Mike’s Mets Player Review Series: Joey Lucchesi

Joey Lucchesi, New York Mets

Now that the 2023 season is over for the New York Mets, we have been looking back at the year that was. After taking a more general view of the offense, pitching, and coaching staff, it’s time to take a deeper dive into the Mets’ players. This series will take a look at every player on the roster for the Mets at the end of the season from A (Abraham Almonte) to W (Josh Walker). The review will look at their season statistics, stories, and what role (if any) they will have next season. We continue the series today with a look at starting pitcher Joey Lucchesi.

Player Review: Joey Lucchesi

2023 Stats:

Minor Leagues (2 Teams): 17 Appearances, 16 Starts, 89.2 Innings Pitched, 6-5 Won-Loss Record, 4.42 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 83:41 K:BB Ratio, .246 Batting Average Against

Major Leagues: 9 Starts, 46.2 Innings Pitched, 4-0 Won-Loss Record, 2.89 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 32:17 K:BB Ratio, .251 Batting Average Against, 1.1 WAR

Story: After missing the entire 2022 season rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, Joey Lucchesi arrived to spring training healthy and ready to compete for a job on the Mets’ Opening Day roster. After failing to crack the Opening Day rotation, Lucchesi was sent down to AAA Syracuse to begin the season and was called up in mid-April to make a spot start against the San Francisco Giants. Lucchesi dominated the Giants in that outing, allowing only four hits and striking out nine over seven shutout innings to deliver the Mets’ best start of the season to that point.

The Mets decided to keep Lucchesi in the rotation at that point, largely due to an injury to Carlos Carrasco and Max Scherzer’s 10-game suspension for sticky substance usage, and he wasn’t able to capture the brilliance of that first start in his next several outings. Lucchesi was sent down in the middle of one of his starts on May 13 in Washington thanks to a unique split doubleheader situation and he remained in the minors until August despite several opportunities for the Mets to bring him back up.

The next time Lucchesi saw the majors came on August 18th, when he was called up for a spot start in St. Louis and tossed 5.2 shutout innings to earn his second win of the year. The Mets sent Lucchesi down again and brought him back in mid-September when they opted to go with a six-man rotation for the remainder of the regular season. Lucchesi pitched well in three September starts, picking up two wins and working to a 1.93 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched.

Grade: B-

Lucchesi was a very effective spot starter when he was given the opportunity for the Mets. The organization didn’t prioritize him, however, which led to long stretches of the season where Lucchesi sat at AAA Syracuse despite subpar pitching performances at the major league level.

Contract Status: Arbitration Eligible (Third And Final Time)

Odds Of Returning: 100%

2024 Role: Depth Starter

The Mets will happily bring Lucchesi back for another year to give them capable pitching depth at the major league level. Lucchesi has two minor league options remaining so the Mets can easily send him to AAA Syracuse to help fill out their starting rotation if he doesn’t win a competition for a job in spring training, but Lucchesi would likely get significant opportunities to contribute anyway if the Mets opt to continue giving Kodai Senga extra rest to increase his effectiveness.

Check back next week as our Player Review Series continues with a look at outfielder Starling Marte!

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