Mets: Could the team revert to a six-man rotation?
By Emmanuel Pepis
Steven Matz and Seth Lugo are nearing returns and Robert Gsellman has pitched well of late. It all could add up to an expanded rotation for the time being.
The New York Mets have some tough choices to make in the next week. Steven Matz and Seth Lugo are set to join the team when the Mets travel to Atlanta for a weekend series. That will mean seven available starters will be on the roster. The question is will the Mets explore a six-man rotation? Jon Morosi mentioned that possibility on Monday.
Here are the dominoes. In Tyler Pill’s case, it’s probably easier to answer. He was added to the 40-man roster for the first time prior to being called up in late May. Pill would most likely be the first to either be shuffled to the pen or sent back to Las Vegas. Then there’s the case of Robert Gsellman who has picked up his play over the last few starts.
Gsellman last pitched on Saturday against the Pirates and lasted into the sixth inning despite a high pitch count early. That followed starts of six and seven innings respectively. In that stretch, Gsellman has posted an ERA of 2.95 and he’s returned to some of the things that made him successful in the latter portion of the 2016 season.
Let’s dig deeper into the six-man rotation possibility. One would imagine that neither Matz nor Lugo would be sent to the pen especially after coming off injury. The goal would be to at least keep them on a steady routine for the moment. However, Gsellman’s late return to form is stating a case that on merit he deserves to stick as a starter.
We all know Gsellman can contribute out of the pen. This year, he has three relief appearances and has allowed one run in four innings. Shuffling him to the bullpen will provide a true long reliever that the Mets don’t currently have.
The point is to alleviate stress on the pen overall though and taking Gsellman as an option in the rotation out could still potentially lead to a high volume of work for Mets relievers. This all depends of course on how Matz and Lugo show in their returns.
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It will be interesting to see how the Mets play this going forward. Gsellman will get at least one more turn in the rotation because the Mets have a doubleheader as part of their series at Atlanta this coming weekend.