When the Mets added Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello to their rotation in December, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen made a bold proclamation: “I think we’re probably the deepest starting rotation in baseball.”
Now that Noah Syndergaard is lost for whatever becomes of the 2020 season because of last week’s Tommy John surgery, the Mets GM was asked Thursday if he still believed the team had enough depth or if he’d go outside the organization to look for another starter.
He sounded pretty content with what the Mets figure to have if baseball is played this year.
“Noah is a big part of the Mets family,” Van Wagenen said in a text. “Losing a player like him for the season is tough, but we are confident in the other pitchers we have on the roster can rise to the challenge. Adding depth to our rotation was a priority this offseason. Both Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha are proven Starting Pitchers with championship pedigrees who have been very impressive this Spring.”
Wacha and Porcello figure to join Steven Matz in the rotation behind Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman.
“As we know, a team can never have enough depth but we are fortunate to have a group of pitchers beyond the five who we believe can be successful starters, including Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman,” Van Wagenen said.
Before the Mets signed Wacha and Porcello, Van Wagenen had floated the idea that Lugo or Gsellman could be moved to the rotation. And Gsellman admitted he was intrigued by the possibility, but both provide valuable arms to a bullpen that struggled a year ago.
Beyond those two, the Mets also have Walker Lockett, Corey Oswalt, Stephen Gonsalves, Franklyn Kilome and David Peterson as potential options — although Peterson isn’t on the 40-man roster.
The indefinite delay to the start of the season has given more time for the Mets’ injured players to get ready for the year, including Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto and the oft-injured Jed Lowrie. But with Florida issuing a much-anticipated stay-at-home order this week, their rehabs could be more challenging.
Van Wagenen said the team’s coaches and performance staff “remain in close contact with Cespedes, Conforto and Lowrie. Each of our players has unique circumstances. As a result, we are developing individualized programs based on their ever-changing available resources.”