FanPost

Pitching Depth - More Than Just Words

We're all set!

Matt Harvey's a legit ace, Zack Wheeler's hot on his heels. Jon Niese is the solid, proven southpaw vet, Jenry Mejia's the electric wildcard and Dillon Gee has a lower ERA than Harvey over the past 15 starts!!!!

If pitching wins championships size me up for a ring!

And if the powers that be decide we need a more balanced club we'll just trade Gee or Gee/Niese for a bat because Noah Syndergaard & Rafel Montero are all but ready. We'll instantly become the favorites to stare down LA in the 2014 NLCS!

Sleep tight everyone, see you next October . . . or maybe not.

The funny thing about pitching is that it's as fragile as Jim Carrey's ego. And fans have short memories. Really short.

Remember Johan Santana? Sean Marcum? Where'd Jon Niese just spend a few weeks? Where is Jeremy Hefner now? You get the idea?

Just look at the Mets 2013 starting pitching DL chart.

Pitcher

Age

Missed Starts

Johan Santana

34

30-33

Sean Marcum

31

12-13

Jon Niese

26

9

Jenrry Mejia

23

7-8

Jeremy Hefner

27

7-8

Total

65-71

EDIT: Well now we have to add Harvey to that list. With about 5 starts left for Matt that means we've had 6 starting pitchers land on the DL and the missed starts number increases to 70-76 . . . ugggh.

That's a pretty good rotation in and of itself. We've had five starting pitchers hit the DL with three of them (Santana, Marcum & Hefner) suffering injuries that prevent them from returning in the same season that the injury occurred.

And when all is said and done they'll have missed at least 65 starts which represents 40% of the club's 162 starts over the course of a full season.

Sure, maybe Marcum would have pitched himself out of the rotation and Johan was always a question mark. But Mejia, Niese and Hefner are all either young or in their prime. Injuries don't only hit guys we've soured on like Sean Marcum - you never know who they'll hit.

What's remarkable is that despite five pitchers hitting the DL - starting pitching remains the club's primary strength. But that's extremely rare. Can we really expect that to be a given moving forward?

We won't really have a choice. We can't project how many pitchers will get injured next season. But the plan to ship off a bunch of proven pitching for a bat, while probably necessary, is not quite as risk free as it sounds.

I still believe that it has to be done but even if we only lose half as many starts next season as we did this year - you're talking about 1/5 of the club's games. And there's no guarantee that they'll be staggered in a way that allows us to simply have a 6th guy ready to toss 25-30 starts.

And that's before you consider that guys like Montero, Syndergaard and Jake deGrom will still be on innings limits next season. Who knows how much stamina Mejia will have if he makes the type of recovery we all hope for. Jenry's never pitched more than 108 innings in a single professional season. Will he be limited to 150?

So if we're counting on those four guys to help a playoff push they're likely to force some tough front-office decisions right in the thick of a pennant push. Unless of course they start the season injured and thus don't reach their 150-170 inning marks until late September.

Let's get a bat or two and if we have to trade an arm(s) to get one so be it. But as we put our "dream rotations" to paper keep in mind it's much more likely to take eight-to-ten guys to get through the season than five or six.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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