New York Mets have solved their starting pitching depth questions for now
By Tim Boyle
At least for now, the New York Mets have solved their lack of starting pitching depth.
A major concern for the New York Mets at the start of the 2019 season was the lack of pitching depth they had on the major league roster and down in Triple-A.
Fortunately, for the first time in ages, the starting pitchers on the big league team stayed pretty healthy all year long. They didn’t need to dip into their farm system for more than a handful of starts.
At this year’s Winter Meetings, Brodie Van Wagenen made sure this wouldn’t be the case for 2020. He signed Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello on back-to-back days. Suddenly, a team with only four experienced big league starters and little help in the minor league system has a lot more options.
More from Rising Apple
- NY Mets News: Marcus Stroman sees “potential fit” with the Angels
- NY Mets were too “seek” and not enough “destroy” last winter
- NY Mets: 1 trade target to consider from each 100-loss team
- NY Mets: Top 12 free agents the team should look to sign this winter
- NY Mets: Jeff Wilpon’s legacy continues to plague the Amazins
Plenty more can happen before the season begins. With six starters currently available to them, the Mets may always flip someone in a separate trade. I think this is highly unlikely. Instead, Wacha should find a spot in the bullpen until called upon to stretch out his arm and offer the Mets some starts.
Beyond the two new guys, the Mets could always turn to Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman for starting pitching help. They didn’t ask either to start at all in 2019, but in 2018 when injuries began to pile up, Lugo did get a few opportunities.
Less attractive is the idea of seeing more of Walker Lockett start a game. He hasn’t done much with his opportunities in the big leagues.
It will take a real emergency—and on serious short notice—to consider him for a first pitch.
Van Wagenen recently commented on the starting pitching depth, calling their rotation one of the deepest in MLB. In terms of the number of options they have, sure. I can’t imagine too many other rosters have six capable starters plus two bullpen arms with some experience and enough talent to do so.
The main difference between the Mets and other ball clubs in this department is how few pitching prospects are in the Flushing pipeline. In recent years, guys like Justin Dunn and Anthony Kay were beginning to knock on the door. Both of them were traded away under BVW.
Want your voice heard? Join the Rising Apple team!
This year, David Peterson should become the pitching prospect we hear about most in the summer as a possible solution to any starting pitching or bullpen woes. The big lefty is nearing the big leagues. With the added depth to the organization, it may take a few dominoes to fall before we see him get his opportunity.