David Stearns Curious Start With Severino, Wendle
Severino, 29, was dreadful last season, and he really hasn’t returned to his All-Star form after his 2020 Tommy John surgery. That said, there was hope in 2022.
In 2022, he was 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and a 9.9 K/9. Over his 19 starts, he had a 124 ERA+ and a 3.70 FIP.
Last year was a disaster. He had a 65 ERA+ and a 6.14 FIP. The caveat is he dealt with injuries which likely impacted his performance.
On that, Severino dealt with a lat strain in 2022 and an oblique in 2023. As we saw with Max Scherzer, the Mets struggled to deal with these types of pitcher injuries the past few years.
All that said, one year $13 million is a worthwhile gamble. That goes double with Jeremy Hefner as pitching coach and Stearns ability to build a pitching staff.
With Severino slotted for the back of the rotation, this makes sense. It makes more sense with the Mets needing to completely build a rotation.
Where things go awry is Wendle.
Wendle is coming off a year where he had a 47 wRC+ and a -3 OAA. He turns 34 in April, and unsurprisingly, he’s past his prime and in decline.
His wRC+ declined four straight years. The OAA dropped three straight years. He had seen his sprint speed drop three straight years before marginally rebounding last year.
Maybe he rebounds defensively, but he’s also going to be 34. He’s also literally slowing down If you’re betting on a defensive bounce back from a player, Luis Guillorme was a better bet.
However, the Mets non-tendered Guillorme. They then gave Wendle $2 million. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s a roster spot guaranteed to a player who should’ve been a minor league signing.
The hope is Wendle NEVER plays. The same would’ve been true if Guillorme stayed.
Of course, it’s plausible all of the above fails. Also, let’s never speak of Francisco Lindor getting injured. Taking all that into account, Wendle is not the answer. He can never be the answer.
Whatever the case, it’s still early with plenty of difference making players available. We should wait to see the entire picture come to focus before fully judging even with this being an unspectacular and curious start.