The New York Mets have been faced with a problem that no team ever wants to deal with. The loss of their pitching staff ace. Last season Matt Harvey was as dominate as they come but would eventually need to be shut down due to an injury that ended requiring Tommy John surgery. The Mets were moderately busy during the offseason attempting to fill the void that would be left after Harvey’s injury.
The Mets stepped in and signed the aging veteran Bartolo Colon to a two-year deal which would help them at the top end of the rotation, but there would still be a need to fill out the rest of it. Making several quality high-reward type signings, the Mets reached out to Siena College (Albany, N.Y.) graduate John Lannan and signed him to a deal with an invite to Spring Training.
Lannan, who pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies last season, had a bit of a down year and also suffered a knee injury. The Mets are looking to Lannan to possibly fill the fifth spot in the rotation. Daisuke Matsuzaka, who the Mets re-signed, along with other in-house options like Jenrry Mejia are all in the battle as well to round out the rotation. The Mets also have a few top prospects who could also make the jump although not likely at this point.
Lannan had a successful debut today for the Mets striking out three batters in two innings. Matsuzaka will pitch tomorrow and will hope for similar results. It is still extremely early in the spring to even start to predict who will take the spot in the rotation, but right now I think it could be Lannan’s to lose.
Depending on the health of Jon Niese, the Mets may have a need for two pitchers if he isn’t ready to go by the start of the season. Lannan has the opportunity to opt out of his contract with the Mets by June 14 if he doesn’t make the major league roster by then.