Marcus Stroman’s decision to opt out of the rest of the season because of COVID-19 concerns might be good news for multiple Mets.
It lessens the pressure on and solidifies the rotation spot of rookie lefthander David Peterson, who has a 3.78 ERA in three starts. He ended up among the starting five when Stroman opened the season on the injured list with a torn left calf muscle.
And it leaves the Mets with another rotation vacancy for however long Michael Wacha (right shoulder inflammation) is out. The Mets have not announced a starter for their game Wednesday against the Nationals.
It looked like Stroman might be ready to return for the next time that spot came around, but now he isn’t an option.
“Right now we’ll take inventory so to speak,” general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said Monday afternoon. “We’ll talk with the pitching coaches, we’ll have a sitdown. But we were living and surviving without Marcus.”
Van Wagenen mentioned relievers Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo — former starters — in discussing the Mets’ opening.
“[Gsellman’s] got a pitch mix that would allow him to start,” Van Wagenen said. “We've talked about Seth Lugo in the past, we see how valuable he is pitching multiple innings late in games.
“We've got options, we've got other players that can contribute whether that's in creative ways or stretching guys out to start. But Robert Gsellman is definitely a guy we feel energized to have back in the fold [after he returned from the injured list last week].”
Manager Luis Rojas said one option for Wednesday is to use as many relievers as necessary. Whether the Mets go that route depends in part on how much they need the bullpen before then.
Among the options who are actually starting pitchers are Franklyn Kilome, Corey Oswalt and Walker Lockett (on the IL with lower back discomfort).
“We like our depth. Just saying it again,” Rojas said. “We like guys that can come in and step up and give us the depth we need as far as for a start.”