The New York Mets have played one game this season, but already they are missing two members of their starting rotation. Johan Santana failed to make even one appearance in spring training before he needed shoulder surgery that will keep him out for the duration of the 2013 season. But Shaun Marcum has also suffered injuries to his shoulder, biceps, and neck during the spring, and after not being able to pitch in a simulated game on Tuesday, he will not be able to make his scheduled start for the Mets on Sunday. As of right now, there’s no way to tell how much time Marcum will miss, but there’s nothing to indicate he will be available soon.
The rotation was expected to be a strength for the Mets this season, but the injuries to Santana and Marcum have changed that completely. What’s left in the Mets rotation is one reliable pitcher in Jon Niese, one talented but largely inexperienced pitcher in Matt Harvey, one pitcher that had a rough spring and is returning from a blood clot last season in Dillon Gee, one spot filler in Jeremy Hefner, and one open spot until Marcum is healthy enough to return. That group is a far cry from the stellar rotation the Mets were expecting to have with Santana and Marcum, as Santana would have at least provided a veteran presence and emotional lift while Marcum is capable of delivering a steady and reliable performance every five days.
The rotation the Mets have now is young and rather unpredictable, not to mention incomplete. Taking Marcum’s place for the time being will not be top prospect Zack Wheeler, as it should be, but either Aaron Laffey or Collin McHugh, both of whom will only add to the mediocrity of the rest of the rotation. It’s not the group the Mets thought they would have in their starting rotation this year, and it’s certainly not the group the Mets need to be competitive and carry the team in 2013.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him to your network on Google+.