Tylor Megill and David Peterson will be key components in the 2023 season, as they bring pitching depth, experience, and youth to an aging rotation. Both players stepped up in the 2022 season, as Megill went from Triple-A depth to Opening Day starter, and in dominating fashion over the Nationals. He started nine games going 4-2 and made six relief appearances. Peterson started 19 games with a 7-5 record and had nine relief appearances.
The average starting age of the current Mets starting rotation (Max Scherzer – 38, Justin Verlander – 39, Carlos Carrasco – 35, Jose Quintana – 33, and Kodai Senga – 29) is roughly 35 years of age. Whereas Megill and Peterson are both 27 years of age and do not have as many miles on their arms as the others currently in the Mets rotation. Yes, both have suffered some smaller injuries, which have led to missed time. However, the front office of the Mets have built a strong rotation and lineup for a run at the 2023 World Series title. If the 2023 Mets are going to make a run, they will need help from Megill and Peterson.
Scherzer is still dominant and will continue to dominate, as he is a throwback to the Nolan Ryan’s of the world, but had injuries last year that unfortunately come with aging, so one has to believe that he will miss some time again this year. Verlander seems to never slow down, as he won the American League Cy Young Award in 2022 going 18-4 with a superb 1.75 ERA. Nevertheless, at the age of 39 and two years removed from Tommy John Surgery, we all have that little voice in the back of our head saying can he make it another full injury-free season (and please let the baseball gods allow him to). When watching Scherzer and Verlander pitch, it makes me think of Nolan Ryan and Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner’s character in For Love of the Game), where you wonder how long they can keep pushing that sun back up into the sky to keep playing. Senga is an exciting signing, but unproven in Major League Baseball. In Japan, Senga only pitched once a week (he started every 7th or 8th day), but in MLB he will be expected to pitch every 5th day, which can and probably will lead to fatigue for him. Quintana is an interesting signing, as he is an innings eater and always takes the ball every 5th day, which is what the Mets need, but again it is the NY Mets and we all know how their luck goes. Carrasco is a person I love and was so excited when he was thrown into the Francisco Lindor trade. How can you not root for this man? After all, he has been through; he has become a Citi field favorite the last two seasons. However, with Carrasco it is like that old saying life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get. Carrasco has been consistent over the past two seasons but has faltered some in both second halves of the season.
This is where the tandem of Megill and Peterson come into play and it’s crucial for the Mets to keep them stretched out and ready to start at all times as you never know who might do down or could need to be skipped in the rotation for extra rest. Heck, the Mets could even go with a six-man rotation to lengthen the rest for Senga and a couple of the other starters. Megill and Peterson cannot only fill the role if a starter goes down or a need for a sixth pitcher for a week or two to stretch out the rotation and give everyone a little extra rest occurs. In addition, they can fill in for spot starts during doubleheaders or long relief when someone struggles early in a game.
Megill is a 6’7 power arm with a four-seamer that pops off his hand and averages about 96 MPH. Megill also mixes in his change-up, slider, and a curve to complement his Four-seamer. He throws a very hard changeup, which results in some natural sink. He has a beautiful 12-6 curve, which leads to a good number of groundballs. Megill’s slider does result in a higher ratio of fly balls than most sliders thrown by other pitchers, but he has shown flashes of brilliance with it though. He showed his brilliance on the mound during the first month of the season last year, until an injury sidelined him.
Peterson is a lefty with great mechanics, with a strong 4-seamer with a natural sink to it that results in more groundballs. He has an above-average curve that generates more whiffs compared to other pitchers’ curves. Peterson has also developed a strong change-up that leads to a high ground ball rate.
In order for the Mets rotation to be successful in 2023, Megill and Peterson will play a very important role in the Mets’ success. In today’s era, it is hard for pitchers to make their normal 32-35 starts per year. In 2022, only 43 pitchers in MLB made at least 30 starts in the season. Only one current Mets starter made at least 30 starts last year and that was Quintana, who made 32 starts split between the Pirates and Cardinals. Teams can never have enough pitching in today’s era of baseball, with pitch counts, inning limits, etc., which puts a strain on arms for pitching depth, but the Mets are blessed to have two high-end rotation guys ready to step in. With Scherzer, Verlander, Carrasco, Quintana, Senga, Megill, and Peterson the NY Mets have seven amazing arms, which leads them toward one of the strongest rotations in all of baseball. If the Mets are to make a move for a title in 2023, the arms of Megill and Peterson will be major factors in them reaching those goals, as long as they can stay healthy as well.