'It's hard to put it into words' how good Mets' rotation is, says pitching coach Jeremy Hefner

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Ryan Morik
·2 min read
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Jeremy Hefner and Jacob deGrom in Spring Training 2020
Jeremy Hefner and Jacob deGrom in Spring Training 2020

It goes without saying how good the Mets' starting rotation can be.

They have a two-time Cy Young Award winner in Jacob deGrom. They traded for Carlos Carrasco, who owned a 2.91 ERA last year. David Peterson impressed last season as a rookie, and they will have Marcus Stroman back on Opening Day while they await Noah Syndergaard's return from Tommy John surgery.

Pitching coach Jeremy Hefner raved about the rotation on Monday.

“It’s hard to put it into words," said Hefner. This is my second year as a pitching coach, and I’ve been blessed with two really good starting rotations going into spring trainings."

Everyone knows how elite deGrom is, but his impact to the rest of the rotation is what has caught Hefner's eye.

"Jake is an incredible competitor and a great leader. I know the rest of the guys feed off him and I’ve certainly learned a lot in my time working with him.”

Hefner called Carrasco "a huge asset on... [and] off the field."

“He has a big heart. He really cares not only about his teammates but his family and the community... Really excited to get to seem him up close again. I was fortunate enough to watch him for three years while I was in Minnesota and he was in Cleveland, and I think Mets fans are really going to love him," Hefner said.

Stroman opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns - before that, he suffered a calf injury, shortening his time with the Mets last year. But Hefner is excited to have him back, and said working with Stroman was "one of the most exciting opportunities" about joining the Mets' staff.

"[He] had a really good offseason, he’s coming in strong, and prepared and ready to go," Hefner said. "He’s athletic, he’s flashy, he’s gonna bring a lot to the table.”

Hefner also couldn't go without speaking on his excitement about the bullpen, which now has Trevor May in his arsenal.

"Kind of like Cookie, he’s gonna bring something on the field but off the field as well. He brings energy, he brings something that Mets fans can get excited about," Hefner said.

The Mets also acquired Joey Lucchesi from San Diego, a good strikeout pitcher with several years of control. His spot will be up in there air amid Syndergaard's return, and with his return, the Mets will have five starters of All-Star caliber, four of which have earned Cy Young Award votes in the past.