The Mets didn’t need to go to Syracuse for pitching depth. They had the option of signing Gio Gonzalez, they could have (and still could) sign Dallas Keuchel. But they didn’t do either of these things and now two starters are potentially injured.
Although they traded away a prospect who could start this off-season, Justin Dunn, the Mets did sign a bunch of guys on NRI’s to compete for roster spots and if the injuries are minor in healing time, they could be a stop gap.
Enter Hector Santiago.
I lived in Newark for 7 years and I’ve been teaching in Newark for 8, so I have a massive soft spot for Hector Santiago who played little league in the Brick City, probably in the park across the street from where I used to live. I wrote a profile about him a few months ago, which you can read here.
Back in February I imagined Santiago as lefty reliever to compete with Daniel Zamora. As the Mets signed more lefties to NRIs it became clearer that Santiago was going to be rotation depth.
2018 MLB: 49 G, 7 GS, 102.0 IP, 4.41 ERA, 5.12 FIP, 6.37 DRA, 1.52 WHIP
Career: 238 G, 137 GS, 887.0 IP, 4.05 ERA, 4.86 FIP, 5.74 DRA, 1.37 WHIP
2019 MiLB: 6 G, 5 GS, 30.0 IP, 4.20 ERA, 1.400 WHIP
He’s not going through a renaissance at Syracuse but he’s also not deteriorating. If he gets called up, I would assume he pitches around, probably slightly worse than his stats in 2018 which isn’t the worst thing in the world if he’s making starts for two weeks or for a #5 starter. As soon as he becomes a regular, #4 starter that’s when the Mets need to panic and decide what are the goals this season.