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 Jose Butto.
Player Review: Jose Butto
Minor Leagues: 19 Starts, 91.0 Innings Pitched, 3-7 Won-Loss Record, 5.93 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 82:49 K:BB Ratio, .278 Batting Average Against
Major Leagues: 9 Appearances, 7 Starts, 42.0 Innings Pitched, 1-4 Won-Loss Record, 3.64 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 38:23 K:BB Ratio, .212 Batting Average Against, 0.9 WAR
Story: After a rocky big league debut in 2022, Jose Butto wasn’t expected to be more than a depth starter for the Mets in 2023. Butto failed to make the team out of camp but did pitch well in two spot starts in April along with a relief appearance in May. After the Mets’ starting rotation was relatively healthy, Butto got sent back to AAA Syracuse where he pitched most of the year. The Mets called on Butto again in August to serve as a long man, where he gave up three runs in 2.2 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 15, and sent him back with a design towards testing him as a multi-inning reliever when rosters expanded in September.
That plan got scrapped when Carlos Carrasco was lost for the year after breaking a finger in the weight room, forcing the Mets to insert Butto into the rotation to fill his turn. Butto pitched well down the stretch, pitching to a 3.38 ERA in four September starts and earning his first big league win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on September 12. The Mets were fortunate that Butto continued to pitch well as it allowed them to maintain a six man rotation down the stretch, which helped them afford extra rest to Kodai Senga in his first full season as a big leaguer.
No one expected much out of Butto and he showed some serious promise down the stretch as a back of the rotation guy. That change was a rare positive for the Mets in a year where a lot didn’t go their way.
Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration Eligible
Odds Of Returning: 100%
2024 Role: Depth Starter
Butto is the kind of arm the Mets need in their farm system since he is capable of both filling in Syracuse’s rotation and working out of the big league bullpen if necessary. Depending on how the Mets attack the offseason, Butto could enter spring training with a chance to win a job in the starting rotation but the more likely scenario is he begins the year in the Syracuse rotation. Either way, expect the Mets to give Butto a look at some point next year if they feel like they need a sixth starter or a multi-inning reliever since Butto does have another minor league option remaining.
Check back next week as our Player Review Series continues with a look at starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco!