Depth was the top priority during the New York Mets offseason, and it shows the most with their rotation options. With the new depth, they consider using six starting pitchers with Taijuan Walker joining the rotation.
Taijuan Walker is a great backend starter option that the Mets needed. Here’s a clip of him recording a strikeout vs a completely random team, a breakdown pic.twitter.com/M4VcnZ8Kb8
— Phill 🚀 (@MeekPhill_) February 19, 2021
We know the top three starters are Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, and Marcus Stroman, with Walker as the fourth. David Peterson has the upper hand on Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto going into camp, but all three are fighting for the last rotation spot.
The Mets might look to conserve Peterson’s innings because he only has two seasons over 100 in the minors with a career-high of 128. Around baseball, teams are considering the extra starter because of the shortened 2020 season. Pitchers will get extra rest without making shorter starts, and it lessens the innings jump from last season.
All five Mets starters were healthy in 2020 and are amongst the fittest in the sport. Despite the great physiques, the Mets expect to play deep into October. A long playoff run requires pitchers to log 20-40 high-leverage innings. Pitchers like Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, and Max Scherzer saw these innings’ taxing effect the following year. If Lucchesi or Yamamoto pitches well in spring training, the Mets should not be afraid to tack on another starter.
If the Mets have a six-man rotation to being the season, Syndergaard would slide right in and conserve innings for the rest of the rotation. With a five-man rotation, he would tack on and potentially save the Mets from holding Peterson back in September. The one drawback is the one less arm in the bullpen, but a strong rotation solves any bullpen issues.
In October, the Mets would love a rotation of deGrom, Carrasco, Stroman, and Syndergaard. Allowing Syndergaard to save his innings early in the season will allow him to avoid injury and stay fresh for a playoff run.
Despite missing out on an expensive free agent, the Mets finally have starting pitching depth with respectable MLB track records. This accolade alone deserves an A grade for the offseason.