Heading into the 2018 season, it was an open debate whether Justin Dunn would be able to stick it out in the rotation or if he was best suited to move back into the bullpen. After all, he had a 5.74 ERA as a starter and a 1.59 ERA as a reliever.
Well, to start the 2018 season, Dunn has gone out there and pitched like the pitcher the Mets believed they were getting when the organization made him the 19th overall pick in the 2016 draft.
In his Opening Day start, Dunn earned the win pitching five innings allowing no runs on six hits. Perhaps more importantly, Dunn would strike out seven without allowing a run. This was certainly a great start to the 2018 season, but for it to really be impressive, he was going to have to show this start was no fluke.
In St. Lucie’s 4-3 win over the Tampa Tarpons, Dunn would have another dominant scoreless five inning start. With Dunn once again holding the opposition scoreless, he has not run up his consecutive scoreless inning streak to start the season to 10 games.
His final line was 5.0 innings, two hits, no runs, three walks and seven strikeouts. On the season, he has walked three guys while striking out 14. This shows an improvement in his command that was missing for parts of last year. Overall, Dunn has made significant strides forward in his first two starts of the season.
If Dunn keeps this up, the question is not going to be whether he can stick in the rotation. Instead, the question is going to be over just how long he will remain in the St. Lucie rotation before getting called up to Binghamton.