2) NY Mets need to figure out a role for Joey Lucchesi
Joey Lucchesi is the pitcher who might be ahead of Jose Butto on the depth chart simply because he’s older and has more major league experience. He missed almost all of last year while recovering from Tommy John Surgery. A lifetime 4.24 ERA in 337.2 big league innings, Lucchesi may have to show early success in order to remain on track to be a big league starter option instead of a reliever.
The Mets can remain flexible with Lucchesi or decide early on for a different role. It’s not unusual for players to come back from a major surgery and immediately transition from a starter to reliever. Either direction makes sense for the Mets. They could use the starting pitcher depth. A lefty reliever or long-man out of the bullpen is a nice asset to have, too.
An early guess would be that the Mets aim to have Lucchesi start games in the spring and also come in as a reliever. When he did make starts for the Mets in 2021, he was limited in the number of innings he tossed. That was prior to Tommy John Surgery. We should expect them to handle him more carefully.
The trade which brought Lucchesi to the Mets did cost them Endy Rodriguez, one of the top 100 prospects in the league. To save face, we should expect the ball club to try everything before giving up on him.