One of the areas the Mets made some significant turnover this offseason is in the starting rotation. With the additions of Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and Jose Quintana the starting five is set alongside Max Scherzer and Carlos Carrasco.
This current group is certainly extremely talented and presents upside, but there’s also a ton of risk.
Three of the five pitchers in this rotation are above the age of 35, and Quintana is not far behind at 34-years-old. Scherzer, Verlander, and Carrasco have all missed time throughout their long big league careers due to different injuries. And while there’s a ton of potential with Senga, he’s also a bit of an unknown due to his workload and past injuries.
This is where the Mets’ starting pitching depth will come into play.
New York also added Elieser Hernandez in a trade with Miami this offseason, lefty Joey Lucchesi is back after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and impressive youngsters Tylor Megill and David Peterson are still with the team.
While the first two are a bit of an unknown coming into camp, the latter two are coming off strong seasons. Peterson posted a 3.86 ERA and 126 strikeouts in 105 innings of work and Megill struggled after injuries but started out the year on a strong note.
While it’s unknown if they’ll begin the season in the big-league bullpen or stretched out with Triple-A Syracuse, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner recently told Mike Puma of the New York Post that both pitchers would likely have similar roles.
“In a lot of ways they are on the outside looking in, but things change all the time in this game. If those guys start the year in Triple-A, we have two guys that probably deserve to be in the big leagues just from their past performance and their stuff.”
“If we have five starters make every single start all year they will be in the bullpen at some point, but that rarely ever happens,” Hefner said. ”Stretching out Peterson and Megill in spring training is important and having them readily available in case something happens, and we’ll see how the season unfolds.”
Their exact role may still be a bit of a question mark, but one thing is for certain, that’s that the Mets know they’ll need Peterson and Megill in one way or another at some point this season.
Hefner called having depth of their caliber a “blessing” for this team. He added that for the Mets to do the things they want to do as a team this season they need Megill and Peterson “to be the studs that they are.”