While the Mets starting rotation has been stellar to start the year, however, the inconsistency of sophomore starter David Peterson has been something to note. After a stellar rookie season in the shortened 2020, Peterson has seen regression in 2021. Peterson’s regression may have been predictable to an extent, but a decline this big was unforeseen. Here we will look into the regression of David Peterson, and how long of a leash he has.
Compared to his rookie season, David Peterson has certainly looked much worse in 2021. His base stats tell this story, as his ERA has ballooned from 3.44 in 2020 to 5.31 as of June 25. The Mets lefty has also given up 17 more hits in 2021 than in 2020 in just 8 more innings of work. These stats absolutely outline Peterson’s regression, but advanced stats further prove this notion. Batters now barrel balls at a 2% higher rate from last year. Similarly, batters’ sweet spot % has spiked from 29.7% all the way to 37.4%. Additionally, xBA, xSLG, wOBA, and Hard Hit % have all seen major jumps from last year. Hitters are slugging more home runs against him than they did last year as well. Lastly, Peterson’s AVG against and BABIP against have seen increases of .042 and .068, respectively.
Although positives are few and far between, there are some for the Mets and Peterson this year. The main improvement has been his strikeout rate. Peterson is striking out batters at a nearly 6% higher rate in 2021 than in 2020. Another improvement has been his walks, as he has shaved a percentile off of his BB%. Overall, however, these statistics do not paint a pretty picture for Peterson, whose rotation spot could be in jeopardy.
What Happens with Peterson?
As mentioned, Peterson’s spot in the rotation is in jeopardy, just not right now. Because of the Mets’ injury bug, they can be as patient as they want with few replacements coming in. Upon the news of LHP Joey Lucchesi heading for the IL, Peterson was likely granted an even longer leash with pitchers Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco a ways away from making their full recovery. Syndergaard and Carrasco’s health will likely determine Peterson’s tenure in the rotation, as a bullpen role for him seems likely on a fully healthy roster. However, as stated, that is not a discussion for the immediate future. Regarding the immediate future, the Mets should stay put with Peterson in the rotation. Although Taijuan Walker continues to dominate and both Jerad Eickhoff and Tylor Megill had successful debuts, David Peterson will have a spot in the rotation. A banged-up Jacob deGrom and a potential new injury to Marcus Stroman will ensure that.
Although Peterson is absolutely experiencing regression, he should have no worries about being removed from the rotation. While a healthy pitching staff would make this a much harder decision, keeping trust in Peterson is the best current move for the Mets. Although Megill and Eickhoff were both decent in their respective debuts, neither should challenge Peterson and make Luis Rojas make a majorly tough decision. Let’s Go Mets.