Grading the Mets rotation after their first starts
Despite putting together a makeshift rotation due to injuries, the New York Mets have started the season with some solid starting pitching efforts. Without Justin Verlander or Jose Quintana, this is clearly not the best rotation the Mets will have all season, and are eagerly awaiting those two players first starts as a Met.
Regardless, most of the Mets rotation held their own through the first five games. While some of these starters figure to stay in the top five all season, others were depth pieces that will be called upon for spot starts down the line. Either way, these are all important pieces that will need to continue to contribute towards the Mets World Series run.
NY Mets pitcher Max Scherzer First Start Grade: B
"Mad Max" got the ball on Opening Day for the Mets, and for the first five innings he was absolutely stellar. Scherzer allowed one hit and no runs over those innings, as the Mets got out to an early 3-0 lead.
If his start ended there, Scherzer would've easily earned an "A." Unfortunately, doubles by Jacob Stallings and Luis Arraez got the Miami Marlins on the board, and Garrett Cooper took him deep to tie the game at 3-3.
Scherzer was dominant for most of the game, but the sixth inning left a stain on what was otherwise a great game from him. The team ended up rallying to get Scherzer the victory, much to the delight of Mets fans and Scherzer alike. Fans can expect for him to improve on this performance and form a great 1-2 punch with Verlander going forward.
NY Mets pitcher David Peterson First Start Grade: B+
Even being the only losing pitcher in Miami, Peterson put up one of the best starts of the series. He pitched five efficient innings, giving up one run and striking out five. His one mistake, a second inning home run to Jorge Soler, proved to be the difference as the Mets lost 2-1.
Peterson wasn't expected to be in the five man rotation, but injuries led to him getting the nod to start the season. He delivered the Mets with a quality start that could've easily been a win with any run support. With Quintana sidelined until roughly mid July, the Mets will need Peterson to step up as their best lefty pitcher. If Friday's start was any indication, Peterson is up to the task.
NY Mets pitcher Tylor Megill First Start Grade: B
In repeat fashion from 2022, Tylor Megill was called up from the minor leagues to make an early season start due to an injury, and just like 2022 Megill delivered. His start almost mirrored Peterson's; Megill went five innings with seven strikeouts and two runs, all coming via the long ball. However, the Mets bats woke up enough to get Megill the victory.
Megill looked sharp after a rough first two innings, and gave the Mets exactly what the needed in place of Justin Verlander. His breaking pitches were working, and he was able to get out of trouble when necessary. For someone who is essentially the Mets 7th best pitcher, this was an impressive start and should go a long way towards reassuring Mets fans about their pitching depth this season.
NY Mets pitcher Kodai Senga First Start Grade: A-
One of the Mets biggest free agency signings this winter, Senga came into Queens as a bit of an unknown, but with sky high potential. This past Sunday, Senga showed us a glimpse of the pitcher he could be, recording eight strikeouts over 5.1 innings in the Mets victory.
Senga's nerves got the best of him to start, loading the bases and allowing a run before recording his first out. However, with his ghost forkball at his disposal, Senga locked in and was borderline unhittable the rest of the game.
Kodai Senga dazzled in his first start, and the Mets will need more contributions like this to make a deep playoff run this year. If Senga can continue to confuse hitters with that ghost forkball, he will most likely be the Mets #3 option for the playoffs, on top of maybe even earning NL Rookie of the Year honors.
NY Mets pitcher Carlos Carrasco First Start Grade: D-
Before his first pitch of the 2023 season, Carrasco was assessed a pitch clock violation, and from there the rest of his start went downhill. "Cookie" scraped through four innings, allowing five runs and walking four en route to a Mets 10-0 blowout defeat. The bullpen wasn't much better, but the Mets will need much more out of Carrasco going forward.
Carrasco had his moments, striking out four and only allowing four hits. However, his command let him down, and he gave up his first three runs of the game after recording two outs. The Mets tried to bring Carrasco out for the fifth inning, but after two walks to start the inning, his day was done.
While it is too early to panic on Carrasco, he will certainly need to settle in this season going forward. The Mets will need him to improve his command and go deeper into games, or else there might be some other depth options such as Megill that could challenge his spot in the rotation.