Confident, comfortable Jose Butto taking advantage of opportunity in Mets’ rotation

Despite Jose Butto putting together a terrific spring showing, the Mets decided to give right-hander Tylor Megill the fifth starter spot in place of injured ace Kodai Senga to begin the season.

Butto ended up being sent down to Triple-A, but he quickly found himself back up with the big league team when Megill landed on the injured list due to a shoulder injury.

Butto was recalled as the 27th man ahead of his start against the Detroit Tigers in Game 2 of last week’s doubleheader and he was terrific, allowing just one run on three hits while walking three and striking out six across six innings.

The righty returned to Syracuse, but he rejoined the team for Sunday’s start against the Royals.

Butto was even better this time out, as he held the high-powered Kansas City offense to just three base runners on a hit and two walks while striking out a career-high nine batters across six shutout innings.

“Today he was in complete control,” Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said. “He attacked hitters, but then when he got behind in counts he was able to pitch backward, so he found pitches to get back in counts. Overall just a great outing.”

Butto feels as comfortable as ever and his confidence is at an all-time high after allowing just one run while walking four and striking out 12 across his first two big league outings this season.

“I feel really good,” he said. “I am comfortable with all of my pitches whether I’m ahead in the count or behind in the count. I have a lot of confidence right now and I’m just going to continue working and improving every day.”

With Senga recently transferred to the 60-day IL and Megill still not yet progressing back, Mendoza says that Butto will remain in the Mets’ rotation moving forward.

“He’s not going anywhere,” the skipper said. “It’s good to see someone stepping up. We’ve been talking about that since day one. Guys are going to get hurt and guys are going to get an opportunity, and here he is getting a chance and he’s taking advantage of it.”