Is Sean Reid-Foley Taking Lucchesi’s Spot in The Rotation?

Sean Reid-Foley struck everyone with his stellar performance in Chicago. Reid-Foley pitched three impressive innings against a hot Cubs offense, and it caught a lot of eyeballs. Between the Kimbrel-esque squat to the swings and misses, he had everything working in that first outing.

He got the call in that first outing because of a rough start from Joey Lucchesi. Lucchesi had motored through the order the first time around, but the second trip gave him troubles. It was clear to most that the Cubs had figured him out, which made it tough to leave him in for a long time. This opened the door for the newly called up Sean-Reid Foley to make his Major League debut.

The day after the game, Lucchesi was optioned to the alternate site. The Mets followed by bringing up Stephen Tarpley, who pitched in yesterday’s game. Tarpley struggled yesterday, and will probably be sent to the alternate site as well if he continues to pitch that way. But, why is nobody talking about what will happen when Lucchesi’s spot in the rotation comes around?

Most of us probably assumed that Lucchesi will just be called back up for his next start. But what if he isn’t? What if the plan is for Sean Reid-Foley, a natural starter, to get a start? Reid-Foley was dominant in his first outing, and clearly turned some heads. It is early enough in the season that it would make sense to give a guy like him a chance. He impressed many, and might have even impressed enough to make his first Major League start.

The one issue with all of this; the Mets are skipping Lucchesi’s spot in the rotation this week because they have an off day on Monday. Because of this, they are rolling with an extra bullpen arm in the slot of Lucchesi.

That still doesn’t mean that Reid-Foley won’t be getting a starting opportunity some time in the near future, but it also could mean that the Mets simply wanted another lefty reliever in the bullpen.

Regardless of what happens, keep your eye out on how much Sean Reid-Foley pitches in the upcoming week. The possibility of a future start could be high.

Stat Predictions: Mets Rotation

The Mets rotation this year is going to be an interesting one. Four of the five Mets starters are slated to be there for the entire season, with Carlos Carrasco being the only question mark.

Mets Rotation

  1. Jacob deGrom
  2. Marcus Stroman
  3. Carlos Carrasco (When he returns)
  4. David Peterson
  5. Taijuan Walker
  6. Joey Lucchesi (Until Carrasco returns)

Jacob deGrom 20-6 2.33 ERA 288 K’s 0.951 WHIP

Marcus Stroman 14-12 3.49 ERA 225 K’s 1.199 WHIP

Carlos Carrasco 10-8 3.52 ERA 174 K’S 1.201 WHIP

David Peterson 13-8 3.22 ERA 194 K’s 1.155 WHIP

Taijuan Walker 12-11 3.68 ERA 190 K’s 1.245 WHIP

Joey Lucchesi 2-3 5.33 ERA 67 K’s 1.422 WHIP

The Mets rotation looks good. I think getting Carrasco back will help a lot, and will add to an already good rotation. Predicting pitcher stats is probably the most difficult thing to do, so take these with a grain of salt. That is another reason as to why I am not going to do reliever predictions, because those are even more challenging.

Mary Holt-USA TODAY Sports

Who Fills Carlos Carrasco’s Spot in the Rotation?

With the injury today of Carlos Carrasco, there becomes two major questions: will he be ready to go for the first turn in the rotation, and if not, who takes his place?

Earlier this morning, March 18, the Mets announced that Carlos Carrasco has a strained hamstring. This injury could take varying amounts of time. Until we have more clarity about how long this will sideline the starting pitcher, we have to wonder who will take his rotation if he is not ready for opening day. Carrasco is currently awaiting the results of an MRI, which should provide more answers.

(THIS IS ALL ASSUMING HE IS HURT ON OPENING DAY)

The Rotation Right Now

  1. Jacob DeGrom
  2. Marcus Stroman
  3. Carlos Carrasco (INJURED)
  4. Taijuan Walker
  5. David Peterson

There was a lot of discussion as to whether David Peterson would be the five starter for the Mets on opening day, but now there is no question that he will be in the rotation.

The primary question now, is who will be the new number five? This is where the depth the Mets acquired in the off-season finally pays off.

The Candidates

The candidates are players that I believe have earned the right to be in this spot, not just any starting pitcher eligible.

Jordan Yamamoto

Jordan Yamamoto has been overly impressive this Spring. Yamamoto, 25, has pitched in 3 games this spring. He has pitched to a 1.08 ERA with a 0.960 WHIP over 8.1 IP. Granted, it is Spring Training, but Spring Training right now is the best evaluator of how he will pitch this season. I believe he has earned the right to be in the starting rotation, but there are still more pitchers to overview.

Robert Gsellman?

The main reason I have a question mark next to Gsellman’s name is because I’m not sure if he is ready to be a starter, or if the Mets want him to be. However, Gsellman has been having a good Spring. He hasn’t started yet, but was a starter at the beginning of his career with the Mets. He has pitched to a 2.25 ERA over 4 IP so far in Spring Training. The main issue is his WHIP- 1.750. He has given up six hits in those four innings, which leads to concerns about his ability to be a solid pitcher, let alone a starter. Either way, there should be a discussion had because of his past as a starter on the team.

Joey Lucchesi

The Mets three-team trade pickup has been dominant this Spring. He has pitched in 5 innings through two games, and has not given up a run. He also has been keeping people off base, with a 0.600 WHIP. The only baserunners he has allowed have come on three walks. Lucchesi has also struck out seven batters this spring. I think Lucchesi has a very good chance at cracking the rotation. He has a similar past in the Majors to Yamamoto, and has looked better in the Spring. The other thing that is in Lucchesi’s favor is his arm. He is a left-handed pitcher, something the Mets are always yearning to have more of. Having David Peterson and Joey Lucchesi in the rotation back-to-back would be tough for opponents. This is because teams normally need to change up their batting order to tackle a lefty.

Mike Montgomery

Montgomery is an interesting one. Another lefty, Montgomery has past starting experience. However, the Mets initial plan with him was to be a bullpen depth piece. That being said, the opportunity for him to start has to be discussed. He has only pitched in two games this Spring, but Luis Rojas said that they intend to stretch him out. Doing so allows the Mets to see how he will handle starting, and pitching long into games.

Corey Oswalt

This is a name that will probably confuse people. Oswalt is also the most high-risk high-reward player here. He was unbelievably dominant in his first and only outing of the Spring. He threw two innings, didn’t give up a baserunner, and struck out five. Those are numbers that someone would expect from Jacob DeGrom. Oswalt obviously needs more opportunities in the Spring, but those numbers normally would make him a clear favorite. However, it is his past at the MLB level. Oswalt has pitched to a career 6.19 ERA in 23 games, splitting time as a starter and reliever over the course of three seasons.

Who Gets the Spot?

I think there are really only three players that are finalists here- Jordan Yamamoto, Joey Lucchesi, and Corey Oswalt.

My personal choice would be Joey Lucchesi. I believe he has a very high upside, and having another lefty arm in the rotation can be very important for a few starts. Granted, this may only be for one or two starts at the beginning of the season, but this may actually matter more than most may think. The person that gets this spot, is also considered the top backup for when anyone else is injured.

As of right now, Lucchesi has impressed me the most. However, I think it will come down to who puts out the best final Spring Training starts.

Photo credit New York Post