Last year the Mets got strong pitching from their whole staff, particularly their starters. Many felt they overachieved, and with the loss of Johan Santana for at leas half a season, many expect the team’s starters to perform significantly worse in 2011. But so far in the Grapefruit League, the Mets’ starters are performing quite well.

Let’s start with the Mets’ 2010 pitching numbers. Overall, the team finished sixth in the National League with a 3.73 ERA. Their SP had a 3.80 ERA. But those numbers were skewed by Citi Field, a strong pitcher’s park. If we look at the Mets’ home/road splits, we see the team had a 3.12 ERA at home compared to a 4.36 mark on the road.

Flash forward to 2011 and we see that the Mets are once again receiving strong starting pitching, this time without the benefit of Citi Field. Here is the breakdowns for the five pitchers expected to make up the starting rotation, complete through Chris Young’s start on Wednesday.

R.A. Dickey 7 2 1 1 4
Jonathon Niese 6.2 2 1 2 6
Mike Pelfrey 6 2 0 0 1
Chris Capuano 5 2 2 2 1
Chris Young 9 2 2 2 5
Total 33.2 10 6 7 17

Of course, Spring Training stats are often meant to be ignored and even for ST stats, these are pretty small samples. Still, when the starters have a combined 2.67 ERA, regardless of the time period or length, that is a good thing.

The interesting thing is how many of the runs allowed by the starters have come via the long ball. Overall SP have allowed 10 ER and 6 HR. The Mets’ home park in St. Lucie has been traditionally a neutral to good HR park for the Florida State League, a nice change from their normal home park.

The Mets do not figure to have a big strikeout staff and their early Spring numbers back up this belief. But a 2.4 K/BB ratio is very nice, as is the 1.87 BB/9 ratio that the starters have.

All of these numbers should be taken with a huge dose of salt. But instead of focusing about Ollie being Ollie or Beltran being hurt or wondering how much Beltran will be able to contribute this season because of his knees, it’s nice to have something positive upon which to focus.

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