On the Major League front a lot has been made of Steven Matz‘s and Seth Lugo‘s rehabilitation and possible return to the rotation. On a “minor” scale, there are also the issues of the rehabilitation and eventual return of prospects Marcos Molina and Chris Flexen.
Molina has not pitched in the regular season (did pitch in AFL and MLB ST) since he had Tommy John surgery at the end of 2015. Because of the Mets belief in his ability, he was added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft. One of the reasons he did this was because he of how well he pitched in the Arizona Fall League. Despite pitching well in the Arizona Fall League and Spring Training, Molina did not start the season with any of the minor league affilates. Instead, he was shut down before being put in Extended Spring Training.
Based upon Tuesday’s results, it appears the Mets made the right decision. Molina took the mound for St. Lucie and was terrific. In his brief outing, Molina pitched four innings allowing just one earned on one hit and one walk while striking out three.
Another pitcher making his first appearance of the season was Flexen on Wednesday. Flexen was a healthy pitcher when the Mets added him to the 40-man roster in the offseason. However, his start to the season was delayed because Flexen suffered a knee injury. During Spring Training, he needed surgery to remove a bone chip in the knee. Like Molina, Flexen is healthy are ready to go.
In his first start of the season for St. Lucie, Flexen pitched four innings allowing three hits, one earned, and walking none while striking out three batters.
Overall, both Molina and Flexen went out there, and they showed everyone why the Mets were high enough on them to add them to the 40-man roster despite neither pitcher throwing so much as one pitch in Double-A. They are likely to improve from this point, and they will show everyone why the Mets were bullish on them if they can stay healthy.