Tylor Megill struggled yet again in 2023 to establish himself as a permanent fixture in the New York Mets starting rotation. His fast rise to the big leagues from out of nowhere in 2021 has continued to allow him the opportunity to take the ball for the Mets as a starter regularly. Three years into his career, it just doesn't feel like we'll see anything better than the occasional good start followed by a lot of averageness.
The next phase of the Megill cinematic universe is to move him to the bullpen permanently. Should we pass on this idea or grab the dice and play into giving him another shot?
Let’s weigh the options.
Why we should pass on moving Tylor Megill to the bullpen
Starting pitching depth doesn't grow trees. It certainly doesn't fall every autumn and take up multiple weekends to clean either. Before leaf bags, was the world just constantly covered in dead foliage?
Not dead yet is Megill’s career. He has value as a starting pitching option for the Mets even if he is buried on the depth chart. Remaining minor league options even give the team the ability to start him in Triple-A then call upon him only as necessary. This might have been the 2023 plan if not for injuries to his colleagues right out of the gate.
Moving Megill to the bullpen on a permanent basis takes away one more starting pitching. It's not as easy to build back his "length" if Megill becomes accustomed to one or two innings at a time as a reliever when compared to shrinking how many frames he’ll pitch at a time. This sort of transition can take time during the regular season. Deciding to keep him in the bullpen to begin the year is a strong commitment and one they may struggle to pivot away from quickly.
Why we should play moving Tylor Megill out of the rotation
If you truly believe we've seen the best of Megill as a starter, it's an easy play to move him to the bullpen. The Mets need arms in the worst way. They can afford to lose a below-average starter if it means he becomes a good reliever. That’s a major if.
Megill has seen some action out of the bullpen, all of which came in 2022. He allowed 4 earned runs in 6 innings of work for a sample size we can’t really get much out from. In 52 career MLB starts, he is now 17-16 with a 4.69 ERA.
The biggest reason to play into this is Megill is already 28 and the Mets do have other options to provide them starting pitching depth. The trio of Jose Butto, Joey Lucchesi, and David Peterson are right there alongside Megill in a similar spot yet vastly different from each other.
Too much starting pitcher depth is only a problem when your bullpen has holes. The Mets shouldn’t plan to have all four floating between the majors and minors at the chance to start a game. At least one of them should have the plug pulled on him to move to the bullpen. Butto is the youngest and Lucchesi had the strongest season albeit in few appearances.
The Mets can always play the game of moving Megill back into the rotation if needed next year. However, if they’re already turning to him for starts, they’re already in some trouble. Let’s see what he can do in relief.