Right as Joey Lucchesi seemed to turn things around, he joined the constantly growing list of injured New York Mets players. The lefty hurler will miss at least 10 days with his IL stint which has many questioning where the Mets can turn next.
The timing couldn’t be worse. Three doubleheaders in a week are on the schedule which means extra innings that need to be eaten up over a shorter period of time. Considering the trade market hasn’t heated up just yet, the Mets may need to turn to internal options for a solution.
The Mets boosted their pitching depth heading into this year and it’s time they put it to work
We knew the Mets had some superb pitching depth coming into the year. Something not so talked about is how many of the new faces they added had starter potential. This includes guys like Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, Sam McWilliams, etc. McWilliams is no longer with the organization and the former two names have only worked in relief.
I understand why the Mets have made some of their offseason additions relief pitchers. Knowing that this is probably where they end up in the majors, it was best to have them fully prepared for this type of role.
Now, with a four-man rotation and questions about Jacob deGrom’s health, the team needs to seriously consider stretching some of these guys out to regularly throw five or more innings. The cost of this could hurt the bullpen. If it can improve the starting rotation, it may be worth it.
The Mets have enough relievers that should be able to get outs
The Mets bullpen has been unbelievably awesome at times this year. Through some recent hiccups, I still think most of us trust them more than we thought we would. They can afford to take an arm out, place him in Triple-A for a little bit, and let him get a little more length.
Better yet, let’s test fly those starts in the major leagues. I don’t like the idea of teams taking their foot off the gas. With the lead the Mets have in the NL East, they can afford to make mistakes. What they cannot do is punt opportunities to win games.
Whether it’s Reid-Foley, Robert Gsellman, recently reacquired Nick Tropeano, or another candidate who can go a few more innings than your average reliever, the answer is right under the Mets’ nose. Bullpen games don’t always work and overdoing it can leave the rest of your relievers overworked.
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The Mets have successfully navigated the first few weeks of the year with a rotation missing two key parts all year and absences from others along the way. Even if the club needs to demote a major league guy to keep him stretched out in case this happens again, it’s a necessity to survive the rest of those injuries we know are always lurking around the corner.