The New York Mets starting rotation is loaded with star power entering the 2023 season.
Whether it be the one-two punch of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander or the high-upside addition of Kodai Senga, the Mets pitching staff is headlined with excitement.
Even beyond those three, the expected rotation rounds out with two established veterans in, Jose Quintana and Carlos Carrasco.
However, as with anything, there are hypotheticals to ponder over such a long season that cause concerns. Some question the learning curve and how long it may take for Senga to get comfortable in the MLB. The main worry most have with the Mets starting pitching, though, is that the older age of four of these five players could lead to problems with regard to availability throughout the year.
That question is a more than fair one to have. Scherzer turns 39 in July and coming off a year in which he had just 23 starts. Verlander turns 40 in a month and is not too far removed from Tommy John surgery. In March, Carrasco is 36 and missed time down the stretch of 2022 for the Mets. Lastly, even Quintana, although younger than these three, is getting up there, turning 34 this week.
Luckily, should availability be an issue with any of these Mets’ starters in 2023, they have the depth required to still get the job done.
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The New York Mets rotation is not short on depth:
While reviewing the Mets roster on paper, there are some concerns about bullpen depth, power in the lineup, and overall talent on offense. But, from top to bottom, the Mets starting pitching is in a good place.
The Mets starting five of Verlander, Scherzer, Senga, Quintana, and Carrasco is one of the best in baseball. It is a group that consists of talent, pedigree, and, aside from Senga, experience. Verlander and Scherzer are widely respected as a top-tier one-two punch across baseball. To round out the group, Quintana and Carrasco are very solid assets. What could put this group over the top as the best is Senga’s potential.
Beyond these five, though, should injuries be a concern, the Mets have two encouraging young arms with talent they can count on, David Peterson and Tylor Megill. Both are 27, turning 28 during the season, Megill in July and Peterson in September. Despite their youth, the two have gained multiple years of experience. Two others to note who could provide depth as well are Joey Lucchesi and Jose Butto.
Starting with Peterson, since 2020, he has started at least nine games each season for the Mets. He has accumulated 43 starts in total, with a career-high of 19 last year. Peterson has a career 15-13 record and a 4.26 ERA. His best two seasons were his first (2020) and last season. As a rookie, Peterson went 6-2 and had his best ERA in a single season to date, with a 3.44.
In 2022, the Mets needed Peterson due to various injuries, and he stepped up tremendously. Over 19 starts, Peterson posted a 7-5 record with a 3.83 ERA. He provided a banged-up Mets pitching staff with 105.2 innings and 126 strikeouts.
Peterson was the Mets’ first-round draft pick in 2017. The left-hander has a ton of size (6-foot-6, 240 lbs.) and some stuff highlighted by his slider. The Mets do have a need for one more left-handed reliever, which is where Peterson seems likely to start in 2023, barring any injuries. Should he have to fill in as a starter, Peterson is just one arm the Mets could rely on.
Then, Megill has also given the Mets quality insurance over the past two seasons. He has started 27 games, 18 in 2021 and nine last year. Megill had a better record in 2022, going 4-2. His ERA was better in 2021, though, posting a 4.52 compared to the 5.13 he had last year.
Similar to Peterson, Megill is gifted physically with an imposing 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame on the mound. Where Peterson relies a bit more on his stuff, what Megill offers is a four-seam fastball with good velocity on it.
Megill seems likely to either begin 2023 in the Mets bullpen or as a starter in the minor leagues, gaining more experience. If there happen to be any injuries to the Mets’ starting rotation, though, Megill certainly enters the conversation as one of the top replacements.
An in-depth review of the Mets’ starting pitching from top to bottom shows that the Mets have the high-end difference-makers and viable depth rounding the group out. Hopefully, at least in an ideal world, Scherzer, Verlander, Senga, Quintana, and Carrasco are able to stay healthy for the most part. If so, they can form one of the top rotations in baseball. Should they not, however, the Mets are positioned well with arms like Peterson and Megill to get the job done for this World Series-hopeful baseball team.