Despite getting off to a bit of an uneven start in his Mets tenure, Joey Lucchesi was starting to settle in nicely as a member of the Mets rotation. He emerged as a solid end-of-rotation option and was pitching some of the best baseball of his career before it was revealed he would need Tommy John surgery that ended his year on the mound.
He finished the abbreviated season with a 4.46 ERA, which is a bit misleading since most of the damage came early in the year. In his last five starts of the 2021 season he gave up a total of three earned runs, with the caveat that then-manager Luis Rojas was very careful limiting his innings. He pitched in the sixth inning just once and that was in his last start against Washington.
It’s a shame for both Lucchesi and the Mets that the the 28-year-old won’t be available until August at the earliest since he is a lefty and the rotation is currently without one. Mix that with his signature “churve” and he offered a different look to the rotation. Even if he is just a “five-and-dive” pitcher in the future, he provides depth to a rotation that is on the older side. Lucchesi is under contract until 2025 when he becomes a free agent. Officially, Lucchesi will begin the season on the 60-day injured list. Perhaps he will make a return for the stretch run, but he can’t reasonably be counted on until the 2023 season.