Battle for the New York Mets’ fifth starter job is not over

New York Mets, David Peterson

The New York Mets boast enviable pitching depth after going to the market and acquiring Taijuan Walker, one of the few reliable starters available, a few weeks ago. The popular belief is that the first four members of the rotation are set, with Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco (provided he can make it in time as he tries to shake off some elbow soreness) and Walker expected to take the ball in the team’s first four games.

The fifth spot of the Mets’ rotation, however, is still up for grabs. David Peterson had a so-so outing on Sunday, in which he allowed three runs on five hits in four innings, and coupled with Jordan Yamamoto’s impressive spring (1.08 ERA in three outings), it makes the race even more interesting. Joey Lucchesi (two shutout innings) is fighting, too.

“There’s plenty to take away from today,” Peterson told reporters over Zoom. “Plenty to work on going forward and looking forward to the next start.”

“Some hard hit balls against him, On and off with his command,” New York Mets’ manager Luis Rojas said after the game. “But he’s working on stuff, you could see that he got some swing and misses on his changeup, from his slider, the fastball velocity is the one that we like seeing. … Stuff is there, I thought location wise was where he just didn’t execute at times.”

Peterson impressed for the Mets’ last season

The left-hander raised a few eyebrows last season, as he put a 3.44 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 49.2 innings as a rookie.

Yamamoto was impressive on Saturday, allowing a run in 3 1/3 innings against the Washington Nationals.

“I’m just having conviction,” Yamamoto said. “That’s the main thing that we were working on that we’ve been talking about, just conviction with all my pitches, being able to throw it in any count, just getting ahead of hitters and making them get in swing mode. Everything and anything that makes me who I am is what I did tonight.”

Who will win the battle for a spot within the Mets’ rotation?

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