Pitching staff easier to project than position players

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

I have no idea what the Opening Day lineup, infield, outfield or bench is going to look like, because it’s too early in camp.

The battle between Lucas Duda and Ike Davis is still in full swing; Eric Young Jr.’s role is still a bit of a mystery; and shortstop is totally up in the air, especially since there is still a good chance M’s SS Nick Franklin or free-agent SS Stephen Drew end up in camp.

That said, the pitching staff is becoming a bit more clear, though there is still a lot that could change in the next few weeks.


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Right now, as I write this, I’d bet on the following:

The rotation is almost certainly going to be Jon Niese on Opening Day, followed by Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, Dillon Gee and either Daisuke Matsuzaka or John Lannan.

In reading between the lines, and based on what I’m hearing from people in camp, I’d say Jose Valverde and Jenrry Mejia will join Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, Carlos Torres and Scott Rice in the bullpen. The big fight is probably going to be between Jeurys Familia and a second left-handed reliever, most likely Josh Edgin. It’s sounding to me like Jack Leathersich is ticketed for Triple-A, where he’ll be charged with working more on his command in advance of a mid-season call up.




35 comments
1963PoloGrounds
1963PoloGrounds

Plain dumb to put Mejia in the bullpen again instead of in the rotation.

Robert Patterson
Robert Patterson

Anderson said that the Mets will win 90 games this year. Not without a first baseman. We cannot have Ike Davis batting 200 and striking out every other time to the plate. What is the reason to keep Davis? I sure do not know.

atlmetsfan
atlmetsfan

I'm adamant on Montero being in the rotation and Lannan being in the pen out of camp. Edgin should have zero chance of making this team. This won't happen, but it's a shame because its our best chance of making the playoffs... with very little downside I'd add. 

Sean Andrew Ingram
Sean Andrew Ingram

Dice K and Lanahan are not part of our future but Mejia is. And we're gonna put him in the bullpen when the Mets even admitted they misused him there in the past? Ugh, lets screw with a great arm and bright future by screwing with him some more because we have 2 veterans who are a dime a dozen in the MLB. Collins is starting to remind me of Willie everyday now....and thats not a good thing! 

Jeff Tinsman
Jeff Tinsman

A "good chance" Franklin or Drew join the team? That's sure not the feeling I have about the situation...And I disagree on having Dice-K or Lannan in the 5th spot..Mejia should have it to lose. Lastly, I think Gee will get the 3rd spot over Wheeler.

mpetr37349
mpetr37349

Not sure why Matt would post this so early in spring training. Even if he does know what the Mets are thinking here, a lot will happen over the next month. Not a lot of credibility here.

Metsnow
Metsnow

Not sure if Matt is blogging the same team we are always talking about. Here's the starting      line-up: Not necessarily the batting order though.

Legares

Murph

Wright

Grandy

Davis

Young

Travis

Tejada

Pitcher


What is so hard about that. SS and 1B still a concern, which will probably still not be addressed based on not wanting to spend and continue to have a payroll like second tier team.


Brandon Hillman
Brandon Hillman

why the eff is dice k getting the 5th starter spot. That is about as foolish as you can get. Should be Mejia's job to loose. Lannan extra long man/lefty/spot starter in pen fine. If Mejia falters or is injured syndergaard and montero are still waiting in the wings. Not to mention Mejia is already on 40 man roster. What is the point of having him in the system if you continue to jerk him around. As far as bullpen goes, he showed last year that he has multiple pitches that he can get over for strikes. That usually mean starter not bullpen. I said it earlier I say it again. Collins=Capuana (islanders) this why neither team will amount to much until there is a change in leadership. Season hasnt even started and I am already calling for Bachman. 

sayhey24
sayhey24

This really does remind me of the years 74 to 83. Above average starters and lights out pitching prospects every year with little offense outside of one or two reliable bats. We were constantly being sold on the future, but most of the prospects fizzled under the pressures of the big city. Only the truly special can thrive here and they are few and far between. We have had quite a few Syndergaard types come through our system that could not handle it. So, unlike teams like the Cards and the Braves that consistently win using lots of homegrown players, it has never worked out that way for us. NY is a different animal and we need some solid performing veterans that come from a history of winning and can withstand the constant grind of media and expectant fans. We finally started to get this in the mid 80s.

Patrick LeGrady
Patrick LeGrady

I really wish it would be Colon, Gee, Mejia, Niese, and Wheeler. If Dice-K makes the rotation then he should have a short leash

Glenn Blasius
Glenn Blasius

Lanahan in BP, Mejia to start in Aaa, first call up when Colon strains his buttock eating donuts.    Montero and Thor maybe mid season call ups - esp if Mets are out of it by then, will let Sandy work his magic.   Who cares about the choices for SS this year?   None of these guys are going to differentiate themselves.    Rather wait for next offseason.    

metsjetsdu
metsjetsdu

Poor Mejia. It seems like the Mets have done everything in their power to prevent from becoming the stud most of us think he can be. From Minaya rushing him, to last year and pitching him with those spurs and saying oh we'll just get it cleaned up in the offseason, ( whatttttt ? in a year where your not winning anything, you decide at first to let a young guy pitch through it in meaningless games, i know eventually they shut him down, but still) and now this year, almost immediately sending the message that he is going towards the pen. BS if you ask me. I am not against Dice K or Lannan but I would like to think the Mets had upside in mind when making their decisions. There is minimal upside with Lannan or Dice K. Mejia could turn into a very solid middle of the rotation guy, if ever properly treated by the team, IMO. 

Anthony Fiore
Anthony Fiore

Where is Farnsworth?  Please don't jerk Meija around again.  If he is not starting for us, send him down to keep him stretched out in case of injury.  We don't need him in long relief.  

wingo43
wingo43

"...there is still a good chance M’s SS Nick Franklin or free-agent SS Stephen Drew end up in camp."   Really?

matt520
matt520

For one, I do not believe there is a 'good' chance drew or franklin is in camp anytime soon. I hope I'm wrong but I still see Tejada and Omar holding down SS for the year

metfan
metfan

I hate that we are sening Mejia to the bullpen, he should either be our 5th starter out of camp or in AAA working as a starter.

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

Am I missing something? Haven't they only played 3 games so far? And the roster/rotation? 

simbad
simbad

Mejia in the bullpen is a tragedy. Or a farce. I can't tell which.

Kyle Morgan
Kyle Morgan

I find this dumb. We haven't even seen everyone pitch once and we feel the rotation is set? Montero looks great his 1st start and yet he doesn't have a shot? Why are 2 aging starts that were signed to minor league deals almost guaranteed one of the rotation spots? This team wants to win 90 games but refuses to pitch the best available pitchers. Ugh - Very annoying.


Thor didn't look to bad either today but good old super 2 status will hold him held back. I want the old days back where if you're a stud like Doctor K, you pitch in the big leagues ASAP!!!

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

Thanks for that keen insight into the obvious.  Given the Murderers Row assembled today,  picking names out of a hat might be the best way to construct a lineup this season.

Gabe Menna
Gabe Menna

Wouldn't be surprised to see Dice K as #5 with Lannan going to pen as second lefty.

DMMP
DMMP

@Jeff Tinsman  I agree with this completely. Mejia was brilliant last year and showed flashes of the pitcher that was being talked about as #1 in the organization just a few years ago.  Had flashes of #2 type starter stuff.  I'm sorry, Dice K and Lannan are 4th or 5th starters on almost any team.  Mejia is young, shows still strong potential, and I feel the team is consistently improperly utilizing him or undervaluing him (In this case.) Unless he completely fails in ST, I don't understand this teams lack of enthusiasm for Mejia.  There is no way Dice K and Lannan are better than Mejia. Why hurt this guys development by stuffing him in the pen? To me, he should be getting starts in AAA, or in the majors. It's as simple as that.  

metfan
metfan

@mpetr37349  I don't get the comment here, our pitching doesn't feel a lot more set than the lineup.  We have a lot of ??? about what we are going to have happen on our lineup, but in the pen and rotation we have much fewer questions.  He is just stating his opinion based on what he has read and hear, how does that affect his "credibility"?

metfan
metfan

@Metsnow  It is not hard, it is just far from guaranteed.  In the rotation/pen we have really only 1-2 questions, the 5th starter with some fairly known expectations and whether or not Valverde will be in the pen and another lefty.  On the lineup side of the equation, we don't know if it will be Legares or EYJ in the OF, we don't know who our SS is or our 1B,  A lot more potential moving parts.

Michael Sokolowski
Michael Sokolowski

@SuperDuper The presence of Dice K is not delaying anyone's development, in fact, I would argue that it actually benefits their development and the Mets in a number of ways:

1) It delays the start of Thor, Montero, deGrom from accumulating MLB service time so that they become arbitration eligible an entire season later.

2) It gives the pitchers more time to work on small things, time that if in the Majors, they would not have. If they were rushed to the Majors their job would be to get outs, rather than say; develop a more consistent change-up (Thor), find an above-average secondary pitch (Montero), prove that you can be more consistent and are better than the roughly 4.50 ERA above A+ ball indicates (deGrom)

and lastly...

3) (And I seriously hope that this comes to fruition at some point) You don't want to rush the guys up, have them struggle, hurt their confidence, and most importantly, hurt their trade value.

Montero and deGrom are far away from being can't miss guys. Both players definitely have the potential to develop, but they both also have the potential to be middle relievers for the duration of their careers. Keep them in the minors, develop them, and don't let them start accumulating MLB service time so we can use them in a deal that will help out the Major League Ball club.

metfan
metfan

@sayhey24  I don't think it is that building from within can't work in NY, it is that we have done a terrible job of it in the past.  I still don't know if this is any different today yet, but I don't think it can't be done in NY, I think it just hasn't been done well.


That being said, the difference had better be that we keep those homegrown players, we need to be the Cardinals not the Tampa Bay Rays.  We need to keep Pujols for that first big contract and then after that first 10 years and he is signing a contract to go from 34-40 (or 50 or whatever Albert signed for), you can decide to make the smart business decision.

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

Really,why do you think Seattle has had 2scouts at all the Mets games.Guess they had nothing else to do.Mets have also had scouts at Mariners games. Must be a coincidence.

Mr. SERCH
Mr. SERCH

@metfan  couldnt've said it better myself. Wasn't this the reason why he was a mess before? Don't people LEARN from their mistake? This makes me want to bang my head into the wall...but in Mets mgmt fashion, i will keep doing it because for some reason I don't know that the bleeding welt on my head is bad

Gregor Kitzis
Gregor Kitzis

@DMMP @Jeff Tinsman  I wish I could click like ten more times. It should be his job to lose. What's the point of trading great veterans like Beltran and Dickey for youth if you're going to block said youth with Chris Young and Dice-K?

Gregor Kitzis
Gregor Kitzis

@metfan @sayhey24  What? The 80's were home grown players with a few veterans added at the end. This team was headed in the same direction until signing Chris Young and Bartolo's Colon to block the prospects.Granderson may yet be the big piece to lead the veterans like Hernandez and Carter were but Young and Colon don't have the same high ceilings worthy of stalling the youth movement.

Ed Yano
Ed Yano

Thinking logically Meija pitched about 80 innings last year.He will be on about a 120 inning limit this year.Logically it's better to have him in the pen all season then be the fifth started til July then shut him down.He might be a better candidate for future closer then Black.The Mets have many potentialSP if they can turn 1into a closer it's a good thing.If he doesn't work in the pen he could still get enough innings to be a rotation candidate in2015.