8 MLB pitchers that need to deliver for postseason hopefuls

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Jose Urquidy #65 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the second inning in Game Four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 26: Jose Urquidy #65 of the Houston Astros delivers the pitch against the Washington Nationals during the second inning in Game Four of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park on October 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

8 MLB pitchers that need to deliver for contenders

Speaking of Wheeler…

When Wheeler moved from the Mets to the Phillies, it created a gap in New York’s rotation as well. The Mets are strong at the top with Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but they need a veteran third arm to fill in the gap left by Wheeler’s departure.

That have one in Marcus Stroman, acquired in a mid-season trade last year. The question is whether Stroman can deliver.

A couple of seasons ago, that would have been a silly question: Stroman was viewed as a prodigy when he reigned as the staff ace for the Toronto Blue Jays. But recurring shoulder and finger problems made a hash of his 2018 season, and Stroman managed only a 10-13 record with the Jays and Mets last year.

He did do enough following his deadline trade to allow Mets fans to envision the return of the old Stroman, going 4-2 with a 3.77 ERA in 11 starts. If they can get that from him under pennant pressure in 2020, Mets fans would be thrilled.

They’ll need it because Wheeler’s departure leaves a legitimate gap in the rotation. In 31 starts, Wheeler went 11-8 with a 3.96 ERA covering 195 innings. Stroman, for the record, hasn’t delivered that many innings since 2017.