Welcomed change in Mets pitching depth philosophy
The Mets change in philosophy regarding their pitching staff depth could be a game-changer for the 2021 season and beyond.
With the new regime in charge of the New York Mets, everyone knew changes were going to be made. Everyone knows the big names that have gotten much of the attention this offseason. There is one somewhat overlooked but extremely important change and that’s their approach to the depth of the pitching staff. Adding Jordan Yamamoto, recently acquired from the Marlins, with Joey Lucchesi , Sean Reid-Foley , Jerad Eickhoff, and a few others, the Mets have made adding young, high upside arms a priority this offseason. Even more important is the fact these pitchers have options left meaningless players being designated and roster turnover during the season. When you combine these players to the teams’ in-house options, the depth of the staff becomes a strength the Mets have lacked over the past few years.
Walter Lockett , Wilmer Font , Drew Gagnon , P. J. Conlon , Adam Wilk , Tyler Pill and Ariel Jurado . Those are some of the names of the spot starters used by the Mets since the start of the 2017 season. They do have a few things in common as none of them were very successful, and none of them were thought of as anything more than just a guy who the Mets were forced to let take the mound. Then there are the careers of Chris Flexen and Corey Oswalt . Both once-promising pitching prospects who were called up and sent down so much they were spending more time in roster limbo than actually on the field. This leads one to wonder if their development was possibly permanently stunted by the situation. Putting players in a position to succeed is paramount. The Mets failed to do this more often than not the past few seasons.
Roster construction and managemen
The previous owners and management staff had plenty of flaws. Their lack of roster construction and miss management of the roster are arguably two of the biggest. The inability to foresee issues that may arise and how you are going to deal with them should be just as large of criticism of Brodie Van Wagenen’s tenure as who he traded away. While some of the blame definitely resides on the shoulders of the unwilling to spend Wilpons. However, Van Wagenen’s inexperience showed and one can argue that it cost the team wins the past two years. For two consecutive off-seasons, BVW traded multiple prospects for outfielders (Keon Broxton and Jake Marisnick ) who were probably going to be released. Those same prospects could have been used to help answer the age-old baseball question “ What do we do if one of our pitchers gets hurt?” Then there were the DFA’s and waiver claims that came fast and furious as BVW tried to fix things on the fly. The “highlight” of which was DFA’ing then trading RHP prospect Jordan Humphreys for Billy Hamilton ( 1 for 22 and a baserunning blunder for the ages) than giving a start to Jurado( 4 IP 5ER).
Righting the ship
This offseason has shown that Sandy Alderson and company knew that depth was an issue, and so far have done well to address it. Noah Syndergaard’s return from TJS and David Peterson trying to avoid a sophomore slump are just a few of the issues the Mets are facing in 2021. That’s why the more high upside, MLB-experienced arms you have the better. While it is no guarantee these players will succeed, it is a much better plan than the one used by prior management.