One of the many challenges facing front offices, managers and fans alike is how to balance what’s happened overall versus what’s happened recently and which to put more weight on when evaluating things. Sometimes there’s a reason why things have happened differently in a select span versus how they’ve been overall. For example, we know that the hitters were hurt from March-May because their home park was stifling offense. But it can be a variety of things.

When evaluating the pitchers, we have to remember how Citi Field played early on. But there’s another thing we need to keep in mind. And that’s for a long time, they were throwing to catchers who weren’t as good – for whatever reason – as what we have now. The Mets traded for Luis Torrens on the last day of May, while Francisco Alvarez returned from the IL on June 11. Let’s look at results from that last date thru games of Thursday and see how the pitchers are doing with those two as their batterymates:

Luis Severino NYM 1 0 0 4 4 25.1 5.7 1.8 1.4 .282 3.91 4.66 4.32
Jose Quintana NYM 2 0 0 4 4 23.1 8.5 3.5 0.8 .233 1.16 3.80 3.86
Sean Manaea NYM 2 0 0 4 4 22.2 8.3 4.4 0.4 .218 1.99 3.60 4.43
David Peterson NYM 2 0 0 4 4 21.2 7.1 4.6 0.8 .313 3.74 4.59 4.39
Tylor Megill NYM 1 2 0 4 4 18.0 12.5 5.0 1.0 .383 7.50 3.82 3.67
Adrian Houser NYM 0 1 1 6 0 12.2 7.8 1.4 0.7 .324 2.13 2.92 3.49
Dedniel Núñez NYM 2 0 0 7 0 12.2 9.2 1.4 0.7 .194 2.13 2.60 3.18
Adam Ottavino NYM 0 0 0 9 0 10.1 10.5 2.6 0.0 .217 1.74 2.00 3.96
Reed Garrett NYM 1 1 1 8 0 6.2 10.8 2.7 1.4 .294 2.70 3.61 2.53
Drew Smith NYM 0 1 0 7 0 6.1 15.6 1.4 2.8 .385 4.26 4.26 1.99
Christian Scott NYM 0 0 0 1 1 5.2 3.2 3.2 1.6 .263 6.35 5.80 5.04
Jake Diekman NYM 1 1 1 9 0 5.1 5.1 10.1 0.0 .211 8.44 5.97 6.51
Sean Reid-Foley NYM 0 0 0 5 0 4.2 7.7 1.9 0.0 .091 0.00 2.09 3.02
Danny Young NYM 0 0 0 5 0 4.1 10.4 4.2 2.1 .385 12.46 5.23 3.24
Edwin Díaz NYM 1 0 2 3 0 3.0 9.0 0.0 0.0 .286 0.00 1.16 2.12
Ty Adcock NYM 0 0 0 2 0 2.2 6.8 0.0 3.4 .143 3.38 6.53 3.83
José Buttó NYM 1 0 0 1 0 2.0 4.5 4.5 0.0 .200 0.00 3.66 5.11
Matt Festa NYM 0 1 0 1 0 1.0 9.0 9.0 0.0 .667 36.00 4.16 5.61

Overall, the Mets have gone 14-7 in this time frame, with a 3.76 ERA. During this span, that’s the eighth-best ERA in the majors. One other note that shows the impact these two catchers have had is that during this period, they’ve thrown out six of 16 runners trying to steal for a 37.5% success rate, a marked change from earlier in the year when the backstops couldn’t throw anyone out.

Now let’s look at the starters individually:

Severino – Considered by many to be the club’s best pitcher, we see that his low K rate is catching up with him, as his ERA in this span is higher than his overall mark. Additionally, both his FIP and xFIP – which normalizes HR rate and helps Severino in this stretch – are above his ERA. It’s been my belief for awhile now that the Mets should look to sell high on Severino and what he’s done recently only reinforces that point.

Quintana – What a difference it’s made for him to have Alvarez back! The run estimators are significantly above his ERA but even at those rates, he’s a solid SP3. As someone who called for him to be moved to the bullpen, these are very encouraging numbers.

Manaea – Another pitcher who’s really benefited from the return of Alvarez, Manaea has the same thing where his estimators are way above his ERA. The walks are definitely a problem. But my opinion is that xFIP is not to be trusted here. Manaea should allow fewer HR than what’s considered normal, something he did up until 2022, and did again once he added the sweeper in 2023.

Peterson – Another pitcher that the peripherals are worse than the ERA. My take is that the Mets should strongly consider moving him to the bullpen and put Butto in the rotation, instead. Peterson would give the Mets a lefty reliever and make it easier to cut ties with Diekman.

Megill – While Manaea and Butto get grief over their walk rates, Megill doesn’t receive the same scrutiny in this regard. It’s one thing that might give us pause about moving him to the pen. But he’s a back-end SP at best and he might be a fine late-inning reliever. And those who want to see him remain as a starter can point to his peripherals in this stretch.

Scott – It’s not anything to be gleaned from his first start since his recall but it’s a topic worth mentioning – why isn’t he a bullpen candidate? The Mets are concerned about his innings this year and having him pitch out of the pen would be a great way to limit those. The flip side is that we saw minor league hitters jump Scott early for homers, which isn’t a great trait for a reliever.

We can also see the outline of a good bullpen here. Houser, Nunez, Ottavino, Garrett, Reid-Foley, Diaz and Butto have combined for 10 ER in 52 IP for a 1.73 ERA. Of course, they’ll need Diaz and Reid-Foley to return to action before that can happen. Many people are clamoring for the Mets to pick up a reliever yesterday. But my opinion is to wait until those two pitchers return and see what happens then. The two relievers with the double-digit ERAs have already been removed and hopefully Diekman joins them soon.

David Stearns has been decisive with his moves with the hitters but a little more hesitant to make changes with his pitchers, especially starters. But with the Megill demotion to the minors, we may see that change. It will be curious to see what he does with Peterson and/or Scott. And the big wild card looming over everything pitching related is the return of Kodai Senga. He had his first minor league rehab start and did not allow a run in 2.2 IP, while notching 6 Ks. It’s possible he’ll be back in the majors shortly after the All-Star break.

Speculation has the Mets running a full 6-man rotation once Senga returns, which would help limit Scott’s innings while giving extra rest to the over-30 starters, too. But that would necessitate going to a 7-man bullpen. Hopefully that will be the end of Diekman’s tenure in Queens.

4 comments on “Sean Manaea and Jose Quintana are among the pitchers thriving with new batterymates

  • NYM6986

    There appears to be no doubt that the metrics show that when Francisco Alvarez is catching, the pitchers do better and the team does better. That long list of noted pitching wins can certainly also be attributed to the manner with which the Mets started hitting in the month of June.
    I agree with your moves of some of our starting pitchers to be used as bullpen pieces, but wonder if we would be better served at the midpoint in the season, by picking up a bona fide relief pitcher, versus trying to make one out of what we’ve got. Trades for relief pitchers will certainly cost us some prospects, but if we can trade off the ones that are blocked, including shortstop, third base (with crossed fingers) and catcher we can gain what we need and not agonize over what we gave up. Tanner Scott of the Marlins and Carlos Estevez of the Angels they come to mind with Estevez being much cheaper. Or Trevor Richard
    Of the Blue Jays.
    The time to strike is now.

    • Brian Joura

      Assuming they go with a 6-man rotation when Senga returns, who do you drop from the pen for a new acquisition?

      Diaz, Ottavino, Nunez, Garrett, SRF, Houser or Butto?

      It seems to me that the cost to get one of those high-end relievers you mentioned may not be worth it if the group above pitches like they have recently.

  • Metstabolism

    While the Mets are limiting Scott’s inning this year, they also want to stretch him out as a starter so he won’t have another tight limit next year. As such, and with 47% of the season to go, it might be too soon to move Scott to the pen now, as that might limit his innings total too much.

  • Metsense

    Ottavino has also been thriving with the new batterymates. He also has become a two inning pitcher when needed. In the last 21 games he has now been the old reliable 0 – O.
    At the other spectrum Jake Diekman should be slightly worried about his roster spot when SRF and Senga are healthy. The allegedly six man rotation will reduce the bullpen one reliever. Diekman’s walked rate is unacceptable. He has a player option in his contract that kicks in at 58 games for next year. He is at 36 games so far. Butto, Peterson and Scott have options so they can be sent down. The next 22 games before the trade deadline will be very interesting.

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