Monday, May 6, 2013

Sheer Dominance: Matt Harvey & Why The Mets Won't be the Goat For Long

It's been a very long time since a pitcher with such imposing presence, overpowering stuff, and the demeanor of a true fierce competitor went to the hill for a New York ball club. The Yankees have never been known as a predominantly pitching franchise, and we all know how pitching wins championships (Yanks are obviously the exception).

The Mets on the other hand, despite the blunders and heartbreak, have had an extraordinary amount of high-caliber arms come to their franchise (including THE Franchise - I'm punny right?) in their shorter expansion team history. However, no one quite like Seaver or Gooden has stood on the mound for Flushing since the two themselves. They had qualities in a pitcher that usually come only once in a lifetime. So as the Mets enter what will be their fifth consecutive losing season, could we notice another gem among the Metropolitan staff?

Matt Harvey is not a thrower. He is not a Strasburg, Wheeler, or Aroldis Chapman. He is a pitcher. He hasn't the cockiness some rookies carry about them like a Bryce Harper or a Manny Machado. No, Matt's a different breed of player. The smart, collected, never-satisfied success-driven winning kind of player many general managers will wish they had drafted (kudos to Anaheim, they did try). And so the pleasant parting gift from a terrible GM in Omar Minaya will soon become the foundation of one of the best pitching staffs in the National League, and in all of baseball.

The Mets will be a legit team again, because with Harvey as the rock of a potentially stellar rotation (Harvey, Wheeler, Niese, Syndergaard, Gee), their offense will be more than sufficient to win 90+ games. Of course, all 5 of those starters would have to provide somewhat close to their expected potential, but all are certainly capable of rising to the occasion. And with a solid offensive infield that can provide the adequate defense, the 2014 Mets leave Sandy Alderson with two items on his agenda:

An outfield. and more importantly, a bullpen.

Any type of major league outfield, any type at all Sandy, just as long as they can catch the ball and bat above .250. Just two ok outfielders and maybe a good one, then we're talking a lineup with at least some depth. And if Alderson can get his hands on two good relievers and a solid closer, the Metropolitans are back in it. Six players max Sandy, can you handle that? So in theory, the Mets are six acquisitions away from being back in contention... easier said than done. But they are certainly capable nonetheless.

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