Jose Reyes will dominate the discussion in terms of 2012 roster decisions for the New York Mets. He’s one of the most exciting players in all of baseball, so it’s easy to understand.
The problem is, the shortstop position should not be the focus of the organization. The starting rotation should be. The Mets could re-sign Jose Reyes, successfully convert Ike Davis into a gold glove center fielder, sign Prince Fielder and they still wouldn’t make the playoffs with their current rotation. I may be exaggerating a tad, but you get the point.
Besides, their offense isn’t the problem. The Mets were sixth in the National League in runs scored (718). That’s five runs better than the Phillies.
The 2011 Mets’ starting rotation sported a woeful 4.11 ERA. There were nine teams better in the National League in this particular area, including all four playoff teams. As it stands, the rotation has no legitimate ace, a number two or three guy in Johan (due to injury and age), a number three guy in Dickey, and a collection of #4 or #5 guys at best.
Mike Pelfrey (career 4.40 ERA) and Chris Capuano (career 4.39 ERA) need to go. To put it simply, they are not part of the solution.
Jon Niese and Dillon Gee still have yet to prove they are worth holding on to, but I wouldn’t be upset if the Mets want to give them both another chance in 2012. Part of me thinks Niese doesn’t have the stamina or strength to make it as a starter and the Mets need to consider moving him to the bullpen. Right now, his 4.20 ERA in 2010 and his 4.40 ERA this season place him alongside Big Pelf and Cap.
Back to Jose for a second. For those of you new to Midwestropolitan (shame on you for not joining us earlier), I am not saying I don’t want Jose to remain a Met. As a fan, I hold on to hope they can figure out a way to re-sign him and fix the rotation at the same time. The realist in me knows that is a tall order.
The bottom line is we should keep an eye on what the front office does with the rotation. It will tell us a lot about whether or not they truly believe they can contend in 2012. If there isn’t much turnover, it means they are willing to sacrifice 2012 to give Jenrry Mejia, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler time to develop with hopes that any and all of them form a strong young core in 2013.