McDonald: Robert Gsellman Is One Of Many Met Question Marks For 2018

This was the way the Mets were supposed to win this game, when the schedule came out about a year ago.

Down 6-1, they come roaring back to beat their rivals the Washington Nationals, 7-6 on a game where most on the team contributed.

But no one expected this game to be meaningless, as the Nationals are looking towards two weeks from now and the Mets are just playing out the schedule during a very forgetful year.

Wins like these, though, are still nice wins and the 28,095 in the stands seemed very happy.

That was after the Mets came back and tied it in the fifth, because the first four and a half had nothing but groans for starter Robert Gsellman, who stunk up the joint with six runs, five of them earned, on four hits and three walks over five innings.

To say the least, Gsellman has not been the same pitcher this season as we saw the last month and a half of 2016, when he turned heads and helped lead the club to the Wild Card.

Last week, Gsellman pitched extremely well in Atlanta and tonight a stink bomb.

“His fastball didn’t have the life we saw in Atlanta,” said manager Terry Collins. “The Robert we saw last week was the one we saw last fall.”

Gsellman is a very interesting Met this offseason, because he may be one of the biggest non-injury question marks. With a season ERA at 5.38, there is no secure spot for him in the rotation, as the Mets hope to get back their injured starters like Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler.

But there are flashes of brilliance from the 24 year-old, which means the talent is there, but because of his mercurial year, you just don’t know.

“He has to go into the winter and say, ‘I got to go and win a job,’” Collins said. “He has to go and get himself in great shape and the closer you get to February, make sure his arm in good shape so he can work on things, rather than get ready for the season.”

It’s one of the many question marks on the table for general manager Sandy Alderson. Gsellman right now isn’t assured of anything, but as we saw this season, the Mets are going to need as many healthy and able arms they can find, because of the fragile nature of their starting staff.

But a guy tossing a north of five ERA, is someone they don’t need. Or rather have plenty of options there with the Tommy Milones and Tyler Pills of the world.

Yet, because of the stretch run in 2016, you expect more from Gsellman, who should have a mid-90s fastball that sinks and gives the infielders a workout.

If he gets it together, Gsellman would be an excellent third or fourth man in the rotation, but then again, it’s if he gets it together. You have to wonder how much of his problem is upstairs, rather than in his right arm.

Again, though, he’s not 25 until next July, so there definitely time to straighten him out. It’s one of the many problems the Mets will have this off-season, as they look to put together a rebound team in 2018.

And hopefully a game like tonight’s Gsellman will be pitching for the division, rather than just playing out the schedule.

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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