Most fans put Tylor Megill and David Peterson in the same boat. They view them as okay depth starters but not anyone you want to write into ink for the 2024 starting rotation. That’s not an unreasonable take. However, my opinion is that Peterson is a solid back end of the rotation guy while Megill should be moved permanently to the pen.
Much was made by Gary Cohen last night about Megill getting his season-long ERA under the 5.00 mark. However, Megill’s high this year in ERA was 5.64, which happened on 8/11. Since then, Megill has 31.2 IP with a 3.13 ERA. Those are good results. Yet in that same time frame, he has a 5.47 FIP, meaning he’s been quite lucky to post an ERA that low. Megill has allowed a 1.547 WHIP and a 1.7 HR/9 in this stretch and those numbers, well, they’re not good.
Meanwhile, Peterson was sent to the minors after eight starts, in which he posted an 8.08 ERA. But since his recall, Peterson has 61 IP and a 3.39 ERA. With his last outing, Peterson lowered his season ERA to 5.22, a drop of nearly three runs from his season high. If he gets that mark under 5.00 by the end of the season, will Cohen make the same big deal about the number that he did last night for Megill?
There’s more volatility in Peterson’s game than there is in Megill’s, at least on a yearly basis. In 2021, Megill had a 4.52 ERA. He followed that up with a 5.13 mark last year and currently has a 4.94 ERA. Lifetime, Megill has a 4.82 ERA and a 4.74 FIP. This is who he is. By contrast, Peterson has two years with an ERA in the 5s and two years with a mark in the 3s. Overall, he has a 4.56 ERA and a 4.26 FIP.
This may very well be what Peterson is, too. But given his results in 2020, 2022 and his last 61 IP here in 2023, there seems to be upside here that just isn’t the case with Megill. Conventional wisdom used to be that it took lefties a little while longer to put everything together than it did righties. Both Megill and Peterson are in their age-27 season.
So, when the choice is between two guys the same age but one’s a LHP with a FIP 48 points lower, that’s the horse to back.
LINDOR PICKS THE WRONG WEEK TO STOP SNIFFING GLUE – Players who do a bunch of things well without being great at any of them are often underrated. Carlos Beltran was one of those players, as is Francisco Lindor. Fortunately, we have WAR as a popular metric to help identify Lindor’s place in the game, which we didn’t have as prominent in the mainstream while Beltran was active.
But Lindor’s extended hot streak was getting him the recognition he deserves. That is, until, he’s hit the skids here the last three weeks or so. Since 8/26, Lindor has a .213/.277/.347 line in 83 PA. He had been so hot for so long that it’s hard to begrudge him a valley here. It just feels unfortunate that this slump corresponded with the time when he was getting some well-deserved acclaim.
OTTAVINO FINISHES STRONG – The Mets’ bullen has been a disaster for most of the year and fans hold their breath whenever Buck Showalter pulls a starter. Adam Ottavino was counted on to be one of the mainstays of the bullpen but the year didn’t start off so great for him. After his first 20 appearances, Ottavino stood with an unsightly 4.82 ERA, having given up 9 ER in his last 11.2 IP.
But with that bad streak out of the way, Ottavino has a 2.04 ERA and a 1.150 WHIP in his last 42 games and 40 IP. Even though baserunners have their way with him, Ottavino has been terrific for most of the year. While it’s doubtful that he’ll be able to match last year’s sparkling 2.06 ERA, Ottavino has turned in a solid year for the Mets. However, we should note that his season-long FIP is 4.61, meaning he’s had some good fortune here in 2023 that he’ll likely pay for next year.
WHEN A STRONG PERFORMANCE IS REWARDED WITH A SEAT ON THE BENCH – With the Mets out of the race, the smart thing was for them to give as much playing time as possible to the Baby Mets. With two or three of those guys being third basemen, it means that one of them logs playing time at DH. And that means a seat on the bench for Daniel Vogelbach, despite him finally producing the way he was expected to at the beginning of the year.
Thru games of 6/7, Vogelbach was as bad as his critics claim him to be regardless of how he’s doing, as he had a .639 OPS in 143 PA. The Mets then gave him an 8-day break. When he came back, Vogelbach was more aggressive at the plate than he had been and he came up with an emphasis of hitting the ball in the air. And the changes have paid off. In his last 174 PA, Vogelbach has 11 HR and an .811 OPS.
And it’s been even better here recently. In his last 11 games, Vogelbach has an .873 OPS. But the Mets have played 19 games in that stretch and Vogelbach has just nine starts. Some of those are because the other team started a lefty. But some are because of preferring ABs go to the youngsters. That’s the price Vogelbach has to pay for how his bad start contributed to the team’s poor record.
WHEN AVERAGE DOESN’T TELL THE WHOLE STORY – The MLB average for runs per game is 4.63 for this season, with the Mets being below that mark with a 4.40 rpg. You would think that would mean the Mets would score either four or five runs in a game a fair amount of the time. But in 148 games, the Mets have scored five runs 17 times and four runs 15 times. That’s 32 times or 22% of the time. And it’s been even worse in September.
The Mets have played 14 games this month and have scored 69 runs, for a 4.93 rpg. But they’ve scored four runs once and haven’t scored five in a game here in September. It’s feast or famine, with five games with at least seven runs scored and five games where they scored exactly two runs. Hey, at least they haven’t been shut out this month.