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Chris Flexen to start Saturday

The former top prospect has some big shoes to fill.

MLB: New York Mets-Media Day Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

With Jacob deGrom heading to the injured list, the Mets will call up RHP Chris Flexen to start against the Cardinals on Saturday. Flexen has 54.1 innings of major league experience, split between relief and starting, but hasn’t been very good, with a career ERA of 8.45 and a FIP of 7.26.

Entering 2018, we rated Flexen as the fourth best prospect in the system. He features a low-to-mid 90s fastball and a solid slider and curveball, along with a bad changeup. In recent years, he’s struggled with conditioning and wouldn’t hold his fastball velocity or repeat his delivery, leading to command issues. This offseason, he lost some weight, and the early results through two Triple-A starts are encouraging in terms of strikeout and walk rates (though he’s already given up three home runs in just 12 innings).

Despite his status as a former top prospect, Flexen is a less-than-ideal rotation fill in. Realistically, his ceiling is as a high-strikeout back-end starter who doesn’t usually throw more than five innings. He’s the best option the Mets have at the moment, however, at least until they bring in some potential free agent reinforcements.