The Mets have a problem. They have too many talented starting pitchers.
OK, so that’s not really a problem. More of a fun puzzle, really.
While Matt Harvey will be the Opening Day starter against the Royals in Sunday night’s World Series rematch, he shares the “ace” label with fellow right-hander Jacob deGrom. Harvey’s career numbers (65 starts, 2.53 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 9.5 K/9) are remarkably similar to those of deGrom (52 stars, 2.61 ERA, 1.047 WHIP, 9.5 K/9).
The pair of 27-year-old hurlers are reason enough to love the makeup of the starting rotation, but the arms after them are nearly as talented.
Fireballer Noah Syndergaard lived up to expectations as a rookie. Now 23, the right-hander combined between the regular season and postseason to throw 169 innings, posting a 3.25 ERA and 10.2 K/9.
The lone lefty in the group is also its least experienced. Steven Matz still holds rookie status after appearing in just 35 2⁄3 regular season innings in 2015, posting a 2.27 ERA in six starts. Even if his final stats more closely resemble his 3.68 ERA and 1.432 WHIP from three postseason starts, that’s excellent for a young No. 4 or 5 starter.
Bartolo Colon continues to defy father time. The 42-year-old (43 on May 24) no longer resembled the Cy Young-caliber start of his youth. Yet the righty remains an effective innings eater who has posted a 4.13 ERA and logged 397 innings for the Mets over the last two seasons. He still possesses superb control — he led baseball in walks per nine innings last season.
The anticipated summer return of Zack Wheeler from Tommy John surgery will allow the Mets to switch to what could be the most impressive six-man rotation in baseball history. Wheeler shouldn’t be expected to return to form immediately, but he proved effective to start his career (49 starts, 3.50 ERA, 1.339 WHIP) and would be well-rested in a six-man setup. That goes for the rest of this impressive collective, as well.