If the New York Mets are going to have any chance of finishing over .500 this season, then they are going to need to get a lot of outstanding performances from their starting pitchers.
The Mets' rotation is set entering the season, but they still have a number of questions about the health and abilities of their starters.
It is very possible that the Mets' rotation looks a lot different at the end of the year. Pitchers may be dealt and prospects may come up from the minors to replace ineffective starters.
Projection: 13-6, 3.14 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 167 K (184.2 innings)
The New York Mets are looking forward to having Johan Santana back in their starting rotation. He was missed in 2011 and he has been very consistent when he has been on the mound for the Mets.
If Santana is back on his game this season, then it could mean that he does not end the year with the Mets. Santana may be dealt if the Mets are able to get a good package in return for him.
Projection: 12-9, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 120 K (201 innings)
A former first-round pick, R.A. Dickey was never able to get his career on track until he joined the New York Mets' starting rotation in 2010.
Dickey has been fantastic for the Mets over the past two years and he has gained a cult following. If Johan Santana is traded, Dickey could become the Mets ace for the rest of the season.
Projection: 10-10, 4.19 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 139 K (168.2 innings)
At 25 years old, the New York Mets are hoping that Jon Niese can continue to develop and become a pitcher that can play a big part in their future.
Niese likely will not take any steps forward or any steps backwards this year. This is not a bad thing, but it will put a little more pressure on him in 2013.
Projections: 7-11, 4.97 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 68 K (135.2 innings)
If the spring was any indication, this could be a rough year for Pelfrey. He might spend some time in the minor leagues and the Mets may certainly look to deal him.
Projections: 10-10, 4.25 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 127 K (122.2 innings)
This season Dillon Gee should see a bit of an improvement in some of his numbers. His win total may drop a bit, but he should pitch better.
Gee is another pitcher that could be a key part of the Mets' rotation in a few years when Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey reach the majors. He should start to look like a solid number four starter this season.