David Peterson Is What Separates 2022 From 2023
In 2022, we saw a glimpse of what David Peterson could be as a starter for the New York Mets. Seeing that pitcher, the Mets cannot just give up on him as a starter. However, that does not mean they’re obligated to let him figure things out at the Major League level.
Through eight starts, Peterson is 1-6 with an 8.08 ERA, 1.744 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, and a 10.4 K/9. The advanced statistics don’t provide much more promise either with Peterson having a 52 ERA+ and a 4.82 FIP.
At Baseball Savant, we see Peterson has a decent whiff rate and an excellent extension. However, that is just about all he is doing well with batters squaring him up easily and he’s getting little to no spin on his pitches.
His slider remains an effective weapon getting a 35.6 Whiff%. However, that is a steep drop-off from the 45.0% it was last year. With Peterson’s fastball being flat and hit hard, he can ill-afford the slider not being as elite as it was last season.
Part of the issue may be pitch mix with Peterson throwing fewer sliders and more change-ups and sinkers. The change has been effective pitch, so you understand the increased usage. However, for two years running, Peterson’s sinker gets mauled. At some point, he is just going to have to scrap that pitch because it is completely ineffective at the Major League level.
Between the pitch mix and whatever else is ailing Peterson, he has not been the pitcher he was last season. We see that being one of the driving forces in what has been a disappointing start to the Mets season.
Through his first eight starts (and two relief appearances) last season, Peterson was 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, and a 8.3 K/9. Over that stretch, his FIP was 3.91. This is a completely different pitcher. He was one who gave the Mets a chance to win.
The Peterson we see this season is not giving the Mets much of a chance to win. With the Mets lineup devoid of power, they don’t have the chance to win games or even be competitive.
This leaves the Mets with few good options. Maybe, they need to give José Butto more of a look until Carlos Carrasco comes off the IL. At least, Butto has been more competitive. Again, it may not be the best option, but it is a better one at the moment.
Whatever the plan, the Mets are going to need the Peterson we saw in 2022 at some point this season. It is better to get him to Syracuse now to have him figure it out because right now it is just not working, and the Mets don’t have the bats to let him figure it out.