Thursday Thought: Do the Mets need a lefty in the rotation?

Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics
Houston Astros v Oakland Athletics / Michael Zagaris/GettyImages

The New York Mets have one open spot in their rotation as of right now. The top four spots are locked in with Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker. 

The Mets rotation is very right-handed heavy, so is it important to mix in a lefty?

I think it would be nice to have a lefty in there, but they have to be good enough to hold that spot down. They shouldn’t just throw a left out there to say they have a left in the rotation if they have a better right-handed option.

The Mets do have a few lefties who could be in consideration for the last rotation spot. David Peterson is the biggest name, but he’s not an exciting option. His lack of control, flat stuff, and inability to go deep into games is concerning, to put it mildly. I think Peterson is much better suited for a bullpen role because he can just air it out for one inning at a time, which typically leads to higher velocity and sharper stuff.

Joey Lucchesi will unfortunately miss the vast majority of 2022. The earliest he could probably return is the middle of August, and that’s without any setbacks. He could pitch out of the bullpen or the rotation when he returns.

Josh Walker is an interesting name to watch in the Mets’ farm system, however I don’t think he’ll start the year in the Majors. He rose three levels last season, starting with a 2.57 ERA in A+, then posting a 2.64 ERA in AA, and ending the year in AAA with a 5.19. I think he starts the year in AAA, and if he performs well, we could see him in The Show at some point. Like Lucchesi, he can start or come out of the pen.

The Mets’ best option comes in trade. The Oakland A’s are reportedly selling the farm, which means that Sean Manaea is available. Manaea is one of the more reliable southpaws in the game right now. He’s coming off a really strong season, pitching 179.1 innings in 32 starts with a 3.91 ERA and 3.2 WAR. This is the Mets’ best option, and if they were to acquire him, he would perfectly round out the rotation. Frankie Montas is another great option from the right side.

There are a couple of useful-yet-unexciting options available in free agency. Carlos Rodon had the best season last year, but he dropped off significantly in the second half and I don’t think the Mets should take the risk of signing him to the massive contract he wants. Tyler Anderson is a guy that is capable of eating innings, but his career 4.62 ERA isn’t eye-catching. Drew Smyly is similar but slightly better. Matthew Boyd is younger and more intriguing than Anderson and Smyly, but he comes with risks and inconsistencies as well.

In my opinion, unless they can acquire Manaea or Montas from the A’s, Tylor Megill should be the 5th starter. 

"Baby deGrom," as he's been called, has the best velocity, stuff, and potential of any of the in-house options the Mets have. Unless they get somebody more established, I want to see what Megill can do. I’m not too concerned about having an all-righty rotation when we have our best options out there dealing. If the Mets can swing a deal with Oakland for one of their established starters, great. If not, deGrom, Scherzer, Carrasco, Walker, and Megill is a good rotation.

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