With Marcus Stroman “week to week” with a torn calf muscle, and Noah Syndergaard already out for the year, the Mets have to fill out the back end of their rotation.
The New York Mets announced on Wednesday that Marcus Stroman suffered a muscle tear in his left calf. With Noah Syndergaard undergoing Tommy John surgery back in March, the Mets went from maybe too many starting pitchers to possibly not having enough.
Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Rick Porcello will start the first three games of the season. Porcello was looking slated to be the fifth starter during spring training, but Syndergaard’s injury bumped him, and essentially put Michael Wacha into the rotation. Now, Wacha seems to be the fourth starter.
With a 30-man roster due before Opening Day, the Mets need to figure out who their fifth starter is. And they don’t have many options.
Outside of deGrom, Matz, and Stroman, Walker Lockett is the only pitcher in the Mets’ current player pool to make a start for the team last year, but he is also on the injured list.
Corey Oswalt might be their first option, but Oswalt appeared in just two big league games last year and has not made a start in the majors since Sept. 28, 2018.
The 26-year-old, however, did post a 2.82 ERA in 18 minor league starts last season, 16 of them with Triple-A Syracuse.
The Mets could also roll with left-hander David Peterson, but he has yet to pitch an inning at the Triple-A level. He also owned a 4.19 ERA with Double-A Binghamton last season.
Erasmo Ramirez is also in camp, but he appeared in just one game last year, and just 10 the year prior. Out of his 193 career games, 92 are starts. Ramirez owns a 4.46 ERA as a starter, and a 4.19 ERA as a reliever.
Someone who has an outside chance could very much well be the best available arm in Seth Lugo.
Lugo has not made a start in the big leagues since 2018, even though he has expressed his desire to be a full-time starter and partially blames the Astros in 2017 for his current role.
Even so, Lugo became a full-time set up man last year and eventually turned into the team’s part-time closer late in the season. And he sure performed.
As a starter, Lugo owns a 4.06 ERA with a 7.4 K/9. As a reliever, his ERA shrinks to 2.52, while his K/9 increases to 10. Last season, Lugo had a career-best 11.7 K/9 and a 2.70 ERA.
Although talented, that Mets’ bullpen, even with the addition of Dellin Betances, still needs as much help as possible.
Of course, there are still some free agents out there, including former Mets Matt Harvey and Jason Vargas, but who knows what their arms are like after the season was delayed by over four months?
Nonetheless, the options are minimal.