The New York Mets have one of the most well-rounded rosters in baseball. The lineup is deep, the rotation is stacked, and the bullpen has several options that can be used in any situation they’re needed in.
With that said, one thing that could hold the Mets back for the rest of the regular season and throughout the playoffs is the lack of a lockdown lefty in the bullpen.
Joely Rodriguez has been the lone lefty in the ‘pen for the majority of the season, but he’s had a really rough year, to put it mildly. He’s spent most of the season with an ERA above 5, but it recently dipped a few ticks below and currently stands at 4.91. His main problem is his lack of control, with a walk rate in the 3rd percentile and a WHIP of 1.51.
I think Rodriguez’s spot on the postseason roster is far from locked up. Depending on how the Mets need to line up their starting rotation, which of course will change if the Mets win the division or the wild card, David Peterson could wind up being the lefty the Mets trust more when it matters most.
Peterson has been fantastic this year. He’s seen an uptick in velocity and his slider has become a truly dominant pitch. His numbers as a reliever aren’t as good as his starting numbers, but they’re still better than Rodriguez’s. Peterson’s got a 4.50 as a reliever, basically half a run better than Rodriguez. Peterson could also cover multiple innings in long relief if needed.
Many Mets fans were surprised that the Mets didn’t do more to address lefty relief last offseason, and more were surprised when they stood pat at the trade deadline with such an obvious hole on the roster. They do have righties who are capable of getting lefties out, but sometimes you need that one lefty who can come in and get the big out. I hope this doesn’t come back to bite us this October.