Evaluating the keys to Sean Manaea's early success with the Mets

New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets v Cincinnati Reds / Andy Lyons/GettyImages

When the New York Mets signed starting pitcher Sean Manaea to a 2-year $28 million deal back in January, the expectation was Manaea would have a career year in Queens, where he would opt out and test the free agent market next winter. At the same time, it was assumed that his success would also lead to a large number of Mets victories every fifth day when he takes the mound.

Through his first two starts of the season, Manaea has provided everything the Mets could've hoped for and more, especially with number one starter Kodai Senga on the Injured List for the foreseeable future. Manaea has produced a minuscule 0.82 ERA over 11 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts and a 0.73 WHIP.

Sean Manaea's early success on the mound for the Mets has frustrated opposing batters through his first two starts

The secret weapon that you may ask that has worked for Manaea through his first two starts? His four-seam fastball and his reinvented sweeper has had hitters puzzled at the plate thus far, which has given him a leg up on the competition early on in the season. Manaea has thrown his four-seam fastball 55% of the time, the most of any pitch in his arsenal, which has led to hitters hitting a lowly .091 batting average against that particular pitch.

The other weapon that has led to Manaea's success has been his third most-thrown pitch, which is his lethal sweeper which he has thrown 14% of the time, and batters have a staggering .000 average against that pitch through his first two starts. It's clear that both of these pitches have led to his early success through his first two starts, and is a continuation of his strong finish to last season with the San Francisco Giants.

While it's still early to make any assumptions on how the rest of the season will play out for Manaea, his results have been an extremely encouraging sign for a starting rotation that needed length after Senga's injury. As he approaches his third start for the Mets, Manaea has stepped up big in his role as he looks to secure a much bigger pay-day after the season.