Seth Lugo and Steven Matz to the rescue

Lefty starter Steven Matz and righty swing man Seth Lugo have been absent from the Mets active roster since spring training. Coupled with the long term losses of our top starter and closer, this has been devastating for our once deep and powerful pitching staff. Back in spring training we had seven good to great starting pitchers and a solid bullpen. But four injuries have led us to carrying players on the roster that, frankly, don’t belong in the Major Leagues.

A team with journeymen Tommy Milone and Neil Ramirez and AAAA talent like Rafael Montero on the roster, not to mention marginal talent like Paul Sewald, Josh Smoker and the struggling Hansel Robles and Fernando Salas, isn’t poised to go very far. Noah Syndergaard and Jeurys Familia aren’t likely to rejoin the team until at least after the All Star break. But thankfully, Matz and Lugo are working their way back to Queens with minor league rehab starts. Both should be back within the next week or two and that could be a game changer.

The offense has been pretty good for the most part and with Yoenis Cespedes coming back, scoring runs should continue to be a positive for this team. For the pitching staff to do its part, the starters need to routinely, or at least more frequently, go seven innings. Jacob deGrom is there and Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Robert Gsellman have all shown encouraging signs of joining him to form an effective rotation. The fifth spot, currently held by the now injured Milone and tomorrow by either Smoker or Montero (gulp) has been a major problem. Matz will provide a massive upgrade. While his injury history has been frustrating, he’s been effective when healthy.

The addition of Lugo might prove even more valuable. The curveball machine can fill in as a spot starter and give the rest of the rotation an extra day, or he can be someone who enters the game in the sixth inning to give us a solid two inning bridge to our only two effective relievers – Jerry Blevins and Addison Reed. Right now, it’s hard to feel comfortable bringing anyone else into a close game. Either way it will help solve the problem of blowing games in the sixth and seventh innings, where seemingly every loss this season can trace its roots.

In an ideal world, the forthcoming additions of Matz, Lugo and Cespedes spark the team and help us get back into contention. Come July, the front office can make a move to shore up the bullpen while we look forward to getting back Syndergaard and Familia, not to mention Amed Rosario, for the stretch run. In a stormy season, there’s always a sliver of sunlight if you look hard enough.