Dice-K and Lannan may have leg up on rotation

Diasuke Matsuzaka and John Lannan are expected to compete with minor leaguers Jenrry Mejia, Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom for the fifth starter on the Mets.

“I’ve always said those veterans can really get you out of the blocks,” Terry Collins said Friday. “Then, when those kids are ready, they’re the ones a lot of times that bring you that extra energy, especially late in the summer.”

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

My bet is Dice-K gets the rotation spot, Lannan is this team’s long-man and Mejia, deGrom and Montero ship out to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Montero and deGrom could easily find themselves promoted later in the year to help out the bullpen. And, while Mejia’s potential cannot be ignored, it’ll be too easy for Alderson to send him back to Triple-A to be sure he’s healthy and continues getting experience. Yes, Mejia has been in the league a while, but he’s still short on work because of so many injuries. 

This leaves Matsuzaka and Lannan, who have extra incentive to be added to the roster since they both have provisions in their deals that require decisions by a certain date. Dice-K impressed people in late September, he’s got a track record and, if he can find himself again, he could be a total steal and unexpected difference maker. Lannan, on the other hand, doesn’t strike a lot of guys out and he doesn’t get a ton of ground balls, so he’s not the most desirable reliever. However, as a spot starter, mop-up, fill-in guy, he’ll be fine…




109 comments
mettle
mettle

All we keep hearing about is how the Mets are stocked with young arms, but we'll have two retreads for the 5th starter?  They will each need a personal reliever because neither can go past the 5th inning.

Jeff Lubatkin
Jeff Lubatkin

Why would you go with re-treads when you have a young, home-grown guy who showed his potential last year?  Yes, he was shut down because of the elbow chips.  But everyone knew he had them and it was scheduled to be addressed at the end of the season.  This wasn't a new injury where you can once again start questioning his ability to stay healthy.  Go with Mejia.  When Thor is ready, assuming everyone is healthy, look to trade Gee for some offense.  In 2015 when Harvey is back, trade Bartolo to a contender in need of a veteran.  Harvey, Wheeler, Thor, Niese and Mejia is a nice 2015 rotation.

Paul Garvin Kuhns
Paul Garvin Kuhns

with all the young pitchers this franchise has through the ranks from MLB to single A......If they put DICE-K or JOHN LANNAN as the fifth starter to begin the season....They deserve to have nobody watch all season

Tom Heeman
Tom Heeman

Im a little off topic but feel the need to vent so bear with me please..


We felt the need to make a splash early on in the offseason so we gave Chris Young $7.25 million a year after batting .200 but now Nelson Cruz has almost no market and could be had with a 2 or 3 year deal for money in the ballpark of what we gave Chris Young, maybe a little bit more but nothing crazy.  Nelson Cruz 162 game numbers are .268/32/99...its things like this that drive me crazy.  Wright, Granderson, Cruz as a 3,4,5 would be one of the best in the game.  Im sick of hearing the argument that Cruz is a liability in the field, the guy played most of his games with Texas in the outfield and they seemed to be just fine.  


This team has the pitching currently within the organization to be set for the next 5 years (harvey, wheeler, niese, syndergaard, gee, montero, mejia, degrom, and others on the way) and the rotation will be young and more importantly AFFORDABLE allowing us to spend the bulk of our money on offensive players.  We could have had Cruz for a bargain but it seems like we passed that up, but for what?  Next year the headliners of the free agent outfield market are Nick Markakis and Alex Rios.  Good but not great options and I would take Nelson Cruz and his track record of being a power hitter over those 2 guys all day.  His fit in this lineup and ballpark would be as good as any.  The time to start building this offense is now and to have Cruz and Granderson locked up for the next 3 years along with Wright would guarantee a great middle of the order to back what should be one of the best pitching staffs in baseball over the next several years.


Some people say just because we have money to spend doesnt mean we have to spend it all this offseason, but when a player of Nelson Cruz's caliber is available for a market friendly deal, the time to act is now.  

Zach Ripple
Zach Ripple

Why has this blog converted Montero to a reliever in the last month? This guy has been one of the best minor league pitchers over the last three years, has conquered every level as a starter at just 23/24 years old and now he's a reliever? I just don't understand. And Lannan as the long-man? Over Torres and all our other middle-relief options? No way.

Eric Lee
Eric Lee

Terry wasn't talking about the rotation when he said that, when he was asked about the rotation it seemed pretty obvious to me that Mejia is favored. Gotta make up stories though...

A Pocono View_
A Pocono View_

I think we saw a lot of upside in Meija last yr. Can he saty healthy, a good question..but if u bounce him around, how does that help him to develop?

Dante Puzzuoli
Dante Puzzuoli

If that's the case.... unless Lannan dazzles in S T... I'd prefer Dice-K.... He seemed to get comfortable  toward the end of last year. Pitched to a 1.47 ERA I believe. I think if he settles in he can probably go 12-11 with a 3.29 ERA if all goes well. Lanna to me is poised to pitch to a mid to high 4 ERA... but he would also be our 2nd lefty in our RP heavy rotation. Should be a good battle. I hope Mejia dominates and takes the job out right, but I can't lie the thought of Matsuzaka returning to form sounds more fulfilling. Either way Thor will be up by June most likely. Our rotation in 2015 is going to be crazy.

rock316nyj
rock316nyj

I just keep thinking to when Mejia made the Puig and some of the Dodgers last season look silly at the plate. This kid is loaded with talent and its time he gets his shot, as a starter, with the big league club.

n1ck13
n1ck13

I think its funny how this is a big deal on Valentine's Day.  Matsuzaka is in no way a sure thing considering his arm issues, so he may injure his way out of contention, as may Meija.  Lannan is no sure bet either.  Now if everyone pitches well in ST and stays healthy then you have some decisions to make, but on Valentine's Day it is nothing to get worked up about.

eric88
eric88

The Mets couldn't sign Drew, but they could spend 5 million on promotions

eric88
eric88

Why are we going to start rejects from other teams over our highly rated prospects. This team is going nowhere, get Mejia the experience. When will he start, when he's 35? This is sounding like last years team already, Shawn Markham redux. The same thing is happening toFlores. Top prospect being converted to a utility player. How is all that crap at 1b starting over Flores there. What are we developing. There never new blood always rejects. Thats TC's fault. Bad manager for young players.

hankincolo
hankincolo

Those veteran pitchers do give you a  leg up, then when guys like Bartolo lift their leg running to first, they'll pull a hammy for sure.


BTW, watching Bartolo run the bases, now THAT's going to be hilarious. In fact, if you put Bartolo on first and Duda happens to be running behind him, does Duda pass him?  

Vic Scarpelli
Vic Scarpelli

Mejia please it's his time just needs to stay healthy

Justin Casale
Justin Casale

Lannan and matsuzaka would both be fine as a #5 but how can we ignore the potential of mejia? The kid pitched lights out last year, and while I would expect his era to inflate a bit if he pitches a full season, he still needs to be in the rotation. If he can prove his worth as a solid #3, which I really think he can, then we are free to trade either Neise or Gee for a shortstop.

Eric Koeller
Eric Koeller

personally, id much rather see Mejia...led the young guy play. Last year Mejia proved he is ready to be a full time major leaguer. Its not like Dice-K and Lannan are gonna be a major upgrade over Mejia, and i don't see much benefit of letting Mejia stay in Vegas

wingo43
wingo43

They probably don't want Hank pitching in cold weather coming back from elbow surgery.  


Tim Leary.  Never forget.

georgie
georgie

I posted last year that the Mets will not spend or have more than a $85ml payroll. Guess what? I think I'm right. Even David Wright is complaining in the papers that he is tired of losing  and rebuilding periods.

Muhammad Khan
Muhammad Khan

If they both pitch equally well in Spring training. I think advantage Lannan cause Niese is the only lefty in the rotation. What do you guys think?

gloveman
gloveman

It's depressing enough with all of the snow, but listening to TC makes looking forward to spring and baseball even worse. 

Chris Kujawa
Chris Kujawa

Have they even worked out yet? Give it some time. Something tells me Daisuke won't have the best spring numbers and the issue will be Mejia or Montero.


BTW no big deal but first line its Daisuke not Diasuke.

Phil Mancini
Phil Mancini

TC isn't the problem, it's the hand he has been dealt. 

gloveman
gloveman

I think usually the pitchers with good stuff start out stronger, while the feel pitchers take longer. Just sayin!

Joe Kurioo
Joe Kurioo

can someone tell this idiot tc to stfu

Mike Radlauer
Mike Radlauer

This comes down to team philosophy. If the Mets are trying to develop young pitchers, Mejia has already demonstrated that he can be an effective, if not dominant, starter. He should be the 5th spot in the rotation. He obviously has much more upside than either Dice-K or Lannan. However, If the Mets are trying to emulate the Phillies...

Kevin VanTassell
Kevin VanTassell

Your best pitchers get you out of the block quick, hope Collins is trying to make sure Mejia doesn't take things for granted.

Patrick Boegel
Patrick Boegel

Every time Terry speaks, an Angel gets its wings clipped.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@Tom Heeman  Nelson Cruz is a product of his ballpark. Look at his career numbers. .242 hitter away from the friendly confines of Texas with an OPS of .734 which is lower than Stephen Drew's career numbers! 

He has hit over 30 HR's once in his career in a hitters park. The guy is always injured. He's played more than 128 games once in his career, so please don't start with the 162 game avg. You're going to get around 125 games from him and what 20HR's? With tons of strikeouts and bad defense. No thank you!

metzfan22
metzfan22

@Tom Heeman  Nelson Cruz has the same career OPS+ as Lucas Duda. True story. Let's not pretend he's Babe Ruth here. 

Dante Puzzuoli
Dante Puzzuoli

and hopefully no injuries for our hurlers this year. 

metzfan22
metzfan22

@eric88  Why do you even want Drew? Or are you just complaining because it's popular? Do you think it's a mistake he's still available at the end of February? 

eric88
eric88

@hankincolo  Watching this team is depressing. At least something will be fun, Colon running.

Peter LoMastro
Peter LoMastro

@hankincolo Sadly Colon is 3 times the athlete Duda is. God I truly despise Duda more than any other Met besides Jason Bay and Jeromy Burnitz Redux. Zero speed, Horrible defense, Low Batting Avg and completely over exaggerated Faux Power numbers.

eric88
eric88

@georgie  Wright is staring to realize what we knew already. The Wilpons are LIERS. The 2014 promise was a hoax perpetrated on all of us.

jamets
jamets

@Muhammad Khan I don't think the number of lefties in the rotation is a consideration.  It's pretty much meaningless.


I also don't think Lannan is very good.  Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised, but I can't see him beating out Mejia unless Mejia gets hurt.  And even then, I could see deGrom or Montero, or even Torres, beating out Lannan for the spot.

dukewillie
dukewillie

@Mike Radlauer  The Mets might want to take the cautious approach with Mejia and start him at Vegas where it's warmer than NY in April & May, just to make sure his arm has healed from off season surgery. 

The Feels band
The Feels band

@SuperDuper  A mets farm system that was in the mid 20's is now #6. Oh, but we didn't rebuild? Plus, you're complaining about rebuilding but then also complaining about who we sign in the meantime on the big league squad? Haha, um, okay. 

eric88
eric88

@SuperDuper  They won't rebuild or have traded Wright. Its all about selling tickets. That why these rejects play over the prospects. 

Mike Radlauer
Mike Radlauer

@dukewillie  That's a good point. But if he's the 5th starter, my guess is that he probably won't pitch much, if at all, until the end of April.

One of Terry's major weaknesses as a manager is his handling of the bullpen. He should have arms like Dice-K and Lannan who can throw multiple innings rather than using too many relievers for too few innings for too many games. Hope that makes sense.

eric88
eric88

@Peter LoMastro @eric88 @hankincolo   They say he has no position, but he does 1b. when you come up at third and you are blocked the natural switch is 1b. No range needed. They even play Stin there over him! They will regret trading him although the Mets don't make trades now that the Minaya trade chips are all gone.

Peter LoMastro
Peter LoMastro

@eric88 @Peter LoMastro@hankincoloIt seems like they have zero love for Flores. I felt the same way, if you move IKE give Flores a shot not Duda. Everyone feels Duda didn't get a fair shake and will all of a sudden gain confidence and become aggressive. Newsflash he isn't going to become some great player. I still feel Ike will contribute this year and Flores will get dealt in a package deal. I think Flores will be a dh slash Third Baseman in the AL. I think it will be a mistake when we move Flores. I laugh because they complain he has no position but he showed a knack for driving in runs which Duda never will have a knack for. He just wants the walk and to clog up the bases.