The New York Mets suffered another blow to their starting rotation when Max Scherzer had to leave his start early against the St. Louis Cardinals. Further evaluation of Scherzer’s injury resulted in him being placed on the IL. Not only that, but he is projected to be out of action for 6-8 weeks with an oblique injury.
The injuries are once again piling up for the Mets starting pitchers. Their ace pitchers, Jacob deGrom and Scherzer, are set to miss significant time, and their starting pitching depth as a whole is now looking vulnerable once again.
It goes without saying that the Mets are going to need to be active in resolving their depth issue. They recently signed veteran starter Trevor Cahill to a minor-league deal, but it is going to take him time to ramp up, so he doesn’t solve their current pitching needs immediately. Also, Cahill compiled a 6.57 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, so even when he is ready to pitch, he is not likely to provide the quality starting pitching that the Mets need.
The Mets need another starting pitcher to survive without Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. Tyler Mahle of the Cincinnati Reds appears to be a great candidate.
Suffice to say, the Mets would do well to find another starting pitcher as soon as possible, one who would be a little more reliable. Thankfully for the Mets, there are several clubs not in contention who may have an available pitcher that would pique the team’s interest. One of those clubs is the Cincinnati Reds.
The Reds make an ideal trading partner because of their current position. After starting the year 3-22, the Reds have begun to recover, but the fact remains that they are not going to be a contending team this season. The previous offseason, they offloaded a lot of their key players from the previous year, including starting pitchers Sonny Gray and Wade Miley and starters Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, and Nick Castellanos for financially motivated reasons.
Despite the Reds fire sale last offseason, valuable pieces remain, including starting pitcher Tyler Mahle, who would be a good fit for the Mets despite his recent struggles. However, his past two seasons indicate that Mahle could very well rebound from his slow start. He compiled a 3.59 ERA in 2020 and a 3.75 ERA in 2021.
Mahle’s slow start was noticeable, and his ERA peaked at over 7 at the beginning of May. However, over the past few weeks, Mahle has had a string of good starts consecutively. In his last three starts, Mahle has pitched 17 ⅓ innings and allowed five runs over those starts, reducing his ERA to 5.23.
The Mets should be encouraged by Mahle’s string of recent starts, and the fact that he has remained healthy. Mets starting pitching has been good so far this season, but health has been the Achilles heel of the team’s rotation. As a right-handed pitcher, Mahle would not completely replace Scherzer or deGrom, but he can offer something that not many Mets starters can offer, and that is stability.
Therefore, the Mets should at least cold call the Reds to gauge their interest in parting with their Opening Day starter. Mahle cannot help the Reds this year, but he can help the Mets stay on course while their two aces are out of action.