It isn’t pleasant, but it’s also not so hard for Mets fans to think back to recent seasons that were more or less ruined by a lack of starting pitching depth. Despite the “image” cultivated by the club ever since their pennant-winning season in 2015, too often the Mets have been undermined by less-than-major-league-quality innings throughout the starting rotation.
In 2017, the year immediately following the last time they made the playoffs, only a 23-year-old Robert Gsellman and 26-year-old Rafael Montero logged more innings than Jacob deGrom and both posted ERAs over 5. Things were less obvious in 2018, but you may recall an absolutely brutal year from Jason Vargas and a 24-year-old Corey Oswalt combining for 150 innings and an era closer to 6. Then, in 2019, I would argue the biggest stumbling block was a down year from Noah Syndergaard, who posted the worst ERA of his career. Still, the rotating cast of characters and downright inability to get something even resembling “MLB replacement level” in the 5th starter slot was crushing. We’re throwing it back to in-season trade acquisition Wilmer Font, as well as organizational depth pieces Walter Lockett and one-time Korean Big Leaguer Chris Flexen. Combined, they threw 66 innings at an ERA of 6.50.