Projecting the Mets’ starting rotation for the 2023 season

billy eppler, mets
Dec 20, 2022; NY, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Justin Verlander (left) speaks to the media with general manager Billy Eppler during a press conference at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Following a thrilling free agency, the 2023 New York Mets starting pitching staff will be a must-see every game.

The group features two aces who are former teammates in big free agent acquisition, Justin Verlander, and Max Scherzer, who headline this Mets baseball team as a one-two punch. From there, one exciting arm with loads of upside in Kodai Senga is now a part of this rotation. Another starter added this offseason was veteran, Jose Quintana. The longest-tenured Met from this projected rotation is yet another proven veteran, Carlos Carrasco.

How this group sorts out from 1-5 officially still remains to be seen. But, for now, let’s take a look at how things could potentially shake out from top to bottom for this promising Mets starting pitching rotation.

Projecting the 2023 Mets starting pitching staff:

1. Justin Verlander

Who the top starter will ultimately be between Verlander and Scherzer is still unknown. At this time, though, the chances are certainly strong that the Mets’ big-ticket free agent signing, coming off a World Series title and a season in which he had by far the best ERA in the MLB (1.75), that Verlander could very well be the Mets first starter.

Along with his league-leading ERA, Verlander finished in second throughout baseball when it came to wins, with 18 a year ago. He was also tied for the best batting average against (.186) in 2022.

Verlander undoubtedly makes a strong case to be the Mets’ top starter for 2023.

2. Max Scherzer

The Mets could, when all is said and done, designate Scherzer as their top starting pitcher. For now, though, it is safe to say that he could remain in the role as the Mets’ second starter.

Scherzer provided the Mets with a quality first year. He posted 11 wins over 23 starts, throwing 145.1 innings. Scherzer finished the 2022 season with a terrific 2.29 ERA and 173 strikeouts.

Regardless of who the top starter is, the Mets have one awesome duo at the top of their rotation in Scherzer and Verlander going into next year.

3. Kodai Senga

Beyond the top two, there are still some immediate questions. The third starting pitcher could end up being one of the other two acquisitions made in free agency, Senga and Quintana. Knowing the high ceiling in terms of potential and talent Senga offers, though, he slides in as the third starter here.

This will be Senga’s first year pitching in the MLB. He will turn 30 in late January. Senga joins the Mets with some impressive production on his resume. During his 11 years in the Japan Leagues, Senga recorded a 2.42 ERA with a 1.89 posted in 2022.

Senga’s splitter is his well-known pitch. In terms of his velocity, Senga has thrown as hard as 102 miles per hour. With there likely being an adjustment to the majors early on, Senga could be the fourth starter to begin the year. But Senga has the talent, and as he gains experience, he should ease in, providing this Mets baseball team with a huge boost in the middle of the rotation.

4. Jose Quintana

As noted, Quintana could just edge out Senga for the third spot. With Senga’s potential, though, he gets a slight nod for now. That being said, Quintana gives the Mets a strong presence as a fourth starter. The left-hander has 11 years of MLB experience and turns 34 in late January.

His career ERA of 3.75 is decent. Quintana is coming off a career year though, in which he posted a fantastic 2.93 earned run average. Whether he winds up the third or fourth starter, Quintana will be expected to put up similar type of production from last year.

5. Carlos Carrasco

The trade talk surrounding Carrasco has simmered down. Barring anything unexpected, he will be the Mets’ fifth starter for 2023.

Carrasco just had one stellar year in which he totaled 15 wins over 29 starts and had a 3.97 ERA. He is going into his 14th season in the MLB and turns 36 in March. Should availability be an issue, the Mets have two young arms in, David Peterson and Tylor Megill, who could fill in for Carrasco as the fifth starter. Ultimately though, another solid year will be needed from Carrasco to round out this rotation next season.