At the conclusion of the 2020 season, it seemed like a pretty safe bet that David Peterson would be in the Mets’ rotation in 2021. After all, it looked like the Mets were going to need to sign three starters and how likely was it that they were going to get three or four guys better than Peterson? Then the Mets went out and re-signed Marcus Stroman, traded for Carlos Carrasco and signed Taijuan Walker. And they also acquired Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto. And, of course, Noah Syndergaard is still in the picture, too, even if not until June.

With his success last year, and the fact that he’s a lefty, Peterson likely retains the inside track to open as the club’s fifth starter. But Lucchesi is a lefty, too, and Yamamoto is having the best Grapefruit League start (1.08 ERA, 0.96 WHIP) of any club pitcher besides Jacob deGrom. Then add in the uncertainty if Carrasco will be ready to start the season and if Walker will be on any kind of innings cap and projecting the totals for these potential SP candidates becomes a big mess.

So far in this projection series, there is deGrom with 210 IP, Stroman with 180, Carrasco with 176.1 and Walker with 154. Virtually none of those innings will likely occur in relief, so we’re in the neighborhood of 115 starts. So, we have roughly 47 starts left to divide among four pitchers, as our hope – however unrealistic – is that no one else starts a game besides these eight hurlers.

If Syndergaard comes back in early June, we could assign 21 or so starts to him, leaving about 26 for the others. It still seems to me that the lion’s share of those will go to Peterson, with Lucchesi and Yamamoto divvying up the remainder. If there are a dozen starts from the fifth slot before Syndergaard returns, that leaves around 14 for “missing” starts from the others. And then you have to guess when those “missing” starts will occur. Will they happen early in the year – like if Carrasco has to miss any time – where if Peterson is in the rotation already, those starts will go to Lucchesi or Yamamoto? Or will they be in the second half, when Peterson becomes free? Also, will any of these three spend time in the bullpen in the majors or will they go to Triple-A to keep stretched out as a starter?

Since we’re looking at four pitchers here, we’ll dispense with listing multiple projections for each one. Instead, we’ll just use the FanGraphs’ Depth Chart (FGDC) – which is essentially a mixture of the forecasts that appear on their site, meaning neither Marcel nor RotoChamp will factor into things. Finally, the computer models don’t care about having starts or innings make sense on a club level. They just forecast what the player is likely to do given what he – and others like him – have done in the past.

FGDC – 55 IP, 4.15 ERA, 55 Ks, 20 BB, 8 HR
M360 – 17 IP, 4.76 ERA, 15 Ks, 6 BB, 3 HR

FGDC – 94 IP, 4.11 ERA, 84 Ks, 38 BB, 11 HR
M360 – 102 IP, 4.50 ERA, 79 Ks, 51 BB, 12 HR

FGDC – 96 IP, 3.74 ERA, 97 Ks, 25 BB, 12 HR
M360 – 126 IP, 3.25 ERA, 126 Ks, 35 BB, 14 HR

FGDC – 17 IP, 5.19 ERA, 16 Ks, 8 BB, 3 HR
M360 – 45 IP, 4.40 ERA, 45 Ks, 20 BB, 6 HR

You’ll have more credibility if you weigh in now with what you think this quartet will do in 2021.

5 comments on “Mets 2021 projections: Lucchesi, Peterson, Syndergaard, Yamamoto

  • Wobbit

    I’ll use the narrative form. How will these pitchers perform compared to what is expected?
    DeGrom will not disappoint.
    Stroman will disappoint… I just get the feeling that he winds up making excuses, maybe gets nicked up. Hope I’m wrong.
    Carrasco… perhaps in and out of the lineup… but hopefully more effective than not. Opens the door for the other starters to step up.
    Peterson will be solid and better than projected. As long as he gets the ball, he will do nothing but improve… better than 4.50ERA
    Walker needs to work… let it hang out… hope for a huge, solid season… will come in well under 4.00 ERA.
    Lucchesi should be used as often as possible. Too much funky stuff to go to waste… use him against LH heavy lineups… get five innings and go.
    Yama is the last guy but not to be overlooked. Get him innings and make him pitch his way into relevancy.
    Syndergaard will need time to refind himself… obvious long-term talent and important to the team… but besides the long layoff, he might be dealing with a new identity, pitching more to contact, economizing pitches.

    Nice problem to have, all these pitchers. Still, a problem that only time and performance will determine. I feel best about Peterson and Walker.

  • Footballhead

    Going back to an earlier forecast of the “dream” pitching (rotation) scenario from my perspective, I had deGrom, Stroman, Carrasco, Walker, combining for 114 starts. I had Walker with 21 of these. Since I to am more comfortable using the narrative approach, I will emulate Wobbit’s format. Of the four arms listed in the title, I see Peterson getting 21 starts. I know he’s not had a good spring so far, and that Yamamoto has been impressive; I still see Peterson as the #5 arm in the rotation. I think that Lucchesi will be his fill-in before anybody else, and that he’ll tally 12 starts himself (also spot starting for others). I will admit that I haven’t considered Yamamoto for any starts in my earlier predictions. The reality of course, could be different.
    Syndegaard seems to be everybody’s choice to come out smoking hot in June (at least that’s the way Thor thinks himself), but I personally would be surprised if he starts more then 15.

    So, lets give some predictions in the numbers for these four.
    Peterson 105 4.15 77 44
    Syndegard 98 3.25 104 33
    Lucchesi 78 4.25 66 34 (he’ll also be used as a multi inning bullpen arm)
    Yamamoto 40 4.55 44 28 (maybe a start, but a multi inning bullpen arm for sure)

    I’m really excited about the starting staff this season, and hopefully Rojas will be smart enough to allow all of our big three/four pitchers to skip a turn or two in the rotation (yes, including deGrom) to keep arms fresh for the post season. With the stronger back ups available, I don’t see any reason why other scrubs and AAAA types are needed.

  • TexasGusCC

    Syndergaard: 82 inn, 82 k, 25 bb, 3.03 era, 14 starts, turns it on in playoffs
    Peterson: 68 inn, 59 k, 23 bb, 4.37 era, 13 starts, not on playoff roster
    Lucchesi: 86 inn, 84 k, 29 bb, 3.98 era, 9 starts
    Lugo: 110 inn, 120 k, 26 bb, 2.78 era, 15 starts
    Yamamoto: 27 inn, 22 k, 8 bb, 4.67 era, 3 starts

    Viscaino, Hunter and Montgomery will be on the roster, Betances will get cut, Familia will get a thin leash, probably sticks until Lugo comes back into the rotation and Lucchesi goes to the bullpen.

  • Metsense

    The Mets have set their rotation and gave injury updates on Carrasco and Syndergaard so with this information it seems that projections are in order.

    Lucchesi 91 IP, 4.21 ERA, 87 K’s, 31 BB, 13 HR
    Peterson 62 IP, 4.41 ERA, 49 K’S, 29 BB, 6 HR
    Syndergaard 102 IP, 3.75 ERA, 104 K’S, 26 BB, 12 HR
    Yamamoto 27 IP, 4.48 ERA, 31 K’s, 12 BB, 4 HR

    I project Lucchesi will have a better year than Peterson. Syndergaard will be good but not as good as previous seasons. He will improve as the season progresses.

  • JimO

    Here are my projections:

    85 IP, 3.95 ERA, 83 Ks, 26 BB, 12 HR
    132 IP, 4.53 ERA, 113 Ks, 54 BB, 15 HR
    85 IP, 3.72 ERA, 86 Ks, 22 BB, 10 HR
    32 IP, 4.95 ERA, 30 Ks, 13 BB, 5 HR

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