The New York Mets pitching staff has struggled throughout the 2023 season. After finishing 7th in MLB with a 3.57 ERA the Mets are in the bottom half of every relevant pitching stat so far in 2023. That means the man in charge of that pitching staff, Jeremy Hefner, needs to turn things around in a hurry if he wants to save his job.
Jeremy Hefner has not gotten the most out of a talented Mets pitching staff
The Mets were expected to have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball in 2023. That has not been the case two and a half months into the season.
Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, and Carlos Carrasco are all pitching much worse than their career averages. Hefner has not been able to help them make the adjustments needed to pitch like they have in the past or find a way to compensate for stuff that is not as sharp as it was in their younger days.
You can argue veteran pitchers should be able to figure it out on their own but to me the biggest problem for this Mets team has been the performance of their young pitchers. Tylor Megill and David Peterson have both taken steps back this year.
Peterson has been unplayable and hasn't even given the Mets a chance when he starts. After a solid 2022, he is at Triple-A Syracuse. Hefner was never able to get him back on track and things have snowballed to the point Peterson can no longer be counted on with the Mets.
Megill has been very inconsistent and has shown little to no improvement. If Hefner could've helped one of Peterson and Megill to become a consistent and solid fourth of fifth starter for the Mets it would've been huge for the team.
Cheap and productive starters are hard to find, and with the Mets paying close to $90 million a year to Scherzer and Verlander, they could've used the savings.
The bullpen has also been a problem for the Mets this season. The smart teams like the Dodgers and Rays always find good bullpen arms out of nowhere, but that has not happened for the Mets this season. Drew Smith has taken a step back as well.
The sign of a good pitching coach is getting good performances from unexpected sources. The Mets instead, have had poor performances from pitchers expected to excel.
If the season continues to spiral down the drain fans are going to want someone's head. The Mets biggest problem has been pitching and that does not bode well for Jeremy Hefner's job status.