The offseason for the New York Mets is officially here. While Major League Baseball is in the midst of its postseason fans of the New York Mets have to look towards 2022 and what the teams needs to do to be apart of the October fun next season.
There are going to be many opinions on what the Mets should do and while the club needs to hire a Team President, General Manager and Manager, there are still glaring holes to fill on the field in 2022.
The most important of these glaring holes is the starting rotation. On paper it looks like the Mets have plenty of options to fill out their rotation for the 2022 season. Taking a deeper dive into it though and you realize just how may questions the rotation has for next season.
We first start with Jacob deGrom.
deGrom missed the second half of the 2021 season with elbow trouble. There’s no question when he pitched, he was dominate, but the best ability is availability. The Mets need deGrom to be 100% healthy by the time Spring rolls around. Right now, you can’t say that with any degree of certainty.
It would be foolish for the Mets to go into the season thinking they have deGrom healthy. He had a low-grade tear of the ulnar collateral ligament, which is scary language. Had it been a complete tear, Tommy John Surgery would have been on the table. While it’s possible this injury could heal itself, it will take time. How much time, remains to be seen. deGrom is not a certainty for 2022 by any means.
With deGrom’s status a question mark, another Mets rotation piece that is going to be interesting heading into 2022 is Taijuan Walker. Walker was relatively healthy for most of the season but had an ERA of 7.13 in the second half. In the first half of the season, Walker registered an ERA of 2.66 and he made the All-Star team. Which Taijuan Walker the Mets will get next year? That is the question. The Mets do not need Walker to be what he was in the first half of 2021, but he has to be a competitive pitcher. After a rough second half of the season, I am not sure how much confidence you can have in him to just to do that.
Another pitcher where confidence is not high is Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco came to the Mets in the offseason trade from Cleveland with Francisco Lindor. He missed most of the season battling a hamstring issue and made his season debut on July 31.
While it was nice to see him pitch without any injury issues in the second half of the season, he wasn’t very effective when he did pitch. In his 12 starts he had a 6.09 ERA. Carrasco is a pro, but he is also going to be 35 years old at the start of next season. Was it just a bad season or a signs of an aging pitcher? That’s the concern surrounding Carrasco heading into 2022.
Tylor Megill and David Peterson are two pitchers the Mets developed who are question marks going into 2022 as well. Megill pitched in 18 games for the Mets and looked solid in his first seven starts. However, in his last 11 starts he struggled. The Mets won’t need Megill to be a superstar, but they need him to be a capable option for the rotation in 2022. Whether that happens or not is questionable.
David Peterson though is a different story. The Mets need a left-handed starter and are going to rely on Peterson to provide that, if they don’t make a move. He too has a ton of question marks heading into 2022. He missed most of the season with a broken foot and did not pitch well when he was available. In 15 starts he had a 5.54 ERA. Can Met fans trust him to be a big-time rotation piece in 2022? Not after 2021 that is for sure.
And of course, who could forget about Noah Syndergaard? Syndergaard has thrown a grand total of two innings in the last two major league seasons. He is certainly an option for the rotation in 2022, but how effective will he be coming off Tommy John Surgery? Will he be able to stay healthy for the entire season?
It’s just another question mark for the Mets rotation for 2022.
Other options include Jordan Yamamoto and Trevor Williams, who the Mets received in the Javier Baez trade, but both are not options you feel great about heading into 2022. Yamamoto barely pitched in 2021 and Williams is viewed as more of a depth piece.
In the minor leagues, there are really no big-time prospects ready to make the jump to the big leagues, at least no one you can say for sure.
One thing is for certain and that is the Mets best pitcher from 2021 will be a free agent. Marcus Stroman had a tremendous season in 2021, which came after a 2020 season in which he opted out due to COVID-19. He finished the 2021 season at 10-13 with a 3.02 ERA. He made 33 starts for the team.
While he could still sign back with the Mets this offseason, he will have plenty of suitors looking to get him on their team. Will the Mets want to get into a bidding war to bring him back? We’ll see. Counting on Stroman to be a part of the Mets rotation at this point is very silly. Anything can happen in free agency.
Looking at the Mets rotation you have injury question marks with deGrom, Syndergaard, and Peterson coming off of injuries. Walker, Megill and Carrasco coming off of seasons in which they struggled, and you have the best starter of the season entering free agency. Plus, in the minors, no one appears to be ready to make a significant jump and be a big-time pitcher in 2022.
You can’t feel confident about any starting pitcher heading into next season. If that isn’t the Mets biggest concern heading into next year, then I don’t know what is. It’s something the club needs to address heading into 2022.