This has been a tough two weeks for Mets fans. In the last two weeks the health of Santana, Wright, Murphy, Turner and Marcum have all come into question. At least within the last two days we can hang our hats on the idea of Wright, Turner and Murphy progressing, there hasn’t been too much positive news on the other two. The office is saying treatments for Marcum are more preventive and that Santana is six weeks away from pitching, but it always seems like he is some amount of weeks from pitching.
With all of this, it is easy to find pessimism in watch should be the most optimistic time of year.
In the next week, let’s walk through the positives again and show hope for 2013. Let’s highlight the players that will provide excitement for this upcoming season.
While 40% of the rotation has been disappointing and filled with question marks this spring, Niese and Harvey have been quite the opposite.
Niese, recently named the opening day starter, has been dominate this spring. In 17.2 innings of work he’s allowed only 10 hits, and 3 runs while striking out 12 batters and walking 9. It is difficult to take spring numbers and translate them into major league numbers but it feels like Niese is ready turn a corner in his major league career. He already started this last season with his 3.40 ERA, which was a full run lower than his previous year and his first sub 4.10 ERA.
This is a big year for Niese for other reasons as well. If you look at the Mets at the end of the off-season, the best shot the Mets had at getting major prospects would be trading a starter. Niese was chosen to stay over the Cy-Young winner Dickey, so the Mets are saying with that move, “we are betting on you.” This, and probably next year as well, will be the last time that Niese is seen as the ace of this squad, and maybe even the number 2 starter. In one to two seasons, Wheeler and Harvey will propel to the top of the rotation. This is Niese’s time to shine.
Speaking of Harvey, he’s another reason to be optimistic for 2013. Havery was a real bright point for 2012 after Dickey. He had a terrific 2012 campaign with a 3-5 record posting a 2.73 ERA over 10 starts while pitching 59.1 innings striking out 70 batters. Just let that K/9 ratio sink in for a second.
You did? Good.
Harvey has had a successful Spring as well pitching 18.1 innings with a 2.95 ERA striking out 24 batters. Harvey, who had the spotlight last year, doesn’t have it this year and I often find myself forgetting that he is on this roster and that he can do big things right now, at the start of the season.
I’m not going to conclude at the end of this series that the Mets are going to dominate the NL East in 2013, but I hope at the end you realize, as much as I am while writing this, that all of the depressing events to occur with the Mets over the last two weeks can be out weighed by potential the Mets already have.