Mets pitcher Jordan Yamamoto is a sleeper pick replacement
Jordan Yamamoto fits as a possible Lugo replacement for a couple of reasons. He hasn’t been very good as a starter in the major leagues. He also probably won’t get significant action as one anytime soon. A couple of other guys need to get hurt in order for the Mets to ask him for some early innings.
Although the plan for him would now be to provide the club with some depth in the minor leagues, his future with the franchise could have him slotting in as a relief pitcher. Most likely, he’s a long-man. If he ends up being incredibly effective, Yamamoto can work his way into a more threatening role—one resembling what Lugo created.
Yamamoto has been a decent strikeout pitcher in the minors while starting. Transitioning to a relief role full time could turn him into more of a weapon than an innings eater. He has been good about keeping the ball in the park down in the minors, a trade the Mets would have to hope stays with him as a major league pitcher.
When the Mets moved Lugo to the bullpen, it wasn’t so much because he was a failed starter as much as it was they had a need for relievers and had no room in the rotation. Yamamoto could face a similar path. In a worst-case/best-case scenario, he’s 2023’s replacement for Trevor Williams.