Mets Should Move Taijuan Walker To Bullpen

It doesn’t have to be today. It doesn’t have to be this week. It’s certainly not a punishment. However, sooner or later the Mets should move Taijuan Walker to the bullpen.

Simply put, after Carlos Carrasco’s latest gem, he needs to be the fourth starter in the postseason. This is far more Carrasco winning a job than it is Walker losing it.

Over his last 11 starts, Carrasco has allowed two runs or fewer. Over this stretch, he’s 7-2 with a 2.12 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, and a 9.4 K/9. He’s pitching great, and the Mets need their best pitchers in the postseason.

Walker has again struggled in the second half, but he was great in his last start. We have seen him rise to the occasion and needs to be part of the equation, so the Mets should start looking to put him in the best place to succeed.

To a lesser degree, the Mets are doing this with David Peterson. He’s being removed from the rotation and being put in the bullpen. It’s no secret that it’s to see if he can be a left-handed reliever in the postseason.

Of course, Peterson is in a significantly different spot than Walker. First and foremost, Peterson was filling in for Max Scherzer, and Scherzer is set to come off the IL on Monday.

However, it is illustrative. When the time is right, start putting players in the roles they will be come postseason. Peterson will be a reliever, and so will Walker.

Obviously, winning the division comes first, and clearly Walker is one of the Mets five best starters. He will likely prove that again in his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. From there, he’s on turn to face:

  • 9/21 at Milwaukee Brewers
  • 9/28 vs. Miami Marlins
  • 10/4 vs. Washington Nationals

Certainly, the Mets want him making that Brewers start. After that, it may be best to remove him from the rotation.

By having Trevor Williams take his spot in the rotation, that would free up Walker to pitch out of the bullpen in that pivotal series in Atlanta.

In terms of attempting to win the division, having Walker at the ready could prove huge. If a starter is knocked out, he can jump in and eat innings or keep the team afloat. He’s also capable of getting the big strikeout or generating a ground ball for a double play.

Looking at the whole picture, this should be Walker’s penultimate start of the season. After Milwaukee, moving Walker to the bullpen aides in winning the division and preparing for the postseason.