With all of the injuries the New York Mets pitching staff has already faced this early into the season, it is fair to wonder what would happen if some former pitchers were still with the team. After all, having David Peterson and Tylor Megill start two of the first three games this season is not what most fans envisioned for 2023.
The Mets have an interesting history with pitchers moving on from Queens. Some pitchers such as Zach Wheeler find instant success, where others like Steven Matz might not find the same. Through their first start, these two former Mets have shown that they might have a bit more in the tank than some Mets fans might have expected.
Former Mets pitcher Seth Lugo had a fantastic first start for the San Diego Padres, which is what he wanted all along
A stellar reliever for several seasons, Lugo had long expressed his desire to return to a starting role. Lugo was relegated to the bullpen in 2018, and only started 12 games for New York over his last five seasons in Flushing. With a starting role not in the cards, Lugo traveled west, singing a 2 year, $15 million contract with the Padres this offseason.
Lugo was excellent in his first start for the Padres, only allowing one run across seven efficient innings. He struck out seven, showing signs of some of the great pitching that led to his success in the Mets bullpen. Lugo earned the win for the Padres, and more importantly earned himself a chance to continue earning starting appearances for the team going forward.
With so many holes in the rotation, there will be Mets fans who might be upset that the team didn't try harder to retain Lugo in the offseason. However, it was clear to most that he wanted to go somewhere he had an opportunity to be a starter all season. A healthy Mets rotation had no spot for Lugo, and he will now have a great opportunity to build on a great first start with the Padres this season.
Former Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard showed some flashes of his old self for the Los Angeles Dodgers
The Mets and Noah Syndergaard have quite a storied history, to say the least. A fan favorite, Syndergaard was a key piece of the Mets run to the 2015 World Series before his Mets tenure ended with injuries and fighting with Mets fans on Twitter. Since then Syndergaard has floated around the league, most recently dodging games in Citi Field before signing a contract with the Dodgers this offseason.
One of the best pitchers in baseball before his injury, Syndergaard turned back the clock in his Dodgers debut. He threw six impressive innings, only allowing one run in a relatively dominant start with six strikeouts and no walks. His only run allowed came after Corbin Carroll stole two bases following a single, an issue that has plagued Syndergaard throughout his career.
With Los Angeles, Noah has a fantastic opportunity to revitalize his career. The Dodgers have a great track record of starting pitchers, and he should normally have enough run support to put together a good stat line. The chances of Syndergaard ever coming back to New York was close to zero, as its hard to believe that he, the front office, or even the fans wanted a reunion.