Next up in our projections series is Johan Santana. It was a roller coaster ride in 2012 for Santana with some stunning highs and painful lows. Now further removed from the last surgery, can Santana stay healthy and give the club 30 starts this year? And if he is healthy, will he finish the year with the Mets? Or will Sandy Alderson try to work his trade magic again and pick up another piece for his rebuilding effort?
In his first 11 starts of 2012, Santana posted a 2.38 ERA and a 1.015 WHIP, with 68 Ks in 68 IP. We all want to see him post those numbers over a full season. If there’s any pitcher who could do that, even after all of the surgeries and diminished stuff from his Cy Young Award days, it’s Santana. But the odds against that happening are staggering. Regardless, here’s what we think Santana will do this year:
As you might expect with a pitcher like Santana, who comes with a long history of injuries, our projections are all over the map. Regardless of what you think Santana will do in 2013, you can probably find one of our writers to agree with you. Perhaps the most interesting thing to me was that the great majority of us expect Santana to finish the season with the Mets.
Here’s what the group thinks Santana will do in 2013:
Since two-thirds of us expect he will finish the year with the Mets, let’s assume that Santana accumulates all of the above stats for the Mets. Adding this to our totals for Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee, we see the top four pitchers for the team contributing 704 IP and a 3.62 ERA. In 2012, the four pitchers who combined for the most innings gave the Mets 656 IP and a 3.81 ERA. If the Mets get the production out of their top four starters that we predict, they will have surpassed the production of last year’s top four, including that of R.A. Dickey. Of course that’s a mighty big “if.”
Finally, let’s close with a table comparing the Mets360 numbers to those of the projection systems available from FanGraphs:
It seems comforting that our projections, while optimistic, are not completely out of step with what the systematic approaches predict. Both our IP (James, Steamer) and ERA (James, Oliver) projections are right in line with what the systems forecast. Here’s hoping Santana still has a 162.1 IP season left in his shoulder, elbow and ankle.
Check back Saturday for our next entry in the series.