Mets Putting Flexen In A Tough Spot
It is interesting when you think about it. The Mets waited and waited and waited before they would bring up Amed Rosario. They waited for the Asdrubal Cabrera situation to calm down. They wanted him to be playing well. In essence, the Mets wanted the perfect situation to call-up Rosario to put him in the best position to succeed.
The Mets did this despite many believing he was ready. The Mets were willing to deal with poor defense at shortstop, and perhaps the 2017 to protect him.
The Mets handling of Rosario makes how they are handling Chris Flexen all the more curious.
Unlike Rosario, there was no calls for Flexen to be called-up to the majors. Even with the injuries, most thought the right call would have been to put Tyler Pill back into the major league rotation. There was nothing to lose there. The Mets season was already going nowhere, and Pill had some success in an earlier stint in the Mets rotation. Instead, the Mets made the bold and perhaps inspired choice to call Flexen up to the majors from Double-A. It was something the Mets have not done since 2006 with Mike Pelfrey.
Flexen was initially set up for success with him making his debut in San Diego. Petco Park is a pitcher’s park, and the Padres are not a great team. Unfortunately, Flexen would struggle, and he would last only three innings.
From there, Flexen took the mound in Coors Field, which was hardly the ideal spot for a any pitcher let alone one whose best pitch is his curveball. Like he did in San Diego, Flexen struggled, and again, he would last just three innings. He would depart that game with a blister.
Instead of sending him down after two tough outings, or putting him on the disabled list with the blister, the Mets are going to send Flexen back on the mound. This time it is against the Texas Rangers. While it is a down year for the Rangers, they do have veteran hitters like Adrian Beltre who can give a young pitcher fits. He’s doing this coming off two rough starts and with a blister on his finger.
Who knows? Maybe this is the best way to test a young pitcher and find out something about him. It’s possible he will be better for the experience. He could learn what he needs to improve to be able to get outs at this level. All in all, there’s an argument for made for letting him struggle. To that end, Flexen has shown poise on the mound despite him not getting results.
However, this all begs the question – if the Mets are so willing to call up Flexen before he was ready and put him in difficult situations, why wouldn’t they do the same with Rosario?