What did we learn about the Mets' rotation?
Even when not including new Toronto Blue Jays ace R.A. Dickey, the rest of the Queens quintet was a pleasant surprise.
Matt Harvey's debut went swimmingly as he drowned opponents with strikeouts. Control will continue to jeopardize his effectiveness as he navigates MLB hitters' adjustments. But as is the case with these makeups, you'll be more permissive of potential stumbles there for the most important counting stat for pitches, especially if he becomes a value selection.
Jonathon Niese rebounded with health, beneficial in-play fortune and stalwart performance with runners on base. Issues with all three held back his promising indicators in 2011. The control artist won't take a huge step in strikeouts, but even if he endures a smidge of drop-off, he's already established a sturdy foundation that many will continue to overlook, much to your depth-building benefit.
For a few months, Johan Santana belonged in the "good" column sans question. Before his June 1 no-hitter, he was getting hitters to chase frequently with hints of his formerly elite deception. It's nice to enter the record books, but, as such efforts are wont to do, that 135-pitch highlight ground his promising season to a halt before a sprained right ankle sent him to the DL, and back inflammation shut him down for good.
When active, he labored and surrendered his highest seasonal liner rate since 2003. Most hurtful, however, was the augmentation of the damage frequently caused by his already vulnerable fly-ball splits. Of course, a sparkling, career-best 19.3 percent of the lofts he gave up didn't leave the infield, so at least part of that was exaggerated.
Maybe his expected World Baseball Classic participation will have a positive rehab role. With better management of his in-season exertion, he should show more of his early-season renaissance and serve up middle- to late-rounds mixed value. Be careful, though; Santana, who turns 34 in March, doesn't overpower much anymore, even when healthy. Concordantly, he holds a slim margin for error, so his final line may not reflect his rebound as optimally as many will hope.
Dillon Gee had his run, too. A blood shot in an artery near his pitching shoulder cut things short. He's another intriguing profile that could be a difference-maker, especially as an NL-only supplement.
Replacing Dickey, by the way, is Shaun Marcum, a highly stable if not outstanding arm whose base skills closely resemble what the Mets have. His innings-eating experience would be a coup if affixed to the back end of a mixed staff.
Jenrry Mejia and Zack Wheeler await rotation openings, as well, and despite likely growth hurdles have much to offer for streamers and speculators alike.
Wins may be hard to come by, but you shouldn't draft for those anyway. Just make sure you meet the Mets' SPs by the time your draft rolls around.
How will the saves picture play out?
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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