Projected 2024 Mets rotation after Kodai Senga injury: David Stearns not signing another arm

Jose Quintana Mets
Jose Quintana (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

The Mets have already been dealt their first big blow of the 2024 season more than a month before Opening Day. 

Kodai Senga will miss the start of the year after suffering a shoulder strain that has shut him down just one week into the start of spring training.

It leaves an already thin starting rotation even thinner considering this is a group that does not boast the most reliable track record. The team’s top five arms are as follows:

Jose Quintana: Limited to just 13 starts and 75.2 innings last season after undergoing rib surgery in the spring. He went 3-6 with a 3.57 ERA in a promising showing but has pitched more than 100 innings in a season just once since the 2020 season.

Yankees Luis Severino
AP Photo/LM Otero

Luis Severino: The former All-Star and Cy Young hopeful with the Yankees was cast out of the Bronx after injuries and pitch-tipping issues led to his worst season as a pro in 2023. He posted a 6.65 ERA in 89.1 innings pitched. He’s recorded just 209.1 innings of work since the start of the 2019 season.

Sean Manaea: The southpaw struggled so badly at the start of the 2023 season with the San Francisco Giants that he was demoted to the bullpen after flirting with an 8.00 over his first eight appearances. He made his way back to the rotation in the final month of the season and exhibited a new, effective sweeper pitch that the Mets are hoping can get him back to being a serviceable mid-rotation starter.

Adrian Houser: Initially brought on to be the No. 5 starter, Houser has been a steady bottom-of-the-rotation option. What you see is what you get: he owns a 4.00 ERA and has averaged 90 innings per season since the start of 2018. 

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

Tylor Megill: Megill should get the first crack at filling in as the Mets’ No. 5 starter to fill the hole in the rotation left by Senga. He’s been rife with inconsistencies throughout his career with the Mets but is hoping a new “American Spork” will add a different dimension to his arsenal, allowing him to stick around the majors for a while. 

Understanding the lack of innings and the precarious ground the rotation stands on, Stearns and new manager Carlos Mendoza will go with a six-man rotation. Stearns, however, said on Thursday morning that the organization is not going to explore the free-agent market to bolster its ranks. 

That takes the team out of any potential pivot to reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell, who has been linked with the Yankees in recent days, instead. 

Jose Butto, Joey Lucchesi, and Max Kranick will compete for that No. 6 spot in the rotation while David Peterson could potentially become an option later in the season as he continues his recovery from hip surgery.

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