The Mets 5th Starter Will Be…….

There is an opening starting position on the New York Mets roster, and we have a couple candidates for the chance. It is with great sadness that I say, and I hate myself for even say this, but Bartolo Colon is gone from the team and even worse playing for the rival Atlanta Braves. He got alot of money for it so great for him. Okay now that we’ve wiped all our tears and put the tissues away, it’s time to move forward.

Starters 1-4 are set and ready to go for the beginning of the season, this last spot will be a fun and healthy competition for who gets that last position. I’m actually confident with the 3 candidates in question so this will be fun to keep attention too. It’s not like taking the lesser of  2 evils, it’s more of when your’e taking a difficult multiple choice test and each answer is right, but there’s 1 that’s more correct than the others. That’s what the Mets have here.

The 3 candidates are as follows:  Seth LugoRobert Gsellman and the popularly polarizing Zack Wheeler. Each man has experience in the big leagues, with Lugo and Gsellman coming up in very important roles last season while Wheeler has had a spotlight on him ever since getting traded to the Mets and starting for them in 2014. Injuries have unfortunately plagued him since, it’s been a rough road of recovery as he’s missed the last 2 years. Here’s a look at this stable of talent the Mets have.

Lugo, as the oldest of the 3 has technically had the most time up at the majors of recent date but only by a month, I would probably put him and Gsellman on the same level. Many things about them are the same except Gsellman has flowing locks like teammates Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard. In just 3 months of audition time Lugo had 5 wins to Gsellman’s 4 though Gsellman had a 2.4 era to Lugo’s 2.6. Lugo also had more innings pitched but again that was only because he was called up weeks earlier, even with all that said Gsellman only had 3 less strikeouts than Lugo’s 45 with 19 less innings to do so. There are many equalities to these 2.

When you take a closer look you see even more that make them so close. In the month of September when it mattered most, both pitchers had 3 wins. When I pay attention to more closer stats you see that 1 thing they could work on is pitching deeper into games. Both men only got through the 7th inning a combined 3 times in the final month, with that all said 1 each for them both came against the Washington Nationals where coincidentally, 1 run was again only let up by from the new guys. I for 1 think it’s very important to see how young pitchers fair against top teams with better talent. They both passed that test.

Zack Wheeler on the other hand hasn’t really been seen on the mound in 2 seasons. Tommy John surgery sucks, and Wheeler has had setbacks in his recovery. When healthy, if that were to ever fully happen, Wheeler is the most talented out of all 3, the spot would be his but we don’t live in a perfect world. Wheeler has a blazing fastball that sets up everything else he throws. Though I think he should definitely be the last starter down the road this season, starting out I just don’t feel confident putting him out there on a major league roster when he hasn’t pitched against that kinda talent in a very long time. It’s already been reported that Wheeler has “tenderness” on that same elbow in this spring, is that the guy we want out there right now?

For that reason I think it’s definitely down to between Gsellman and Lugo, to me it’s really just a coin flip When you think about it too they’re both gonna have a chance to pitch on this stage, no starting 5 ever are the only 1’s to start every game in the season, there will be rest and hopefully just minor injuries, Wheeler Gsellman and Lugo will all get their time.

Since we have to pick 1 I would go with Seth Lugo for the deciding reason being that Lugo also pitched in the bullpen for a little time last year as well, the Mets can use that versatility. There will be times where the 5th starter will  be skipped over because of  scheduling, and this way they can throw Lugo in the bullpen that is questionable already. Gsellman and Wheeler can both maintain a starters routine and just keep sharpening their skills until they get the call, it’s a win for all. It’s all up to Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen for what they wanna do, but this 1 is hard to mess up.

 

Matthew Matera is a contributing writer for gmbsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @matty4_matera20, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network

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