The first crack at filling the vacancy in the Mets rotation could belong to Walker Lockett.
The right-hander was removed from the injured list Tuesday and added to the bullpen for at least one night (he didn’t pitch in the Mets’ 2-1 loss to the Nationals), but team brass has bigger plans: He is the front-runner to take Michael Wacha’s turn in the rotation Wednesday.
Wacha was recently placed on the IL with shoulder inflammation and Marcus Stroman’s subsequent decision to opt out from the season before completing his injury rehab, has left the Mets with that need.
Lockett, 26, went 1-4 with an 8.84 ERA in 13 appearances last season with the Mets. He spent summer camp sidelined with lower-back stiffness.
The right-hander has recently added a cutter, according to manager Luis Rojas.
“He’s a contact pitcher — a guy that can induce some contact so can get through a lineup with fewer pitches,” Rojas said. “And adding the cutter, which can be another contact pitch for him, is just adding more to the pitcher he is.”
Brandon Nimmo will likely begin playing deeper in center field, according to Rojas, to get a better route on fly…