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Mets: Three pitchers that could start in emergency situations this season

JUPITER, FLORIDA - MARCH 01: Sean Reid-Foley #61 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch in the second inning against the Miami Marlins in a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 01, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
JUPITER, FLORIDA - MARCH 01: Sean Reid-Foley #61 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch in the second inning against the Miami Marlins in a spring training game at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium on March 01, 2021 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – MAY 14: Starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff #48 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in the first inning during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citizens Bank Park on May 14, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)

2) Right-handed pitcher Jerad Eickhoff

The Mets front office had signed former Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jerad Eickhoff to a Minor League contract back in December which was one of their first notable moves made this offseason to begin building starting pitching depth within the organization. It’s also noteworthy that Eickhoff has not thrown a professional pitch since 2019 after battling injuries with the Phillies which included right biceps tendinitis and a blister on his pitching hand.

Unfortunately, injuries have been a common theme for the 30-year old right-hander since the 2017 season. In 2017 Eickhoff wound up missing the final month of the season with numbness in his fingers, and in 2018 he would be limited to only three appearances, which were all made in September, due to dealing with the lingering numbness which was ultimately diagnosed as carpal tunnel syndrome.

It’s not that long ago before injuries began mounting for Eickhoff that many in Philadelphia had pegged him as a potential frontline starting pitcher. During his first three seasons in the league between 2015-2017, Eickhoff produced a combined 3.87 ERA over 65 starts and a pretty good 1.267 WHIP. Eickhoff also struck out close to 22% of the batters he had faced during that three-year stretch.

Eickhoff is exactly the low-risk high-reward starting pitcher that the Mets can afford to take a gamble on this offseason. While Eickhoff has never been known as an overpowering pitcher, which could benefit him in regaining his previous form, it also helps that he won’t be pressured to make starts in Queens unless it’s absolutely necessary. The main goal should be seeing how much is left in Eickhoff’s right arm and if he can return to form with the number of injuries that have piled up over the past few years.

Eickhoff should be considered the second most likely option to join the Mets should he be needed, and if his health cooperates this season.

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