The Mets’ paper-thin rotation will get a much-needed boost, as Michael Wacha is set to make his return from the injured list. The 29-year-old Wacha first hit the IL on August 9th with inflammation in his right shoulder, a potentially concerning injury given his history of shoulder issues. Thankfully, he missed less than three weeks of action. To make room for Wacha, the team is optioning reliever Drew Smith.
While getting any major league arm back onto the mound will help the Mets right now given their current options, Wacha won’t be any kind of savior. Prior to getting hurt, the free-agent addition was running an ugly 6.43 ERA that’s only slightly worse than the 5.34 mark predicted for him by DRA. Additional depth is beneficial in any form, but with the Mets struggling (currently 2.5 games back of the second wild card spot at 13-16), it’ll be interesting to see how much leash Wacha gets if he continues to pitch poorly.
Wacha will rejoin a rotation that looked strong in the preseason but has been absolutely demolished by injuries (Noah Syndergaard, David Peterson), opt-outs (Marcus Stroman), or just generally bad performances (Rick Porcello, Steven Matz). The Mets have already moved Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo to the rotation and gotten starts from Corey Oswalt and Walker Lockett. Several prospects (Franklyn Kilome, Harol Gonzalez, Kevin Smith, Thomas Szapucki) seemed like they could get starts this year, but Wacha’s return will hold the youth movement at bay for the time being.