HomeTeamsMets Mets Starting Pitching Staff Questions

 Mets Starting Pitching Staff Questions

Once the Mets lost out on signing Japanese phenom Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the expectations for the pitching staff and the team were reframed. Then at the start of spring training the Mets own Japanese pitcher, and #1 starter Kodai Senga came up with a shoulder injury that will keep him on the sideline and out of MLB games until at least May.

To start the season everyone else in and around the pitching rotation is presented with an opportunity to come through when the team needs it, to get the season off to a good start.

Problem #1: the Mets have no pitchers outside of Senga who are anything close to being a #1 or even a #2 starter. This is the reason there are Met fans have been clamoring for owner Steve Cohen to sign free agents Jordan Montgomery or Blake Snell. 

Problem #2: the team can’t sign Montgomery or Snell without taking a huge luxury tax penalty that would nearly double the annual salary paid to either pitcher. That’s not the way David Stearns runs the operation so don’t count on it.

This leaves the Mets with a first month starting rotation of:

Jose Quintana: The lefthander pitched only 75 innings in 2023 over his 13 starts. While that’s nearly 6 innings per start, the 12-year veteran and one-time All-Star Quintana is known for taking the ball regularly having started 302 games in his career. At age 34 it’s asking a lot to expect Quintana to make 30 starts in 2024. 

Luis Severino: A total flyer if not a worthwhile chance to take. The often injured 29-year-old former Yankee had a decent 2022 in 19 starts but has not topped 30 starts since 2018. Severino has looked good in spring training so far touching 98 M.P.H. with his fastball. Like Quintana expecting 30 or more starts from Sevvy is expecting a lot.

Sean Manaea:  The eight-year veteran is another left-handed veteran pitcher whose $28M contract over two years was termed by some to be an overpay. Now that Senga is injured it seems smarter. Manaea is a workhorse having started 32 and 27 games in 2021 and 2022 before the Giants turned him into a reliever last season. He might be the best bet to start 30 games for the team this season.

Adrian Houser: You hope David Stearns knows something about Houser that his career statistics belie. Houser has never started 30 games in a season mostly because the Brewers (where he played under Stearns) had so many good pitches. Houser doesn’t have plus stuff, but just the same the Mets are hoping he’s a guy they can count on every 5th or 6th day.

Tylor Megill: He’s only been a Met for three years but somehow it seems longer. The Mets Opening Day starter in 2022, Megill has looked terrific so far in spring training but it’s spring training. Were it not for Senga’s injury, and the fact that David Peterson is still recovering from his own injury, Megill would have been locked in a battle for the 6th rotation spot with Joey Lucchesi, and Jose Butto. Instead, it appears he will start the season in the regular rotation.

Overall, the Mets’ starting staff is filled with #3, #4, and #5 starters. They play in the brutal NL East with the Braves and Phillies who will not be quaking in their boots when facing the Mets either with or without Senga.

How about pitchers down on the farm?

There are reinforcements at the minor league level including Christian Scott, Mike Vasil, and Blake Tidwell. All might be seen at some point in the season as well as Lucchesi, Butto, and when he’s healthy, Peterson.

One other thing to note is that the Mets’ starting staff is not poised to have the pitchers throwing more than 6 innings per start and outside of Senga when he returns, it’s possible that it might not happen all season. This will put more pressure on the Met bullpen which I covered in an earlier post. That also will not bother the Braves or Phillies.

Mark Kolier
Mark Kolierhttps://mlbreport.com/
Mark Kolier along with his son Gordon co-hosts a baseball podcast called ‘Almost Cooperstown’. He also has written baseball-related articles that can be accessed on Medium.com, Substack.com and now MLBReport.com.


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