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The Mets’ back-end starters are pitching better, but what does that really mean?

Tylor Megill was far from great Saturday night in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Reds at Citi Field, but he was solid for the third time in his last four starts and finally got his ERA below 5 .00 for the first time since June.

David Peterson struck out a season-high 10 batters in a win over the Reds on Friday.

That followed Joey Lucchesi pitching seven shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday.

And Jose Butto has also had back-to-back strong outings in his last two starts.

While these are encouraging signs, especially for a team with as many question marks over the 2024 rotation as the Mets, manager Buck Showalter pointed out that it’s difficult to take too much from these performances, since his team is far from being in playoff contention.

Still, Showalter — whose future within the organization is unclear with former Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns expected to take the same role with the Mets next month — said that there was information to be gleaned from how the inexperienced part of the rotation played out. throughout the section.

Tylor Megill had a solid outing in the Mets’ 3-2 loss to the Reds.
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

“It’s time,” Showalter said of pitchers putting up numbers when there’s not much on the line for the Mets. “In spring training and now, pay attention (to what you see). But what do you expect them to do if they’re not pitching well? »

For now, only Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana – if the southpaw isn’t traded this offseason – are guaranteed a spot in the rotation next year.

As Showalter noted, Megill, Peterson, Lucchesi and Butto will all have minor league options next season, meaning they can be returned without having to go through waivers.

Perhaps a positive finish to 2023 will propel these pitchers into a better position next year.

Megill allowed three runs (two earned) and nine hits in 5 ²/₃ innings Saturday.

Joey Lucchesi pitched a seven-inning gem in the Mets' recent win over the Diamondbacks.
Joey Lucchesi pitched a seven-inning gem in the Mets’ recent win over the Diamondbacks.
Jason Szenes for the New York Post

The right-hander called the outing “tedious” and, when asked about his audition for the 2024 rotation, said his goal was to “go out and throw like I can throw.”

Megill walked two, but was disappointed that he allowed as many baserunners as he did.

“They’re trying to present themselves well for the future and also trying to finish strong this year and give the team a chance to win,” Showalter said of the four unproven pitchers.

It’s easy to be fooled by some late-season performances, but certain aspects of pitching can signal to teams that an inexperienced pitcher is more likely to take the next step — and that’s what the Mets will be watching for at over the last two weeks. season.

“You’re looking for, ‘Is this legit?’ » » Showalter asked whether these good signs would be sustainable in the long term. “Does it play any time of year?”

There are several parts of the pitchers’ arsenal. Showalter and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, along with the front office, will keep a close eye on the rest of the way.

“Command comes into play,” Showalter said. “The shape and consistency of a shattering ball.” The ability to achieve something sweet and make other fields honored. This happens at any time of the year, whatever the atmosphere.

Added Showalter: “I want these guys to finish strong and feel good about themselves in the offseason.”

He was also quick to point out that even if they accomplished this feat, it wouldn’t necessarily impact what they do next season.

“That’s why I’m so respectful to the teams, coaches and players who do things (right) year after year,” Showalter said.

New York Post

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