Evolution of the Mets: Bargain basement edition, Part II Starting Pitching

In Part 1, we discussed the tough stuff. Here comes the candy.

I will list the pitchers in what I feel is a particular order of excellence. The ETA’s will vary, but we’ll come back at the end an sum up the vast talent on this team.

If Mets excellent pitching was a levy in New Orleans, it would be breaching. There’s plenty to go around for years to come and even more to use in future trades to get critical every day players.

Let’s start.

1.    Zack Wheeler – 2013: Buffalo/NYM – Currently projected to be the Mets future SP2, but has already showed the potential to fill the SP1 job beginning in 2015. The only downside is his mechanics which will become an issue in his 30’s, but that’s a long way and a lot of wins off.

2.    Matt Harvey – 2013: NYM SP2 – is there someone on this planet that isn’t impressed here? This may not only be the next Mets 20-game winner after RA pulls it off this season, but he may also be the first pinch hitter off the bench on days he doesn’t pitch. This 1-2 combination is the kind of pitching winners are made of.

3.    RA Dickey – 2013: NYM SP1 – Dickey’s contract is not David Wright’s contract, and neither will his demands be even close. Wright is a baseball player while Dickey is an artist playing baseball. He’s at home in the Mets clubhouse and will gladly accept a three-year deal in the $10mil range. You watch. He’s be back for three more, the second of which will end badly.

4.    Rafael Montero – 2013: St.Lucie-Binghamton – In the long run, Montero may have more talent than everyone in this post. The Mets are already talking about turning him into a closer, but that’s going to be Jack Leathersich’s job. 21-yrs. old, 20-starts Sav-Lucy, 110-K, 19-BB. Just sick stuff.

5.    Johan Santana – 2013: NYM1-DL – Out of respect, the Mets will let Santana pitch on opening day. The rest is a crap shoot, but I expect a ‘plan 2” that could include any combination of pitchers, most of which are probably not on this team yet. 2013 is going to be the last year that the Mets pitching staff doesn’t command. They’re close, but not there yet.

6.    Jenrry Mejia – 2013 – NYM – He will probably start for the remainder of the year in Queens, but Jenrry is headed to the pen because that is where the team needs him in 2013. There’s an outside chance he will start in 2014, but I don’t think so.

7.    Dillon Gee – 2013 – NYM – Gee should be fine and back at the tail end of the Mets rotation come spring. He’s got one more year to do his thing before one of the kiddies probably will take his job away. Frankly, I think you would have seen him packaged in an off-season deal if it wasn’t for the injury, which now makes his 2013 job relatively safe. He does little spectacular, but he also a major innings eater that does little wrong.

8.    Cory Mazzoni – 2013 – AAA – I’m going to step out a little with this pick. Mazzoni is my choice to replace Gee as SP5 in 2014; however, don’t be surprised he isn’t shipped somewhere in a package deal this off season. I may be wrong here, but my guess is that Cory and Dillon will fight it out for this slot in the 2014 ST camp.

(note – the true test of whether Sandy Alderson was worth bringing aboard this listing ship is if he can bring aboard one quality every day starter for 3-4 seconday prospects that the Mets won’t miss. Mazzoni is a perfect example of this kind of player)

9.   Jonathon Niese – 2013 – NYM – I have Niese this low because of his seemingly lack of ability to command. I watch him sometimes and I see Andy Pettitte. Other times, I see Andy Garcia.

10. Jeurys Familia – 2013 – AAA -  Mr. Inconsistency. He couldn’t have worse timing. Familia should have been ready to join the Mets rotation in June but my guess is he won’t even make the pen. I think there even is a good chance he will begin to draw comparisons to Alay Soler. IMO, the best you’re going to get here is an 8th inning guy, but that’s going to be Mejia’s job in 2013.

Opening Day Rotations:

2013 – Johan Santana, RA Dickey, Matt Harvey, Jon Niese, Dillon Gee

2014 – Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, RA Dickey, Jon Niese, Cory Mazzoni

2015 – Zack Wheeler, Matt Harvey, Rafael Montero, Jon Niese, Michael Fulmer

2016 – Zack Wheeler, Rafael Montero, Matt Harvey, Michael Fulmer,

Now, here’s the desert.

Not included are the following pitchers that will be MLB read by the 2015 season:

Tyler Pill, Armondo Rodriguez, Darin Gorski, Greg Peavey, Logan Verrett, Chase Huchington, Yohan Almonte, Domingo Tapia, Luis Mateo, Tyler Pill, Jake deGrom, Alex Panteliodes.

You’ve got to be able to get somebody decent for:

Package #1 – Darin Gorski, Jim Fuller, Alexander Sanchez, and Alonzo Harris

Package #2 – Tyler Pill, Elvin Ramirez, Wilfredo Tovar, and Juan Centeno

Package #3 – Logan Verrett, Angel Cuan, Jordany Valdespin, and    Cam Maron

22 comments for “Evolution of the Mets: Bargain basement edition, Part II Starting Pitching

  1. September 2, 2012 at 9:00 am

    Great article.

    Off topic, did anyone hear how the Mets needed a “skinny hit” from Shopach? Oh, man! :)

    • Mack Ade
      September 2, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Peter:

      I haven’t been following the games this week. What is a ‘skinny hit”?

  2. Mack Ade
    September 2, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I have no idea how Cam Maron got in this article :) I need a seltzer.

  3. Name
    September 2, 2012 at 11:35 am

    So i’m now sure how you are ranking them. Are you doing it based on who has the best pure stuff? Or based on how you think their Met careers will turn out? Or who will provide the most value over the 4-ish years?

    Without this knowledge, i can’t really evaluate anything you wrote, but i’m really having a hard time seeing you put Niese at number 9. I’m not sure how in any of the criteria i listed above that Niese will be lower than Gee. Also, I see no mention of McHugh or Schwinden, who i hear both have better “raw stuff” than Gee.

  4. Stephen Basile
    September 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Mack, Mazzoni’s lack of strike outs and ground outs make me nervous. I’ve heard people say his stuff would play better up in the bullpen in the set up or closer role. What do you think of that?

    • Mack Ade
      September 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm

      my ranking is on pure talent…

      it’s an opinion… mine

      I rank Chris and Collin both less than the pitchers I listed… neither have better ‘raw stuff’ than Gee. Gee has 4 pitchers and an incredible ability to mix them

      again, just my opinion based on sitting behind home plate with a radar gun on all of these guys

    • Mack Ade
      September 2, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      Stephen:

      I fully understand what you are both saying and hearing.

      I’m just going out on a limb here.

      Remember… I said Alay Soler would turn out to be better pure gold.

      • Stephen Basile
        September 2, 2012 at 2:15 pm

        Haha Mack we all thought Soler would be great, but I wasn’t criticizing your opinion. I was just asking if you could possibly see him in a bullpen role if he can’t cut it as a starter.

        • Mack Ade
          September 2, 2012 at 4:08 pm

          I know… oh, I definitely see him as pen material, but isn’t every starter with a 4.50 ERA?

          I just have a feeling about this lid.

  5. 7train
    September 2, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    I wouldn’t trade Alonzo Harris, Wilfredo Tovar or Cam Maron.

    Maybe none of them become starters for 5 years or more but each one could be a guy who steps in and saves a season for you if the starter goes goes down when we are able to compete and do so for 6 years or more.

    Their value will almost certainly be higher than it is now so unless your getting a long term piece like Mikie Mahtook or Travis d’Anaurd it’s just not worth it and at this point I don’t see any of those packages bringing back a guy like that.

    • Mack Ade
      September 2, 2012 at 1:40 pm

      7train, you do understand that the reason other teams trade with you and send you a decent player is because they believe they have negotiated for a decent player also?

      Wilfredo Tovar will never be a starting middle fielder for the Mets… but he could be for a small market team that has too many cathcers, or left fielders.

      Cam Maron is DEAD LAST IN ENTIRE BASEBALL in thowing out runners thi year that are attempting to steal second base… I repeat… DEAD LAST IN ALL OF BASEBALL

  6. 3doza33
    September 2, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Yeah I disagree with ya! Niese has been one of the most consistent players in the second half and he’s a lefty. Mazzoni hasn’t proven anything close to being a future #5. A good relief pitcher if we r lucky. You have to have degrom and tapia right behind montero and that’s saying a lot considering how good montero is. Then I’m sure a couple of the Brooklyn boys are gonn move pretty quickly too! They are NASTY and killing that league! If we r gonna talk about pitching there’s no way u can leave them out of the conversation! Oh yeah, and mchugh is better than gee! Why do people think so highly of gee? He’s a 4+ era guy. A stop gap just like mchugh will be but at least mchugh has proven he can keep his era in the 2′s and 3′s! I like leathersich but slow down on him too! He’s a loooong way from being a MLB closer! There are a handfull o guys that look better as a closer than he does! But that’s another topic!

    • Mack Ade
      September 2, 2012 at 11:13 pm

      3doza33:

      Is there anything else?

  7. NormE
    September 2, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    I think too many Mets fans do not appreciate Dillon Gee. He doesn’t throw in the mid to high 90′s. He doesn’t stroke out a ton of hitters. He probably will never throw a no-hitter or win 20 games or lead the league in e.r.a or win the Cy Young. So what’s to appreciate?
    In Dillon Gee I see a pitcher as opposed to a thrower. He knows how to work the hitter. He has good command and rarely gets himself in trouble by walking hitters. Also, I see a toughness in him (as opposed to Mike Pelfrey) that gives the feeling that he’s going to give you his best effort regardless of the circumstances.
    He may never rank higher than a #4, but he will be a valued member of the Mets or another team’s staff as long as he stays healthy or until age catches up to him.

    • Mack Ade
      September 2, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Norm, you are spot on.

      Dillon is easily the most intelligent pitcher on the team and that’s saying a lot for a team that has RA Dickey.

      Yes, his fastball may only hit 92, but he sets it so well with his other three pitchers that it comes in looking like 97 to the batters. Mixinng is what made pitchers like Tom Glavine and Gee is in this class.

      No one removes a pitcher from a rotation if he’s pitching well so it will be interesting to see what the Mets do with him come opening day 2014. There will lots of new arms challenging him for that SP5 slot.

      IMO, he is major trade bait in the 2013 off-season, not now.

    • Willis
      September 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm

      +1

      Met fans should love Dillon Gee. The guy is a rock solid starting pitcher who competes every time out. His stuff is fine and he’s proven on the major league level.

      • Willis
        September 2, 2012 at 11:17 pm

        One more thing about Gee: His peripherals are all trending upward. So what follows will be better results. He is getting better and was pitching really well when he got hurt.

        There is nothing at all wrong with a reliable starting pitcher.

  8. Gary Seagren
    September 3, 2012 at 6:57 pm

    Hi Mack, Sorry to see your site come to an end and miss the phone conversations we had but it sounds like your happy here now. Did you read Joel Shermans N.Y Post article? I thought there was no more draft pick compensation in the new cba as he was referring to Wright and Dickey playing out there 2013 contracts and going FA. Also as much as I love D. Wright is he really worth 7 at $140 million starting at age 31? To me to pay that kind of $$ you need to be a consistant 30+hr and 100+rbi guy and he simply has not been that player since 2008. Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Mack Ade
      September 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      Hey Gary.

      I don’t read any New York beat writers except Adam Rubin’s morning report.

      David Wright is worth what the highest figure quoted to his agent will be. I have no idea what that will be at this point. I have a feature on this later this week which will explain why this will probably be the last year David wears a Mets uniform until the day he goes into the Hall of Fame.

      The Mets will never repeat the Jose Reyes draft pick mess. They will trade David for at least 3 players.

      Hope things are well with you.

  9. John
    September 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    Hey Mack,

    I was just wondering what your thoughts on Michael Fulmer were and why he wasn’t mentioned on the list. Numerous reports talk about his growth as a pitcher and with his breaking ball. What are your thoughts on him and why was he left off the lift because in my opinion he should have easily made the top 10.

  10. Mack Ade
    September 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Wow… no Michael Fulmer.

    I simply forgot the paragraph I wrote on this piece. I actually didn’t make a ‘top 10′ list… it just seemed to come out that way… it was 11 pitchers and Fulmer was slotted 5th, after Montero.

    Fulmer has the most poise of any of the young pitchers and has all the pitches to, hopefully, not be rushed. He doesn’t have the flash and sickness of Montero but he basically does nothing wrong. I give Frank Viola and the Mets a lot of credit for not rushing him to St. Lucie this season. He was literally done with the SAL by the all-star break and was on 5.0-IP cruise control the rest of the season.

    As you can see, I had him entering the Mets rotation in 2015 latest.

    BTW… I could have kept going but I was trying to make the point about the next 4 years.

    I also left out Collin McHugh and Chris Schwinden. I see any future as a Met being a reliever

    One additional word of caution: we see a lot of dominant pitching come out of the free-swinging Sally League. I remember writing that pitchers like Eric Beaulac and Mark Cohoon were going straight to the moon.

    The true test is AA.

  11. John
    September 4, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    That is good, I was worried that you had seen him and were not that impressed. I think he is different than Cohoon due to better pure stuff but as with any pitcher, he will face a variety of hurdles at every level. Hopefully by 2015 he will be pushing for a rotation spot with the Mets, in my opinion.

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