PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. – While the Mets try to figure out the back end of their rotation, manager Luis Rojas will head to the lab on Saturday.
The big experiment involves using Jacob Barnes as the opener, who throws an innings or two against the Astros before he gives the ball to Joey Lucchesi.
« Lucchesi has come out of the bullpen twice and he’s very honest, let’s see how he reacts, » said Rojas before the Mets lost in an exhibition game to the Nationals on Friday night . « Why not, when he still has a trip to camp and we can get a good feel for how he feels out there and if he feels like there is no difference? » I look at many of our helpers, and the vast majority can probably do it. “
David Peterson, who started on Friday, will take a place in the Mets rotation, but another opening is due to the tear in the right thigh that will put Carlos Carrasco on the injured list at the beginning of the season.
Lucchesi, a leftist, is not a lock on the rotation or the bullpen, according to Rojas, who mentioned Jerad Eickhoff and Mike Montgomery as other pitchers considered for a role. The job competition got tighter in the last few days as Jordan Yamamoto was elected to the minor leagues and Corey Oswalt was reassigned.
Noah Syndergaard threw clubs in the box (which were not allowed to swing) from the stadium hill. Though the right-hander will start the season on the 60-day injured list when he completes rehab after Tommy John’s surgery, he has impressed Rojas with his dedication this spring. Included was Thursday’s show when players had a full day off to play catch.
According to Rojas, Syndergaard has hit 97 miles per hour with the radar gun in the past few days and is throwing his entire assortment of pitches.
« From what I’ve seen, it looks like he’s ready to throw, » said Jacob deGrom. “But you are following the guidelines that you don’t want to fall back. So the goal is to get and stay healthy.”
“I went through this rehab process and I know I was lucky enough to have that I’ve felt good throughout, but sometimes I’ve been told to brake a bit here, not too far in front of you. » said deGrom. « It’s definitely exciting to know that we’ll have [Syndergaard] back on the rotation. It was fun to see his bullpens and all. »
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