New York Mets: A case to move Robert Gsellman to the rotation
By Tim Boyle
The New York Mets need somewhere to turn for rotation help and Robert Gsellman should be one guy they consider.
What do Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Michael Wacha all have in common? If you said all are members of the New York Mets, you’re halfway correct.
The real answer is that all are members of the Mets and currently unavailable. We’ve known for months the Mets wouldn’t have Syndergaard. The club lost the other two recently; Stroman to an injury and season opt-out and Wacha to what is hopefully nothing long-term.
This has left the team in a bit of a pickle. They are down bodies in their rotation after heading into spring training with six experienced arms. Where do they turn next?
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One name often suggested by Brodie Van Wagenen as a rotation option is Robert Gsellman. The starter turned reliever has 29 career big league starts under his belt. Seven of them came in 2016 with the other 22 a year later in 2017.
It has been a while since Gsellman has actually started a game in the big leagues but the need may force the Mets to stretch him out again.
Turning to Gsellman for rotation help is far from ideal. His results as a starter are not superb and I would suspect most pitchers would have better numbers from the bullpen anyway.
From the bullpen, Gsellman has a lifetime 4.25 ERA through his first 152.1 innings of work. The numbers aren’t drastically different as a starter even though he did get roughed up often in 2017. When Gsellman starts a game he has a 4.60 ERA across 156.2 innings of work. It’s also important to remember the latest numbers as a starter are years old.
As expected, his strikeout totals are lower as a starter. That’s not really a concern. He’s not a superb strikeout pitcher anyway even when coming out of the bullpen late in games.
What has me convinced Gsellman is worth a shot is based on a slightly alternative way of thinking. Frankly, I don’t think he has proven himself as a reliever.
I was a big fan of Gsellman early on in 2018. Then hitters began to figure him out. He finished the season with a 4.28 ERA which is what you’d want from one of your mop-up men—not a main attraction.
In this time of need for the Mets, I would like to see what Gsellman can do pitching five or six frames an evening. This is especially important because I’m beginning to have concerns about what the 2021 rotation will look like.
Stroman, Wacha, and Rick Porcello are all free agents this winter which leaves the Mets with some obvious holes to plug. David Peterson will hopefully fill one of them, but the Mets are going to require at least one more starter. Stumbling upon a better version of Gsellman could be exactly what they need.
It’s one start. That’s all I would like to see from him. And based on the course the Mets are sailing in 2020, I think we will get it sooner than later.
The 2020 season is headed straight toward an iceberg filled with nukes. I don’t think Gsellman is the answer to their starting rotation woes. In fairness, I also didn’t think J.D. Davis would be one of the best hitters on this team.
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If Gsellman’s future in the Mets bullpen doesn’t go beyond middle relief innings, I would like to at least see one more time what he can do starting.