The Mets have no ace on the staff. Their plans to have Max Scherzer fill that role with the departure of Jacob deGrom didn’t happen. Justin Verlander isn’t what he used to be. Both are still effective to a degree, but the rest of the league doesn’t fear them, and they are supremely hittable.
Kodai Senga has had a solid rookie campaign, but he can’t be an ace pitching on that six-day schedule, and this is a big problem for the Mets and one reason why their bullpen is getting taxed, and worn out, besides not having enough talent there which falls on Billy Eppler.
According to Baseball Savant, Verlander, in 2015, used only to have 27.6% of his balls hard hit. This season it’s up to 44.1, almost 10 points higher than last year. That’s not ace material.
Max Scherzer, has lost some velocity, and giving up home runs is his issue. In 145 innings last season, the Mets hurler gave up 13 home runs. This season, he has given up 18 in 87 ⅔ innings. That’s his biggest problem among a few other things.
The Mets should trade for Dylan Cease. He is under control until after the 2025 season, and the Mets have no ace on the way, and they’re unlikely to land Shohei Ohtani, they should still try, but they should still get Cease, who is on a bad team in the south side of Chicago and it still striking out players at a high rate and maybe he gets extended at some point. He’s sixth in the league in strikeouts (123) and third in games pitched (19). Offer up catcher, Kevin Parada and another lower-grade prospect. Be aggressive, and maybe this can get them in better shape for next year.
The Mets can’t rely on their older pitchers to lead the group. For advice and wisdom, sure, but they need to be moved down in the rotation if you could get an ace.
The Mets might be able to salvage this season, but they have to look at this pitching staff for next year and the year after, and they aren’t going to get much help from the farm system. Jose Quintana is getting knocked around in Syracuse. This has all come to a head, and the Mets must be proactive. That’s where Steven Cohen can’t be loyal to the original plan or some of his management. He has to do what’s best for this team now and in the future.