Kodai Senga has shown flashes in his rookie season, but his walk rate is holding him back from true greatness
When Kodai Senga has his ghost fork working, Citi Field has been at its most fun. Nothing can replicate Edwin Diaz and his trumpets from a year ago, but Senga has been the next best thing.
Unfortunately, the Japanese rookie has also struggled with control after coming over from Nippon Professional Baseball, ranking second in the majors in walks allowed. Seven of his 15 starts have seen him walk at least four batters.
Despite that, Senga's ERA is a very respectable 3.53. That's because his stuff is flat-out nasty. He's sixth in the majors in strikeouts per nine, and his ghost fork has been even better than advertised.
The Mets' signing of Senga is undoubtedly a success. He's been the third starter behind Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, and though he lacks the experience of that grizzled twosome, he has the most electric stuff on the entire staff.
If Senga can limit his free passes, he could be a #1 quality starter. That would keep his pitch count lower, allowing him to work longer into games, while at the same time preserving a bullpen that has been asked to do too much. The Mets are only 8-7 in Senga's starts, but if he can improve in the second half, the sky's the limit.