"The LTJ Editorial"
Author: Luis Tirado Jr.
"Keep those strikes coming! A look at our new projected starting five…"
Come Opening Day, the New York Mets will have a different starting rotation than last Season. One that will hopefully eat innings away, one strike at a time. This core has potential to be something special as long as everyone remains healthy and keeps history in tact. Otherwise, we might see the rise of a top pitching prospect if these pitches aren’t getting the job done.
Lets start out with our newest acquisition to our pitching squad. P Shawn Marcum brings a winning attitude to this lineup as his all-time Win-Loss record stands at 57-36 with a 3.76 ERA. When it comes to his WHIP he is at a decent 1.27. He’s coming in to fill the shoes of R.A. Dickey in that trade the Mets did with the Toronto Blue Jays. Personally, we needed another Ace to compliment Santana who is a specialist at keeping those strikes by fastballs coming. Marcum brings 746 Career strikeouts which should keep a nice momentum going as he makes magic happen at Citi Field. Overall, I think the 1-2 punch of him and Santana will work very well.
Speaking of the only Pitcher in Mets history to have a perfect game, P Johan Santana is coming after another injury-plagued Season with his left pitching shoulder requiring surgery. Hopefully he stays healthy and comes back solid as he’s projected to be the Opening Day starter. I know Santana didn’t want last year to end the way it did, he wants to prove something again this year which ironically is also the last year on his contract. While he has a no-trade clause, it’s unsure if #57 will end his career in Flushing but I’m confident he will have a winning record and continue to amaze. Hopefully it’s enough to keep him wearing blue and orange for years to come.
Jonathon Niese, another lefty pitcher, is going into his sixth season in the majors, This time around he brings more experience, wisdom, and hopefully will crack 200+ strikeouts this year. Last year he had 155 with his two-seam and four-seam fastballs eating up most of them. He will look to add more zip to his cutter this Spring which should very well increase his strikeouts. Niese will most likely be in the middle of this rotation at the third spot.
Definitely one bright spot last Season was the major league debut of P Matt Harvey. I’ll never forget watching his debut game last year back in late July against the Arizona Diamondbacks as he actually made Mets history in his start. Watching him use his arsenal of fastballs, sliders, curves, and change-ups he lightning zipped his way to a franchise record 11 strikeouts. On top of that, he made MLB history as not only he had 11 players looking at dust behind them, he had two hits at-bat, a record in combining both feats in a single game debut. I knew this kid had potential and am even more excited in seeing him be a permanent part of this rotation come this season. With some experience under his belt, I am confident he will impress and make an even bigger name for himself this year.
Finally, the man with a goatee that might one day rival Brian Wilson’s facial hair, Dillon Gee returns after a short season last year due to injury. With an injury to his throwing shoulder, he’s back and might be the weakest link in our rotation I’m sad to say. I remember back in ‘11, he showed some good promise but ever since then, he hasn’t been consistent. He’s been using ointments/creams to help with some finger numbness due to his injury, which will question his pitches, especially with his curveballs. I’m hoping he does well, but I do know if he doesn’t, the debut of Zach Wheeler will be closer than we all expect. Wheeler is considered to be a pitching gem in disguise, being one of the top prospects in all of baseball. For now though, lets just see how many strikeouts Santana, Marcum, Harvey, Niese, and Gee bring to this team.