METBLOGFEVER: Rotation still not decided

published by Keith Gendron           March 24, 2014.

It became official today, as manager Terry Collins  named Dillon Gee the opening day starter next Monday at Citifield against the Washington Nationals. He has pitched well against them in his career and was 4-2 in 2013. But, after Gee no announcements have been made. The thinking is Bartolo Colon will be the #2, followed by Zach Wheeler and either Daisuke Matsuzaka or Jenrry Mejia to pitch game 4. With the off day on April 1st, the Mets won’t need 5 starters the first time through. On April 6th if Jon Niese is finally healthy, he is supposed to get slotted in the rotation against the Cincinnati Reds.

Mejia and Matsuzaka have made the decision harder to make who will get penciled in as the number 5 in the rotation with their most recent starts in Florida. Yesterday, Mejia pitched 5 innings versus the Nationals giving up 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 6 and walking one. Today, Matsuzaka pitched 6 innings against the Cardinals giving up 1 run on 3 hits, walking 3 and striking out 5. I have been in Mejia’s corner to be in the Mets’ rotation since last year when he pitched 5 effective games before succumbing to bone chips in his elbow. Unfortunately, Mejia will likely begin the season in Vegas as Matsuzaka would get $100,000 retainer if he isn’t on the Mets major league roster or released by noon tomorrow. With that in mind, expect Dice-K to be the number 5, but if an injury occurs Mejia will get the call.

At some point in July, the rotation will have the additions of Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard. This graduation will most likely lead to Niese(if he has been healthy and pitched well)and possibly Colon(if he hasn’t hurt himself running bases)to be trade chips. Montero, Mejia or Syndergaard could possibly end up in the bullpen when approaching their innings cap.

This season should remain entertaining deeper into summer  than in recent seasons, but 2015 with the return of Matt Harvey will be one in which the Mets may have the best rotation in the league.

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