The leash is tightening on this Mets pitcher

New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks
New York Mets v Arizona Diamondbacks / Chris Coduto/GettyImages

An essential role player on the 2022 New York Mets roster, long man Trevor Williams is in an interesting place with the team right now. He started on Saturday for them when the club needed an arm due to the doubleheader earlier in the week. Things went poorly with Williams allowing 4 earned runs in his 2 innings of work.

Williams already started the season with a blown save due to two unearned runs and gave the Mets a “flirting with danger” outing previous to this. A useful part of the club, he should have a longer leash due to his experience, success with the club last year, and ability to at least eat up some innings in relief or as a starter in a pinch.

But how long is this leash? Is it one of those retractable ones irresponsible dog owners who think their mutt is the friendliest beast in the world tend to use or does Williams have a shorter choke collar around his neck?

Trevor Williams may eventually lose his Mets job because Jacob deGrom comes back

What the heck are the Mets going to do when Jacob deGrom comes back and is fully healthy? Let’s say the rest of the starters are good, too. Let’s just imagine that deal with the devil has been made.

Then what? It’s a question we’re all going to have to revisit many times in a few weeks.

When deGrom does first come off the IL, it’s possible the Mets have a tight pitch count on him. They have no need to rush him back into going deep into games as long as the team is performing well. And even if they aren’t, easing him back is essential.

During that time, the Mets may choose to give some starters extra rest or even use Tylor Megill, Carlos Carrasco, or Taijuan Walker in relief temporarily. If deGrom is on a pitch limit and it’s known ahead of time, they can prepare one of their starters to replace him after three or four innings and see if they can close out the game this way. Normally, it’s a job someone like Williams would have. However, if he continues to pitch poorly, he may not be around much longer to participate.

Williams is in the final year of arbitration and set to hit free agency over the winter. Likely hopeful he can get a starter’s job again with some club, it just isn’t going to happen on a consistent basis for the Mets unless multiple people get injured.

There’s a lot more for Williams to prove in order to keep his roster spot with the Mets. Even beyond just the return of deGrom, David Peterson could be a far more effective answer out of the bullpen and a left-handed option for the Mets.

Williams’ usefulness may have worn out after a strong showing in 2021 where he gave them a 3.06 ERA in 32.1 innings of work. This year, he is getting used sparingly and got knocked around in his lone start. The Mets shouldn’t pull the plug yet. They also can’t wait for Williams to wear out his welcome.

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