New York Mets GM, Brodie Van Wagenen, made a pretty audacious claim this week. After the Yankees solidified Gerrit Cole’s contract, Brodie proclaimed that his Mets had a deeper rotation than the Bronx’s Cole, Severino, Tanaka, Paxton, and German/Happ/Montgomery/Adams/Garcia. So, with all the buying Van Wagenen has been doing, just how deep are the Mets rotation?
Not All That Deep
The ace of the staff is Jacob deGrom. He just won his 2nd Cy Young award, with a 2.43 ERA and over 250 strikeouts, he’s who you have opening day. Syndergaard, mighty Thor, took a kind of an uncharacteristic step back last season. Yes, he still had a winning record, pitched almost 200 innings, and had over 200 strikeouts… but he had an ERA north of 4, and LEAD the NL in earned runs allowed. Steven Matz is a question mark on a good day, inconsistent on average. Marcus Stroman got knocked around a little (with his NL ERA north of 3.50 when his AL ERA was below 3.00) but pitched respectably in his service with the Mets. And it seems likely that Walker Lockett will either start the season in AAA or as the long man in the Mets bullpen.
Rick Porcello is, realistically, trying to rebound with the Mets. Last year in Boston, he was garbage. 14-12 with an ERA north of 5.00, it’s easily his worst showing as a professional pitcher. Wacha was interested in signing with the Mets because of a “chance to start”. Which means he served time in the bullpen. With time served in the pen last season, making 24 starts, Michael Wacha is also hoping that his time with the New York Mets is going to help rebuild his career.
So unless Matz AND Lockett are starting day one in the pen, you have two pitchers you just signed fighting it out for only 1 available spot on the rotation. And we already know Wacha is there to start. Procello is there to start as well. What could go wrong?
This isn’t that deep of a pitching rotation. But why would the GM admit to that, publicly?