Mets: Where does Franklyn Kilome fit into the 2021 plans?
By Tim Boyle
How will young pitcher Franklyn Kilome fit in with the New York Mets roster in 2021?
Franklyn Kilome has a chance to do a few things with the New York Mets. Aside from helping them pick up a rare win in a trade deadline move which saw them sell a veteran (Asdrubal Cabrera), Kilome can develop into a trusted arm on the staff.
The question I want to ask is whether or not it’ll be as a starter or reliever.
Kilome didn’t impress much in 2020. In his 11.1 innings he was 0-1 with an 11.12 ERA. Considering he missed all of 2019 due to injury, I suppose we have to give him a mulligan. Plus, who hasn’t had a bad dozen innings in their life?
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Kilome’s past minor league numbers are far better than what he did with the big league team in 2020. For instance, in 2017 while with the Philadelphia Phillies’ farm system, Kilome went 7-7 with a 2.83 ERA in 24 starts.
Trained for a starting rotation role, time may have caught up with Kilome to piece it together. The Mets don’t have much room to negotiate with green rookies in 2021.
Assuming the rotation will consist of Jacob deGrom, David Peterson, hopefully, a healthy Noah Syndergaard, and two others, they are left with very little room to take a chance.
At 25-years-old, Kilome has reached a point in his professional career when he needs to show them what he can do. He hasn’t had the chance to log a single inning in Triple-A which is where I suspect the Mets start him in 2021.
Beyond that point, it’s anyone’s guess as to what he develops into.
This franchise should certainly prepare Kilome to start games for them. I firmly believe until a talented pitcher proves he cannot handle starting games, this is what he should be doing down in the minor leagues. There’s time to transition him into a reliever later. Right now, he’s more valuable to the Mets as a starter—even if he does eventually become trade bait again.
I understand the importance of capable relievers. Let’s worry about Kilome shifting to the bullpen after we’re confident he doesn’t have what it takes to make it as a starter in this league. Until then, he needs a full year of facing Triple-A batters; or at least a few months until the Syracuse Mets can loan him to the New York version.
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As one of the few promising starting pitching prospects near the big league level, Kilome has a chance to do some damage against opposing teams as soon as 2021. I suspect he’ll be a member of their starting pitching cavalry when we inevitably see someone land on the IL.