New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway touched on a variety of different topics with Tim Britton of The Athletic including the back-end of the rotation and how many pitchers they will carry in the bullpen.
What we do know is that Noah Syndergaard is starting on Opening Day against the St. Louis Cardinals and Jacob deGrom will follow him for game two. The next two spots are expected to be Matt Harvey and Jason Vargas, leaving the Mets still searching for a fifth starter.
The fifth starter spot is really down to lefty Steven Matz who has allowed only two runs in his last 8.1 innings (10 ER in first 1.2 IP) and Zack Wheeler who has been up and down this spring with a 6.75 ERA.
Matz has walked eight batters and Wheeler only two, something that could be key in deciding the starter according to Callaway, “The one thing we’re still evaluating is the way they attack hitters. If they attack the right way, we know their stuff is going to play. So we just have to know that they’re willing to go out and do it.”
As for the bullpen, Callaway is undecided on whether he will go with seven or eight guys to begin the season, “We’re going to take our best pitchers. Period. That’s how we feel about it.”
The four locks in the Mets pen are Jeurys Familia, AJ Ramos, Jerry Blevins and Anthony Swarzak. Likely going to see at least one of Lugo or Gsellman then could be another starter from the loser of Matz and Wheeler. Paul Sewald has pitched very well this spring (2.16 ERA) as he gets close to locking up a spot. If they decide to take another lefty it could be Matt Purke.
Right-hander Jacob Rhame has certainly put his name in the discussion with a good spring (2.57 ERA, 9 K in 7 IP) and has good numbers against lefties in the minors. The Mets could certainly use another guy besides Blevins in the pen that can get lefties out.
The Callaway quote on attacking hitters would certainly not be a good thing for Rafael Montero. The right-hander has walked five in six innings to go along with a 10.50 ERA and 2.33 WHIP. Montero is out of options which will give him a ton of rope but he’s certainly doing himself no favors in terms of staying on the 40-man roster.
At this point the only reason we should be talking about Hansel Robles and his 10.13 spring ERA is when does he get optioned to Triple-A.