The other day I was asked if I thought the club had a chance of being competitive even if they filled the rest of the roster with low budget players. My response was that I thought they did and I explained how I thought the positional roster should be completed. Here is my explanation of the pitching staff..
I think the rotation is the strong point of the roster, that's not to say I think it's a sure thing just that of the entire roster the rotation has the most potential. Here's what needs to break right for the rotation.
Johan needs to pitch more then 117 innings, I don't expect him to carry the staff like he use to do but how about 25-28 effective starts and however replaces him needs to pitch to better then a five ERA. He made 21 starts last year so I'm only looking for 4-7 more starts. His first 16 starts he pitched to a 2.70 ERA it wasn't till he began to fatigue that his ERA went through the roof.
I think you know what you can expect from Jon Niese, thirty starts with a league average ERA. Niese is going to be the default ace this year while Johan continues his gradual decline and until the youngsters develop. He's averaged 29 starts with an even 4 ERA. Niese seemed to take a step forward with the best ERA of his career at 3.40, Niese had been criticized for fatiguing down the stretch but last season he finished strong with a 2.50 ERA in Aug. and Sept.
Harvey looked great last year and appears to be the real deal #2 that he's been projected to be, you just have to hope with Harvey that he doesn't go through a sophomore slump. Is 59 innings with a 2.73 ERA too small a sample pool to get excited.
The Mets need Gee to return but only as a solid number four innings eater which it seems by reports about his health he will be able to provide. Gee's surgery really isn't an injury related situation, a blood clot was removed there shouldn't be concern about bone or muscle moving forward.
The Mets are in the market for a starter but all they really need is a #5 if the guy provides more then it's a pleasant surprise. I wouldn't even be looking at names like Marcum unless they're willing to take a one year deal that is incentive laden, otherwise I'd sign one of Chris Young, Tim Stauffer, and Dallas Brandon.
Tomorrow I'll take a closer look at the pen...