Jacob deGrom is back in action and set to rejoin the Mets’ starting rotation, so what should the rotation look like now?
deGrom has been out all season with a malady of shoulder injuries. The Mets were expecting to have deGrom and Max Scherzer be co-aces for a whole season, but nothing ever goes to plan.
Now, the Mets are set to get the biggest player, besides maybe Juan Soto, at the trade deadline without giving anything up. According to team insider, Anthony DiComo, the Mets plan to welcome deGrom back to their starting rotation within a week.
Buck Showalter confirmed that the Mets intend to have Jacob deGrom make his next rotation turn in the Majors. That would be next week in DC.
Could still change if deGrom feels anything unexpected in the coming days, but it appears his season debut is imminent.
— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) July 27, 2022
It’s about time that deGrom is back to help the Mets stave off the surging Atlanta Braves in the NL East.
While this is the biggest boost New York could ask for at the trade deadline — an NL Cy Young caliber pitcher while giving up nothing in return — it does present a wrinkle. New York already has a fully-loaded starting rotation with five quality MLB starters.
Who stays in the Mets rotation?
The obvious answers
1. Jacob deGrom – While there could be a case to put deGrom in the bullpen to keep his arm safe, you don’t put a Porsche in the garage if you are trying to win a race. deGrom has won multiple Cy Young awards and is recognized as one of the best pitchers of this generation. He is an obvious candidate.
2. Max Scherzer – You don’t pay a guy $43 million to pitch out of the bullpen. Nor do I think Scherzer would willingly go in the bullpen. While he missed some time with an oblique strain, the elder pitcher has looked no worse for wear.
Once again, he’s dominating opposing batters with a 2.28 ERA/2.48 FIP in 75 innings. He’s struck out 98 and only has walked 13. He is this generation’s, Randy Johnson.
3. Chris Bassitt – He leads the Mets in innings and Ks. The pending free agent has kept the rotation going as the leader of it during Scherzer and deGrom’s injuries. He has started 18 games, pitching 109 innings while striking out 115 and walking 28 en route to a 3.73 FIP and 3.72 ERA.
Who fills out the rotation?
4. Taijuan Walker – You could certainly make a case that Walker should move to the bullpen. He’s on pace for a career-high in innings. With his shoulder/arm injury history, perhaps a move to the pen would be the wisest thing. However, you can’t remove a guy with a 2.67 ERA/3.25 FIP from the rotation.
He’s 3rd on the team in innings (97.2), has walked only 26 compared to 76 Ks, and is 8-2. He has a terrific ERA+ at 150 which is the 2nd-highest among Mets starters. Plus, he’s pitching for a contract.
5. David Peterson – This spot came down to Peterson or long-time starter Carlos Carrasco. While Carrasco is making $12 million, he’s been far less effective as a starter compared to David Peterson. In Carlos’ team-leading 19 starts, he has thrown only 104 innings and given up 112 hits, a 4.07 ERA, 3.53 FIP, and walked 28 to 101 Ks. He has given up 11 home runs and just hasn’t looked like the Mets best starting option. This is further confirmed with a 98 ERA+ which is barely below league average.
Granted that almost any other MLB team would gladly take this production out of their No. 5 starting pitcher, we are looking at the Mets rotation. Although David Peterson has come out of the bullpen 3 times this year and started 13 games, he’s looked way better than Carlos. In his 73.1 innings, Peterson has struck out 85, walked 34, and given up only 59 hits. He has a 3.31 ERA, 3.86 FIP, and a very good 121 ERA+. The 26-year-old is in his prime. To further push towards him staying in the rotation is the fact that he is a lefty. He would be the team’s only left-handed starter.
You truly can’t go wrong with either Peterson or Carrasco. The fact that the Mets are having to decide between two above-average MLB starters for their No. 5 SP role speaks to the team’s depth and talent. Perhaps a 6-man rotation might be the best move in order to keep deGrom healthy?
The Mets are seeking to return to the World Series for the first time since 2015. They certainly don’t need any starting rotation help, but perhaps moving a starter to the bullpen will help fulfill their deadline needs?