Mets designate veteran starting pitcher for assignment

Mets designate veteran starting pitcher for assignment

Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets have turned their campaign around and have made it back to .500 (45-45). Despite their record still not being the strongest due to a weak National League, the blue and orange are just 1.5 games back of the San Diego Padres for the final wild-card spot.

With the Mets back in playoff contention, president of baseball operations David Stearns has made a couple of moves to upgrade the squad’s weakest link: the bullpen.

On Sunday, the blue and orange acquired Matt Gage before trading for Phil Maton on Monday. After moving Drew Smith to the 60-day injured list to make room for Gage on the 40-man roster, the Mets designated a veteran starter for assignment to make space for Maton.

The Mets have designated Joey Lucchesi for assignment

May 15, 2024; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (47) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

According to a post from the organization on X, the Mets have designated starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi for assignment to make room for Maton on the 40-man roster.

The master of the curve has made just one start in the major leagues this season, going 4.1 innings while allowing five hits, five runs, walking four, and striking out a pair. Lucchesi has pitched 83.2 innings across 15 starts with Triple-A Syracuse to a 4.20 ERA and 1.363 WHIP while striking out 63.

Stearns had this to say about the decision to DFA Lucchessi:

“Anytime you’re adding a player to the 40-man roster, you have to make a difficult decision,” Stearns said. “Joey has pitched well at times for this organization, and certainly, our hope is that we’ll be able to retain him, but we’ll see what happens.”

Mets acquire RHP Phil Maton in trade with Rays, DFA Joey Lucchesi – Yahoo Sports

What does this mean for the Mets?

Sep 27, 2023; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi (47) delivers a pitch during the third inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

While the move to designate Lucchessi may seem surprising, it makes plenty of sense.

The blue and orange have plenty of pitching depth, with José Buttó and Christian Scott struggling to get a chance in the rotation and  2023 all-star Kodai Senga getting set to return from injury.

The 31-year-old will likely get picked up by an organization seeking immediate starting pitching help but could find his way back to Flushing if that doesn’t materialize.

Mets get crucial bullpen help via trade with the Tampa Bay Rays

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