Matt Harvey 2 (Baron)

Olney: Mets could have top five rotation if Harvey was healthy

Buster Olney ran down the 10 best rotations in baseball, and the Mets didn’t make the list. They didn’t make the honorable mentions, either.

But, if Matt Harvey was healthy, the Mets would be in the top ten — and maybe even the top five.

Olney tweeted that if Harvey was healthy, the Mets would find themselves “definitely Top 10, probably Top 5; 2015 is lining up to be a breakthrough season.”

The Tigers, Dodgers and Nationals lead MLB as the best rotations in baseball, according to Olney.




248 comments
kenmetskni
kenmetskni

2015 should be special, although Harvey will probably need some time to regain his form.

As far as 2014 goes, we should have a pretty solid group. Colon is still very effective and is moving from the AL to the NL, which should be a plus. Niese and Gee are a decent 3/4. Wheeler, to me, is the X factor. If Zach can pitch like a #2 starter, we should be in good shape. Then we have Mejia's health question and the potential of Montero and Syndergaard to emerge. It should be very interesting to watch.

metjetnet
metjetnet

So..., umm, if the Mets' rotation sucks this year, it's HARVEY'S fault? Either Olney or SNY needs more sleep...

maxster
maxster

People say, we will have to wait until 2015 now. Why, we signed Colon to take his place. Colon can get a no descision as easily as Harvey. Stop moving the goalpost. You said 2014 all along. Spend some money. Increase your Payroll for the 1st time in years. That way you can keep a promise for the 1st time in years.

maxster
maxster

BS - If Harvey was here they wouldn't have signed COLON--Jeez

ponzies86
ponzies86

Watching Texas Tech vs Arizona St College Football game right now and keeping an eye on WR Bradley MArquez who's in the Mets farm system, This guy is really good Athlete, he  just scored a TD and he's crazy fast!! 

Bringback86
Bringback86

...And the queen would've been king IF she had a set of b***s...who cares about "if's." The fact is Harvey isn't healthy this year so why speculate...the Mets organization would please their fan base tremendously-- IF the Wilpons did the right thing and sold the team....unfortunately neither is going to happen so why even think about "if's"...

Andy
Andy

Going all the way baby.

dexx
dexx

Here is what is see for 2014


SP1- Bartolo Colon-  20  GS  9-5  2.85  Traded at deadline or offseason for SS or OF stud prospect.


SP2- Jon Niese- 30  GS   14-8   3.30  Niese finally puts it all together, but misses a few starts to rest shoulder.  He was 13-9  3.40 in 2012


SP3- Dillon Gee- 33  GS  15-9   3.25  With any offense at all, he would've won 15 last year.  He was as good as anybody the last 4 months of 2013


SP4- Zack Wheeler-  30  GS  12-9  3.50  Wheeler will most likely be on an innings limit or pitch count limit until 2015.  He need to improve his command, but the stuff is real.


SP5- Jenrry Mejia- 15  GS  7-4  3.35  The kid has some serious stuff, but unfortunately his body and violent delivery will not allow his arm to stay healthy at that level.  Even if he stays healthy, he will be on an innings limit as he managed 50 IP, and he has only thrown 100 IP or more once ever.


SP6- Rafael Montero- 14  GS  7-3  2.95  His numbers in Vegas last season were better than Harvey's & Wheeler's in a much more pitcher friendly Buffalo. He might run into the same problems that Mejia does.  Dynamite stuff, good command, but doesn't have the body to withstand the workload.


SP7- Noah Syndergaard-  10  GS  4-3  3.75  ERA.  He's only 21.  Innings Limit


SP8- Jacob deGrom-  6  GS  1-3  4.75  ERA. 


SP9- Carlos Torres-  4  GS   1-2  4.50  1.50  ERA in bullpen last year, 4.75 as SP.



Jean_Valjean
Jean_Valjean

"But, if Tom Seaver came out retirement and pitched to similar results as he did in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Mets would be in the top ten."

OK.

ponzies86
ponzies86

Im I the only one who thinks Mejia will play better then expected in 2014?

Vin Santiago
Vin Santiago

The Met's could have a World Championship if that inside curve ball that Beltran buckled on was called a ball.  A ton of thing could have happened. 

howard_stn
howard_stn

Can Alderson/ Ricciardi really have an 82% confidence rating?

Joanie Yan
Joanie Yan

Who cares what Buster Olney thinks

niesesnose
niesesnose

Our pitching is pretty equal with the braves. If anything the marlins have better pitching than the phillies, as the phillies pitching is godawful like the rest of their old, decrepit team will be.

hankypanky
hankypanky

What's all the negativity about Niese? This is a joke, right?

dexx
dexx

Bartolo Colon  18-6     2.65 ERA

Dillon Gee       12-11   3.62 ERA  10-5 2.71 over his last 22 starts

Jon Niese         8-8      3.71 ERA   5-2 3.00 after coming off DL (10GS)

Zack Wheeler   7-5      3.42 ERA   1st 17 starts of career

Jenrry Mejia     1-2       2.30 ERA  


There are absolutely not 10 rotations that are better than this one.  If you are gonna assume regression for Colon, then you would have to assume progression for Wheeler & Mejia.  Can't have it both ways.

ctjoe
ctjoe

@kenmetskni Ken, what does "good shape" mean? Certainly not better than Washington, St Louis, LA, or Cincy.  That leaves you in a dogfight with Ariz, SF, Atlanta, Philly, and Pittsburgh for one spot.  How do you think that will work out? It hard to imagine this, but the Met offensive team coud be worse than last year.  The 2 biggest issues (1B and SS) havent been addressed in any way. The catcher is what?  The starting RF hit .200 and saw his average drop for the 4th straight year.  His OB is .280  That makes him SIGNIFICANTLY worse than say Jeff Francouer. They replaced Byrd with a guy who will maybe hit .250, isnt as good a fielder and will strike out 33% (!) of his AB.s



ReedRothchild
ReedRothchild

I think you may be a bit optimistic. Colon is fat and just received his last big deal and got great run support I believe last year which he won't get this year. For this team to even sniff .500+, they need career years from Niese and Gee, and a serious step up from Wheeler.

Remember, the offense is going to stink, and the bullpen might not be much better, and if Parnell is not ready to pick up where he left off, the pen could be horrible. Last year many drooled at the idea of all of the great pen arms--Edgin, Carson, Mejia, Familia--and that did not end well.

Really, rooting for Wheeler, Syndergaard, and Montero to all succeed wherever they all are, and rooting for Flores and d'Arnaud to look so very much better than the brittle, overmatched kids they appeared to be last year are the keys to 2014 being anything at all.

metfan9876
metfan9876

@dexx Don't really agree with this. Noah Syndergaard is a stud prospect and will almost definitely outperform Montero in the majors. Also, I think Wheeler will have more success than Montero next season, however it might not be by much. 

And I'm not sure where you read that, but I haven't heard anyone ever say Montero has dynamite stuff. He has good command and a plus fastball but until I see a few scouts actually praise his stuff ( Or project a frontline starter in him ) I won't really be expecting him to put up some crazy numbers.

ctjoe
ctjoe

@dexx 24 games OVER .500??  That is laughable.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

Nice break down dexx. I agree with you for the most part. I'm not sure Colon gets traded, but I could be wrong. I think you are spot on about Mejia's delivery. I actually think he might be destined to be a closer or 8th inning guy at some point. His delivery taxes his elbow, so he might never be able to handle a starters innings load.

Paul Rubin
Paul Rubin

@dexx That's all well and good but there's a better than 50% chance for each of the pitchers you mentioned to have inferior stats and it's not because they're not capable of producing those numbers. I suspect one or two might do even better. The reason why Harvey went down lame in 2013 is because only a select few pitchers, guys like Tom Seaver and a handful of others, can repeatedly pitch near perfect baseball start after start. When a pitcher know they can't give up any runs and still hope to win, they over extend themselves, they go beyond that which their body can ordinarily do, and most will break down either mentally, physically or both. The Mets had horrible offense in 2013 and to date, have replaced their arguably best hitter with a guy who's likely to be about the same overall (perhaps a few more homers and walks, lower BA).  Unless there is serious improvement in 2014 from wild cards like D'Arnaud, Legares, and at at least one other position (SS, OF, 1B), we're looking at possibly finishing 2014 losing 2-3 of the projected starters, possibly for 2015 and beyond. This is insane and shortsighted. I'm not trying to be pessimistic but the pitching stats you indicated cannot happen with the worst offensive team in baseball. That's just not how this game EVER works. You have to have a team that is at least average offensively to hope that those starters don't have to be fine enough to literally destroy themselves. Drew, if he can simply be healthy, helps that happen because SS was such a black hole last year. But the proper way to run this team now is to not only sign Drew but also bring in enough pitchers so that one becomes expendable in spring training and they can put a package together to seriously upgrade elsewhere, preferably 1B where you simply can't have less than either 15 homers with a .300 BA or 30 homers with a .250 BA. The rest of the lineup simply won't allow for it. And again, that's if D'Arnaud OR Legares step up or someone else does it for them in the spring. 


A lineup of Wright, Granderson, Murphy, Drew projects to just above average for those 4 positions. Legares and D'Arnaud are complete cyphers for 2014. Could be good. Could be crap. That leaves the two Youngs, Davis, Duda, Satin, and Flores for that 1B, corner OF spot in the lineup and those are serious offensive positions. You need at least one more serious offensive threat in this lineup beyond that set of garbage to bring the offense up to average. You accomplish two things. You protect a potentially dominant young rotation for 2014 and beyond and you actually turn this team into a potential 90 win team wild at least wild card aspirations for 2014 which means a major boost in attendance.

niesesnose
niesesnose

@dexx That's about 75 wins from the starters, if my math is correct. I'm factoring in that Colon isn't dealed and ends up wining 15 games.

niesesnose
niesesnose

Or hopefully were in contention at the deadline and colon isn't moved

Derpy
Derpy

@niesesnose I'd say the Marlins are on par with the Mets right now.  You could say the Mets have a higher ceiling, maybe that is true, but right now they are pretty much equal. 

metstastic
metstastic

On paper... You can expect some regression with Colon at his age. Mejia is still a big question mark after surgery.

hrvwlzthor
hrvwlzthor

@isles rule Are you kidding me? If we're run like the A's then we're in really good shape. Haven't they won their division 2 years in a row? 

All you people are hung up on the amount of the payroll. If you spend strategically on quality players and have a good core of young players and a good farm system then your team will succeed. Look at the Rays and A's. This stupid notion that just because you're a NY team then you have to have a big payroll is beyond idiotic. So, yeah let's give everybody 100 million contracts because it may not be the smart baseball move but you have to do it because your in NY. Why don't people understand that you cannot win championships strictly with free agency, you win because of a solid young core of players and you surround that core with key free agents. Look at the Yanks when they were the most successful, they had that young core of Jeter, Mo, Bernie, Pettitte, Posada, and they surrounded them with veterans that might not have been superstars but very good professional players. That's what the Mets have to do. I'm glad their not giving out stupid long contracts to players that are not worth it and will clog up their payroll in future years. 

metfan9876
metfan9876

@ReedRothchild Ehh. I don't think you're giving the bullpen enough credit. Parnell ( Although he may not be 100% ), Black, Germen, Familia, Walters, DeGrom, Carreno ( Or however is it spelt ), ect. all have pretty high upside. At the very least, I am definitely more comfortable going into the season with more of our younger guys in the pen than our situation last year. 

anymos
anymos

@ReedRothchild Colon was fantastic last year, it had nothing to do with run support.  If you want to find a negative with him, its the question of his ability to duplicate that performance at his age.

dexx
dexx

@Brian Daley@dexx I really didn't project anyone to pitch better than they did last season.  Niese has a 3.50 ERA over the last 2 years, Gee was 10-5  2.71 over his last 22 starts.  Wheeler is about the same as last year, and Colon has regressed numbers.  We have a good staff, and much improved defense.

dexx
dexx

@Paul Rubin@dexx And by the way, do you know how many players there are in all of baseball that his .250 or better with 30 or more HRs?  The Cardinals didn't have a single player hit 25, and won the NL.  In fact, there were exactly 4 1B in 2014 that hit .250 with 30 or more.  Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis, Edwin Encarnacion & Brandon Moss.  Moss is the only one of those 4 to have an AB in the playoffs, so that entire paragraph is outdated, and geared towards the steroid era.  Its not the same game as it was then bro.  Not every team has 5 guys that hit 30.  There were 15 guys in the game that hit 30 last year.  Defense, pitching, OBP are what wins championships, not that guy that hits 30 with 200 Ks  .200  avg.  Just ask Mark Renyolds.  He can't find a job.

dexx
dexx

@Paul Rubin@dexx I think you have seriously underestimated how much we have improved our team.  Before I get to the lineup and defense, you 1st have to remember that we started last season with a rotation of 1. Niese 2. Gee 3. Harvey 4. Hefner 5.  Laffey, yes Aaron Laffey.  After trading Dickey and Santana being out for the season our rotation was a joke.  Especially considering that Marcum wasn't healthy all season, and not available for the 1st month.  Gee was coming off surgery in which it took him 2 months to readjust, and Hefner was used out of the bullpen and then pushed into our #4 starter.  We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we started last season.


We also started last season with an OF of Duda, Cowgill & Byrd with K-New, Valdespin & Baxter on the bench.  Adding EY2 improved our team immensely as he was a huge upgrade defensively in LF, but it also has led to us improving 1B, as Ike Davis was the worst starter in MLB last year.  Duda adds positive offensive value, but his defense in LF actually made him a negative WAR player.  Moving Duda to 1B and platooning him with Satin is a huge upgrade from what Ike Davis produced last season.  We are talking about -0.1 that Ike provided to +2.5 that Duda will provide & +1.5 that Satin will provide.  The upgrade at 1B will improve our team by at least 2 wins.


Byrd was great last season, but remember that he was traded in August and provided 3.0 WAR with the Mets.  I would be shocked if Granderson doesn't provide a 3.0 WAR in 2014.


Lagares improved more last season than we give him credit for.  His overall line wasn't great, but he started out like 1 for 30.  I don't think he will have an MVP season, but a slight improvement to .260/.300/.400 is not at all impossible, and combined with his defense, we will be better in CF with him on the team for the whole season.


C. Young is the Wild Card here, but he really just has to replace what we got from Duda & EY in LF, and he will easily do that with his defense alone.  I really think C. Young could have a 20/20 season without breaking a sweat but either way, an OF of Granderson, Lagares, C. Young & EY2, is infinitely better than our OF of 2013.  We are easily 2 wins better.


David Wright is not above average.  He is a superstar, and will have some protection this season.  He will be worth 7.0 WAR if he stays healthy all season.  He plays +D at 3B, could steal 25, and hit 25 HRs .300 BA, .375 OBP, .475 Slg.  He had an OPS over .900 in 2013.


Murphy is worth 3.0 WAR and might be the best 2B in the NL this season overall.  Phillips and Utley are getting old, and we have already talked about the improvement at 1B.


John Buck sucked.  He hit a few HRs in April, and besides that was terrible. His defense is awful too.  Don't know what else to say.  TDA will be better.  Much better.


If we sign Stephen Drew his defense alone will add 2 wins to this team, and his offense, compared to what we got from the position last season will provide another 2.


Bullpen is gonna be about the same.  Lyon sucked Hawkins was good. 


Either way, if we sign Drew, we are a definite Wild Card contender, and our SPs will benefit greatly.  We only won 74 last year, but we were 50-49 the day after Ike was sent down, till the end of the season.  As long as he doesn't come back, and we don't have anymore tragic injuries, we are right there with a Drew signing.

dexx
dexx

@niesesnose@dexx Yeah but I have 162 starts between all of them, so if he isn't dealt, the I would have to remove the remaining 10-12 starts he would make.  He's 41 though, so I'm not sure he can make a full season anyway.  That's why I want to move him at the deadline.

niesesnose
niesesnose

Don't get me wrong, I very much like Turner and Fernandez and Eovaldi, but there's a drop off after that. Tom Koehler isn't very good (except when he faces us, he shuts down.) I think out staff is probably a little better now. The marlins rebuild will be a quick one though, with all their young pitching and outfielders. Do you think the Braves staff is really better than us? Teheran, minor and Medlen are all good, but Beachy is a question mark

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

@metstastic

Not sure I agree. He is moving from the AL to the NL. Even if Colon pitches less well, he could have a similarly strong ERA.

niesesnose
niesesnose

Expect some regression from Colon, but progression from Niese and Wheeler and anyone in the 5th spot (Mejia, Montero>>>>>Marcum)

niesesnose
niesesnose

If mejia could stay healthy (and that's a big if) he could be absolutely filthy.

Grove Peate
Grove Peate

@hrvwlzthor @isles rule Nine million  fans... says you spend money or you watch the Yankees fill their stadium as you don't fill yours,

Frank Accardi
Frank Accardi

@hrvwlzthor@isles rule   is this posted by a wilpon  ,, this is a major market team  they are getting major  market revenue  as from sny ,,,built a quality team and people will come to ,,, everything is nickel and dimed cause the owners  where involved with Ponzi they should of lost the franchise,,  if we are a  piazza or  hall of fame player away they will never sign them,,,  spend wise  but spend

ReedRothchild
ReedRothchild

Everyone talks about DeGrom and he is 25 and has put up bad numbers in AA and AAA. All of a sudden he's going to find the level he can succeed at in the bigs?

Black and Germen? Very, very iffy upsides.

Hey, I hope they all work out, but again, we heard the same things last year about Edgin, Carson, etc.

ReedRothchild
ReedRothchild

@anymos 

He was very good last year; not quite fantastic.

He received 6 R or more in 16 of his 18 wins. Of course run support has loads to do with it. You don't think pitchers can think and pitch differently when they are getting 6+ R all the time? That's naive. It will be different for Colon when he is getting 2 or 3 runs every game and in the 6th it is 2-2 instead of 6-2 in his favor.

All I know is that I wanted Kazmir. Beane and the A's chose to let Colon go and sign Kazmir and we chose Colon.

I wonder who will be right? Alderson or Beane?

Actually, I don't wonder at all.

kenmetskni
kenmetskni

@dexx

I'm not trying to start this argument with you again, but the Cardinals had a 330 team average with RISP. That stat that you said doesn't hold much weight. That is the main reason why they scored the most runs in the NL last year.

niesesnose
niesesnose

@dexx @niesesnose I see your point, but if we're in a penant race (which, judging by these numbers we will be) I want a veteran with playoff exoerience leading this staff into the 1 game playoff where David Wright hits an epic, walkoff grand slam against Aroldis Chapman. The last part was jokey, but if we are in a playoff race I'd like to keep Colon.

niesesnose
niesesnose

@Derpy Yeah, I do have a serious mancrush on Freeman, that guy's a beast and he absolutely kills us. Uggla is just plain bad, Johnson will regress and Justin really wasn't that great last year, except for his insane April. BJ was bad and could easily be a Jason Bay type albatross contract for their team. Gattis is a nice power guy and I think he'll be a good McCann replacement, as long as they don't try in play him in LF, because he looks worse than Murphy did out there. Bottom line, I see this team winning 80-84 games this year (If they get Drew they can win 86). We finish a few games behind the braves, who don't make the playoffs. Then the next 5 or so years it's basically a power struggle between us, the Marlins and the Nats, all 3 teams boasting elite pitching staffs

Derpy
Derpy

@niesesnose I think the Braves are totally boned and going to fall apart.  But the Braves have surprised me in the past.  The only players I like on that team are Simmons and Freeman.  Oh and I almost forgot Heyward.  He is great, too.  

hrvwlzthor
hrvwlzthor

@Frank Accardi @hrvwlzthor @isles rule You totally missed my point. Fans will show up to the ballpark when the team starts winning, that's the way it's been in NY for decades. What good is it if you spend foolishly and you don't win. Even if the team has a 90 million payroll, the fans will show up if the team wins, that's what it's all about.

niesesnose
niesesnose

I'm not saying operate like them but I'd like to have their success