The Mets hoped Megill would build off the best start of his 2023 season — when he gave up just one run in six innings against the Cardinals — but that wouldn’t come to pass. Instead, the big righty gave up four runs in just 2.1 innings pitched on Wednesday, in what has become a pattern of inconsistency.
But the team believes Megill’s upcoming time in the minors will benefit him.
“Chance for him to get back to what he’s capable of,” manager Buck Showalter said prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. “He’ll be the first to tell you what he can potentially bring. He talked about taking a breath, and up here he was working on some things trying to get back [to pitching better] and now he can go down there and, I don’t want to say experiment, but get back to where he was.”
Showalter said he and the organization had a “tough” conversation with the 27-year-old Thursday and Friday, but the Mets saw that Megill wasn’t consistently pitching to their expectation, and an extra reliever — in this case, RHP Vinny Nittoli — was needed for the weekend.
“We like him a lot and he’s capable of better,” Showalter said of the conversation he had with Megill. “Talk about things that need to be done and try to spell it out. Guys need to go down there with an idea and plan. He knows it, trying to execute it just not able to do it consistently enough. I look forward to him getting back into the mix here and he controls that. Go down there and pitch well.”
“I’m hoping to see him go down there and put some things into use and be a little more free to try some things that he’s been wanting to. It’s tough to experiment up here.”
Early last season, Megill was a revelation for the Mets when a lot of their big arms were down with injury. He went 4-0 in April with a 1.93 ERA thanks in large part to his high-90s fastball that dominated his opponents.
Unfortunately, Megill suffered his own injury that would sideline him for most of the 2022 campaign. And as Showalter would say Friday, the days of Megill consistently throwing 97-98 mph are behind him but there’s a bigger issue afoot.
“It’s there if he wants to go there. He can still go get it if he wants to,” he said. “Physically, it’s not in his best interest. He’s shown he can pitch, not throwing every pitch 97-98. The command is the thing that’s been the issue. The walks, the 0-2 to 3-2 [counts]. The most frustrating is his command … He’s chasing a delivery. I think the command has been the biggest issue.”
With Megill out of the rotation for the time being, the Mets are shaking up their rotation a bit for the weekend. Kodai Senga will pitch Friday’s game with Max Scherzer slated to go Saturday. Carlos Carrasco will pitch Sunday on extra rest and Justin Verlander will take the mound on Monday.
That leaves Megill’s former spot to be filled on Tuesday. Showalter revealed that there are options that he and general manager Billy Eppler have discussed but are not willing to divulge just yet. Showalter eliminated Jose Quintana from returning Tuesday as he’ll have another rehab start Sunday.
Showalter also said that Tuesday’s pitcher is currently not on the active roster, so there won’t be a bullpen game. That likely leaves David Peterson or Joey Luchessi to be called up. Although a choice will be made based on whoever’s performance in the minors is best.
Luchessi has not pitched since June 13 when he threw six shutout innings against Buffalo and was named International League Pitcher of the Week. The Mets skipper says that he is not injured despite having not pitched since then. In eight starts in Triple-A, Luchessi has a 5-1 record and a 2.33 ERA.
For Peterson, he sports a 1-2 record and a 4.86 ERA in seven Triple-A starts this season.
An official decision on who will be called up won’t be made until Monday or Tuesday.
Source: Yahoo Sports