With his second start of the 2021 season, New York Mets pitcher David Peterson should have one thing in mind. Summoning her inner Taylor Swift, it’s time to let go of her.
Peterson was appalling on his first outing of the season. In four innings, he gave up six earned runs, including a pair of dingers. The result was a loss on his stats sheet, which Peterson has only done twice all last season.
Peterson’s role with the Mets is far from assured. As the youngest player on the squad and a guy with minor league options, he’s going to have to keep his chin up and move forward with confidence after every start. Against the Philadelphia Phillies at start number two, Peterson will have to hope for much better results. Fortunately, this time he will have Citi Field by his side.
What Mets fans should want to see from David Peterson in 2021
Some of those rookie hassles that Peterson may have felt from fans last year could show up at times in 2021. Peterson is seeing a lot for the first time this season. He hits and tries to drown the fans. From just two games at Citi Field, we know how fast they can react; Michael Conforto and Edwin Diaz have already been booed.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to see Peterson struggling this year. He hasn’t seen much of it at all in 2020. He’s made five rounds in all but two of his nine starts. Even in his appearance of relief, Peterson managed to throw four shutout frames.
The takeaway about Peterson is that he was never expected to be the Mets’ next big pitcher. Often behind other minor leagues on lead rankings for a team with an average to best farming system, Peterson looked like a promising guy but not a quality one.
Whatever his worth, Jacob deGrom had to do far less than he has already accomplished. So, let’s not dwell too much on what people believed about Peterson.
In Peterson’s two worst starts in 2020, he managed to bounce back. A four-innings performance against the New York Yankees on Aug. 28 was his last before temporarily moving to the bullpen for an appearance. He followed that relief with his worst start to the season against the Phillies, a start that saw him give up five earned runs in two innings.
Not too beaten, Peterson finished the season strong. In his last 18 innings in three starts, the rookie southpaw was 2-1 with an ERA of 2.00.
Peterson is one of the more intriguing members of the Mets roster this year. Unmotivated compared to everyone else on the roster, he can secure a spot in the club’s rotation instead of having to go through another competitive season.
The biggest challenge comes when the rest of the starters are healthy. Carlos Carrasco is expected to return before Noah Syndergaard. When each returns, Peterson and Joey Lucchesi will be kicked out.
By then, Peterson will hopefully have made enough starts to show the Mets what he can offer. Whether it’s in the bullpen to end the year, in Triple-A to improve his game, or at some mysterious alternate site depending on how things are, every start from Peterson is a great chance to grow.