Brodie Van Wagenen said soon after signing Michael Wacha and Rick Porcello that the Mets had one of the deepest rotations in baseball. Now without Noah Syndergaard, Van Wagenen is confident his team will "rise to the challenge."
"Noah is a big part of the Mets family,'' Van Wagenen said in a text to Dan Martin of the New York Post. "Losing a player like him for the season is tough, but we are confident in the other pitchers we have on the roster can rise to the challenge. Adding depth to our rotation was a priority this offseason. Both Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha are proven Starting Pitchers with championship pedigrees who have been very impressive this Spring.''
As had been the case before the Mets signed Wacha and Porcello -- temporarily giving them six starting pitchers for five rotation spots -- Van Wagenen also talked up Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman as part of the team's starting rotation depth with Syndergaard out for the entire 2020 season and perhaps into 2021.
"As we know, a team can never have enough depth but we are fortunate to have a group of pitchers beyond the five who we believe can be successful starters, including Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman,'' Van Wagenen wrote.
With Syndergaard out, the expectation if/when the 2020 season begins is that the Mets are simply going to use both Wacha and Steven Matz -- who had been battling for the No. 5 spot -- in the rotation along with Jacob deGrom, Marcus Stroman, and Porcello.
When it comes to their starting pitching depth beyond those five (and Lugo and Gsellman, who are key bullpen cogs), the Mets are in dangerous territory.
Walker Lockett and Corey Oswalt would likely be the first men up if the Mets need a temporary or more long-term fill-in in the event of an injury to one of their big league starting pitchers.
Prospect David Peterson, who will likely open the season with Triple-A Syracuse, could be a rotation option at some point this season. But complicating things in that regard is the unknown of how the minor league season will be impacted amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Looking to 2021 and beyond, things get even trickier when it comes to the Mets' rotation.