One New York Mets pitcher who will be interesting to watch this spring is left-hander Joey Lucchesi who will be making his return from Tommy John surgery after completely tearing his UCL in his pitching elbow back in June 2021. While it has certainly been a long road of recovery for Lucchesi, he also may be looking like the odd man out upon his return with the amount of pitching depth the Mets have.
Prior to getting injured, Lucchesi had shown flashes of promise in the Mets rotation during the 2021 season after coming over from the San Diego Padres as part of a three-team trade that involved nemesis, Joe Musgrove. He ended up posting a 4.46 ERA over 11 appearances (8 starts) with a 1.174 WHIP in 38.1 innings and had also struck out 41 batters and walked 11.
The 29-year-old Lucchesi has pitched primarily as a starting pitcher throughout his career, and the Mets have a deep 5-man starting rotation with two depth options in David Peterson and Tylor Megill. There is the possibility that Lucchesi could compete for a spot in the Mets bullpen this spring as a Trevor Williams replacement to give the Mets multiple innings in spot appearances.
Joey Lucchesi will look to make a lasting impression this spring for the Mets as he battles for a spot on the 26-man roster
Outside of Brooks Raley, the Mets currently don't have another left-handed option in the bullpen, unless they choose to go with David Peterson or Lucchesi as a long relief option as previously mentioned. As it stands right now, however, Lucchesi looks no better than the Mets 8th starting pitching option.
But that can all change with a strong spring performance from Lucchesi, and for a team that still has questions surrounding their bullpen, he could find himself pitching out of the pen' if the Mets deem him too valuable to leave off the roster. in fact, it may be better served to limit Lucchesi's innings out of the bullpen in the first season back from Tommy John surgery.
The Mets will have an important question to answer in regard to where Lucchesi fits in their 2023 plans, but all of that can change with Lucchesi's performance over the upcoming weeks. I mean how many pitchers in baseball have a churve as an out pitch?