Now, Dillon Gee is in the bullpen, with Jon Niese, Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Bartolo Colon in the starting rotation. So, why all the confusion?
"The simplest explanation is that the Mets are trying to juggle a lot of issues that impact them now and in the future, such as Steve Matz’s Super Two eligibility, innings limits on a few starters and the temperature of their clubhouse if veterans such as Gee and Niese have their roles diminished," explains NY Post reporter Joel Sherman (June 8, 5:06 pm).
In the end, according to Sherman, the Mets are doing their best to manage the current situation so they can end up with Harvey, Matz, deGrom, Syndergaard and Colon as their five-man rotation the last six weeks of the season.
In other words, Gee and Niese are currently placeholders, acting as bridge through the summer, which is why we now see reports of Sandy Alderson shopping them in an effort to help the offense, as Andy Martino recently reported for the Daily News (June 5, 2:40 pm).
In the end, I like where this is headed. I asked friends who are Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, Giants and Phillies fans this past weekend if they would want to face the Mets in a seven-game series this October. They all said, 'No,' realizing how dangerous their pitching staff can be, especially in a short series.
And so, again, looking at the standings, hearing my friends, seeing the trade market, knowing Matz's status, knowing the innings limit situation, knowing the schedule, this whole summer is shaping up to be one of floating - doing just enough to stay above .500, playing well, and in contention. So, when the dust settles, and dates, deadlines and deals have passed, the Mets can settle on a roster that can do just enough to get them in to October, where they can actually be legit threat.