The Mets entered spring training with what looked like enviable pitching depth. Now as we approach Opening Day, it’s already getting tested in both the rotation and bullpen. Jose Quintana will be sidelined for the next few months. So, a competition for that final spot has bloomed between David Peterson and Tylor Megill.
Both of those hurlers pitched on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals. After seeing what happened, the southpaw may have emerged with more of an inside track to securing the job.
Peterson started this Grapefruit League contest, and his impressive spring continued. Although he did walk four hitters over four innings, he allowed just one hit and no runs while striking out four. Megill was the third hurler to take the hill for New York on Sunday afternoon, and it didn’t go as smoothly.
The Mets booted the ball around a bit. Of the six runs he allowed, only three were earned. However, it’s not like he didn’t contribute to the traffic on the bases. Megill allowed six hits and five walks while striking out two in 3.2 innings.
Peterson has now logged 12 innings this spring across four appearances, and he’s yet to allow a run. This is accompanied by a 0.75 WHIP. The left-hander has also struck out 10 hitters with seven walks (so, more than half of his walks allowed came on Sunday).
Things have been a little more up-and-down for Megill. His spring ERA is a respectable 3.00 to go along with a 1.67 WHIP in 12 innings. It’s been accompanied by eight walks and eight strikeouts.
When it comes to manager Buck Showalter making a decision between Peterson and Megill for that final rotation spot, there’s not really a wrong answer. They’ve both proven in different ways they can be productive starting pitchers in the big leagues. Peterson has shown it over a longer period of time, but they both have the ability.
I’ve said a couple of times that I’d prefer Peterson for that final spot (while also knowing we’ll likely see plenty of Megill in the rotation, too). If we want to read between the lines, maybe the Mets’ preference is starting to look like Peterson, too.
Why would I say that? Well, of Peterson’s four appearances, just one has come in relief, which was on March 4th. Two of Megill’s four appearances have come in relief. They’re still getting stretched out the same, but since the last time Peterson appeared in relief, Megill has racked up both of his occurrences (March 7th and March 19th).
As we’re closing in on one week until Opening Day, the coaching staff should be mimicking certain roles for players. So, this is something to monitor. If the next appearance for Peterson is as a starter and Megill’s is as a reliever, the right-hander just may be beginning the year in the Mets’ bullpen.
Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.