Quality starting pitching has been hard to come by for the Mets this year. After Noah Syndergaard went down with his lat injury, the Mets have tried to fill his spot in the rotation with guys like Adam Wilk, Rafael Montero, and most recently Tommy Milone. Now there has been a new name to emerge as a potential call up for the Mets, and that name is Tyler Pill.
Pill has had a stellar start to his 2017 season pitching to a combined ERA of 1.60 between time spent in Binghamton and Las Vegas. Pill made two starts before being called up to Triple-A, and in those starts he did not give up a run. In Vegas he has made seven starts and has only given up 10 runs in 46 innings pitched. Despite the gaudy numbers, Pill is basically a right handed version of Tommy Milone.
Tommy Milone, despite his struggles in the big leagues, was a great minor league pitcher. Milone’s minor league stats are comparable to Pill’s because they both have made the same amount of minor league starts, 105. Milone’s career ERA in the minors is 2.87 compared to 4.01 for Pill. Milone has only pitched about 30 more innings than Pill but has struck out 100 more batters.
Milone’s most recent minor league performance confirms the notion that Pill is not much of an upgrade. His last minor league stint was last year pitching for the Brewers Triple-A affiliate in Rochester. He made seven starts pitching to a 1.66 ERA, striking out 41 batters in 48.2 innings pitched.
Neither Milone or Pill throw hard and both are pitch-to-contact pitchers. The difference, besides Pill being right-handed and Milone being a lefty, is that Milone has big league experience and Pill does not. Pill could be called up and the Mets may catch lightning in a bottle, but chances are that is not going to happen. The fact is both of these guys are “AAAA pitchers” – Too good for the minor leagues but not good enough for the Majors.
The real answer to the Mets pitching woes is getting Steven Matz and Seth Lugo back from injury. In the meantime rolling the dice on getting a few quality starts from a guy who has made 124 Major League starts is better option than the alternative.