José Butto Stepping Up For Mets
The New York Mets have had too many starting pitching injuries to start the season. In fact, at the moment, Kodai Senga is all that remains from their projected Opening Day rotation.
Justin Verlander and José Quintana started the year on the IL. Verlander is missing over a month, and Quintana is out until around the All-Star Break if not longer. Carlos Carrasco has an elbow injury, and there is a very real possibility he could be done for the season if not for his career.
Max Scherzer needed to have an extra day before his last start, and then he was suspended. Our good friend David Cone would show why the suspension was garbage, but nevertheless, Scherzer was suspended for 10 games.
David Cone's Rosin Experiment. pic.twitter.com/ZI5CnAkZ1C
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 24, 2023
As we know, this has pushed David Peterson and Tylor Megill into the rotation. That wasn’t a big deal as both were good starters for the Mets 101 team last season. Joey Lucchesi also had a history of being a capable Major League starter, so while the Mets may not have wanted him in the rotation, his needing to start wasn’t an issue.
The issue was with José Butto being pushed into the rotation.
Last season, Butto was thrust into the rotation, and the results were ugly. In his lone start, he last just four innings allowing seven runs to the Philadelphia Phillies. Alec Bohm really got the best of him hitting two homers. After that game, there were many who unfairly said he was a bust and would never be a Major League starter.
Fast forward to this year, and Butto was again starting games for the Mets. That is something no one wanted, but this time, Butto has fared far better than anyone would have expected.
Through two starts, Butto has pitched 9 2/3 innings allowing three earned runs. Per Baseball Savant, batters are not hitting him hard at all, and they’re having difficulty squaring the ball up on him.
Of course, it’s not all good news. Butto’s control has been poor, and that’s probably being kind. He’s walked 10 over 9 2/3 innings. That’s more than a walk per inning.
Forget about his 2.79 ERA being unsustainable with those many walks. It’s a flat out recipe for disaster. That goes double when he’s recorded only three strikeouts.
However, he’s getting away with it. There are some good reasons for it. There’s the aforementioned weak contact against him.
The other answer is Butto has faced bad teams in the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals. Assuredly, he’d get roughed up by better teams, but he pitched passably against the opponents he had to face.
We can dismiss what he’s done. He’s been five and fly against bad teams. That’s only part of the picture.
He’s also eaten up 9 2/3 innings which could’ve been put on the bullpen. That will help the Mets in the long run. It makes what he did far more important than many realize.
In the end, Butto looks like he still has work to do before he’s Major League ready. In the interim, he’s better than when we last saw him, and he still made a positive contribution to the team. Credit to him for stepping up.