Daisuke Matsuzaka (Baron)

Who doesn’t want to be a fifth starter?

Jenrry Mejia, Daisuke Matsuzaka, John Lannan and a group of prospects are expected to compete this spring to be the team’s fifth starter, behind a rotation that includes Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon.

“I’m here. I feel good. I’ll be ready for whatever they want me to do, but I want to be in the fifth spot,” Mejia said this week (New York Post, Feb. 11). 

RHP pitching prospect Jacob deGrom, who is on the 40-man roster, considers himself among the competition.

“It’s all about the competition; that’s what the game is about,” deGrom said (TC Palm, Feb. 10). “There are a lot of young arms and guys who have a chance of being in the big leagues this year. I’m just going to come out and do my best and see what happens.”

Matsuzaka, who had a 1.47 ERA during the final four starts of 2013, re-signed with the Mets and is confident he can win the job.

“I thought I would have to compete no matter what organization I went to, so that was a non-factor for me,” said Matsuzaka, who returned to the team in large part because of his relationship with Dan Warthen and Terry Collins (ESPN, Feb. 11).

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I’m not in St. Lucie yet and I haven’t seen anyone throw this year, so I’m undecided on how I hope to see this competition play out. My instinct is to want Mejia to get the job, mostly because he’s young, homegrown, looked amazing at times last year, has SO much potential and, I mean, that hair is worthy of a big-league job all by itself. But, from an overall roster point of view, he may not make the most sense, especially since Lannan and Matsuzaka can refuse assignment and become free agents at varying points in the spring and early season.

In the end, it could be a short-term position anyway, since it is widely expected that top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard will be promoted after July, at which point – assuming everyone is healthy – the fifth starter will either be demoted, released or sent to the bullpen.




33 comments
methead
methead

You pick the guy who is the best both now and long term.  Their options should make no difference.  Meijia should be the starter going into to spring and he would have to have a bad spring or someone to have a great spring to give the job to meija.  just my opinion.

cver
cver

Give it to Montero, trade Niese in a deal for Reyes and make the other spot Mejia's to lose.

babyface
babyface

Am I imagining things, or did that photo from earlier this morning from the live blog of Mejia in mid-pitch look like the spitting image of Pedro?

gloveman
gloveman

I just hope that if Mejia is #5, and doing really well when Syndergaard is ready, that they don't mess him up with a demotion or switch to the bullpen. Either going to a six man, or waiting to bring Syndergaard up when they are ready to trade for a bat at the deadline. Mejia's upside is too good to screw with him. And they've already done that once!

kiefstache
kiefstache

Yeah, thats some Oscar Gamble hair.  IT DO.

Marty Coe Jr
Marty Coe Jr

If this turns out like I think it will with Dice-K aa the 5th starter and Lannon as the long man/spot starter then the Mets will have the best rotation in AAA period! Syndergaard, Mejiia, DeGrom, Montero and Mazzoni or Gorski. All power pitchers who are all projected to be top-middle of the MLB rotation studs in the next couple of years. Plus they have Jeff Walters and Jack Leathersitch who are both dominant closers. I'm really excited about the pitching the Mets have throughout the organization and I may be in minority, but I think the Mets will have a solid year with a shot at October!

Chris
Chris

Plan A should be Mejia as the 5th starter. Plans B-Z should only be looked into if Mejia is not healthy at the start of the season.

Ricky
Ricky

SPRING 2014:

Niese / Colon / Wheeler / Gee / Mejia


SUMMER 2014:

Niese / Colon / Wheeler / Syndergaard / Gee or Montero (or Colon may be traded)

2015 SEASON:

Harvey / Syndergaard / Wheeler / Niese / Gee or Montero


flushed
flushed

I don't know why, but I am pulling for Matsuzaka. I hope Mejia gets the 5th spot and Dice K sticks around in some fashion.

Michael Suna
Michael Suna

I can easily see the mets trading Gee or Colon later on this year...

Charlie Callahan
Charlie Callahan

5th Starter is a non issue. Someone will get hurt. They always do. And all you morons complaining about Burnett you know nothing about baseball. Stop your crying. Your embarrassing yourself.

Marc Seldin
Marc Seldin

This tells me that one (or possibly even two) of the current starters are going to be traded at some point this year. Either mid-way or during the next off-season. So, who's it gonna be?

Jeff Robins
Jeff Robins

When you say that at the time Syndergaard gets promoted "the fifth starter will either be demoted, released or sent to the bullpen," you are presuming no trades will be made mid season. Let's say Mejia wins the 5th spot and is pitching on an equal with Colon. Colon, with his playoff experience, could become a trade chip unless he has a no trade contract.

simbad
simbad

It has to go to Meijia. Enough with the talk of potential - it's do or die. If he can stay healthy and pitch like he did during that stint last year, hands down him.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

I can't believe the Phillies gave Burnett 16M for one year. Jeez! 

metsaholic
metsaholic

I would hope that the "5th Starter" is Mejia and he pitches like an "Ace"  at which point, when Noah is brought up, Colon is traded.

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

@Ricky One thing to look for is how much time Colon is here and what basically are they getting for that 20M. For a full year + control during a playoff run, Colon, for example, should get you something pretty good in the summer.

Michael Frias
Michael Frias

@Charlie Callahan No, YOU'RE embarrassing yourself by not knowing the difference between "your" and "you're".

zoddie
zoddie

Agreed that if Mejia has to be everyones favorite, but he is going to pitch all year as 24 year old, so it still isn't do or die for him yet. Hope this is the year he stays healthy, though.

sickntired
sickntired

When he shuts us out this summer you'll believe it.  You get what you pay for...Phillies get Burnett, we get rejects.  But heck, garbage is cheap these days.  The Wilpons can get to keep the team!  Hooray!!!

tullydew
tullydew

It must be nice to shop at Bloomingdales as we continue to shop at the Dollar Store.

zoddie
zoddie

More likely that Niese or Gee is traded, no? Depends how they all are pitching, but Niese and Gee have more value because they are cheaper and team controlled.

Billy Suede
Billy Suede

Burnett is a massive overpay. You never know what kind of year you'll get from him. That is a lot of scratch to pay for such a volatile asset.

strake
strake

16 million for one year of Burnett, PASS. That's a huge over pay.

Mejia or Montero in the 5 spot.

I am with the dude who thinks Gee could get swapped. You could make the case we could move him now in a SS deal.

I still think Sandy will strike a SS deal- Drew or a Deal for Lowrie in Oakland.

Charlie Callahan
Charlie Callahan

@tullydew What isle was Colon on in the Dollar Store? Stop crying about budget. Spending doesn't = success. Look at the Yankees. Spending smart is the way to success.

27Up27Down
27Up27Down

@zoddie I think we're going to see at least one, if not two, of Gee, Colon, and Neise traded at the break, or in the offseason. Hopefully a team desperate for a starter takes one off our hands for some legit pieces

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Just seems like a huge overpay

roman411
roman411

@Charlie Callahan @tullydew  Also, A.J. "Lightning In A Bottle" Burnett will NOT repeat what he's done.  He's not physically built for it. Let the Phils have him. I'll keep Bartolo "rubber arm" Colon.

zoddie
zoddie

It is too early to trade any of these guys, but that should change by the deadline.

The fact that Niese IS signed to a team-friendly contract makes him have more value to other teams. He will still be more expensive than Harvey, Wheeler, Syndergaard, deGrom, Montero, and Mejia. That being said, if a contending team wants to pay for Colon at the deadline, id be more than happy to move him if he is pitching well.

Charlie Callahan
Charlie Callahan

@zoddieThey are not trading Niese. He is locked up in a team friendly contract. Colon maybe but that's only after Noah or Montero step up.