Mets already have their left-handed bullpen solution

Miami Marlins v New York Mets
Miami Marlins v New York Mets / Christopher Pasatieri/GettyImages

Through 58.1 innings of work, mostly as a starting pitcher, David Peterson is 5-1 with a 3.24 ERA. It hasn’t always been pretty. For what he has been able to give the 2022 New York Mets, it has been more than adequate.

Peterson began this season in Triple-A after losing the spring battle to Tylor Megill. Each was fighting for the spot that opened up when Jacob deGrom landed on the IL. Rather than shove Peterson into the bullpen to give him big league work, the Mets sent him down to the minors where he could stay stretched out for starts.

He has had to make quite a few already this year and we should expect the possibility for more. As long as the Mets can, they should continue to keep Peterson prepared to give them five or six innings from the first frame onward. There will come a point this season when they may want to consider him in a different role.

David Peterson can become an important Mets bullpen piece later this season

Not now. Not tomorrow. Not even next week. Someday in 2022, Peterson needs to slot in as a relief pitcher for the Mets on a regular basis.

The Mets have had plenty of patience with Chasen Shreve and Joely Rodriguez. The pair of out-of-options southpaws they began the year with in the bullpen have not pitched all that great. The team has a trade deadline need for an upgrade in this role and they should be looking to bring at least one new name into the fold.

Left-handed relievers are often their most expensive at the trade deadline because of the unique gift they have to get tough lefty hitters out. Expecting the Mets to acquire two very good ones is unlikely. Fortunately, there’s always Peterson to fall back on.

By the end of September, if the Mets starting pitchers are healthy and effective, Peterson can stop logging needless innings in the minor leagues and start gearing up for what Mets fans have been waiting for since 2016: the postseason.

Even without jumping ahead to the 163rd game of the season, Peterson can be a useful bullpen piece for the Mets in September. Both of his big league seasons were cut short—first in 2020 because of the pandemic and again in 2021 due to an injury. We can’t expect him to log an abundance of innings. A switch to a relief role can help keep him on the field.

Of course, because he does start games, he could be a more than an inning relief pitcher. Buck Showalter could turn to Peterson for two innings or more whether it’s planned or not. Although MLB rosters do not expand to the crazy 40 men it did years ago, teams will get two extra players beginning in September. Peterson, in a bullpen rule, will have to be one of them.

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