When the Mets plan to use a six-man rotation in 2023

Feb 19, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) throws a
Feb 19, 2023; Port St. Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Kodai Senga (34) throws a / Rich Storry-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets won’t be using a six-man rotation in the untraditional sense that all year-long they’ll carry six starting pitchers on the roster. According to Tim Britton of The Athletic, the team will call upon one of their starting pitcher depth pieces for a little help in a certain situation.

Rather than carry six starters all year-long, the Mets will plug in an extra starter whenever they play more than ten games in a row. They were kind enough to break down how many times this will happen over on Audacy.com. After assessing the schedule, there are five instances when the Mets are scheduled to have 11 or more games in a row.

The Mets are planning ways to keep their veteran starters healthy

Why the Mets would do this isn’t such a mystery. All of their starters are over 30. Their youngest, Kodai Senga, is coming over from a league where they had six-man rotations. Taking away five starts over the course of the year whenever an off-day is in the distance is a small detail in how the Mets are planning to keep their starters fresh and healthy.

Needless to say, this doesn’t include the rainouts or canceled games for any other reason. Rainouts tend to force a sixth starter into the picture depending on when the doubleheader takes place. With some of those summer off-days as candidates to reschedule a rainout as well, the Mets are far more likely to go with a temporary six-man rotation more than five times over the course of the year.

One challenge the Mets could face is ensuring they have enough bullpen arms available. Let’s say on the twelfth day of a long stretch they have David Peterson starting a day after Elieser Hernandez ate up some innings in relief. Peterson could swap places with Hernandez on the roster for a day. After Peterson’s start, they’d probably want to demote him again and add Joey Lucchesi. MLB requires players to stay in the minors for 10 days before he is eligible to be recalled.

Putting it simply: expect a lot of Mets to get familiar with the route from Syracuse to wherever it is the Mets are playing.

The Mets seem to be on top of this and everything else with the way they’re building their roster. Flexibility to demote and promote different arms will be another element to help them get from start to finish. More importantly, it can keep their veteran arms available for October.

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