Despite R.A. Dickey And Jon Niese, Mets Still Have Pitching Concerns

Undoubtedly, the outfield is a huge void GM Sandy Alderson will try to fill with scraps. So too, is the bullpen. But, don’t forget the rotation despite the presence of Jon Niese and R.A. Dickey, assuming, of course, there will be a Dickey.

I keep hearing how the Mets’ young pitching is a position of strength, but in reality it is a position of potential, and there is a difference. And, I would be hesitant to say vast potential.

There were many mistakes in the Omar Minaya regime, but one of the biggest – and most understated – was the decision to overestimate the team following the 2006 season. “We just missed the World Series by a strike,’’ was the thinking.

How wrong they were. Even had Carlos Beltran done something with that pitch, there were concerns with the Mets’ pitching and bullpen which came to fruition during the collapses of 2007 and 2008.

Despite the flashes and strong showing in 2012, that’s the story today when you big-picture their staff. If all breaks well, then there is a lot to like about the Mets’ pitching. But, if it doesn’t – and we know it all won’t be good – then we are back again faced looking at a team with huge holes.

JOHAN SANTANA: He is once again coming off an injury, which he has done almost annually since signing with the Mets. Santana had a good start in 2012, but hit a wall and was eventually injured. Nobody can say with authority what the Mets can expect from him other than he’ll cost $25 million. Santana will be gone after this year, so even if he has a good season that’s a hole that must be filled in 2014. That hole would be even bigger if Dickey is traded or leaves as a free agent.

R.A. DICKEY: How can the Mets reasonably anticipate anything from Dickey when they are listening to trade offers? Even should the Mets re-sign Dickey to an extension, there’s still the question if 2012 was a one-shot deal. I like Dickey, but it is undeniable he has a short track record.

JON NIESE: If Dickey leaves, then Niese becomes the de facto ace of the staff. Niese has an upside, but how big we do not know. Last year was his best at 13-9, and it was his only winning season. How can you place all your chips on him when the most he’s ever won was 13 games?

DILLON GEE: Gee is coming off an injury, and like Niese has a small track record. Gee hasn’t been projected higher than a No. 4 or No. 5 starter in the first place, so to consider him a stalwart would be a misnomer. Gee is still missing from his resume a full season. Give him that and we’ll have a guess at his ceiling.

MATT HARVEY:  While good things are projected of Harvey, not a career do ten games make. The projections for Harvey are higher than they ever were with Mike Pelfrey and Niese. Harvey made an undeniably strong first impression last year. Now he must build on it. There are a lot of teams that haven’t seen Harvey yet, and those that had will have a book on him.

THE BULLPEN:  As the saying goes, a chain is as strong as its weakest link, then a pitching staff is as strong as its bullpen and we know the Mets’ pen is weak. It was a hole Alderson couldn’t patch together with nickel pieces last winter. Wonder if he’ll do better with dime pieces.


3 thoughts on “Despite R.A. Dickey And Jon Niese, Mets Still Have Pitching Concerns

  1. Way too negative. Like Santana in a walk year. Think Niese is on the verge of being a consistent 15 game winner, Harvey can be a future ace, Dillon Gee is a perfectly suited #5 starter and finally they have alot of options with Wheeler, Mejia and maybe bringing back Chris Young. This could be written about any team in baseball. it happens to be standard fare for a Mets blog

  2. mikey: Thanks for commenting. Yes, there was a negative tone to the post. It was meant to illustrate the Mets’ pitching issues, which by definition which would have a negative slant. How do you like Santana in a walk year? That he’s leaving or by the numbers he’d post? Based on last year, I’m apprehensive at what he’ll give the Mets. As for Niese, maybe he’s on verge of being a consistent 15-game winner, although he’s never won that many. If he does, 15 wins isn’t that of an ace, but a No. 2 or No. 3 starter of a playoff staff. I hope Harvey can be a future ace, but where’s the guarantee. So, that’s where the negative comes in. I am trying to be objective of where the Mets’ pitching is, not where it could hopefully be. Hope to hear from you again.-JD

    • I agree on Johan. He has been injured every year. He is a professional. By which I mean he knows how to pitch and wants to win.

      RA is the Ace. I fear they will trade him. If they do Niese becomes #1. They should not trade him.

      Niese is a good #3. If RA is traded the staff goes from good to suspect.

      Gee is a #5 pitcher

      I agree on Harvey. I love him but he still needs to prove he belongs. Big Pelf had a good year once (mostly) and he pretty much sucks.

      The pen sucks yet again.

      In 2006 we had momentum. We also lost our best reliever during the year. We had pitching problems all year. How do they stand pat with that track record? When they collapsed the next year in September I gave up on them and I was right to do so.