Okay Jimmy, we are progressing through the stages of grief since Matt Harvey went down. So I’m there now, I’ve gotten to acceptance. Take a deep breath, Mets fans, this team can still be good again, in 2014, even if Matt Harvey cannot pitch. Matt Harvey is great, any team would miss Matt Harvey, but Harvey is not the only bright spot in 2013. And one of those bright spots continues to be pitching.
Considering he just joined the team in July, Zack Wheeler looks fantastic, everything we could have hoped he would be. Jon Niese has rebounded tremendously after his stint on the disabled list, pitching brilliant ball, and Dillon Gee has had a great second half. As the news this week proved, you never have too much pitching, but this team still has a lot of good, healthy, young arms.
Let’s start with Rafael Montero, who has proven all that he can prove in Kingsport, Brooklyn, Savannah, St. Lucie, Binghamton, and Las Vegas. If they put this guy on the Super 2 train, I might lose my mind. Let him start contributing this Spring.
If Harvey’s injury shows us anything — and there’s so much to learn from it, frankly — it’s that most of these guys have a limited amount of bullets in the chamber. You can’t look five years down the line, can’t assume anything. It doesn’t help the Mets if too many healthy years are spent on the farm. Once a guy can help the big club, he’s got to come up. Here’s my pitching philosophy in a nutshell: “Smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em.” That said, I can see Noah Syndergaard on the Super 2 track, because he’s younger and it’s not ideal to install two rookies into the rotation at the same time. Come July, Thor will be capable of making the same impact that Zack Wheeler made this season.
There is no good reason Montero can’t be on this team Opening Day. DeGrom as well, if needed. And an investment in a starting pitcher can be added to the shopping list as well.
Yes, they are going to have to bring in some kind of veteran, that’s the cost of losing Harvey. Shawn Marcum money, but hopefully with a better result. Of course, Matt Harvey has tweeted that he’ll be ready this April 1st. That’s wishful thinking. Meija’s recovery could be important, but I’ll believe that when I see it. Look, I believe the Mets pitching depth has been wildly overstated in some parts. Some folks love counting eggs; I want chickens. Without a healthy Matt Harvey, I can’t see trading either Montero or Syndergaard.
People need to keep their eye on the ball. We were told for years that 2014 was the target because at that point all of the old contracts would have expired. That is still the case. I love Matt Harvey but it’s never about one guy, not even Matt.
Injuries are part of the game. Tough cookies. And the job just got harder, no doubt. But before the injury, I strongly felt that the club was poised to take a big leap into playoff contention, provided management was willing to make key moves with the resources available. There’s financial room to bring in Abreu or Choo, for example. There’s room to take on salary in order to upgrade at shortstop. The club can’t fold up the tent because we lost one guy. The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright in 2011 and won the World Series. They lost Chris Carpenter in 2012 and fell one game short of returning to defend the title. You regroup, you reassemble, and you get back to it. The Mets organization cannot continue to bleed out into the drain for another year. It’s time.
Fred stood up in February and claimed that the team’s financial worries were “in the rear-view mirror,” and that Alderson had the financial flexibility to make major free-agent signings. That needs to be part of the solution. Ownership has to get back into the game.
Exactly. The narrative for years was that the combination of Madoff and non-productive contracts made investment imprudent. The goal of the last three years has been hang out, hang on, and build the farm for when those contracts expired. At that point, we were told, the Mets would get serious about competing again. Let’s remember, the 2013 team is more than ten games under .500, as we lose game after game for lack of offense. Use the proper resources to address that and this team can still win a lot of games in 2014.
The story was never we are waiting to build a team around Matt Harvey. We have had a setback, one that will have a ripple effect on the organization. What it should not do is derail the goal. Playoffs or bust in 2014.
When it comes to that, I’m not ready to accept anything less.