Mets’ Pitching Is Precarious

Sandy Alderson did it again, speaking on WFAN he said he thought the Mets could compete in 2013. What he didn’t say was how he thought they’d be able to, much less define compete the term.

He asked for patience and hoped some of the Mets’ young pitching talent would surface this coming season. Again, hope is not a strong building plan. Without saying so, he indicated this summer will be another long one.

There were no definitive answers as to the make-up of the back end of the Mets’ rotation. Assuming Dickey’s 2012 wasn’t a fluke, the Mets’ top three priorities were building a bullpen, coming up with an outfield, and to acquire catching help.

Now, the top priority must be finding another starter. It always begins with pitching and the Mets have some holes in addition to those elsewhere in the field.

“First of all, you think about how to replace the 240 innings. That’s where it’s got to start,’’ manager Terry Collins said. “Somebody’s got to step up, certainly.’’

Dickey threw 233.2 innings last year, arguably one of his most significant stats. That is 43 innings, or nearly five games worth more than Jon Niese.

Niese’s 190.1 innings were a career high, followed by Johan Santana’s 117, Chris Young’s 115, Dillon Gee’s 109.2 and Matt Harvey’s 59.1. Even had Dickey returned, the Mets had pitching questions.

After a strong first half, Santana lost a career-high six straight decisions before he was injured and again finished the season on the disabled list. Young was not tendered; Gee is coming off surgery and Harvey’s major league window is all of ten starts.

If Dickey turns out not to be a one-year wonder, then where are the Mets going to come up with those innings? If they don’t, and coupled with the rotation’s other questions, we’re going to see a lot of the Mets’ bullpen, which isn’t a pleasant concept.

Alderson spoke of finding the answers from within and didn’t regard Zack Wheeler until the eighth option. Inside options include Jeremy Hefner (a 5.09 ERA in 13 starts); Collin McHugh (7.59 ERA in four); Jeurys Familia (one career start) and Jenrry Mejia, whom they don’t know if he’ll start or relieve.

Alderson suggested the free-agent route, which might include a return of Young, but whomever the choice is he must come cheaply.

First, it was wait until Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo are off the books and the Mets would have latitude to spend for 2013. Now, it is wait until Jason Bay and Santana are gone and the Mets will write checks for 2014.







6 thoughts on “Mets’ Pitching Is Precarious

  1. “If Dickey turns out not to be a one-year wonder”
    I thought this was debunked in about 300 different articles. 11th best pitcher in baseball based on WAR over the last 3 years. In the top in ERA over the last 3 years. If you count his month in Buffalo in 2010 he has averaged over 220 innings a year for 3 years. The answer is you can’t replace him. Its hard to get a return on a reigning Cy young winner that you could have extended for an average of 10 million over 3-4 years. One of those prospects better become an all-star.

  2. Oh the misery. You highlighted plenty of the risks and downside, but I don’t get the Debbie-Downer syndrome of Met fans. I’m not the biggest Sandy fan so far, but financial restrictions go beyond him, and by nearly all accounts, the Mets got the biggest return for Dickey as possible. Keeping him would not have made them contenders this year. And anyway, you just would have heard the same droning as after the Wright extension: that despite the move, the Mets only kept a player they already had on a losing team. This won’t cut it, etc.

    I’m not thrilled to see Dickey go, but can see how this is the sensible move. And while winning is best, it’s also exciting to see kids come up and grow and learn to succeed. This team is getting younger, and I’m hoping it will be fun to watch. As John Tortorella would say, “it’s a process”.

    • Oh, it is so so easy to use the worn out and incorrect line that the Mets wouldn’t be contenders with Dickey. Oh how easy it is to feed a line of baloney and watch it stick. Oh how fast these same people forget how only last July the Mets, who the lies claim couldn’t win woith dickey, were right in the hunt. Oh how they forget, or is it ignore the failures of this GM to do anything to help the club stay in the race. So don’t use the lie that you use freewheeler. Its bull and you know it. And is it debbie downer to look at history and know that most trades for peospects turn out to be losing propositions. I guess not when you dring from the koolaide lie infested drink that Alderson so successfully fed to you. How sad to be without the ability to do anything but re-chirp what others want you to chirp. Enjoy the losing and being the loyal blind follower you are, I’m sure you’ve bought your season tickets to watch this mess team, I mean Met team next year.

      • Nathan

        How are we contenders with RA?

        We had him last year and did well for a while, then we got hurt and the pen unravelled as it does when it pitches half the game every game.

        We also stopped hitting when Kirk cooled off and some of the hitters got hurt. We have a deeply flawed team that Sandy has not fixed. We have a closer who is not very good and not much behind him. We have starters that are not good enough. We traded our best pitcher. The one who gives 200 innings. John laid out the starters and most of them do not give enough innings.

        RA would give us hope and the team might play well for a while. Eventually injuries will happen and the lack of depth will show. We are starting to have a system. The best of the reserves are the pitchers. But this year we lack a major league OF. At least with Bay he could play D even if he can no longer hit. We just traded for an OF but has anyone heard of him?

        We need talent in many areas. Hopefully the trade brings that, but not this year. Our biggest issue over the next few years is OF. We need 3 of them and none of those slots is getting filled this year.

        If Capt Kirk figures it out we can have a nice doubles hitter who can play all 3 positions. But so far he gets hurt and hasn’t figured out major league pitching. The next player below is a good defensive player without much offense

        The OF we do have in the system are in A ball. Some in low A.

  3. Thanks for reminding me of the Mets motto:

    “Wait till next year”

    To be fair Sandy inherited a mess. But we still have a seak pen, a weak rotation, no OF, no catcher and a pretty good IF. You list our starters and it is worse than I thought. Do we have 2 pitchers that can give us 190 innings? ( 200 is too much to ask ). I am thinking Young looks pretty good about now. The other guys you mention will all see Queens this year.

    I am hoping Capt Kirk comes out of the gate fast and continues to hit. We need him to be solid for us as we have no OF. I don’t want to see Duda out there. Last year we hoped he would figure it out and he didn’t. He now needs to prove he belongs rather than penciling him in to a weak OF.

    I also notice we lost Nickeas in the trade.

  4. I just read some reviews of the trade and feel a bit better

    The rankings I have seen have


    At the top of the Mets system with some swapping the catcher and Wheeler.

    That makes me feel better as at least the pitcher is regarded as someone with some talent. Also there have been reports of the OF we got as having some potential even if he is just and A ball player.