NY Mets: Three most exciting spring training position battles
By Mason Smoller
Battle for: Fifth Starting Job
Jacob deGrom is going to be competing for his third Cy Young award in four years. Marcus Stroman returns on a one-year deal after sitting last year out. Plus, Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker join the team and are under contract through 2022.
Behind those four, the question becomes who is pitching on the fifth day until Noah Syndergaard is ready to return? Luckily, the Mets have plenty of options.
In theory, the most obvious candidate is David Peterson, and should 2020 have been a normal year, it would be his job. The 6-6 and 240-pound lefty was fantastic in his rookie year, going 6-2 in 10 games with a 3.44era.
Despite those great numbers, it is the fact he pitched 49.2 innings in 2020 after 100+ the previous two years in the minors that concern the team in terms of health. And all teams are likely to keep a close eye on pitcher’s inning count given the odd season everyone is coming off of.
Taking that into consideration, the Mets may be wary of handing him the starting job. Instead, they may look at another lefty in Joey Lucchesi. Acquired from the San Diego Padres, Lucchesi has a career 4.21era in 59 games (58 starts).
Outside of Peterson and Lucchesi, the Mets have a handful of names to watch. Jordan Yamamoto, Jerad Eickhoff, Sean-Reid Foley, and many more are guys worthy of being given an opportunity to start.
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Ultimately, whoever winds up winning the fifth starting job is simply getting a long showcase, as Thor will reclaim it once healthy.