The Mets are undecided as to Sunday’s starter against Minnesota, but manager Terry Collins has several options – all of them lacking.
Of their potential choices, rushing Jacob deGrom or Steven Matz – or even splitting a start by using both – is the least appealing in my mind.
VERRETT: My choice for Sunday. (AP)
The Mets have to ask this question: If this were May, would they rush them back?
I’m saying no. Under normal circumstances, both would get more rehab time, including a rehab assignment in the minor leagues. However, with the minor league season over, the latter isn’t an option.
As it is, Matz will have surgery to treat the bone spur in his elbow this winter. As much as they want to pitch, and for how badly the Mets – and these players – want to reach the postseason, the last thing they should do is gamble with their health.
Beating the Twins isn’t as important as waiting longer and having them ready for the final two weeks and the postseason. Should they lose Sunday to the Twins and miss the playoffs by a game, well, that’s the risk they’ll have to take.
Is winning worth the risk of deGrom possibly having Tommy John surgery and maybe missing 2017?
What are Collins’ other choices?
* Collins could move up Noah Syndergaard a day, but Collins said he doesn’t want that option. And, let’s not forget Syndergaard also has a bone spur and surgery hasn’t been discounted.
* That turn in the rotation belongs to Rafael Montero. After his last start, Collins immediately said Montero wouldn’t pitch. While, I’m not against that, Collins probably should have waited a day or two before committing to not using Montero. He could go back on his initial decision, but that would make him look bad. Very bad.
* A third option is going back to Logan Verrett, who has pitched well as a spot starter in the past. Verrett was shelled in his last start, Aug. 12 against San Diego, when he gave up eight runs in 2.2 innings. However, he has started 12 of the 33 games in which he’s pitched. Collins has gotten good starts from Verrett in the past, and surely he’d take five innings, something he’s done six times already this year.
* Another option is lefty Sean Gilmartin, who produced as a Rule Five draft pick last year. Gilmartin has one career start for the Mets, and that was last season.
* Gabriel Ynoa is a possibility, but his 15.19 ERA and 2.44 WHIP in six appearances (5.1 innings) is hardly endorsement worthy.
* Collins’ final option is to start either Gilmartin or Montero and using the other as the first reliever out of the pen.
My first option would be Verrett based on experience and previous success in that role. My second choice would be a combination of Verrett, Montero and Gilmartin.
I don’t want to gamble with deGrom and/or Matz, or move Syndergaard. Let’s face it, regardless of whom the Mets start, they should be expected to beat the Twins, who have the worst record in the majors.
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