4 reasons Mets fans should be confident

May 26th, 2022

This story was excerpted from Anthony DiComo's Mets Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

Max Scherzer is injured. Jacob deGrom is injured. deGrom’s replacement is injured, too.

But it’s not time to panic.

I know these statements seem at odds with one another, and I understand that a vote for “stay the course” can often come off as settling for mediocrity. But that’s really not the case in this situation for the Mets, who don’t need to make a move right now. Here’s why:

1. They still have enough starting pitching depth
Most teams would be happy with a top four of Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker and David Peterson, which is what the Mets are currently employing.

His last outing notwithstanding, Bassitt has resembled an ace as well as any No. 3 starter in baseball, and you can easily argue that he’s been one of the Mets’ most valuable players. Carrasco and Walker have displayed some inconsistency, but they’re still veterans who have proven capable of pitching to their ceilings this summer. Peterson is a former first-round Draft pick who easily could have won a spot in the Mets’ Opening Day rotation coming out of camp, and who has pitched well despite a difficult schedule bouncing back and forth from the Minors.

Are any of those pitchers as good as deGrom or Scherzer? No, of course not. What team has a fourth or fifth starter with multiple Cy Youngs on their resume?

2. Megill should be back sooner rather than later
Unlike deGrom and Scherzer, Tylor Megill is suffering from a relatively mild case of right-biceps tendinitis. He began throwing last weekend and could be back by early June. Once Megill does return, it will give the Mets more depth with Thomas Szapucki and Trevor Williams no longer starting games. It will also heighten the ceiling of the rotation, considering Megill’s strong start to the season and improved repertoire.

3. The prices for available starters are through the roof
That’s not unique to this season; it’s just the nature of the trade market. The contenders have not yet separated themselves from the pretenders, and so very few true sellers exist. The Reds and A’s are two clear ones, but what incentive do they have to deal pitchers right now? They’re far more incentivized to wait until closer to the Deadline, giving additional bidders time to enter the arena. If I were the Reds or A’s, sure, I’d sell Luis Castillo or Frankie Montas now. But I’d ask for a ransom in return.

4. The Mets don’t need to panic
Such is the benefit of building an early division lead as steadily as the Mets have. (Entering Wednesday’s play, they owned by far the largest lead in baseball at eight games.)

Of course, the Braves and Phillies remain threats, but the Mets can afford to sacrifice a few games in the standings now as they await a clearer picture of deGrom’s health, Scherzer’s condition and the trade market. If the situation remains similar in six to eight weeks, then it will be imperative for the Mets to upgrade their rotation.

Right now? Stay the course, trust in the depth you built this offseason and upgrade closer to the Deadline if needed. That’s exactly the path the Mets are following.