The New York Mets‘ starting pitchers are starting to round into form. Noah Syndergaard had a great game on Wednesday in what was his spring training debut, and last night, Rick Porcello delivered a much better performance than that of his first contest.
Yesterday, the pitcher that the Mets signed in free agency this year spun two scoreless innings, and while he allowed a couple of base hits, he also struck out a pair of batters in the defeat against the Marlins.
Sure, the New York Mets as a whole haven’t had a good spring. Their record currently stands at 1-5. However, the win-loss column isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the primary concern at this stage of the season.
Getting healthy and round into form are the primary goals for most players. Porcello is one of them: he needs a good spring to enter the season in great shape and leave 2019 behind.
The Mets want him to leave 2019 behind
Last season, the 31-year-old had a 5.52 ERA (4.76 FIP) with the Boston Red Sox in 32 starts. He hurled 174.1 innings and had a 7.38 K/9 and a 2.32 BB/9. An elevated home run rate (1.60 HR/9) and a low strand rate (65.7 percent) were some of the culprits, but make no mistake: he was bad.
Those in attendance last night say that Porcello’s breaking stuff was sharp, which is a great development for the Mets. The Queens’ squad gambled on a return to form from Porcello with a one-year deal in the winter.
“There are always things to work on,” Porcello said to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, noting that he will focus on his fastball command in future outings. “This is only the second time out. There’s a long way to go.”
In the first outing, Porcello gave up one run in an inning of work. For the spring, his ERA stands at 3.00 in three frames, with no walks and three punchouts.
Given that he will make $10 million in 2020, it is widely assumed that the New York Mets will guarantee Porcello a spot in the rotation. Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Marcus Stroman will join him. The additional place will likely be awarded to the winner of a battle between Michael Wacha and Steven Matz, although the team hasn’t ruled out using openers and other unconventional arrangements.