The David Peterson era needs to end
New York Mets fans are known for being reactionary and emotional. It's not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows you care about your team. The front office can't act this way, otherwise it would pull the trigger on all kinds of crazy trades and moves. I consider myself an extremely patient and level-headed Mets fan. I tell you this so you know I'm serious when I say: I need David Peterson out of my life.
I always feel the need to preface anything negative about a player by saying that this is purely about performance on the field. I have no reason to think David Peterson is a bad guy, and I wish him well. I just wish him well somewhere other than on the roster of my favorite baseball team.
Peterson has been getting slammed this year. After yesterday's mollywhopping by the Nationals, his record sits at 1-6. The lone win? An 8-6 victory over the Dodgers in which he gave up six runs in six innings. His ERA is 8.08. I looked it up, that's the area code for Honolulu.
I get excited to watch the Mets. Even if the team is underperforming, even if the Mets are downright bad, I still look forward to seeing them play. Until they're mathematically eliminated, I still believe they have a chance. Ya gotta believe, right?
When David Peterson is scheduled to start for the Mets, I'm not excited. I'm bummed out.
That's harsh but true. Maybe if the Mets offense could live up to its potential, it would be a different story. They could outscore teams and have Peterson eat innings while winning 8-6. The reality, though, is that this team hasn't shown that it can win many 8-6 games.
Weirdly, Peterson is striking batters out at a pretty solid rate, 10.4 per nine innings. That's in line with where he was last year. When batters make contact though, they're hitting the ball hard. According to Statcast, batters are barreling the ball at the highest rate of Peterson's career, by far.
Opposing hitters are hitting .388 against Peterson's slider, meaning every time he throws that pitch, his adversaries become prime Tony Gwynn. For comparison, last year his slider yielded only a .175 average. In modern baseball, few players hit for average anymore. To give up hits at this rate with your second most-thrown pitch is untenable.
I'm aware that Peterson has been thrust into a difficult situation. He was the emergency starter last week in Cincinnati, rushing in from Syracuse to take Max Scherzer's place in the rotation on short notice. In an ideal world, he'd be pitching long relief, or honing his craft in AAA against lesser hitters. We've been through 42 games this season, though, and it's been clear that thus far, the 2023 Mets are far from ideal.
Who is going to take Peterson's place? Help is on the way. Carlos Carrasco pitched four shutout innings for Binghamton on Sunday, in what is expected to be his final rehab start. Carrasco was brutal before going to the IL, but I want to see how he looks now that he has a clean bill of health.
Max Scherzer came back and looked good on Sunday, delivering his best start of the season in an 8-2 win. Justin Verlander has taken the mound twice and given up just three runs in 12 innings. This should all work itself out organically this week.
This Mets rotation, though, is old and injury prone. There will come a time, quite possibly in the near future, where one or two or three of the Mets' best pitchers is back on the shelf. All I ask is to sign a free agent. Trade for a cheap starter. Hell, let Luis Guillorme work his magic.
Peterson is only 27. It's conceivable that he improves and becomes a functioning member of a good MLB rotation. For now, though, I just don't want to get bummed out every fifth day.