The New York Mets rotation is in shambles. Noah Syndergaard was lost in March to Tommy John surgery, Marcus Stroman opted out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, Michael Wacha is out with shoulder inflammation, David Peterson is also on the injured list and Rick Porcello and, most notably, Steven Matz have struggled.
Matz, according to Mets’ manager Luis Rojas, has been demoted to the bullpen. He has a 9.00 ERA in five starts and 23.0 innings. His place in the rotation will be occupied, from now on, by Seth Lugo, starting on Thursday.
“Seth has been a starter for us in the past, and with the ability for him of navigating through a lineup, his repertoire and command, we’re going to go that way with him,” Rojas said to MLB.com. “That’s the route we’re taking right now, is for him to start more and stretch him out.”
The Mets’ pitching wild card
Lugo has always preferred to be a starter, but he was considered such a big part of the bullpen that the New York Mets always chose to leave him there. He is now going to be a starer out of necessity.
He has 31 starts in his career, but the last time he took the ball to start a game was on June 25, 2018. He needs to be stretched out, which could take a few games.
The Mets needed Lugo in the late innings of Wednesday’s game, and given that he was slated to pitch today, Rojas chose not to use him as Dellin Betances and Edwin Díaz blew a two-run lead in the eighth. Thankfully, Michael Conforto saved the day with a two-run homer in the ninth.
“We blew a save opportunity there, but Díaz did a good job coming right back showing what he can do,” said Rojas, referring to Díaz striking out the side in the ninth. “We trust our ‘pen; we trust the guys that we have there.”