The Mets' rotation took a huge hit when Zack Wheeler was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, but they still have one of the strongest and deepest rotations in the entire league. The Mets have been stockpiling young arms since Sandy Alderson took over at GM five years ago and a few have made their way into big league rotation. A look at said rotation heading into 2015:
He may not have been the most popular option with the fans, but Bartolo Colon will be getting the ball on Opening Day when the Mets visit the Nationals on April 6. At 41-years-old, Colon will be the oldest Opening Day starter in Mets history, eclipsing Tom Glavine by almost a year. Colon was serviceable but streaky during 2014, going 15-13 with a 4.09 ERA. He is, by no means, the top dog on the pitching staff but if he throws like he did last year he’ll either be a valuable part of the Mets playoff push or a desirable commodity on the trading block in July.
Jacob deGrom soared above and beyond anyone’s expectations when he was called up from Triple-A Las Vegas last May. deGrom went 9-6 with a 2.69 ERA in his debut season, good enough to win the NL Rookie of the Year award. If there is a flaw in deGrom’s game it’s that his control can abandon him at times; he allowed 2.8 BB/9inn last season. His SO/9inn is 9.2, and while that is a great number, it demonstrates that deGrom will often have to throw a lot of pitches per start. He will need to get more quick outs on the mound if he wants to avoid reaching a pitch/innings limit before the season ends. deGrom will look to build on his superb 2014 when he starts the second game of the season and the home opener on April 13 vs. the Phillies.
Matt Harvey has been nothing short of spectacular in his short career with the Mets, including an incredible 2013 campaign in which he went 9-5 with a 2.27 ERA. He was with the Cy Young leaders that season in other statistical categories, including WHIP (0.937), SO/9inn (9.6) and BB/9inn (1.6). When Harvey was forced to miss 2014 to recover from Tommy John surgery the fanbase was devastated. But Harvey is back and appears to be loaded for bear in 2015. His fastball hit 98mph on the radar gun throughout Spring Training where he was nearly untouchable; strongly suggesting that Harvey could be one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. He’ll wait until game three to make his 2015 debut, but there is no question that Matt Harvey is the No. 1 starter on the Mets until proven otherwise.
The only lefty in the starting rotation, Jon Niese has been a workhorse for the Mets since his first full season in 2010. His win/loss record has never been spectacular (9-11 last year, 52-51 career) but that’s because Niese has always been matched up against the opposing team’s ace. Niese has a very respectable career ERA of 3.87. Matched up against an opponent’s second or third starter, Niese is sure to accumulate his fair share of wins this year.
Gee was supposed to be offseason trade bait or part of the bullpen in 2015 but he managed to slide into the rotation after Wheeler went down. Gee went 7-8 with a 4.00 ERA last year but missed a significant portion of the season due to injury. He has never been extraordinary but is usually reliable and the Mets should be able to count on him to do his share when he takes the mound. Expect Gee to be on a short leash with the talent behind him though; Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard could potentially replace Gee in the rotation after just a few starts.