Quick Look and Review of the Starting Pitchers

Matthew Cerrone , Lead Writer

Here are some quick and brief thoughts on the team’s starting pitchers, based on their past performances and what I feel about their potential going forward, and whether they should stay or go…

RA Dickey: Keeper, under the right circumstance… This idea that he can pitch forever because he’s a knuckleballer is a bit shortsighted. Unlike his predecessors, Dickey throws hard and often, and he’s 37. I want him to stay, he can be an ace, but his contract has to be within reason. If not, the Mets should explore trading him before Opening Day, because teams compete for a unique, intelligent, 20-game winner making just $5.5 million next season…

Johan Santana: Keeper, because the Mets have no choice… He’ll make $25 million next year, after which he’ll be a free agent. He’s now good, not great. But, he doesn’t have to be what he was six years ago. 25 starts and 140 innings, to the tune of 3.50 ERA, would be just fine…

Jon Niese: Keeper, unless he can be moved for a bat… I like Niese a lot, plus he’s under 30 and a lefty, which makes him all the more valuable. He ended the year strong, healthy and successful, and – because of Dickey – he probably didn’t the get credit he deserves. That said, he’s a young, lefty-handed, $10 million pitcher making just $3 million. I think he has a very bright future, but – since you can’t trade nothing for something – if a team is willing to send the Mets a equally valuable, impact bat, Niese has to be on the table…

Matt Harvey: Keeper, obviously... There is no realistic scenario that would get me to trade him. Zero. He can be in the ballpark of a Jordan Zimmerman or Madison Bumgarner in just his second season, with the potential to be so much better going forward. He’s focused, intense, very talented, and the exact type of player I love to root for. I’m happy he’s here…

Dillon Gee: Keeper, because every team needs good, inexpensive, reliable, back-of-the-rotation starters… He threw at least six innings and let up three runs or less in 70% of his starts last season. And, he was a bit unlucky in 2012, suggesting he has the potential to be better. He’s a bargain, earning significantly less than he’d get on the open market. He’s not going to win a Cy Young, but I’m content knowing he’s in the rotation…

Jeremy Hefner: Eh, he’s fine… He’s the quintessential long-man, spot-starter guy, earning the league minimum. He has a place on this team, and pretty much any team, but he is easily replaceable.

Chris Young: Eh, let him go… Look, I’m impressed with how he recovered from surgery and returned earlier than expected. And, I’m thankful he did so at a time when the Mets needed a starter this past season. But, he’s a grind to watch. It’s Trachselesque. He’s a strain on the bullpen, because there is zero chance of him pitching beyond the seventh inning. The Mets will have better, less obstructive emergency options this season, such as Hefner, and I suspect he’ll get a better deal to pitch some place else anyway, so I assume he’ll be gone…


Tomorrow, I’ll take a quick look back and forward at the bullpen…