The New York Mets have dedicated a lot of resources to the starting rotation. After signing Max Scherzer last year, they replaced Jacob deGrom with Justin Verlander at the top, signed Kodai Senga to be the #3, and added Jose Quintana to round out the backend of the rotation this winter.
Jose Quintana brings a very underrated but very important quality to the Mets: durability
There’s nothing flashy about Quintana. He doesn’t strike out a ton of hitters and he doesn’t go super deep into games. What he does do well is pitch every fifth day. He’s been in the Major Leagues for 11 seasons, and he’s made 31 or more starts in eight of them. In those seasons, he’s pitched 165.2 innings or more. He reached 200 innings in four of those seasons, from 2013 to 2016.
Having him in the back half of the rotation just shows how much depth the Mets have. On most teams, he’d be a two or three starter, and there are some teams where he’d be the ace. The Mets currently have him penciled in as the fifth starter.
This type of consistency helps a lot for a few reasons. As I wrote last week, Senga has to adjust to the five-man rotation, and he may need someone to spot start for him on occasion. Knowing that Quintana is capable of not missing starts all year, the Mets can feel good about using David Peterson or Tylor Megill to sub in for others when needed.
It also helps cover innings if someone else gets hurt. If Scherzer’s oblique acts up again and he misses time, everyone else moves up a spot in the rotation. Whether it’s Peterson or Megill filling in, or someone in the minors like Elieser Hernandez or Jose Butto, they likely won’t go deep into games. Quintana’s steady presence helps manage the load and save the bullpen for other days when they might be needed more.
I really like the Quintana signing. He’s dependable, consistent, and reliable. He’s coming off of a career year, but even if he doesn’t repeat that level of performance, he’s still an important piece for the Mets over the next two seasons.