Robert Gsellman has a starter’s repertoire. He’s always had a starter’s repertoire, from the day he debuted in 2016 to the seven successful starts he made down the stretch that season.
As his career progressed and he became a reliever, Gsellman seemed destined to remain in the bullpen. Unlike teammate Seth Lugo, with whom he’s often linked, Gsellman made it known that he enjoyed relief work as much as starting — the late adrenaline rush, the game on the line, that sort of thing. Though Gsellman never experienced quite the same type of success in the bullpen, the Mets seemed to like him there as well.
Only clear and obvious necessity could have changed his career arc. Missing three of their top six starters, the Mets on Wednesday committed to Gsellman not just as their starting pitcher in a 11-6 win over the Nationals, but as a member of their rotation for at least the rest of this season.
“Right now, he’s part of the rotation,” manager Luis Rojas said. “That’s how I see it. … That’s what we’re looking for him now, for this season. Past that is something obviously that we can discuss. But right now, this is the plan according to the circumstances that have fallen into place.”
Gsellman began the conversion process with two innings against the Nationals at Citi Field — the first one bad, the second one better. After Trea Turner doubled, Adam Eaton singled and Juan Soto cranked a 466-foot home run onto the upper-deck concourse in right, Gsellman settled down to retire the final five batters he faced. Along the way, he showcased the pitch mix that the Mets believe can make him a successful starter again, including a fastball that eclipsed 96 mph, a sinker that reached 95 mph and two distinct breaking balls.
Gsellman did not factor into the decision for the Mets, who supported him with four runs in the bottom of the first before breaking through for five more — including a Michael Conforto two-run double and back-to-back homers by Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith — in the sixth. But he figures to play a more prominent role in many future games. With Noah Syndergaard out for the season and Marcus Stroman electing not to play, Gsellman has become a rotation solution for the Mets.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 13, 2020