter in 2023. He was expected to slot in behind Scherzer, Verlander, and Senga and right in front of Carlos Carrasco in what was supposed to be an outstanding rotation. Unfortunately, Quintana suffered a rib injury in Spring Training that cost him the first half of the season.
By the time the southpaw returned from the IL, the Mets were already planning on selling. He made just two starts before the trade deadline when the Mets shook up the roster. While it was disappointing to see Quintana jump into things so late, his performance made fans wonder how things would've gone if he was healthy. He was consistently awesome for the Mets in a rough time.
In 13 starts with the Mets Quintana posted a 3.57 ERA in 75.2 innings of work. The team went just 4-9 in his starts, but most of that had to do with some horrific run support. Despite that clear obstacle, he did a fine job keeping the Mets in pretty much every game he started.
Quintana went at least six innings in nine of his 13 starts. He went at least five innings in all but one. He allowed three runs or fewer in 11 of his 13 starts and allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his 13 starts. If you take his rough starts against the Phillies out of the equation, Quintana had a 3.02 ERA in 11 starts. Not bad at all.
Quintana was supposed to be a back-end of the rotation guy entering this season, but he's now going to be the guy they turn to when they need a solid outing. He's going to have to consistently give them six innings and allow three runs or fewer. He's the stopper. He doesn't have Senga's ace stuff, but Quintana knows how to pitch deep into games and pitch effectively. The Mets will add some pitching in free agency that should relieve some of the pressure off Quintana's shoulders, but expectations are clearly much higher than they were entering the 2023 season.