Thursday Thought: Trevor Williams belongs in the Mets rotation

New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Mets v Los Angeles Dodgers / Katelyn Mulcahy/GettyImages

The New York Mets have had to rely very heavily on their pitching depth in the first third of the season. Injuries to Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Tylor Megill have resulted in David Peterson and Trevor Williams getting significant starting opportunities.

Between David Peterson and Trevor Williams, Williams is the one who deserves to stay in the Mets’ rotation long term.

Williams came into the season with the expectation of being the Mets’s long reliever, and that’s how four of his first five appearances went. Since then, he’s made four more starts, including a gutsy performance against the Dodgers last weekend. 

On the season, Williams has made 10 appearances and pitched 32.2 innings. He’s allowed 34 hits, 13 earned runs, six walks, and struck out 28 batters. His ERA is 3.58, his FIP is 3.66, his WHIP is 1.22, and his ERA+ is 113. His K/BB ratio is a career-best 4.67.

Baseball Savant really likes Williams as well. His walk rate is in the 91st percentile, his average exit velocity is in the 84th percentile, his xERA and xwOBA are in the 73rd percentile, his barrel rate is in the 71st percentile, and his hard hit rate is in the 70th percentile. His strikeout numbers aren’t great, but he’s not a strikeout pitcher, so that’s fine.

David Peterson has been solid too, but his typical problems have persisted. He’s walked 17 batters in just 33 innings, good for an unsightly 4.6 BB/9 and a walk rate over 12%. His strikeout numbers are down (7.8 K/9) and his FIP (3.89) is almost a full run higher than his ERA (2.97). His Savant metrics show mixed results, with his average exit velocity and xBA being good (75th and 73rd percentiles, respectively), but his walk and strikeout numbers have some very dark blue (10th percentile in chase rate, 14th percentile in walk rate).

I would even make the argument that Williams should be given an opportunity over Taijuan Walker. 

Walker has been inconsistent this year, and his metrics indicate that there are still choppy waters ahead. He’s only got two Savant metrics over the 50th percentile: his chase rate, which is in the 77th percentile, and his walk rate, which is in the 57th percentile. Other than that, he is really struggling. He’s given up a ton of hard contact, and he doesn’t have the put-away stuff to get out of the trouble he finds himself in.

Given a fully healthy rotation, none of this matters. deGrom, Scherzer, Bassitt, Carrasco, and Megill would be the starting five, unless the Mets decided to experiment with a six-man rotation. However, given the health problems the Mets have had, Trevor Williams has been incredible, and he deserves every opportunity coming his way.

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