As a lifelong New York Mets fan I know all too well how injuries go hand in hand with my beloved franchise. With the recent news of Carlos Carrasco’s elbow soreness, I, like many other fans, have been holding my collective breath and awaiting the possible worst-case scenario. However, unlike in previous years where the franchise would seem to be content with using a below-average option, the Mets front office has built enough pitching depth this offseason to withstand an injury within the starting rotation.
At this point, there is no telling if Carrasco will miss regular-season starts, but what we do know is there are quality arms that can immediately step in such as Joey Luchessi, David Peterson, Jordan Yamamoto, Jerad Eickhoff, among others to take that missing rotation spot. It’s a huge step up in talent when you compare the arms above to the previously recycled arms that they have used in the past with diminished returns such as Corey Oswalt, Walker Lockett, Chris Flexen, Drew Gagnon, and many others.
Another important reminder is the Mets have Noah Syndergaard returning around June, which will be an additional boost to the starting rotation. It also speaks volumes that if an injury were to occur at some point in May or June, you would have one of the most electric arms in baseball ready to step into an already vaunted rotation that includes Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Marcus Stroman, and Taijuan Walker.
The Mets’ goal of replenishing their pitching depth this offseason will pay dividends when withstanding any rotation injuries such as Carlos Carrasco’s.
The new front office regime made it a priority all offseason to rebuild the pitching depth within the entire organization after last year’s debacle within the starting rotation. With the lack of options that were available to pitch in the Mets rotation after injuries surmounted one after the other, it could be argued the Mets pitching depth ultimately cost them a shot at the postseason last year.
The Mets also had entered 2020 were lofty expectations heading into the regular season which were preceded by the front office scrambling to find a starting pitcher on most nights that Jacob deGrom wasn’t toeing the rubber.
It’s important to remember that many of the Mets upper minor league arms had been dealt by previous General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen, which ended up playing a large part in the Mets’ failure to fill needs at the Major League level. That issue also seems to have been solved this offseason with the Mets high upside pitching acquisitions such as Jordan Yamamoto and Joey Luchessi who I previously mentioned above, Sean Reid-Foley, and Yennsy Diaz.
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For a team with championship aspirations, the front office could not have positioned themselves any better with the number of quality arms this season. Fangraphs recently ranked the Mets as having the third-best starting rotation in baseball, behind the reigning World Series champions, Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres. It’s going to be an interesting marathon to watch over 162 games, but Mets fans should not fret as Sandy Alderson and Zack Scott have put together a tantalizing starting rotation and pitching depth that many teams are envious of.