Kodai Senga starting on 4 days rest is a test he needs to pass

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets
Philadelphia Phillies v New York Mets / Elsa/GettyImages

For the first time all season, New York Mets pitcher Kodai Senga will step on the mound on what’s considered normal rest. Coming off a brilliant start on Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Mets are asking him to do it all over again versus the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday.

The Mets have been cautious with Senga all year. He has had 5 days of rest in between starts seven times. The other start he made had an extra day of rest in between.

Rather than ask someone to go on short notice or call someone up from the minors, the Mets are requesting Senga assimilate to the Major League Baseball idea of a starting going every fifth day and not once a week like he was accustomed to. How will it go? It’s a test he needs to pass.

The NY Mets need Kodai Senga available on regular rest every once in a while to survive the season

Having Senga go on regular rest is imperative because of how many wins they could be throwing away by using David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, or even Jose Butto in a spot start. Of course, a weakened version of Senga on Sunday could change everything. If it goes badly, the thought of him truly needing the additional day will linger. If it goes well, the Mets can proceed with caution while counting on him every fifth day as needed.

The Mets have strung together five straight strong outings from their starting pitchers. It began with Senga against the Phillies and has carried over to his latest start. Starting pitching looked like a need for the team to address at the trade deadline only about a week ago. Depending on how optimistic we are about recent outings from Tylor Megill and Carlos Carrasco as well as the expected return of Jose Quintana, it might be something they can pass on.

Having Senga available every fifth day more regularly would be great. It doesn’t, however, answer the more vital question we won’t know until October. Can Senga be a true number three starter for this ball club?

Among the pitchers not named Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander, it’s Senga who looks capable of having the stuff to get it done in a big spot. We just need to hope Senga has enough innings left in him by the time the season comes to a close. The Mets haven’t shown signs of cruising to a playoff berth like they did last year so let’s not even entertain the idea of taking our foot off the gas.

An off day on Monday as well as a few more in June should let Senga have the extra day for a couple of weeks. He’ll undoubtedly be called upon without the extra day at some point in the future. Our first look at it could be a hint of what to expect the next time it happens.