By Taryn “the Coop” Cooper
Remember the show “Three’s Company?” One of the best parts of the show was not only the chemistry between the actors, but that there would be a conversation that someone would walk right into and not know how to react and not know what was going on entirely.
When I walk into the middle of a Mets conversation, I never get that deer in the headlights look. Except for today, when someone asked me where I thought Matt Harvey should go in the rotation. I was outnumbered. Both my Mets folleagues (fan + colleague, just made it up) both said Harvey should start in the rotation at number four, and be given the chance to prove himself to move into the third slot.
Yeah, I said it. Harvey should be Number Two in the rotation (not to be confused with…well, you know).
Needless to say, I was greeted in shock.
Then it begs more and more questions. But my question is…who is going to be the Mets “Number One” starter?
Please note: If you say “Johan Santana,” I will slap you silly.
Now that NL Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey, is no longer a factor (**sob**) in the rotation, it boils down to Johan Santana, Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Dillon Gee, Shaun Marcum.
Call me crazy, but when three of your starters are potential injury risks and question marks, I guess I’m thinking of leaning on the sure thing.
On Opening Day, I call for Jonathon Niese to be the starting pitcher. I call for Harvey to start game two.
To some, it’s almost blasphemous to suggest that Niese get the nod for Opening Day over Johan Santana. I get it. Johan Santana is JOHAN MF SANTANA. Theoretically, he should be all better and 100% to go on Opening Day. One can hope. But you can hope in one hand, and shit in the other, and see what gets filled up faster.
As far as Marcum and Gee go, they’re both risks. Marcum was a good pickup by the Mets. IF he stays healthy. That seems to be an MO of this front office that is looking to cut corners to get guys on the cheap who will have a higher upside.
I did get to ask Sandy Alderson tonight at the Mets Season Ticket Holder Q&A, where I asked about Gee’s status. There seem to be no red flags for his return, and he’s on schedule to get back to the rotation by Opening Day. He also said that there was no reason why Marcum shouldn’t have a bounce back season, after his injury.
Three question marks indeed, though
The two positives in the rotation going into 2013 are Niese and Harvey.
Sure, putting pressure on Harvey for the number two slot could backfire. But how about this for a thought: why not REWARD pitchers (or players) who have done well, instead of dangling the carrot of “IF you do well, then THIS will happen?”
I’ve got some serious post-traumatic Mets disorder going on with how the Mets have treated their pitchers and players with kid gloves. I say screw that. Give Harvey more responsibility in the rotation. He certainly has the smarts and maturity to handle the pressure.
And as for Niese, he’s my Opening Day starter. I hope that he’s Terry Collins’ too.