As we draw closer and closer to Spring Training, the 2021 NY Mets roster is starting to take shape. Sandy Alderson and company have made plenty of moves to improve the squad thus far, and don’t seem to be done adding just yet.
The catcher position has been addressed, the bullpen has been strengthened, the rotation has been improved, and they picked up one of the premier players in the game.
This Mets team is looking really strong, and this figures to be a great season in Queens. I already broke down the position players, here is Part Two of the 2021 NY Mets Opening Day Roster predictions breaking down the pitchers.
2021 NY Mets Starting Rotation
The top of the 2021 NY Mets rotation is about as good as it gets. Heck, any rotation with the best pitcher in baseball leading the way is pretty dang solid.
Compare this unit to last season though, and this rotation is stellar. Replace Rick Porcello with a consistent top of rotation veteran arm in Carlos Carrasco. Now switch Michael Wacha with a motivated Marcus Stroman returning home once again. That top three has some serious firepower to it.
Let’s also not sleep on young southpaw David Peterson, who enjoyed himself an extremely successful rookie campaign. The 25-year old pitched to an impressive 3.44 ERA over nine starts after not throwing a single pitch in Triple-A ball.
It seems as if the Mets are looking to add one more piece to help solidify their rotation. While Trevor Bauer would’ve been a big splash to really cap things off, I believe the Mets will be just fine ending up with veteran righty Jake Odorizzi.
The Mets reportedly showed some interest early-on in the offseason, and this is certainly a nice fit. In ‘Odo’ the Mets would be receiving a consistent veteran arm that’ll provide you with 25+ starts a season.
There is also the fact that now Mets pitching coach, Jeremy Hefner, worked well with Odorizzi during his time in Minnesota. The righty had one of the best seasons of his career, posting a 3.51 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 10.5 K/9, and a career-high 178 strikeouts in 2019.
Overall, this Mets rotation is really strong and gives the team a solid chance to win every day, no matter who takes the mound.
2021 NY Mets Starting Pitching Depth
To begin, I’ll say Noah Syndergaard is only in the depth category because he is working his way back. Syndergaard has been making solid progress, but likely will not return to the big-league club until May/June.
Once he returns to the big-league rotation, we are potentially looking at one of the top rotations in the game.
Now onto the rest of the depth. Unlike previous off-seasons, this has actually been one of the areas of the roster the Mets have addressed the most this winter.
The two that intrigue me the most are Lucchesi and Yamamoto.
Yamamoto was DFA’d by the Marlins last week, and picked up in a trade for a prospect. The righty has struggled to this point in his career, has very strong upside. Yamamoto is still just 24-years old, and if he can work through his control issues.
The Mets jumped in and picked up Lucchesi from the Padres as the third team in on the Joe Musgrove deal. Lucchesi is a deceptive lefty with a funky delivery, and is most known for his slow looping ‘churve.’
Like Yamamoto, Lucchesi struggled in 2020 but offers a ton of upside moving forward. Both players have minor league options left, so they will likely spend time in Triple-A Syracuse working out their kinks.
2021 NY Mets Bullpen
The Mets bullpen is going to be tested early on in the season. After undergoing surgery, the team’s best reliever Seth Lugo, will miss the first month or so of the season.
Trevor May is a nice addition to this team and could step in any role needed in this bullpen. He is a very versatile arm, and like Odorizzi, worked very well with Hefner during his time in Minnesota.
Dellin Betances is an interesting potential bounce-back arm for the Mets in 2021. His velocity was down a ton last season, and he struggled mightily, posting a 7.71 ERA over 11 innings.
He will certainly be a guy to watch as camp begins to ramp up this week.
The new lefty in the group, Aaron Loup, is an underrated pickup and makes for an interesting piece with his low arm slot. Over his nine-year big league career, lefties have hit just .232/.301/.319 against him.
Tommy Hunter is a solid addition on just a minor league deal. He has posted great numbers over his 13-year big league career, and is familiar with the National League East. With a strong camp, I think he’ll find his way onto the Opening Day roster.
My bold prediction for the bullpen is that after Jeurys Familia gets traded to clear cap space, Drew Smith will jump in and steal a spot in the pen. Smith is very underrated and has the potential to be a star if used properly and given legit innings.
Smith recently began throwing live-BP, and his stuff is already looking nasty. Drew Smith is a name to remember in the 2021 NY Mets bullpen, book it.
Lastly is the new name in this group, right-hander Shane Greene. I don’t see how the Mets go into this season without another acquisition in the bullpen. Greene is an underrated arm and is coming off a strong season with the Braves.
The Mets have a ton of depth arms who could make some noise in camp, the battle for the remaining bullpen spots certainly be an interesting one to watch.
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