Jose Butto making strong Mets rotation push for 2024

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Jose Butto Mets
Jose Butto (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

The Mets are in dire need of rotational depth next season with Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana seen as the only two established starting options.

It’s a foregone conclusion that new president of baseball operations David Stearns and general manager Billy Eppler will head to the market to pick up some support, but bottom-of-the-rotation help could come internally based on the end-of-season flourish from Jose Butto and Tylor Megill. 

Butto especially has been a revelation since rejoining the Mets’ rotation on Sept. 6. In three starts this month, he’s gone 17.1 innings, posted a 2.08 ERA, and struck out 19 while walking just five. 

On Monday night against a playoff contender in the Miami Marlins, 25-year-old righty went six innings for the second time in the last 12 days, allowing just one run on four hits with six strikeouts.

“The confidence I have now has really raised to another level,” Butto said. “Every opportunity is an opportunity to be able to have success. That’s what I’m really grateful for, to go out there and put in a lot of work.”

It’s especially impressed manager Buck Showalter, who worked around a Luis Arraez lead-off single in his final inning of work, shrugged off what looked like a Jorge Soler home run that went just inches foul, and proceeded to strike out the slugger.

“When things get challenging, he figures out a way to stay in the game,” Showalter said. “He’s been solid. Really proud of him. He’s done some things he hasn’t been able to do in the past and limit the damage.”

Megill, who was sent down to Triple-A in June and spent six weeks struggling in the minors, has worked out a solid string of starts, posting a 3.13 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 31.2 innings of work across his previous six appearances. But it hasn’t been without its issues. He’s walked 15 and has allowed 34 hits during that stretch.

Tylor Megill Mets
Tylor Megill (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

“I have to attack the strike zone and let the defense work,” Megill said after he allowed two earned runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts. “Audition-wise, just keep being me and going out there and attack[ing] hitters.”

Both he and David Peterson — who has a 4.06 ERA in his last eight starts since being recalled from the minors after the trade deadline — have had numerous opportunities to cement their place in the Mets’ rotation over the last three seasons. They’re expected to get another long look in the spring. 
“I want them to be more than depth,” Showalter said of the duo last month. “I want them to be one of the guys, I want them to graduate. We need them to graduate for a lot of reasons. They shows flashes of it and then — if you’re taking two steps forward, one step back, I’m OK with that. But we can’t quite get over that hump sometimes. [He and Peterson are] not 24, 25. They’re 27, 28… I want them to be a guy we can count on. I want them to use these starts to make us think he could be and should be.”

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