The New York Mets had high expectations heading into the 2020 season with Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Steven Matz, and Rick Porcello in their starting rotation. They also had Michael Wacha as an extra arm.
By the end of the season, deGrom and Porcello were the lone two pitchers in the starting rotation. The Mets bullpen also struggled at times, and as a team, they had a 4.29 team ERA. This was the biggest reason the Mets finished in last place in the NL East. The Mets offense did their part but the pitching certainly struggled.
For most of the season, deGrom was on pace to win a third straight Cy Young. He had a couple of bumps across the road with some minor injuries and struggled in his final three starts allowing eight runs. However, he put his team in spots to succeed most of the year and finished with a 2.38 ERA. deGrom still won only four games in the shortened season but had two games where his bullpen faltered late.
The Mets most reliable starter in terms of remaining healthy was Porcello. After signing a one year deal, the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner posted an ERA over five for the second straight season and finished with a 1-7 record.
Filling in as the season went on, David Peterson pitched extremely well and earned his first win at Fenway Park. He made seven starts, appeared out of the bullpen three other times, and led the team with six wins.
Peterson gave the Mets what they thought they were going to get from Matz. New York’s number two starter this year battled injuries and was taken out of the rotation. Peterson finished the season with an ERA of 9.68.
With the Mets struggling in the rotation, New York shifted both Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman into the rotation. However, both pitchers needed to be stretched out and were unable to go deep into games.
Lugo had been pitching out of the bullpen and became the closer after Edwin Diaz got off to a rocky start. The ironic part was Diaz finished the season extremely strong after Lugo moved out of the bullpen and had a 1.75 ERA.
The Mets started the year by having two pitchers out with COVID-19 in Brad Brach and Jared Hughes. When they came back, both pitchers were sharp. Hughes became a pitcher that Luis Rojas could use for multiple innings. Brach, though, struggled in his final few appearances.
Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Jeurys Familia each struggled most of the year. The Mets had to turn to some younger arms to fill in innings such as Franklyn Kilome, Drew Smith, and eventually acquired Miguel Castro at the trade deadline to fill in late.
The New York Mets will have plenty of options heading into the new season. There are some big-name free agents that New York can sign for both pitching and hitting. But the most important thing is getting the pitching staff healthy. They will also need to decide on what the best plan moving forward is with Lugo if they can get a front of the rotation starter like Trevor Bauer.
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