Report: Mets Might Go 5th Starter By Committee

By WFAN Sports Radio 101.9 FM/66AM New York

The Mets are internally discussing an outside-the-box idea for their fifth rotation spot, a report said Tuesday.

According to the New York Post's Joel Sherman, instead of using a designated No. 5 starter, the Mets are considering platooning between Steven Matz, a left-hander, and Michael Wacha, a righty, based on who they believe matches up best against a specific opponent. 

The Mets are also weighing the possibility of using Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo in a one- or two-inning opener role, with Matz or Wacha following for several innings, the Post reported.

Sherman wrote that the Mets believe "the depth and versatility will provide options and keep them from feeling shorthanded. The key being health permitting."

The Mets have not yet announced their rotation plans. Because of off days in the early part of their schedule, they only need to use a fifth starter once before April 11 -- that would be April 1 against the Phillies. 

Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello figure to be the top four starters. 

The Mets' Steven Matz pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 1, 2018, at Citi Field.USA TODAY Images

Matz, 28, went 11-10 last season with a 4.21 ERA and 153 strikeouts. After a disastrous June, in which he he went 1-3 with a 7.36 ERA, Matz was briefly moved to the bullpen but later returned to the rotation.

Wacha, a starter for the Cardinals the last several seasons, signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Mets in December. As the Post noted, Wacha's contract includes escalator clauses of $250,000 each for 40, 45, 50 and 55 relief appearances. Wacha is also rewarded for relief appearances of three or more innings, a sign the Mets might have been considering months ago using him after an opener. 

The 28-year-old Wacha went 6-7 with a 4.76 ERA and 104 strikeouts in 2019.