He will pitch a complete game shutout
Peterson’s longest start in 2020 was a seven-inning effort in his final start of the year, in which he pitched seven frames of one-run, four-hit ball that resulted in a 3-2 Mets win over the Washington Nationals. If MLB is able to have a normal spring training and a full season, Peterson should have as much time as he needs to prepare for a full season’s workload. Given that he proved himself by pitching well with RISP last season, pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and manager Luis Rojas should have gained some trust in Peterson that hopefully will carry over into 2021.
No Mets starter threw a complete game shutout in 2020 – the last one to do so was Matz on July 27, 2019. deGrom is probably due for another shutout sometime soon, having only pitched one in his entire career, but don’t count out Peterson as a complete game shutout candidate in 2021. He only threw over 100 pitches twice in 2020, which occurred in his final two starts, so he was far from overworked in his rookie season in Flushing.
Though Peterson certainly could have pitched longer in many of his 2020 starts, his stats display that he was rarely inefficient. Peterson avoided any laborious five-inning, 110-pitch affairs in his rookie season, which suggests that if given the chance in 2021, he certainly has the ability to go deeper into games.
With MLB returning to a more normal schedule in 2021, Peterson will be facing teams that he never played against as a rookie. Unfamiliarity between teams often favors the pitchers, since opposing hitters have not had a chance to evaluate and adjust to their pitching arsenals. To many teams in the National League, Peterson is still effectively a rookie next season. If his stuff plays in the rest of the NL like it did with the NL and AL East in 2020, he has a great chance for going the distance at least once this year.