Mets starting pitcher plans change, Adrian Houser continues to clog a roster spot

The Mets pitching plans have changed and it makes Adrian Houser look more obsolete on this roster.
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets
Chicago Cubs v New York Mets / Al Bello/GettyImages

The New York Mets planned to give Adrian Houser the ball on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. After throwing in the bullpen during the team’s 4-0 loss on Tuesday, they decided against it because pitchers are handled like infants made of glass these days. Joey Lucchesi will, instead, be the one to start for the Mets.

Since getting beaten up by the Chicago Cubs on May 2, Houser has pitched just once out of the bullpen. He tossed 2 scoreless innings versus the Atlanta Braves. Hardly enough to know if he has fixed anything, the original choice of going to Houser is understandable in keeping with as close to a six-man rotation as they can get.

Adrian Houser is starting to clog up the Mets roster

Although this skipped start doesn’t have much to do with his future or anger any fans, Houser’s presence grows in how problematic it is. The poorly constructed Mets roster allows them very little wiggle room right now with the pitching staff. This isn’t all on Houser, but if he had done his job, this wouldn’t have been a conversation.

He should be pitching on eggshells, though. Wildly ineffective with 22 walks versus just 16 strikeouts in his 30.2 innings of work, Houser has failed to perform up to his end of the bargain. The Mets only needed him to be a decent fifth starter. He has been much less so.

David Stearns has been quick to pull the trigger on DFA’ing other players. Joey Wendle got the boot after starting at second base on Tuesday. Houser is a little bit different. They’ve known each other since their days with the Milwaukee Brewers. Houser is getting paid more than the other previously DFA’d players combined. His expected role as a starter can also be viewed as more valuable than a reliever or bench player.

Still, the Mets can ill-afford to have someone in their rotation who doesn’t give them a chance to win. With so many other options available to them, it’d be a major mistake to put any continued trust in Houser.

Moving him to the bullpen is a bit out of the question too with how little room they have there. Reed Garrett is the lone optional reliever. There is no room to call up a second lefty reliever with Houser clogging up that roster spot.

Houser can prove himself useful for the Mets in a multi-inning role even if he works in losses. The team had originally intended for Michael Tonkin to take on those innings, but his early failures sent him packing. Houser may soon follow. Stearns hasn’t been committed to force-feeding players he signed or traded for into games like Billy Eppler did. When Kodai Senga comes back is the point when the Mets are most likely to send Houser away if they didn’t already.