He doesn’t have the mythical allure of a superhero in a cape or his own sandwich on Long Island.
He wasn’t a key prospect acquired in a trade and doesn’t have “sexy” in his nickname.
He’s Logan Verrett and what he may lack in flash, he’s looking to make up for in old-fashioned production when he takes the hill at Citi Field Saturday night against Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals.
Verrett, who has made nine spot starts in the past two seasons, has the first crack at filling Matt Harvey’s spot in the rotation after the Mets’ Opening Day starter opted for season-ending surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome.
“He’s a big part of our team for morale and everything around here but I’m excited about the opportunity,” Verrett said. “I know I’m not Matt Harvey, I’m Logan Verrett. My job is to pitch and however I can get in there and help the team, that’s exactly what I’m going to do.”
Verrett, a 26-year-old third-round pick out of Baylor University, started out strong this season. He didn’t allow a run in either of his first two starts – going six innings both times – and posted a 0.52 ERA through April. He’s been hit harder since, including allowing seven runs in 2.2 innings at Colorado May 14 and five runs in four innings at Milwaukee June 11 and has a 4.01 ERA this season in 23 appearances (five starts).
But for now, instead of alternating as a starter and reliever – which has culminated in a 3.80 ERA in 41 games and 97 innings — Verrett has a chance to prove himself worthy of starting every fifth day, like he did in the minor leagues.
“The bullpen has been great – just for having me get used to pitching in any situation,” Verrett said. “But the routine will be nice.”
Verrett proved what he could do last year, allowing just one run with eight strikeouts in eight innings in his first start for the Mets in Colorado August 23. But he finished last year never going more than five innings in his final three starts and allowing eight runs in 14.1 innings.
Verrett’s key will be consistency and he doesn’t think the pressure of his new role will get to him. He embraces it.
“There’s pressure every time you take the mound but that’s part of why we play the game,” he said. “That’s why we enjoy it. I think it’s going to be a fun opportunity to me and I’m looking forward to it.”