With a plethora of starting pitching options heading into 2020, the New York Mets have ensured they have plenty of suitable backup plans for the rotation.
There are plenty of clichés in sports we’ve all heard. A common one in baseball is that “you can never have enough pitching.” The New York Mets are ensuring they live by this as they head into the 2020 season.
Last year, the Mets got lucky with their starting pitching staff. Everyone stayed healthy with the exception of a few starts. The Mets never had to dip into their minor league system for long to find an emergency starter.
This year, the team is a little more prepared for what always feels like a ticking time bomb. They have a roster with six experienced starters plus two guys in the bullpen capable of giving them enough innings if needed.
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Preparedness is a good thing. To whip out another phrase I’ve heard plenty from the negative people I’ve known, “expect the worst and hope for the best.”
The Mets are doing this with the three-man crew of Rick Porcello, Steven Matz, and Michael Wacha in the back of their rotation. Porcello seemingly appears to be the fourth starter with Matz and Wacha battling it out at camp for the number five spot.
Many seem to believe Matz has the edge—which is understandable. He has been with the club longer and is coming off a better and healthier year.
Wacha, despite his best efforts to tell us he came here to start, looks more like a swingman. The Mets have talked about getting creative with the pair sharing the fifth starter duties and potentially adding in an opener with either Seth Lugo or Robert Gsellman assuming that role.
Whatever it is the Mets decide to do, Brodie Van Wagenen prepared them well to have these options.
Beyond the starting five plus the extra arm, the Amazins have minor leaguers who could offer assistance. Stephen Gonsalves has caught my attention most. He doesn’t have much MLB experience, but his age and success in the minor leagues are definitely noteworthy enough to watch early on.
An abundance of arms goes further than the rotation. Over in the bullpen, they have plenty of quality players as well.
During the latter part of the offseason when there were still free agent relievers available, some fans found themselves saying the team should make an addition. The problem here is that they don’t have much wiggle room. The team has eight capable bullpen arms already. The only trouble they will run into is when they have to start busing guys over from Syracuse.
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Having all of these good pitchers available to them will certainly help the Mets survive any devastating injuries. It guarantees nothing but at least we can calmly enter the year knowing in a worst-case scenario this team can get by with what it has.