Mets super-prospects Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are both proving themselves major league ready right now. But do the Mets have the gumption to shake up a first place team?
First of all, nothing is likely to happen until the Super-2 deadline passes sometime in mid-June. In the meantime, they will be wasting their bullets in the minors.
Both are pitching lights out in Las Vegas this season. Syndergaard is 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA, with 34 strikeouts in 29.2 innings. He has walked just eight batters. Matz is 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA. He is also averaging more than a strikeout per inning.
These guys need to be on the Mets sooner rather than later. So here’s I would do: first off, they can go back to the original plan and move Dillon Gee to the bullpen and give his rotation spot to Syndergaard or Matz. Gee does not really deserve a demotion, but with a 3.86 ERA he is not exactly pitching like an All-Star. He is pitching like the fifth starter he is. It seems like a no-brainer to replace a fifth starter with a potential young ace.
Then I would wait a few weeks to make sure the new guy is the real deal. If not, just replace one young guy with the other. If he is pitching well, I would explore the trade market for Bartolo Colon and Jonathon Niese. Both are pitching well, and perhaps a starter-starved contender would overpay for one of them, with the Mets finally netting their much-needed shortstop. Even if the second guy flops, Gee is in the bullpen, ready to reclaim his spot.
This is certainly a risky plan of action. Is it smart to trade a quality veteran starter in the middle of a pennant race? Maybe not. But is it smart to leave two guys in the minors who could possible push the Mets into the post-season?
Imagine the Mets in a playoff series with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard and Matz pitching up to their potential. All they would need from their offense is a couple of runs and the Mets could go deep into October.
Of course, Sandy Alderson is far too cautious for this any of this to happen. The Mets could still win with their current team. They would have a better chance going bold.