Two years ago, every Mets fan, including this one, okay, especially this one, was geeked up about the notion of a superstar, superhero rotation that could rival the 70s Orioles, the 80s Mets, the 90s Braves and quite possibly the X-Men and the Avengers too.
Two years ago we rode four electric young arms all the way to the World Series. Our high powered rotation was the envy of every GM and fan across the land. Where as other teams were working to develop so much as one in-house ace, we had as many as five. One missed the playoff run recovering from Tommy John surgery and two were just rookies at the time, so we were collectively salivating over the idea of a five-ace rotation cracking the playoff window wide open for five or even 10 years to come.
We’ll stop short of rehashing how the wheels fell off this speeding bullet train last year and how injuries reduced five aces to just one for most of last season. Today, as hope springs eternal, we look at the Mets roster and see that, unfathomably, the same five names appear atop our rotational depth chart. How could this be, given that Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler have yet to pitch together for even one turn through the rotation? At this very moment, all five appear to be healthy and ready to stake claim to their spot in the Mets rotation.
Matz and Wheeler are like orchids – beautiful to behold but will wilt if care and conditions aren’t ideal. Harvey is fighting to come back from his second serious injury, as well as shaken confidence, in what will likely be his last season as a Met. Syndergaard is, by all accounts, back from his lat injury and emboldened by a new workout regimen, but let’s not forget that he is the only one of the five to not yet have Tommy John surgery, and yeah, he’s the biggest dude and the hardest thrower. deGrom who’s been the one reliable workhorse, is also the oldest and skinniest of the bunch. Like a game of Jenga, it’s not a matter of if, but when this will all fall apart.