The ball is in the hand of New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey as far as how he wants to be remembered.
X-New York Mets 95-67 (2)
After six consecutive losing seasons, the New York Mets awoke from a deep slumber to take the Big Apple and the baseball world by storm. Riding a dominant pitching staff, the Mets won the National League East for the first time since 2006, en route to their first NL Pennant since 2000. But the fairytale season for the Mets came to abrupt halt in the World Series where the experience of the Kansas City Royals was on center stage as New York fell three wins shy of their of their first title since 1986. The odds will be stacked against the Mets in 2016 as they will be out to win the NL East in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history and they are also seeking that elusive World Series Championship that they’ve been unable to win since 1986.
At first it looked like this was going to be a tough off-season for the Mets when their longtime second baseman Daniel Murphy was allowed to leave as a free agent to sign with the rival Washington Nationals. Murphy was selected by the Mets in the 13th round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft and he’s been a lifer for them. During his time with the Mets, Murphy scrapped, clawed, and did whatever it took to win; which included him putting New York on his back in the first two rounds of the postseason last October as he set an MLB record with a home run in six consecutive playoff games. But Mets general manager Sandy Alderson is a big sabermetrics guy and he wasn’t a fan of Murphy’s defense or his overall talent which led to him being allowed to leave. However the Mets will miss his leadership and hustle in their lineup.
Last July, the Mets acquired outfielder Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers and he was able to ignite their offense. In 57 games with the Mets, Cespedes batted .287 with 17 home runs and 44 runs batted in as he lifted New York from being one of the worst offenses in the National League to one of the best. At first it appeared that Cespedes was going to be a rental in New York as he was a pending free agent. But Cespedes and the Mets came to an agreement on a three-year deal that is worth $75 million to keep the slugger in Queens which undeniably changes the look of their lineup.
To replace Murhpy’s presence at second base, the Mets acquired Neil Walker from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Murphy and Walker have put up similar numbers at second base with Walker being the better defender which is something that the Mets are looking to solidify. Along with Walker, the Mets signed shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera as they look to sure up their defense.
Offensively, the Mets are a team that is full of streaky hitters up and down their lineup, but they are very high on outfielder Michael Conforto. Conforto was the Mets first-round pick in 2014, and in 56 games last year for New York, he batted .270 with 9 home runs and 26 runs batted in. Conforto is expected to be the starting left fielder for the Mets and it would not surprise me to see him get some strong recognition as far as making the All-Star team.
Led by outfielder Curtis Granderson and third baseman David Wright, the Mets have veteran leadership in their lineup. But being that Wright is dealing with spinal stenosis in his back, you can’t expect him to play the hot corner everyday and I would forsee manager Terry Collins looking to give his captain a rest during day games that immediately follow night games.
Last season the Mets pitching staff’s team earned run average of 3.43 was fourth best in the National League and they have the potential to be even better in 2016. After going back and forth with inning restrictions with the Mets front office, starting pitcher Matt Harvey appears ready to go and he’s proven that he is a guy that wants the ball. And along with Harvey, starting pitchers Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Steven Matz all have the potential to win at least 15 games as this rotation will remind baseball fans in New York City who are old enough to remember the days of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan pitching for the Mets. The Mets also have a veteran presence in their pitching staff with starting pitcher Bartolo Colon, and along with Logan Verrett. Both pitchers have the ability to either be starters or middle relievers which makes a deep pitching staff that much deeper.
After being thrust into the role last year, relief pitcher Jeurys Familia fortified the ninth inning for the Mets, and is he’s able to save at least 35 games in 2016, it should symbolize a good season in Queens. But before the Mets give the ball to Familia, they have solid setup pitchers in Addison Reed, Hansel Robles, and Antonio Bastardo that know how to get out of tight situations.
The construction of the Mets under Alderson which began in 2011 appears to be finally taking shape. And barring any huge setbacks, the Mets should in contention to win the World Series.
Washington Nationals 87-75
Unfortunately for the Washington Nationals, they’ve been unable to string together consecutive solid seasons. After winning the National League East in 2014, the Nationals headed into the 2015 Major League Baseball season as one of the favorites to win the World Series. But when last October rolled around, the Nats found themselves watching the postseason from home as it was the New York Mets who won the division. The Nationals struggles in 2015 resulted in manager Matt Williams being fired which was a quick fall from grace as he was just named as the NL Manager of the Year in 2014. Williams would be replaced as the Nationals manager by a man that he played for during his time as a third baseman for the San Francisco Giants in Dusty Baker.
Baker has done it all in Major League Baseball. As a player, Baker broke in with the Atlanta Braves in 1968 and he’ll always be remembered as being in the on-deck circle when Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run in 1974 which made him MLB’s all-time home run king. Baker was also a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers 1981 World Series Championship team. In 1993, Baker began his managerial career with the Giants. Baker has also managed the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds as he has guided each team to the postseason at least once. Some feel that the game may have passed Baker by, but he is joining the Nationals now to show that his old-school work ethic can still get it done in the modern game.
Baker comes to the Nationals knowing that he has the reigning National League MVP in the middle of his lineup in outfielder Bryce Harper. Harper is only 23-years of age, and in four seasons with the Nats, he has established himself as one of the finest players in Major League Baseball. Harper has and will continue to do this without that much helped around him in the lineup and it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities that 2016 could see him become the first player in franchise history to hit 50 home runs in a season.
The Nationals are hopeful that the new additions of outfielder Ben Revere, and second baseman Daniel Murphy can make them a playoff team. This off-season, the Nats acquired Revere from the Toronto Blue Jays in a deal that saw them send disgruntled relief pitcher Drew Storen to Canada. In six Major League Baseball seasons, Revere is averaging 39 steals per season and he could be just what the doctor ordered for the Nationals at the top of their lineup. Washington has finally had enough of being hurt by Murphy who left the Mets as a free agent to play in D.C. Murphy is a professional hitter who has a career batting average of .288. Murphy became a household name last October when he set an MLB record by hitting a home run in six consecutive postseason games for the Mets. But New York decided to move on from Murphy due to the fact that he is not a solid fielder which paved the way for him to go to Washington.
The Nationals scored the third most runs in the National League last season, but they weren’t consistent in doing so which hurt their pitching staff. Starting pitcher Max Scherzer was dominant in his first season in Washington as he recorded 276 strikeouts with an earned run average of 2.79. But Scherzer only won 14 games due to the fact he wasn’t getting run support. Scherzer has the potential to win the National League Cy Young Award this year; if he is able to get the support from his team.
Washington also lost a pair of veteran starting pitchers in free agency in Doug Fister and Jordan Zimmerman. Fister and Zimmerman combined to win 18 games last season and their departure will put more pressure on Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg to provide depth in the starting rotation behind Scherzer.
In a bit of surprise, the Nationals decided to bring back relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon back for 2016. Last year the Nats acquired Papelbon from the Philadelphia Phillies, but all he did was help the team implode down the stretch of the regular season which included a dugout altercation with Harper. But when Papelbon is on, he is really on, and the same can be said when he is off of his game. However, if there is a manager in Major League Baseball that can get through to Papelbon, it is Baker.
The first month of the regular season should be a cakewalk for Washington as they’ll be facing bottom feeders which could give them the ammunition that they need to contend for a postseason spot.
Miami Marlins 79-83
It wouldn’t be the Miami Marlins if they didn’t begin a Major League Baseball season amid some turmoil. Last year the Marlins had aspirations of making the postseason, but after just 38 games, Mike Redmond was fired as the team’s manager. Redmond would be replaced by the Marlins general manager Dan Jennings as Miami lumbered through their sixth consecutive losing season. Jennings would also be fired and ultimately surface with the Washington Nationals as their new assistant general manager. Jennings’ departure paved the way for Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria to promote Michael Hill as the team’s new general manager. Hill and Loria made a splash this off-season when they brought in Don Mattingly to be the Marlins new skipper. Mattingly comes to the Marlins with a solid resume that includes him being a six-time All-Star first baseman for the New York Yankees along with his previous managerial experience with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mattingly spent the last five years with the Dodgers where he led them to three National League West Titles and he never had a losing season. But getting to the postseason alone wasn’t enough for Mattingly to maintain his job in Hollywood. However, Mattingly has a sharp baseball mind, and it will be interesting to see if his laid back approach will be able to work with a young team in Miami.
The Marlins lineup does have potential to keep the pressure on opposing pitchers. In the last two seasons, second baseman Dee Gordon has stolen 122 bases which is by far tops in Major League Baseball. Gordon also led the National League in batting average last season at .333 and he appears to be rounding out as player. Gordon did this without having the services of outfielder Giancarlo Stanton behind him for the majority of the season. Stanton is one of the most feared power hitters in MLB, but a fracture in his hand limited him to just 74 games in 2015. And if the Marlins want to contend for a playoff spot this year, they will need Stanton to be healthy in the middle of their lineup.
Along with Stanton and Gordon, the Marlins have a plethora of young potential in their lineup with outfielder Christian Yelich and first baseman Justin Bour. But Miami must find a way to play as a unit due to the fact that they were near the bottom of most statistical categories in the National League last season and the arrival of Barry Bonds who is Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader as the Marlins new hitting coach could help them.
Along with the youth movement, the Marlins do have a veteran presence in their lineup with outfielder Ichiro Suzuki along with infielders Chris Johnson and Martin Prado who Mattingly will lean on to provide leadership on the field.
The Marlins are hopeful that starting pitcher Jose Fernandez will be able to remain healthy and be their ace, but at the same time the salty relationship that his agent Scott Boras has with Loria makes you wonder if his days in South Florida are numbered. This off-season the Marlins did sign starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen to a five-year deal that is worth $80 million. In four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Chen was 46-32 as a starting pitcher with an earned run average of 3.72 and Miami is hopeful that the move to the National League from the American League will see him become more dominant.
The Marlins schedule to begin the 2016 Major League Baseball season won’t be an easy one with series against the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, and New York Mets right out of the chute. But even with a slow start, Mattingly will be preaching consistency and accountability to his young bunch of players as they’ll attempt to push for a postseason spot.
Philadelphia Phillies 65-97
Tough times have caught up to the Philadelphia Phillies as they are now in the midst of rebuilding. After nine consecutive winning seasons, the Phillies are coming off of their third straight losing season and they are looking to avoid finishing in the basement of the National League East for a third consecutive year.
The Ruben Amaro Jr., era as Phillies general manager is over as there is a new brain trust that is running things. Andy MacPhail was brought in last year to be the Phillies new president of baseball operations and he brings with him a wealth of baseball knowledge. Prior to joining the Phillies, MacPhail served as the general manager of Minnesota Twins, Chicago Cubs, and Baltimore Orioles. And in Minnesota, MacPhail helped the Twins win their only two World Series Championships in franchise history. Along with MacPhail, the Phillies have a new general manager in Matt Klentak. But Pete Mackanin will be returning to manage the Phils after taking over mid-season last year when Ryne Sandberg was fired.
The Phillies were one of the worst teams in each aspect of the game last year, but they do appear to have themselves some building blocks in outfielder Odubel Herrera and starting pitcher Aaron Nola. Last year as a a rookie, Herrera batted .297 while he provided the Phillies with solid defense in center field, and he should only get better with his fielding and at the plate in 2016. Nola was the seventh overall pick of the 2014 Major League Baseball Draft by the Phiilies and he made his debut with the big club last year. In 13 starts with the Phils, Nola went 6-2 with a 3.59 earned run average as he has displayed the command of the strike zone that will see him develop into the ace in Philadelphia real soon.
The Phillies are on the hook to pay first baseman Ryan Howard $25 million this season as it is the final year of his deal. Howard is no longer an MVP-caliber player and if the Philadelphia is able to ship him out of town to an American League team where he could become a designated hitter, it would be a win-win for both parties.
As good as the 2000’s were the for the Phillies organization which was highlighted by winning the World Series in 2008, the 2010’s are just as bad. But all is not lost as MacPhail appears to be the right guy to get things turned around in Philadelphia.
Atlanta Braves 64-98
The Atlanta Braves are in the process of rebuilding as they look to once again be a player in the National League East. The Braves are coming off of consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1990 and it is highly unlikely that things will get any better for them in 2016.
John Hart is entering his second full season as the Braves president of baseball operations and he is attempting to build this franchise in his own image. Hart named John Coppolella as the Braves general manager and after gutting the roster in Atlanta, the only way for this organization to go is up.
In this rebuilding process by the Braves, they lack an identity in each faze of the game. Last season the Braves were 13th in the National League in team earned run average at 4.41 and they only had one starting pitcher in Julio Teheran win at least 10 games. And there doesn’t appear to be that much protection behind Teheran in the Braves starting rotation in 2016 either.
The Braves were near the bottom of most statistical categories in the National League last season, but they are hopeful that the return of a healthy Freddie Freeman at first base will provide them with a catalyst in their lineup. The Braves do have some veterans in their lineup as this off-season has seen them acquire shortstop Erick Aybar from the Los Angeles Angels while also signing former Chicago White Sox infielder Gordon Beckham. Aybar is a slick fielding infielder that should help the Braves improve defensively. Beckham is a seven-year Major League Baseball vet that is a native of the State of Georgia which is something that the Braves are hopeful will result in improved numbers for him.
After being one of the most prolific base stealers of the 2000’s ,injuries have begun to slow outfielder Michael Bourn down. After leaving Atlanta in 2012 as a free agent, Bourn was reacquired by the Braves from the Cleveland Indians. And at the age of 33, Hart and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez are hopeful that he still has some burst left in the legs that have led the National League in steals on three separate occasions.
With a very difficult schedule to begin the 2016 Major League Baseball season, it is very conceivable that the Braves could use the first few months of the campaign to showcase some of their veteran players in the hopes that a contending team would be willing to pick them up while sending some prospects back to Atlanta. And unfortunately for the folks in Dixie, that is all that they have to look forward to this summer from their baseball team.
Before beginning a career as a mega sports agent, Scott Boras had a foray in Major League Baseball as a player in the minor league systems of the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. Injuries derailed the baseball playing career of Boras and he also wasn’t a fan of how he perceived that the was treated. Boras would then return to school and he would earn a law degree from the University of the Pacific in 1982 which was the foundation of his career as a sports agent. Boras has negotiated some of the biggest contracts in professional sports as the 10-year, $252 million contract that was signed by shortstop Alex Rodriguez in 2001 to join the Texas Rangers and the nine-year, $214 million deal in 2012 for first baseman Prince Fielder to become a member of the Detroit Tigers are just two of the many examples of his ability as an agent. But whereas Boras has made some baseball players into instant millionaires, he is not without his fair share of skeptics and detractors.
Boras is a master negotiator who is known to hold teams hostage during contract discussions. Typically when a player that Boras represents hits free agency, there always seems to be a “mystery” team that he is in discussion with in order to drive up the player’s value on the open market. And like any strong negotiator, Boras has always been known to take a harsh stance while very rarely budging which has led to some mega deals for his clients who are always seeking to get the top dollar.
In 2007 at the advice of Boras, Rodriguez opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees. But Rodriguez and Boras decided to announce this during the World Series which drew a ton of criticism as it was deemed “disrespectful” to the Colorado Rockies and the Boston Red Sox who were the teams that were participating in the Fall Classic. The Yankees like most Major League Baseball teams have grown tired of Boras’s antics which led Rodriguez to parting with Boras as he negotiated a new contract with the Yankees by himself as he would get a new 10-year, $270 million deal in 2007. Prior to start of free agency in 2014, second baseman Robinson Cano split with Boras in order to join Roc Nation Sports which is a sports agency that is headed by music mogul Jay-Z. Cano would go on to sign with the Seattle Mariners to the tune of $240 million over ten years.
As you can tell by now Boras has always been known to be controversial which was on full display last week.
Boras currently represents New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey. Harvey made his Major League Baseball debut in 2012 with the Mets and it didn’t take that long for him to become a cult hero in the Big Apple. Harvey was the starting pitcher for the National League at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game as he was now sitting on cloud nine. But Harvey’s dream season was cut short in 2013 as he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. Harvey would rehab and go on to miss the entire 2014 MLB season.
Upon Harvey’s return to the Mets this year, Harvey had been handled with the kid gloves as the team has monitored him and his workload very closely. But things took a turn for the worse late last week when Boras decided to exercise his right to be the spokesperson for Harvey.
Last week Boras enforced the notion that Harvey should have a strong innings limit of 180 this year following Tommy John surgery. So far in 2015, Harvey has thrown 171 2/3 innings and he didn’t make matters any better for himself when he failed to fully commit to pitching down the stretch of the regular season and potentially into the playoffs which is important to the Mets who find themselves in first place in the National League East with a six-game lead over the second place Washington Nationals as they are seeking their first trip to the postseason since 2006. With less than a month to go in the regular season, the Mets have more than a puncher’s chance to make the playoffs and the last thing that they need to have to deal with is the uncertainty that has been created by Harvey and Boras as it is the same script with just a partially different cast. The spotlight was on Harvey last night when he took the mound for the Mets against the Nats and he was charged with 7 runs. But the Mets offense bailed him out in their 8-7 comeback victory.
Baseball is a team sport, but Boras has always made it about him and his clients. And the latest victims of that are the Mets. Reports have swirled around ranging from Harvey only making two more starts this year to to potentially just being available for one start per each postseason round if the Mets were able to make it that far. What Harvey and Boras have let the Mets know is that you need us much more than we need you and it is a privilege for you to watch me pitch. And whereas Harvey has been the darling of New York City, he has lost all of that in the blink of an eye as the fans and media alike have now turned on him.
The Mets aren’t and they never will be able to hold a flame to their crosstown rivals in the Yankees as the Metropolitans are not a team that can contend for a World Series Title each year which makes their run this year very vital for the franchise. Harvey’s potential shutdown reeks of 2012 when the Nationals decided to shut down starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg after pitching 160 innings following his recovery from Tommy John surgery. The Nats would make the playoffs in 2012 and once they were eliminated in the National League Divisional Series by the St. Louis Cardinals, it was simply written off that they would be back next year. That wasn’t the case for the Nationals who missed the playoffs in 2013 and they have still failed to appear in the National League Championship Series.
Hall of Fame pitchers such as Tom Seaver, Steve Carlton, and Bob Gibson were big game pitchers and they always wanted the baseball when the chips were pushed to the middle of the table. They never allowed their agents to be their spokesperson on their health and they never put themselves in front of their team which is something that Harvey has allowed as those pitchers would have literally crawled to the mound. Harvey represents the new business savvy player with the “me first” philosophy. And if Harvey had a problem with the antics of Boras, he should have fired him.
Harvey grew up in Connecticut and he knows about how the media can turn on you in the big market of New York City which is what has happened to him now due to Boras.
In the past Boras has been extremely critical of the Mets due to the financial constraints of team owner Fred Wilpon. Boras knows how to get the top dollar for his clients, but it is getting to the point that Major League Baseball front offices don’t want to deal with him and the latest victim could be Harvey. When it comes to Tommy John recovery, every case is different and a doctor is clearly making a suggestion as nothing is fool proof. If Harvey feels fine, he should pitch; end of story. But this is not a matter that Boras should take it upon himself to discuss in the media. By Boras opening his mouth about Harvey, he has given the Mets an exucse to falter down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs, because it they lose, everyone will point to this. If the Mets were smart, it will be time for them to move on from Harvey this off-season regardless of what happens down the stretch here in 2015 as team general manager Sandy Alderson, manager Terry Collins, and players on the team now have to field unnecessary questions about Harvey. And things will only get worse when Harvey hits free agency as long as he allows Boras to be his mouth piece. It will take all 40 players coming down the stretch and 25 in October for the Mets to ultimately get where they want to go; not Harvey and the Mets. The Mets have proven that they can lose with or without Harvey as he nor Boras are bigger than the game of baseball.
The New York Mets have failed to reach the postseason since 2006 and they haven’t had a winning record since 2008. The Mets bottomed out in 2009 when they lost 92 games and after winning 79 games last season, they appear to be climbing back into contention. This season the Mets are 52-50 and they are only three games behind the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East whereas at this point a year ago, the Metropolitans had a record of 52-56 and they trailed the Nats by 7 games. The Mets are trying to gain some momentum for themselves as they are thinking about the postseason. And if the Mets plan on playing baseball this October, a large part of it will be due to their starting pitching.
The Mets organization has been built on pitching and that is once again the case in 2015 as they have an array of young arms. Matt Harvey, Jonathon Niese, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard are all starting pitchers in the Mets rotation with Niese being the oldest one at 28. Starting pitcher Steven Matz who is 24-years old is currently on the disabled list as he is recovering from a lat injury while starting pitcher Zack Wheeler who is 25-years old is on the shelf this year as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. The Mets quality pitching isn’t exclusively in their starting rotation as in their bullpen they have the likes of Jeurys Familia, Hansel Robles, and Sean Gilmartin. And make no mistake about that as far as pitching goes, the Mets are loaded.
This season the Mets earned run average of 3.18 is third in the National League while they’re tops in opponent’s batting average (.242), second in quality starts (66), and fifth in strikeouts (807) which is bringing the fans out to Citi Field in Flushing, New York this summer.
Previously the only day of the week in which the Mets saw a boost in their home attendance was when Harvey took the mound, but that is no longer the case. Last year saw deGrom named as the National League Rookie of the Year and he was the Mets lone representative at the Major League Baseball All-Star Game earlier this month. In the Midsummer Classic, deGrom struck out the side on just 10 pitches in the inning that he worked and he’s also second in the NL this season in earned run average at 2.05 while he is 10th in strikeouts with 128. Syndergaard is in his rookie campaign and like deGrom last year, he is garnering some interest as far as being named the NL’s Rookie of the Year. Syndergaard has a record of 5-5 with a 2.70 earned run average and 91 strikeouts in just 86.2 innings pitched. Syndergaard is showing no signs of hitting the dreaded rookie wall as he went 8 innings while taking a perfect game into the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres earlier this week. Niese has been with the Mets since 2008 and he has seen his fair share of ups and downs. This season Niese has a record of 5-9 with a 3.63 earned run average which isn’t indicative of how he’s pitched lately due to the fact that he is now being pushed for a spot in the rotation. Niese was being pushed for that spot by Matz who in just two starters earlier this summer recorded an earned run average of 1.32 with 14 strikeouts. And all of this is going on while Harvey has a record of 9-7 with an earned run average of 3.16 this season as he is still feeling his way back as he missed the entire 2014 MLB season while he recovered from Tommy John surgery.
In the bullpen, Familia has become one of the top closers in the National League as he is fifth in saves with 27 to go along with his 2.22 earned average and 49 strikeouts while Gilmartin and Robles have been solid in middle relief. And due to the fact that the Mets starters are able to go deeper into the game, it has made their bullpen more effective as they are not being overworked,
The Mets organization has a pair of World Series Championships to their credit and whenever they’ve won, their pitching was at the forefront. In 1969, the Mets were led by pitchers Nolan Ryan, Jerry Koosman, and Nolan Ryan. And when the Metropolitans won the World Series once more in 1986, it was all about starting pitchers Dwight Gooden, Sid Fernandez, Ron Darling, and Bobby Ojeda.
What makes it so special about this current crop of pitchers for the Mets is that they were mainly developed in their system. Harvey was the Mets first round pick in 2010 while deGrom was chosen that same year in the ninth round. Niese was a seventh round selection of the Mets in 2005 while New York would select Matz in the second round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft. Wheeler and Syndergaard were acquired through trades as Mets general manager Sandy Alderson stuck to his guns. In 2011, Alderson put former Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran on the trading block. The San Francisco Giants wanted Beltran, but they were unwilling to part with Wheeler who was a prized arm in their system. Alderson’s persistence won out as he got the player that he wanted. After former Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey won the NL’s Cy Young Award in 2012, he too was put on the trading block. The Toronto Blue Jays were interested in Dickey and they were willing to part ways with Syndergaard who since the trade has been groomed in New York’s system under former Mets pitcher Frank Viola who is the pitching coach for the team’s Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s. In the bullpen, Robles and Familia were signed as amateur free agents out of the Dominican Republic. Gilmartin was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 2011, but the Mets picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft in 2014. And once you factor in a veteran in starting pitcher Bartolo Colon and the Mets recent acquisition of relief pitcher Tyler Clippard from the Oakland Athletics, New York is gaining confidence.
This season the Mets are far from being a complete team as they possess one of the worst offenses in the National League. Already this season the Mets have lost four games by the score of 1-0 as the offense has let the pitching staff down. But through it all the Mets are right there for the top spot in the National League East and they’re just 4 games behind the Giants for the final wild card berth and as long as you have solid pitching, anything can happen.
Aside from this year, the Mets are set up to win due to their young core of pitchers as they can be a team to be reckoned with for the next few seasons. The Mets have a luxury that most Major League Baseball teams currently don’t have which is the ability to possess multiple aces in their starting rotation. Pitching has kept the Mets afloat so far this season and it should continue to be that way this season. And if the bats are able to come around consistently, anything can happen down the stretch for the Metropolitans.