Two men employed by the Mets have the word “manager” in their title — the field manager and the general manager (not including the numerous assistants to the general manager, and the ticket manager and other managerial folk. So okay, there are more than two men with “manager” in their title. But you know what I mean.). They are primarily responsible for the faltering team we are seeing on the field. The entire squad is a mess, but what they are doing with the starting rotation has left a lot of observers questioning the competence of Mickey Callaway and Brodie Van Wagenen.
Going into the season, the Mets were happy with the depth of their rotation. There was the big four, plus (unfortunately) Jason Vargas. And if any of them went down, you had Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo standing by in the bullpen, ready to take on the starting role that got them to the major leagues in the first place.
So far this season, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and the illustrious Vargas have spent time on the injured list. Yet neither Gsellman nor Lugo have been called on to start. Rather, Chris Flexen got one start, the Mets went out and traded for someone name Wilmer Font and he turned in two terrible starts, and Drew Gagnon could get the start on Monday. So instead of starting two pitches who have had success at the major league level as starters, three Quadruple-A pitchers get the nods.
Gsellman and Lugo are valuable as relievers, and it makes sense not to mess with that, which is apparently what the Mets are thinking. But it doesn’t matter how good your bullpen is (and overall, the Mets pen has been terrible) — if your starters cannot keep you in the game, it is a lost cause. And Flexen, Font and associates are not good enough to do that. So the causes, and their games, were lost.
So unless the Mets plan on signing Dallas Keuchel or trading for an actual major league starting pitcher, just let Gsellman or Lugo start if necessary. Let’s give the team a fighting chance.