It appears the Mets have found their man! When it was reported that Steven Matz had tenderness and irritation in his left elbow, there was a panic in the air. Normally, there would be no Plan B. Unlike previous years, the Mets have a solid contingency plan. His name is Robert Gsellman. Terry Collins has all but confirmed that he has given Gsellman a spot in the Mets’ rotation.
This honor doesn’t seem to surprise most. The 23-year old Gsellman came into Spring Training on a mission, and he succeeded. In 17 1/3 innings, Gsellman threw nine strikeouts and only four walks. Last season, he had 40 strikeouts while walking 12 in 41 innings. It was clear the young gun would get his due in the three man race.
Collins had a tough choice to make, and it appears he may not be done. As Jon Heyman stated, there may be another spot open. Depending on how Matz’s injury is handled, we could see a competition form between Zach Wheeler and Seth Lugo. The latter of the two had a few great outings in the World Baseball Classic. This is only if Matz somehow ends on the DL.
In an interesting twist, the news does leave some breathing room for a bullpen spot. Besides Wheeler and Lugo, Rafael Montero has impressed enough to land a spot. Gsellman’s potential role may not be permanent, due to the options the Mets have. That does not necessarily mean he would need to give it up ASAP. To give him rest, the Mets could alternate pitching days around certain members of the team.
While there are a few more questions that need to be answered regarding this team, at least we know some of the members of the rotation. A young staff added more youth, and with more flowing locks. It will be very interesting to see how Gsellman does in his new (potentially permanent) role.