The New York Mets may very well have the best starting rotation in the Major Leagues in 2016 and with it comes tough decisions. The team’s current starting rotation is absolutely loaded with young talented ace pitchers Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Rookie Steven Matz, and respected veteran Bartolo Colon. Manager Terry Collins has a problem that every manager dreams of; choosing 1 pitcher to start opening day when all five could be justified in getting the opening day nod.
Last season, Colon received the opening day assignment based on his successful 2014 season, and what perhaps was Collins simply looking to avoid choosing between Harvey the Mets Ace in 2013 and at the time coming back from Tommy John surgery, and deGrom the Rookie of the Year and Mets Ace in 2014.
This year Collins will have no choice but to choose between Harvey and deGrom for the opening day assignment for the Mets 2016 season. While Mets management has generally commented that all of the five starting pitchers are in contention to start opening day, it really comes down to Harvey vs. deGrom.
Colon is simply not in the same league as Harvey or deGrom at this point of his career, and Matz is still a rookie. While Syndergaard had a tremendous 2015 rookie season, based on tenure and overall experience it would be difficult for him to get the opening day assignment over the longer tenured Harvey and deGrom. So who gets it? Harvey or deGrom?
Coming off a 2015 World Series appearance, and entering 2016 with a deep team set up to win it all you can bet that both badly want the opening day assignment. When comparing the two pitchers it is scary how similar they have performed to date. Harvey has a lifetime record of 25 wins and 18 losses with a .581 winning percentage, a 2.53 ERA in 427 innings with 449 K’s and a 1.00 WHIP. deGrom has a lifetime record of 23 wins and 14 losses with a .622 winning percentage, a 2.61 ERA in 331.1 innings with 349 K’s and a 1.04 WHIP. Both have averaged 9.5 K’s per 9 innings. There is no wrong answer, there is no wrong choice for the Mets opening day starter.
Both deserve the assignment. The best part for Mets fans is that BOTH will start games one and two of the 2016 season followed by 3 other very talented pitchers. Who starts opening day for the Mets in 2016? He has the goods, he has been projected to be one the best pitchers in MLB in 2016, and he also has been here the longest of the 5 pitchers. He is Matt Harvey.