Is There a Fix for 2020?

A lot going on lately with the Mets. They've played a couple of solid games against a depleted and overmatched Marlins team. Nothing wrong with winning games that you're supposed to, but my mind hasn't really changes about the club's overall chances this season. If anything, the bad news about David Peterson has made me less optimistic about everything. Not that I don't hope that I'm wrong, of course. Nothing would make me happier than being proven to be dead wrong about their chances.

The reason that I missed posting yesterday was due to a flare-up in my back problem during a walk with my dogs. I have a doctor's appointment next week to schedule an operation on a couple of really bad discs. In the meantime, I have progressed to a point where I can take my pups for walks in the woods as long as I walk very carefully and avoid doing something to trigger spasms. Unfortunately, almost halfway through a 4 mile walk I tripped and triggered it. All I could do was limp back the 2 miles to my car even more slowly, stopping every couple of minutes or so to keep things from getting worse. It took about 2-1/2 hours to get back. While that wasn't conducive to enjoying a fun walk, it did allow me quite a lot of time to think about the Mets, both in 2020 and going forward.

The way I see it, there really isn't any way to fix all of their rotation problems this season. If they're going to compete in 2020, their offense is going to have to be better and more consistent, enough to win some games by outscoring the competition. They're going to have to produce enough runs to make up for fairly week starting pitching. Beyond that, their bullpen is going to have to be really excellent, with as few hiccups as possible. They're going to lose some games early thanks to weak starting pitching, they just can't afford to lose too many late.

Provided Peterson can come back healthy and continue to pitch well, the Mets would have 2 starters they could depend upon. Michael Wacha should be back at some point. I can't really expect greatness out of the guy, but competence would be nice. Rick Porcello has shown some positive signs, although he has fallen victim to the "one bad inning" syndrome that has plagued all of the Mets starters whose last name starts with a capital letter.

As much as it frustrates me to watch him, if I were the Mets I would continue to try to get Steven Matz straightened out. He has a track record of Major League success that most of the other options don't. I'm not sure that he can be turned around, but it's worth a try. If the Mets can nurse him back to relative competence that might be a difference maker.

I know there are many that want to see Seth Lugo get stretched out and used as a starter. I'm not in favor of that for several reasons:
  1. To a team that will be dependent on their bullpen, his ability to consistently pitch multiple innings at a high level is huge. There is literally no one else in this bullpen that can do that.
  2. Lugo can have an impact on every fifth game as a starter. He can impact more games used in relief, even with the correct amount of days off to keep him sharp.
  3. There are 35 games left in the regular season. That translates to 6 or 7 starts for Lugo. How many of those before he is fully stretched out? At least 3, I would think. In the meantime, while you're stretching him out you'll be more dependent on a bullpen already down their best pitcher.
  4. Lugo is pitching with a partially torn ligament in his elbow. Do you really want to change his pitching usage in the middle of an already short season?
I'm not against the idea of using Lugo as a starter. Given the dearth of quality starting pitching in the upcoming free agent pool, giving Lugo a shot as a starter next season would make a ton of sense to me. Instead of wasting money on a mediocre starter you could fortify the bullpen. Lugo could work as a starter from the opening of training camp, which would be the best for him physically and probably performance-wise, too.

While we're worrying about the health of pitchers, I really hope the Mets proceed with extreme caution in their choices with David Peterson going forward. They need to make sure that his shoulder is 100% before letting him return. The last thing they need to do with a promising young pitcher like that is to allow him to develop chronic shoulder problems. Or, for that matter, alter his mechanics to protect his shoulder and wind up blowing out his elbow.

That's it for me, at least for now. Since I wasn't able to post yesterday thanks to my extended stroll in the woods, I might try to post again later. I had another topic I wanted to write about, but this piece has gone on long enough. If not later, I'll definitely be back tomorrow. In the meantime, please stay safe, be well and take care.


 Follow me on Twitter @MikeSteffanos

Comments

  1. My issue with Lugo as a reliever is his inability to go back to back days effectively. Even though his numbers as a starter as not as good as his numbers as a reliever, he is built to be a starter. You have some points but the rotation is a shambles and starting Lugo, with a number of choices still in the bullpen, is a move I support.

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