The New York Mets created a “competition” amongst their backend starters when they signed Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha. It is safe to say Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Marcus Stroman are safe, but things might be different for Steven Matz to go along with Porcello and Wacha. Barring injuries, it seems like the rotation is a lock, but the Mets are going to weigh their options before committing.
Steven Matz spent some time during his bullpen session this morning working with new Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner. pic.twitter.com/g8OORbEq00
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 14, 2020
Personally, Steven Matz should have his job secured with the top three of the rotation. Much like the high priced Zach Wheeler, Matz has only put together one lousy season over the entirety of his career. He has also made 30 starts in back to back seasons and plays a vital role as the only left-hander in the rotation. Despite holding down a rotation spot for the majority of his career, Matz still views his spot as one he needs to earn.
His biggest issue was his 6.21 ERA during the first inning and the 6.11 ERA he had in the sixth inning. Once Matz can start strong, he can ride his momentum through the game and pitch deeper. The stronger starts should lower his ERA in the sixth inning because he will have lower pitch counts by that point in the game.
Luis Rojas had some high praise for Rick Porcello:
"He's a pro. Every bullpen that I've seen from him is just executing" pic.twitter.com/ol9vuz7hLf
— SNY (@SNYtv) February 15, 2020
Porcello is the veteran of the pitching staff and should be a lock for the fifth starter as well. He struggled in the AL East during 2019, but things should change pitching in the NL for the first time. The expectations are not high for the former Cy Young winner. All he has to do is eat innings, and the more innings he throws, the more successful of a season he has. Porcello has thrown less than 170 innings in a season once during his 11-year career, and the Mets should expect him to land in that area again.
The once-prized young pitcher has struggled to regain his All-Star success again. Wacha struggled during the first two months of 2019 with a 6.61 ERA and spent some time in the bullpen. During the rest of the season, he pitched to a 3.65 ERA, but 13 out of his 19 innings were less than five innings. The improvement towards the end of the season is promising, but the Mets best option is to keep him in the bullpen to begin the season.
Opening Day is still a while away, and Spring Training could play a massive role in shaping the rotation. Unless we see a significant breakout in Spring Training, the rotation should lineup as expected.