Mets Wrap: Pitching Should Be Mets’ Offseason Priority

By definition, Carlos Torres gave the New York Mets a quality start tonight – three runs in six innings – which is usually good enough to win most starts.

However, the Mets aren’t scoring much these days, and didn’t again tonight in a second straight 4-2 loss to Milwaukee, a team they should beat.

Terry Collins started his 128th different batting order out of 160 games tonight, which is as telling a stat as there is to define the 2013 Mets. Most of that is attributable to injuries and poor performance – notably Ike Davis – but indicates a lack of offensive consistency and depth

TORRES: Could get spring training invite.

TORRES: Could get spring training invite..

The popular belief is the Mets need to upgrade their offense, which is true, but is it really their top priority?

Factoring having David Wright for a full season; improvement that comes from experience with Juan Lagares and Matt den Dekker; having Eric Young for a full season; developing a consistent batting order; and, of course, the annual hope of whether Davis or Lucas Duda will find it, the Mets’ offense should be better in 2014.

Adding a bat is important, but is it imperative?

As is usually the case, pitching should be their primary concern, especially considering general manager Sandy Alderson has just three starters heading into spring training: Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler, the latter who was scratched from his final start with shoulder soreness.

Torres’ start tonight underscores the Mets’ need to add pitching. Theoretically, if the Mets pitch well their offense should improve enough to manufacture enough runs to be competitive.

The odds are long the Mets will have Matt Harvey for 2014, so they have two slots to fill in the rotation.

Torres has been valuable out of the bullpen in long relief and as a spot starter. He’s pitched well enough to get a spring training invite. What he did tonight is what the Mets need in a fifth starter, but he might be more valuable in long relief.

Saturday’s starter, Aaron Harang, should also be invited to spring training. I had my doubts, but Daisuke Matsuzaka has pitched well recently and would likely also be invited to spring training.

Prior to the game Collins said he doesn’t anticipate Rafael Montero or Noah Syndergaard cracking the rotation coming out of spring training, which means adding a veteran arm, especially one who has a taste of playing on a winning team, should be their priority.

When Citi Field opened, the Mets said they would build around pitching, speed and defense. Power is great, but it isn’t essential in building a winner. The Mets should emphasize that mentality in constructing their 2014 team.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

 

 

6 thoughts on “Mets Wrap: Pitching Should Be Mets’ Offseason Priority

  1. I can’t disagree more. Even without Harvey you have 9 pitchers from whom to cobble together a rotation:

    Wheeler
    Niese
    Gee
    Mejia
    Torres
    Montero
    deGrom
    Gorski
    Syndergaard

    Now throw in Dice-K (and Harang if you must) and there’s plenty there for a respectable rotation.

    What you DON’T HAVE is an offense. THAT is where the money needs to be spent.

    • I agree. We have more than enough pitching

      What we don’t have are position players.

      I would think the most glaring need is offense. I hear Pence is clost to signing a 5 year extension. That is the type of player we should be thinking about not a pitcher.

      We have needs in all the OF positions, ss, 1b , backup catcher and the bench. With our pitching depth I think the pen will sort itself out too.

  2. Offense should still be the top priority. They do need to add some pitching to fill out the roster, but offense is the biggest need by far. And if we really want to analyze today’s game as an example of something, I’d say it further underscores the need for offense… 2 runs in 9 innings from an offense is a worse performance than 3 runs in 6 innings from a pitcher…but really it goes much beyond today’s game.

    The Mets at least have several good SPS and a few good options in the minor leagues. They can get away with making some smaller moves to fill out the roster pitching wise…it doesn’t take that much to pitch well in Citi. The offense right now consists of one great player in Wright, a solid one in Murph, and a whole bunch of questions. Sure, hopefully Wright will play in more games next year and that would be great, but the offense was pretty blah even with him playing. And earlier in the year they had Byrd too who was very good…but the offense still stunk. Hopefully Lagares and MDD improve, but neither is likely to be a big impact offensive player at this point. D’arnaud is probably the one young guy who can become an impact bat. And I don’t know about Young playing everyday for a full season being a “good” thing. He’s hit more like a 4th OFer than an everyday guy.

    Good pitching only takes you so far…you need to score runs too. Matt Harvey was the second best pitcher in the NL this year and the Mets were only 13-13 in his starts. I think they need to add 2 bats to this team next year. One to replace what they got from Byrd and another to improve beyond that since the offense even with Wright/Byrd wasn’t good.

  3. Why is Mejia always ignored on these stories? Isn’t he a high end arm as well? Isn’t he a better choice than either Dice K or Harang? Yes, he was pitching with bone spurs on his arm but whose fault is that? The Idiots in charge of the Mets? The GM Trifecta?