The Mets, as they have done for the past few years, went into 2023 with Tylor Megill as rotation depth, the first or second man up in the event of an injury—not part of the team’s rotation. Naturally, he wound up starting the season in the rotation and went on to make the second-most starts with the second-most innings pitched of any Mets starter. And that’s with more than a month spent in Triple-A.
With the additions of Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and José Quintana, the Mets planned for Megill to start the season in Syracuse. But after Verlander and Quintana both landed on the injured list before Opening Day, Megill found himself in the rotation. He stayed up through the middle of June and got sent down until right after the Mets traded away Verlander and Max Scherzer. From there, he stayed with the major league team until the end of the season.
In 25 starts, Megill pitched 126.1 innings, tallying a 4.72 ERA and a 4.97 FIP with a 1.575 WHIP. He averaged 10.0 H/9, 7.5 K/9, and 4.1 BB/9. He had a 113 ERA- and a 115 FIP-, both of which put him pretty firmly below league average, and he accrued 0.7 bWAR.
All of his stats are either in line with or worse than his career averages. Megill now has a 4.70 ERA with a 4.66 FIP and a 1.416 WHIP as a major league pitcher. In his three years he’s averaged 9.4 H/9, 8.7 K/9, and 3.3 BB/9. While it wasn’t the most standard season, it was his longest season thus far, and at a certain point the Mets have to determine whether Megill has anything more to offer as a starter. The only time he has shown any great proclivity as a starter was in the beginning of 2022 when he was regularly throwing his fastball between 96 and 98 mph, after which he injured his shoulder and came back not as good.
If he can’t keep his fastball that fast as a starter, he may never be able to find consistent success. There may be a choice to be made somewhere down the line. Seth Lugo found great success as a reliever for the Mets after being a decent-not-great starter. Maybe a trip to the bullpen might help Megill, where he can air it out with more regularity without too much repeated stress. But if he stays a starter, at what point do the Mets look at Megill and ask themselves if this is all Megill can or ever will be.
Going into 2024, the Mets should not depend on Megill to be in the Opening Day starting rotation. That’s a sentence often uttered but never realized, reversed each year by the persistent injury bug that seems to bite the Mets annually. But the truth of the matter is, there can and should be easily obtainable ways to improve upon the Tylor Megill rotation spot. Whether that comes from outside the organization or giving one of their pitchers in the upper minors (like Mike Vasil or Dominic Hamel) a try, there must be some solution here.
Once again, in 2023, the Tylor Megill experiment did not work out. He had his most middling year yet, barely being better than the average replacement-level player, but being a below average pitcher overall. The Mets can and should aim higher for his rotation spot in 2024, but as many times as it’s been said and attempted, it has not come to fruition yet.