If you recall back in the offseason, I wrote an article titled “Why the Mets can Challenge the Cubs in 2017” and let me tell you, that has not aged well at all. As of August 25th, the Mets are 4th in the NL East and 21.5 games behind the Nationals. Despite struggles last season, the Mets could sneak into the Wild Card game, but this season that is a distant dream. They are 13.5 GB the Rockies for the second Wild Card game. The 2017 Mets season is finished and fans may be looking at the worst case scenario due to injuries, and under performances.
One of my keys to the Mets competing for the National League crown in 2017 was health. Injuries plagued the Mets in 2016 and 2017 was no different . It all began on May 1st when Noah Syndergaard tore his lat muscle. Despite throwing just 27 innings on the season, Syndergaard is second among Mets starting pitchers in fWAR. Syndergaard has been worth 1.4 fWAR in his 27 innings, while the rest of the 2017 project rotation Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Robert Gsellman, and Steven Matz have been worth just .7 fWAR.
Like Syndergaard, the rotation has been plagued with injuries as well. Wheeler being on and off the DL due to an arm injury, Steven Matz has was shut down for the season due to irritation in his elbow. Robert Gsellman has dealt with a hamstring strain and missed around 6 weeks, and Matt Harvey, the proclaimed Dark Knight has not pitched since June 15th due to a stress injury in his right shoulder. Mets fans envisioned the five pitchers leading the Mets compete in 2017. However they combined for just 330 innings this season. Long story short, the Mets rotation has not been healthy but even when healthy the pitchers have struggled. All four are responsible for an ERA and FIP above 5.
The injuries didn’t just stop at the rotation either. Only Jay Bruce, Jose Reyes, Michael Conforto, and Asdrubal Cabrera have logged 400+ at bats for the Mets this season. Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes have regressed from last season combining for just .5 WAR. Cabrera is putting together one of the worst baserunning season ever. Jay Bruce was a bright spot this season before being traded away to the Indians. Lastly, Michael Conforto was looking like the light at the end of this season’s tunnel. Until, he dislocated his shoulder while swinging over a pitch. He has now been diagnosed with a tear in his posterior capsule and is out indefinitely.
The Mets have had plans to compete in 2018, but after losing their bright young outfielder the future is looking more bleak than expected. Jacob deGrom has looked like he can continue to lead the rotation in 2018, but he needs his fellow pitchers to get healthy and pitch more like it did in 2015 playoffs again.