The New York Mets got the kind of news on Friday afternoon that they, and all of their fans, wished was an April Fools joke. Jacob deGrom will miss “significant” time due to a stress reaction in his throwing shoulder, which means a spot in the rotation has opened up.
Tylor Megill should be the guy to fill the open slot in the Mets’ rotation.
"Baby deGrom," as he's been called, impressed during his rookie season. He threw 89.2 innings and compiled a 4.52 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, and struck out 99, good for a K/9 just a tick below 10 at 9.9. He was in the 69th percentile in walk rate and 66th percentile in strikeout rate which is solid. The long ball was an issue, considering that he gave up 19 in less than 90 innings, but the stuff and control are there.
Megill features a fastball that sits around 95 but goes as high as 98. He mixes his changeup and slider well, and he also throws a show-me curveball. Looking at his Baseball Savant page, He did a good job of limiting contact last year (72nd percentile in xBA, 61st percentile in xwOBA and xERA), but the contact he did give up was hard (29th percentile average exit velo, 43rd percentile xSLG, 25th percentile hard hit rate, and 14th percentile barrel rate). He needs to avoid the middle of the zone more.
The one thing that could come up with Megill is an innings limit, considering he pitched less than 90 innings last year. While a hard number hasn’t been released by the team or coaching staff, I’d be surprised if he makes it to 150 innings this year. The good thing is that the Mets have good depth with guys like Trevor Williams, David Peterson, Jordan Yamamoto, Thomas Szapucki, and Sean Reid-Foley.
This is also the reason why the Mets felt it was so important to add two high-level starters to the rotation in Scherzer and Bassitt. deGrom being out sucks, but there’s still plenty to like about this rotation and it is more than capable of keeping the Mets afloat until deGrom comes back.
In my mind, Megill was guaranteed a spot in the rotation next season after Taijuan Walker, Chris Bassitt, or both leave in free agency. I assumed he would start this year in AAA and be the first man up in the event of an injury, but now it looks like he’ll get his chance until deGrom is good to go.