David Peterson has done it all for the Mets this season. He’s ridden the carousel between the majors and Triple-A, he’s been a spot starter, a regular part of the rotation, and was even tried out as a reliever.
It’s become abundantly clear that he’s best utilized as a starter — making the most of his opportunities when called upon by going 7-3 with a 3.21 ERA this season. As a starter, that ERA shrinks to a tidy 3.09.
So it’s no wonder that the 26-year-old southpaw hasn’t strayed too far away from the big club despite the rotation nearing full strength with Carlos Carrasco potentially returning this weekend.
With the calendar flipping to September and so much riding on the health of the Mets’ rotation — especially ace Jacob deGrom, who made his 2022 debut on Aug. 3 in Washington — Mets manager Buck Showalter plans on using Peterson to stretch out the rotation to provide extra rest for whom he sees fit.
“We have some things we’re considering about adjusting in the rotation that he would figure into if we feel like after some of the outings that a guy might benefit from an extra day, we’d be able to do that with David,” Showalter said. “That’s kind of where we are on it. There’s a couple guys who we’ll wait to see how they feel today whether we want to push them back or not.
“How’s [Taijuan Walker] feeling? How’s deGrom going to feel [Thursday]? And so forth. We’re going to continue to listen to them and listen to the trainers on who might benefit because David gives us the luxury there.”
Walker went 5.1 innings, allowing three runs in Tuesday night’s loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers as he attempts to put together a more consistent full season as compared to 2021 when his All-Star campaign was derailed by a nightmarish second half. After pitching a combined 67.1 innings from 2018-2020 due to Tommy John surgery, Walker pitched 159 innings last year — his most since 2015 ― and already has 122.2 innings on his ledger this season with a month to go.
While deGrom continues to ramp up to a full workload, Showalter hasn’t been shy about making it known that the two-time Cy Young Award winner will get extra days of rest sporadically throughout the remainder of the season. The 34-year-old was given a week between his previous two starts against the Atlanta Braves on Aug. 18 and Colorado Rockies on Aug. 25.
Wednesday’s start against the Dodgers provided five full days of rest.
Showalter hinted that Peterson could get the ball before Carrasco’s return, meaning he could toe the rubber as soon as Friday or Saturday against the Washington Nationals.
That moves the entire rotation back one day as the Mets are amid a nine-game-in-nine-night stretch. That’s not a bad thing for Max Scherzer, either, who battled arm fatigue down the stretch last season with the Dodgers and has averaged over six innings and 98 pitches per start over his last 11 outings since returning from the injured list.