As Noah Syndergaard goes down with Tommy John surgery, the New York Mets need to move on and find solutions to re-arrange their starting pitching depth. After all, Thor is slated to miss the next 14-18 months of action with the procedure and rehab. That represents a huge blow to the team’s playoff hopes.
Right now, five healthy starters sit atop the Mets’ depth chart. Jacob deGrom, 2018 and 2018 NL Cy Young award winner, is the ace. Marcus Stroman will follow him, Rick Porcello will likely follow him, and Steven Matz and Michael Wacha complete the group.
As of right now, the New York Mets are an injury away from disaster in their rotation. If someone in that group were to get hurt, the team would have to pencil a name with which it won’t feel entirely comfortable, for one reason or another.
Here is a glimpse of what the Mets have after the top five pitchers in the rotation:
David Peterson: Manager Luis Rojas referred to Peterson as the Mets’ seventh starter, which means that, after Thor’s injury, he would be the preferred option to enter the rotation if something were to happen to one of the top five remaining hurlers.
Peterson is a lefty that already had a good season in Double-A and showed up to spring training throwing harder. He is now sitting in the mid 90s. If he dominates Triple-A, a call to Queens will be in the horizon for him.
Walker Lockett: Lockett is out of options and is now an alternative to make the Mets. He doesn’t have a high ceiling but could develop into a backend starter if given the opportunity.
Erasmo Ramirez: The spring training invitee was dealing before play was halted: he threw eight innings of a 1.13 ERA, with 10 strikeouts and only five hits allowed. He has plenty of big league experience and is nice insurance.
Stephen Gonsalves: He was claimed off waivers from the Minnesota Twins in the winter. He is slated to start the season in Triple-A, if there is a season of course.
Corey Oswalt: Oswalt was once among the first pitchers in line for a rotation spot last year, but despite his minor league success, he hasn’t been able to translate it to the majors so far. He had a good spring, with only one run conceded in eight frames. He struck out six with no free passes.
Franklyn Kilomé: A Tommy John survivor, Kilome could contribute this season, but it isn’t likely. 2021 seems like a more appropriate ETA.
Pedro Payano: The New York Mets signed Payano to a minor league contract in December. He posted mediocre numbers in Triple-A and the bigs (5.73 ERA, 1.86 WHIP, and 17/15 K/BB ratio in 22 innings.)
Kevin Smith: Another talented lefty that needs Triple-A success to be considered as an option for this year.