Going into the 2022 season as at best the number seven pitcher on the New York Mets, it was anyone’s guess how David Peterson’s season would go.
Now, with most of the regular season in the past, we have a pretty good picture of the year he put together.
He has been used … inconsistently. Yet, despite that, he’s managed to turn in a rock solid season, one that probably doesn’t get enough credit.
With the way he’s pitched this year, Peterson has earned a spot in the Mets 2023 starting rotation.
It hasn’t been a smooth season for Peterson. He didn’t make the Opening Day roster but was promoted just days into the season. He made three appearances (two starts) and gave up just one earned run in 14 innings pitched — but then was sent back down to Syracuse.
That basically set a trend for the rest of his season. He has been optioned to Triple-A four times (not including the initial option that left him off the Opening Day roster), and “returned” there once more after he acted as the 27th man for a doubleheader. Usually, it’s not even because he’s pitching poorly.
Sure, he’s had his bad outings, but so does every pitcher. On the season as a whole, he’s been pretty good. Over 98.2 innings pitched, Peterson has a 3.47 ERA and 113 ERA+ — both of which are very respectable. In fact, it’s about exactly the same as Taijuan Walker, who has a 3.48 ERA and 113 ERA+ through 134.2 innings pitched.
Yes, Peterson doesn’t have as many innings, but it’s because he hasn’t been given the opportunity. Who knows, he may have been even better if he was allowed to start consistently.
His numbers are slightly better when restricted to just games he started as well, as four of his appearances this season came in relief. As a starter, he has a 3.38 ERA, versus a 4.50 as a reliever.
There’s been talk lately of the Mets transitioning Peterson to a relief role for the end of the season and playoffs, and it makes sense. The Mets only have Joely Rodriguez in the bullpen as a lefty and Peterson wouldn’t crack the postseason roster as a starter — or regular season roster when everyone is healthy.
It makes sense for now, but next year is a wildly different story. The way it stands right now, the Mets could lose Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker and even Carlos Carrasco in the offseason due to a combination of contracts being up and various option years. Some of them will be back, but it’s almost certain that all of them won’t.
The Mets are going to have to turn to some internal options at starting pitcher, and Peterson might be the best choice.
He’s proven it this year. Despite inconsistent playing time, he’s been pretty consistently good himself all year.
He should be rewarded with a spot in the rotation.