After losing yet again last night, falling to the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-3, the Mets find themselves once again in last place. After a decent start to the season, they were 15-11 on April 29, the Mets have lost 14 of their last 19 games and are now five games under .500, while occupying the NL East basement all to themselves.
Several factors weigh heavily into the Mets recent funk. Notably, the offense has been wretched and even worse has been the performance of the bullpen. Among the factors hindering the Mets thus far this year, starting pitching has been the least of their problems.
However, that’s not to say that the rotation hasn’t been a problem.
Who knew losing Dillon Gee would be so devastating?
At the same time the Mets shifted Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen and Gee going on the DL on May 14, the team has gone 1-6. We have documented the struggles of Bartolo Colon and Zack Wheeler enough already here. So it begs the question, are Rafael Montero and Jacob deGrom ready for prime time?
Collectively, they have made four starts, and while three of those have been quality outings, they still have combined to allow 12 earned runs in 23.1 innings pitched while giving up 20 hits and 11 walks. More alarming is the six home runs they have allowed in those 23.1 innings. Between the high number of walks and home runs, it has been an inauspicious start for Montero and deGrom.
Surely, this is a small sample size and they definitely need more time to mature and grow into their roles. Besides, with Gee set to come back sometime next week, one of them is either being demoted or moved to the bullpen. It was supposed to be deGrom that was pushed to the bullpen, but aside from the home run binge on Wednesday night, he has looked the better of the two. Nevertheless, both have shown some holes in their pitching.
Most rookie pitchers will have their usual set of ups and downs and that’s ok, it’s perfectly natural. But can they be able to keep the Mets afloat while the team continues to flounder?
The Mets are on the brink of breaking down completely, and if they don’t show signs of life soon, the season may collapse from beneath them. It should be interesting to see how the team responds and how long of a leash Montero and deGrom get and what exactly their roles will be going forward. Also of note is, when do the Mets bring up the most-heralded prospect on the farm in Noah Syndergaard and make the rotation even more crowded? The Mets at some point this season will have seven quality starters (excluding Daisuke Matsuzaka and Mejia) for five spots.
Obviously, the Mets need to get back the services of Gee and fast. Maybe it will all be for naught, as the Mets may be headed for another losing season. But it should be interesting to see how long Montero and deGrom will last (not to mentioned how they’ll be used) with the Mets while they are up here.
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