ATLANTA – A manageable rotation stance took a potentially darker turn on Tuesday for the Mets, who lost Taiguan Walker For cramps after two rounds of A 5-0 loss To Braves at Trust Park. The problem occurred less than 24 hours after fellow rotating member Carlos Carrasco I strained his left slantexpels him for three to four weeks.
“It’s bad, and the timing couldn’t be worse in something like this,” Walker said.
In the short term, Walker’s injury proved detrimental when understudy RJ Alvarez and Stephen Nogosek allowed five runs over 4 1/3 innings behind him, including creeps to Robbie Grossman and Matt Olson. Reducing the loss leads to the division of New York to 3 1/2 games.
In the longer term, Walker is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Wednesday, which will shed more light on his injury. (He’s not sure if he can make his next start.) Even if Walker’s problem didn’t stop him staying long, the Mets’ luck in rotating spins put the depth chart under the microscope at a critical point in their season. New York is already planning to dive into those reserves this weekend, with sixth and seventh players David Peterson and Trevor Williams set to start both strands in Philadelphia. What if I get another injury?
Here’s what the Mets’ spinning depth looks like with seven weeks left in the regular season:
(Note: These rankings are not official, but are a rough estimate of the position of the next shooters in the organizational hierarchy.)
No. 6 start: LHP David Peterson
Key stats: 14 Beginnings, Four Reliefs, 3.30 pm
So far, the Mets have resisted the temptation to turn Peterson into a full-time relief business, despite having Julie Rodriguez as the only player left on the playing field. Knowing that they would need at least a sixth start on Saturday, Mets kept Peterson stretched out in the palace so he could come back to make that start.
Now, with Carrasco sidelined, the obvious move is for Peterson to keep spinning for the foreseeable future. This is not a bad thing. As a start, Peterson was excellent, scoring 5-2 and 3.17 ERAs in 14 starts. He’s a key member of deep club rotation for a reason.
No. 7 start: RHP Trevor Williams
Key stats: Eight starts, 14 relief appearances, 20 consecutive rounds without goals, 3.02 ERA
It’s hard to put Williams’ value to this crew in words. He’s been the glue man all season, delivering everything from two-time appearances in April to a seven-stroke free start last month. If the Mets need Williams to get started, he’ll start, and he’ll probably be good at it.
“I am grateful for that [manager] dollar [Showalter] He trusts me in the role,” Williams said. “I’m glad to be able to contribute, whether it’s starting or lightening up or just getting a random hang of it now and then, it’s fun.”
No. 8 start: RHP Taylor Miguel
Key stats: Nine starts, 41 1/3 runs, 47 hits, 5.01 ERA
Beginning on the Mets’ opening day, Miguel has been sidelined since June 17 due to a strain in the right shoulder. He threw his first practice session on Sunday and could advance to the rehab games by the end of the month, but the Mets plan is to turn Megill into relief work when he returns. That may change of course, but even if it does, Megill will need time to stretch all the way again as a start. It is not a short-term option in rotation.
No. 9 Author: LHP Joey Lucchesi
Key stats: Has not participated since June 18, 2021
Mets officials have yet to reveal their intentions for Lucchesi upon his return from Tommy John’s surgery, which will likely occur in September. Lucchesi has at least some opportunity to turn into relief work as well, considering the Mets’ lack of left-hand depth. But he can also extend back to the starting karma if that’s where the need is most. Lucchesi performed in both roles last year, producing a 1.19 ERA in his last five starts before tore his elbow ligaments.
Lucchesi has yet to start his rehab job, but has already thrown several live BP sessions, which is usually the last step before Minor League matches.
No. 10 start: RHP Jose Boto
Key stats: 108 hits in 92 1/3 innings at Double-A Binghamton
The Mets’ turn at Triple-A Syracuse was a revolving door, with 17 different bowlers starting the club’s games. The most interesting name in the rotation right now is Bhutto, twelfth for the team who got a promotion there last week. Best known for his changeover, Butto recently started casting sliders to expand his repertoire. The four-tone combination makes it an intriguing choice for the Mets – perhaps not this season, but at some point in the mid-term future.
“At every start, every routine in the game, I try to be better, better, better,” Botto said last week. “I feel good now that I’ve got a new offer.”