New York Mets Player Evaluations: Pitcher Walker Lockett

Walker Lockett was a late member to the New York Mets roster during the COVID shortened 2020 season. Lockett made two appearances within two weeks before the Mets put him on waivers and was claimed by the Seattle Mariners.

Lockett made his season debut on August 14 in a start against the Philadelphia Phillies. It was typical of his Mets career as he allowed five runs and seven hits over six innings of work. The only blemish on the start through four innings were back to back RBI singles in the second. J.T. Realmuto struck in the fifth innings as a three-run home run derailed the start, but Lockett struck out four of the final five batters he faced.

On to Seattle

Two weeks later, Lockett pitched two scoreless innings against the New York Yankees in his final outing with the Mets. After the traded deadline and out of minor league options, the Mets left him on waivers. The Mariners took a chance with Lockett, and he pitched better with them. Lockett had a 4.32 ERA in five games, but his strikeouts went down while the hits increased.

Lockett opted to use his sinker than his 4-seam fastball for the first time in his career. It has good movement, but he could not consistently throw it in the bottom half of the strike zone. His curveball continued to emerge as a good second pitch, but his changeup regressed slightly. Lockett’s 4.54 FIP was the best of his career, but it will not mean much if his groundball rate continues to hover in the 40% range.

2020 Grades On 20-80 Scale (2021 Projection)

Sinker: 20 (30), Batters hit .450 against the pitch thrown 32.6% of the time. It will be the reason Lockett’s career does or does not improve.

Curveball: 75 (55), His best pitch but does more damage with its movement across the zone.

Changeup: 20 (30), Still a pitch Lockett has to master. The whiff rate dropped from 29.5% to 10.3%.

Cutter: 40 (30), Threw it the most of his career (20.4%) but has to emphasize staying on top of the pitch, so it does not frisbee in the top of the zone.

4-Seam Fastball: 50 (N/A), Only threw 10 on the season; doubt we see it in 2021.

Command: 40 (45), Good at limiting walks but will not live up to his potential until he learns how to work down in the strike zone.

Overall: 40 (35), Still young enough for one more team to want a shot at him.

New York Mets: Sixth Inning Power Surge Provides a 6-4 Win in Game 1

Better late than never was the motto for the New York Mets in game one of their doubleheader against the New York Yankees. Jordan Montgomery kept the Mets offense quiet through the first five innings. The Mets completely changed their approach in the sixth inning to knock Montgomery out of the game and light up Chad Green.

The only run the Mets picked up through the first five innings came on an error and wild pitch to score Dominic Smith. Two quick singles from J.D. Davis and Michael Conforto in the sixth led to Montgomery’s exit. Chad Green came into to pitch to Pete Alonso and had the at-bat that changed the game.

After getting ahead with two fastballs up in the zone, Alonso worked the count back to a 3-2 count. During that time, he fouled one of those high fastballs directly behind home plate, and it showed he finally had its timing. The high heat was the pitch he drove over the center field fence, tying the game at four and lifting a huge weight off his shoulder.

Dom Adds On

It seemed like the Mets offense was done after the following two batters recorded outs. On an 0-2 pitch, Smith smoked a home run into the Yankees bullpen, giving the Mets a one-run lead. Jake Marisnick went back-to-back with him, making it a 6-4 game in his first since coming off the Injured List.

Michael Wacha also returned from the IL and made his first start in three weeks. He struggled to keep the ball out of the middle, and the Yankees got to him for four runs in three innings. Wacha did record seven strikeouts, but the only pitch he had consistent success with was his change-up.

Walker Lockett (2) and Dellin Betances (1) combined for three shutout innings, working in and out of trouble. Lockett’s outing stabilized the game and got out of a bases-loaded jam against Gary Sanchez, which could have pushed the game out of reach early.

Edwin Diaz recorded the save, showing no ailments from his leg cramps. He struck out the side in the ninth, picking up his second save of the season. With Seth Lugo back in the rotation, Diaz eased concerns manager Luis Rojas could have with the electric closer.

David Peterson also returns from the IL in game two of the doubleheader. The Yankees have not announced who they will go with as of 6:45 p.m. Also, the Mets are the home team in the nightcap.

New York Mets: Walker Lockett “in consideration” to start Wednesday’s game

The New York Mets‘ rotation is currently decimated after right-hander Marcus Stroman decided to opt out of the season even before making a start. Remember he is currently nursing a left calf tear and was about to return when he decided, together with his family, that the best course of action for him was to avoid any potential contact with COVID-19.

Jacob deGrom remains the Mets’ ace, and Rick Porcello is turning his season around after a disastrous start. Rookie David Peterson has been OK in his three turns, but Michael Wacha is also on the shelf with right shoulder inflammation.

That means that there is an opening for someone to take over as a starter for the New York Mets. Tomorrow’s game has no probable starter.

The Mets have several candidates

According to a report from Mike Puma of the New York Post, the New York Mets are giving “strong consideration” to Walker Lockett to make Wednesday’s start. Other candidates to take over the vacating spot in the rotation are Ariel Jurado, Franklyn Kilome, Easmo Ramirez and reliever Robert Gsellman.

Before Tuesday’s tilt, the Mets reinstated both Lockett and reliever Brad Brach from the injured list, and sent reliever Paul Sewald and third catcher Ali Sanchez to the team’s alternate training site in Brooklyn to make room for them on the active roster.

Lockett started the year on the injured list and hasn’t participated in any games in the 2020 season. He has been keeping his arm sharp at the Mets’ alternate training site, though. He is 26 years old and hasn’t had much success in the majors: he had a 9.60 ERA with the San Diego Padres in 2018 and an 8.34 mark with the Mets last year.

The Mets are looking to gain some ground in the National League East standings after a nightmarish start.

New York Mets: Jed Lowrie Heading to the Injured List

An official statement of Jed Lowrie‘s poor health has become as natural as the sun rising every morning. The little amount of hope the New York Mets had in Lowrie quickly evaporated when he headed to the Injured List with left knee discomfort.

Lowrie was running bases and taking reps in the field but still could not play without the leg brace. Manager Luis Rojas said he was not at a level to contribute competitively. Lowrie will visit Dr. David Altcheck to figure out where they go moving forward. Surgery is off the table for now, but his leg health is on par with Derrick Rose of the NBA.

Back to the Bench

Lowrie’s trip to the injured list opens up a 30-man roster spot when the Mets open up Friday. He would have been a bench player anyway, and filling his place with Luis Guillorme provides a much better glove and maybe a better point at this point in Lowrie’s career. It also highlights another blunder made by Brodie Van Wagenen during his first offseason with the Mets.

Not as notable is the lower back injury causing Walker Lockett to head to IL. Likely a swingman at best, he was battling for a spot as an extra starter on the roster. Either Corey Oswalt or Stephen Gonsalves are likely to replace him in the bullpen.

Brad Brach and Jared Hughes are also IL members, likely due to COVID-19, and have no time table to return. Add Robert Gsellman‘s right tricep issues, and the Mets bullpen is quickly thinning. The back end group still suits well, but anything past that is becoming a significant question.

New York Mets: Lugo, Lockett Impress in Tie Against Marlins

The New York Mets had a change of pace in their Monday meeting with the Miami Marlins. Walker Lockett made a start for the Mets, and Seth Lugo saw game action for the first time in the Spring. Unfortunately, they may have lost Michael Conforto the same day they regain Lugo.

Conforto did not injure himself in Monday’s game. The injury occurred a couple of days ago while making a diving catch a couple of games ago. Conforto tried to battle through it but is flying to New York to get the injury examined more in-depth.

Pitching Shines

Walker Lockett started the game with three impressive innings. He allowed three hits and struck out two as he tries to prove he can be a valuable member of the Mets starting pitching depth. Also joining him was Corey Oswalt, who only allowed one run over four innings with five strikeouts.

Seth Lugo picked up right where he left off in 2019. He struck out one in a very easy 1-2-3 inning. Lugo will not need too many innings to get himself right for Opening Day. Tyler Bashlor was the other Mets reliever to throw. He bounced back from his poor outing to pitch a scoreless ninth inning.

Quiet Offense

Spring Training’s worst scoring offense showed up once again to only muster five hits and one run on the day. Two of the hits were triples from Jake Marisnick and Amed Rosario, who are slowly working their ways out of slumps. Eduardo Nunez provided the lone run on a ground out after Marisnick’s triple. Nunez also had a hit on the day to move his average to .320 as he tries to earn himself a roster spot.

Rick Porcello makes a start on Tuesday as the Mets face the Houston Astros in West Palm Beach at 1:05 p.m.

New York Mets: Walker Lockett Year in Review

Walker Lockett‘s 2019 season with the New York Mets started with necessity. The Mets came into the season with very little quality depth in their pitching staff. Lockett was one of the many Mets pitchers who saw time in the big leagues because the options were weak.

Lockett came to the Mets in the Kevin Plawecki trade, which also brought Sam Haggerty to Flushing. He started the season in the minor leagues and waited until June 20 to make his Mets debut. In his start, he was shelled by the Chicago Cubs for six runs in 2.1 innings pitched.

Back and Forth on the Shuttle

Lockett’s next start against the Phillies started with more success, allowing two runs over his first five innings. In the sixth, he ran out of gas with a 5-2 lead and left with runners on second and third. The bullpen allowed his two baserunners to score, putting a damper on a solid start. Lockett was optioned for Chris Mazza the following day.

His best outing came a month later when he threw five shutout innings against the San Francisco Giants. It was his first major league win, but unfortunately, Lockett went back to Syracuse for Zack Wheeler. His services were needed once again for the second game of a doubleheader on August 5, and he struggled, allowing eight hits and four runs in 4.2 innings pitched.

Bullpen Duty

When the rosters expanded in September, Lockett found himself in the Mets bullpen. He was unsuccessful in the role, allowing six runs in 5.1 innings pitched. Lockett also allowed three home runs in those outings.

Past the current group of six major league starters the Mets have, Lockett seemed to be the next option following them. Spring Training could allow a different name to emerge from the minors, but as of now, Lockett is the option the Mets will call upon. There is very little depth in the Mets starting pitching, and if they can keep their core starters healthy, it will limit the number of appearances Lockett has to make in 2020.

Grades:

Pitching Repertoire: D, Nothing special with any of his pitches. Fastball is anywhere from 91-95, with a change and curve.

Control: B+, Only 2.4 BB/9, but struggled with curveball and change-up command.

Composure: D-, Six home runs allowed on the season and failed to put guys away in big situations.

Intangibles: A

Overall: F, If it were not for his win against the Giants, his ERA would be even closer, if not over ten.