No Jacob deGrom? No problem for the New York Mets.
The Mets quickly moved on when their talented but oft-injured former ace departed for Texas. Justin Verlander was brought in as their co-ace in his place, giving the Mets a talented, but aging, arm atop the rotation. Although he had dominated last year, Verlander is 40 years old. At some point, the wheels may start to wobble.
Justin Verlander looks ready for New York Mets
If Verlander’s spring training debut is any indication, the Mets do not have anything to worry about. He appeared to be close to Opening Day form, allowing just one run on two hits over his three innings, striking out three batters. Verlander threw 35 pitches in his outing, 28 of which were strikes, while hitting 96.3 MPH on his final offering. This is exactly the type of debut the Mets were hoping for.
Verlander is going to be a key part of the Mets’ championship aspirations in 2023. While it is impossible to imagine that he would replicate his otherworldly 1.75 ERA and 0.829 WHiP over 175 innings from last season, he should still put together the type of season the Mets envisioned when they signed him to a two year deal worth $86.67 million. His projected 2.55 ERA and 1.007 WHiP over 148 innings, with 145 strikeouts and just 35 walks, would be a perfect fit behind Max Scherzer in the rotation.
For players such as Verlander, spring training is simply a matter of getting ready. They work on rebuilding their strength and endurance with the goal of being healthy for the start of the season. However, even though these games do not matter, having that type of strong outing is always a great sign. Verlander is giving the Mets a brief example of what to expect this season.
Justin Verlander had the type of spring training debut the New York Mets had hoped for. He appears to be almost ready for the regular season to begin.