New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen can’t help himself from making ill-advised claims about his team. Last offseason, Wagenen boldly told the rest of the National League East to “come get us.” The Mets finished third in the division.
Van Wagenen issued a similar statement Thursday, saying the Mets have “probably the deepest” rotation in baseball after adding Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha, according to Newsday’s Tim Healey. Van Wagenen didn’t mention those players by name, as the Mets haven’t officially announced the signings yet.
That’s quite the claim considering Porcello had a 5.52 ERA and Wacha had a 4.76 ERA last season. Those are players you take a shot on hoping they can bounce back, not guys you should depend on to drastically alter your rotation.
Still, those signings give the Mets six solid starting options. Assuming the team doesn’t trade anyone, the Mets will open the year with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz and one of Porcello or Wacha in the rotation.
Those are all recognizable names, which likely prompted Van Wagenen to make the “deepest” comment. But having the deepest rotation in baseball doesn’t matter if your options aren’t great or dependable. The Mets have a strong top-3 in deGrom, Syndergaard and Stroman. After that, there are a lot of question marks.
Matz has shown signs of promise in his young career, but he’s never exceeded 160 innings. Porcello is coming off an abysmal ERA. Wacha has struggled with injuries throughout his career. There’s no guarantee those players will contribute in a positive manner.
Van Wagenen doesn’t see it that way, he views all those players as at least No. 4 starters.
Brodie Van Wagenen said the Mets view all six of their starters as No. 4 pitchers or better.
He said nothing has changed regarding Noah Syndergaard, who he fully anticipates stays with the Mets. https://t.co/lfXn1XigBw
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) December 12, 2019
In a best-case scenario, perhaps that’s true. But baseball teams rarely experience the best case. Regression and injuries impact every team, and the starting rotation is often hit the hardest. The Mets, of all teams, should know that by now. The teams that brag about having deep rotations usually find that depth disappears quickly once the season begins.
If anything, Van Wagenen’s comments open the team up to more criticism once games begin. If Porcello and Wacha can’t bounce back, Matz fails to take a step forward or one of the big-3 gets hurt, Van Wagenen’s “deepest” rotation in the game comment will come back to haunt the Mets.
Van Wagenen could avoided that by staying silent after his “come get us” taunt became a running joke last year, but it wouldn’t be a Mets season without the possibility of something backfiring on the team in spectacular fashion.
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