The New York Mets already received some bad news last week when their ace pitcher Kodai Senga suffered an injury on his shoulder and will be sidelined for several weeks. He will certainly miss Opening Day and probably won’t be back until May.

With the Mets not seeking outside help in the pitching market as of now, others currently in the rotation must step up, to fill Senga’s void.

The starter probably with the most pressure to do so, is lefty Jose Quintana.

First of all, Quintana was the likely No 2 starter behind Senga in the rotation. Now without Senga for at least the first month of the regular season, Quintana will be the No 1 Mets starter for now and could start on Opening Day vs the Milwaukee Brewers on March 28.

Quintana was often overlooked last year with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander in the rotation in the first half, and Senga’s emergence as an All Star. Plus, Quintana missed all of the first half with an injury he suffered at Spring Training last year.

Quintana was healthy in the second half and made 13 starts for the Mets. He went 3-6 but had a respectable 3.57 ERA. In his 13 appearances, he only had 2 starts where he gave up more than 3 runs in a game.

Prior to signing with the Mets, he was even better in 2022. Overall that year, he had a 2.93 ERA while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals. He became the Cardinals ace down the stretch, when had a 0.93 ERA in five starts for them in September. As a result, he started Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series vs the Philadelphia Phillies. Oh, and in that game, he threw 5.1 scoreless innings.

So, Quintana is no stranger to being an ace of his team, and he will be asked to do so again as a Met for at least the beginning of the regular season.

The key for Quintana, is to stay healthy. When he’s healthy and makes his starts, he has been effective.

Without Senga, and the Mets not really going hard for Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell, who are ironically still unsigned as free agents, the Mets rotation on paper, looks deflated.

Quintana’s effectiveness, especially if he can pitch like he did in 2022, can offset some of that pitching doubt and give the Mets at least one consistent contributor in their rotation.

Thus, Quintana now is the biggest key to the Mets rotation now. Him showing some of his good form of last year and at the end of 2022, can help the Mets offset some of Senga’s absence.

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