The New York Mets starting pitching staff has been one of the biggest enigmas of the season. Besides Kodai Senga, the team needed more consistency in the staff. Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander did come around, but Carlos Carrasco and Tylor Megill didn’t. Megill was sent down to the minors, and the two future Hall of Famers would end up being traded. Carrasco, meanwhile, continues to struggle. Their trades would sound the alarm on the season that the Mets were sellers and throwing in the towel. José Quintana returned from injury after missing the first half of the year and has been solid in his four starts. The other pitcher with problems early in the season was David Peterson.
David Peterson’s Improvement Good Sign For 2024
After having a promising rookie season in the shortened 2020 campaign, Peterson would struggle. From 2021 to 2022, his combined ERA ballooned to 4.49. Compared to his rookie season, where his ERA was 3.44. This year, Peterson was called upon once again to step up in the absence of Quintana and when Verlander had to miss a month. Unfortunately for the Mets, Peterson would struggle badly and be a key reason why the Mets’ rotation was a mess.
He was 1-6 in eight starts with an unreal 8.08 ERA and only going six innings in one of those starts. That was in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he gave up six earned runs. He gave up 35 earned runs on 54 hits and ten home runs. Peterson was eventually sent down to the minors after an outing that saw him get trounced by the Washington Nationals.
His performance left the Mets no choice but to option him to Triple-A. A team who, at the time, was trying to compete could not have a pitcher with an ERA over eight. It was also startling to see a pitcher regress that badly. Both he and Megill had regressed terribly. Peterson would spend a month in Triple-A Syracuse, having an ERA of 4.86 in seven games, and get the call back up to the big leagues on June 27th. The reason was that he was taking the spot of Megill. Since returning from the minors, Peterson has looked much different and better.
An Improved Peterson
Now, the Mets are in a spot where they are evaluating talent for 2024. With the team out of it and selling off at the trade deadline, bubble guys like Peterson now have to leave their mark for the year’s final two months. Especially with the rotation in the shape it’s in besides Senga and Quintana. Peterson, both as a starter and reliever, has stepped up. In his return outing on June 27th, Peterson threw six shutout innings against the Milwaukee Brewers. It was, without a doubt, the best he’d looked up to until that point. In 10 games, Peterson has a 2-1 record, striking out 24 batters and, best of all, only allowing six earned runs. His ERA during that span? 2.05. A far cry from the 8.08 ERA he had before getting sent down.
Peterson still has a long road ahead to give the Mets any confidence in him. He’s still trying to find a proper role for himself. With Verlander and Scherzer gone, Peterson will get more opportunities to start instead of coming out of the bullpen. If Peterson continues to pitch well, he may find a role in the 2024 club. Being a reliable lefty in the rotation or out of the bullpen would benefit the Mets next season.
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