We kick off the final report card series with a look back at the New York Mets starting rotation.
The 2017 season turned out to be one of the uglier ones in recent memory for the New York Mets. Underperformance on the field, in the trainer’s room, and in the front office all contributed to overall dysfunction for a team with playoff aspirations.
That coupled with the fact that the team’s opening day roster faced some serious turnover throughout the season was a recipe for failure.
If you’re looking for a round of Where Are They Now, here’s the Mets’ opening day roster: pic.twitter.com/oBXdiAtyum
— Marc Carig (@MarcCarig) October 1, 2017
Now that the season has officially concluded, it is never too early to look ahead to 2018, and a good way to start is to assess the performance of the 2017 roster. So here it is, the New York Mets 2017 full season report card for the starting rotation.
Starting Rotation Grade: D-
What a fall from grace. It seems like yesterday that we were entering spring training and the Mets had “eight or nine guys” that could be rotation worthy options.
Five months later, Jacob deGrom winning 15 games was the top story out of this group, and the only reason they did not receive an F grade.
Matt Harvey was the poster child for the rotation debacle, compiling the worst statistical season by a pitcher in team history. Surely underdeveloped muscles behind his throwing shoulder did not help his cause, but we expected Harvey to post an era somewhere around a 3.35, not a 6.70.
Then there was the presumed ace of the staff, Noah Syndergaard, who refused an MRI en route to landing on the disabled list for nearly five months. The only bright spot for his 2017 was the fact that he got on the mound in a few competitive games before the conclusion of the season.
Heroes of the 2016 season, Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo ,had their fair share of problems staying on the hill as well. Lugo was up and down when he did find his way to the mound, flashing brilliance some days and ineffectiveness on others.
Gsellman landed on the disabled list this summer, and just was never the same guy as last year. He threw a couple of quality starts in September, which is a good sign for his future because maybe now “he really does care.”
Steven Matz‘s year was marred with elbow problems from beginning to end. His elbow pain out of camp caused him to oddly be on the disabled list out of spring training and created public friction with the organization.
When he was on the active roster he was almost as bad as Harvey, posting a 6.08 ERA in 13 games. This stint of ineffectiveness was followed by his second season-ending elbow surgery in as many years.
Rafael Montero may have had the funkiest season of them all. Starting the season in the bullpen and as a spot starter, his ERA ballooned and he found himself down in AAA Las Vegas yet again.
But, upon his recall he shined during the summer stringing together multiple sharp outings and displaying the talent the Mets once believed was future ace material.
It is tough to tell if he will open 2018 in the rotation or not, but he’s the second most positive part of the 2017 rotation almost by default.
Overall, the 2017 season could not have gone worse for the starting rotation. Injuries wreaked havoc on the group, and ineffectiveness made sure to put the nail in the coffin.
As Matz told the New York Post‘s Kevin Kernan back in August: “It sucks to suck.”