Mets Monday Morning GM: Justice for David Peterson

Feb 17, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson (23) pitches
Feb 17, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher David Peterson (23) pitches / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

Does David Peterson belong in a big league starting rotation? Through 222 innings as a starter and reliever, I’m not sure it’s easy to answer quite yet. He has given the New York Mets a strong showcase dating back to 2020. In 43 starts for the team, he’s 13-13 with a 4.38 ERA.

Peterson’s relief numbers are lesser but better. He has appeared in only 10 games out of the bullpen. In those 18.2 innings of work, Peterson has gone 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA.

Naturally, Peterson wants to start. It’s what he has done for most of his career. He’ll get the opportunity in 2023 to do this again but it’ll come with an asterisk. Peterson will, yet again, become starting pitching depth over a constant rotation arm.

Is there any justice in the world for Mets pitcher David Peterson?

Peterson has two minor league options left which means the Mets can shuttle him back and forth again this year and next. The 2022 campaign was the only one where the team actually sent him to the minors. If you’ll recall, there was no minor league season in 2020 and he stayed with the team the full season. In 2021, Peterson suffered a season-ending injury about midway through what turned out to be a rough year for him.

Now 15-13 with a 4.26 ERA overall, Peterson has yet to establish himself as a definite big league starter. Apparently the Mets didn’t see enough from him last year to consider moving on from Carlos Carrasco. In part, having both gives them the flexibility to do a lot more.

Peterson can stay stretched out on the farm until needed. We know the Mets will use him. He pitched a lot for them last year. He hardly saw the field in Triple-A, making only 6 starts all year for Syracuse. The situation shouldn’t be much different this year. He’s going to get used a ton, just on short notice.

This year is a bit of a tryout for Peterson. The Mets could have two roster spots open up for the 2024 season. Max Scherzer has an opt out and Carrasco’s contract expires. We’d have to expect at least one of those spots to include a top-level veteran arm. As for the other, could it end up in Peterson’s palm?

There may not be much Peterson can do to sway the Mets. Now 27, his MLB career has been mostly about stepping up in a time of need.

When Marcus Stroman was injured in 2020, Peterson got his chance. He stuck around because Stroman ended up opting out of the rest of the year. Peterson also happened to pitch well enough to justify his stay.

Until he runs out of options or sneaks in enough big starts in the handful he gets, Peterson’s Mets tenure will be all about knowing the quickest way from Queens to Syracuse. We’d all wish he got a fairer shake on a lesser team. But that’s not what the 2023 season is about. He’s a weapon with a role to fill, as unbalanced and unfair as it may be at times.

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