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Tylor Megill is one of the biggest mysteries on the Mets’ roster in 2023

We have seen flashes of what Megill can do and he is a key part of the Mets’ rotation depth, but he’s yet to show he can sustain a higher-octane arsenal and stay healthy.

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New York Mets Photo Day Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

As the Mets begin their first workouts in Port St. Lucie, Tylor Megill is on the outside of the Mets’ rotation—which replenished its losses of Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassitt, and Taijuan Walker with Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, and José Quintana—looking in. But, as we all know, that was the case a year ago too. And Tylor Megill went from rotation depth piece to Opening Day starter in seemingly the blink of an eye. Of course, the hope (and the probability) is that a calamity of similar magnitude will not strike the Mets again in 2023, but injuries happen—especially to pitchers.

The average age of the Mets’ starting rotation exceeds 35 years and the reality is that for the Mets to be successful, the still-in-their-20s Tylor Megill and David Peterson will have roles to play with the big league team. The Mets know this and Megill knows it too, which is why the current plan is keep him stretched out as a starter—along with Peterson, Elieser Hernández, and Joey Lucchesi—ready to fill in when needed.

“If we have five starters make every single start all year they will be in the bullpen at some point, but that rarely ever happens. We need those guys. To do the things we want to as a team we need them to be the studs that they are,” pitching coach Jeremy Hefner recently said of Megill and Peterson.

To use the word “stud” to describe Tylor Megill is quite the compliment and he has shown flashes of performance befitting of the moniker, but he has yet to demonstrate sustained...studliness (Studacity? Studitude?). Like Jacob deGrom before him, Megill had an Icarian 2022 season that began with impressive results due to a velocity bump to his fastball and changeup, but ended with him paying the price in the form of multiple lengthy IL stints.

If the April 2022 version of Tylor Megill reappears in 2023 and stays healthy, then that is certainly a stud and a very important weapon for the Mets to have in their back pocket. But, the size of that “if” is why Megill is perhaps the player on the Mets’ roster with the widest range of possible outcomes for 2023. Though Megill and Peterson are in a similar boat and penciled in for similar roles, Peterson’s range of outcomes is arguably much narrower than Megill’s. Where on that wide spectrum of possible outcomes Megill ultimately falls may have a domino effect for the Mets beyond the quality of the innings he pitches. At various points this offseason, there were rumors that the Mets were listening to offers on Carlos Carrasco. Though a deal involving Carrasco seems unlikely at this stage, Tylor Megill becoming a bonafide stud opens up some possibilities for the Mets to trade from an area of strength to shore up deficiencies in other areas.

It would also be huge not just for the 2023 Mets, but for the team’s long-term outlook. Steve Cohen himself recently admitted that his current levels of spending are not meant to carry on indefinitely and are instead part of a strategy to keep the team competitive in the short-term as the organization builds a sustainable player development strategy that will result in a steady stream of talent from the farm system to set up for long-term success. If someone like Tylor Megill can break out, it would certainly help support that long-term plan, enabling the Mets to not have to spend as much in free agency as they did this offseason to plug holes in the rotation. While having aces with Cy Youngs on their resumes is fantastic, the Mets would probably prefer to not be relying on players in their mid-to-late 30s to carry the bulk of the season’s innings in perpetuity.

It goes without saying that any club with aspirations of a long postseason run such as the Mets requires a deep pitching staff. In 2022, the Mets’ star-studded rotation helped carry them to 101 wins, but ultimately not to the World Series. The first of those 101 wins was credited to Tylor Megill. The Mets hope things will play out differently this time, but in order for that to happen, the likes of Megill may need to play a role in the 101st win and beyond rather than the first one.