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The New York Mets are heading into the 2023 season with one of the most talented starting rotations in all of baseball (they were ranked as the No. 1 rotation by yours truly). No rotation is ever without concerns, though, and the Mets certainly have them. 

In order to combat the age and injury concerns, in addition to having eyes on a deep postseason run, the Mets are planning on using a six-man rotation at certain spots in the season. That won't be a permanent move, but The Athletic reports that whenever the Mets play games on more than 10 consecutive days, they'll loop in a sixth starter. 

This makes a lot of sense. Let's run through the five starters and why they might need an extra day here and there: 

  • Justin Verlander is 40 years old and had Tommy John surgery in 2020. In his first season back, he worked 175 innings in 28 regular-season starts and then made four more playoff starts, last taking the ball on Nov. 3. He hasn't made 30 or more starts in a season since 2019. 
  • Max Scherzer is 38. He was limited to 23 starts last year. Though his arm seems bionic, he's dealt with back and side injuries some in recent years. He hasn't hit 180 regular-season innings since 2018. 
  • Kodai Senga is the young one here, at 30. He's in his first season stateside and in NPB, it is customary to throw once a week. He threw 148 innings last season after 111 1/3 in 2021. His career high of 180 1/3 came in 2019. 
  • Carlos Carrasco hits his 36th birthday before the season starts. He managed 152 innings last year, but hadn't gone more than 80 prior to that since 2018. 
  • José Quintana is 34. He worked 165 2/3 innings last season after just 63 in 2021 and 10 in 2020. 

As noted, there's huge upside here, but it's easy to see the areas of workload concern, especially if all five starters avoid injury and made every scheduled start into September. Going to a six-man rotation at heavy areas in the schedule is a smart way to massage things and extend the life of each starter this season. 

In addition to keeping those five starters intact throughout the season, the ultimate goal for the Mets is to win the World Series, which means possibly needing to deal with the wild-card round in addition to up to five games in the NLDS, seven in the NLCS and seven in the World Series. Even with the Astros skipping the wild-card round and sweeping the divisional series and ALCS, Verlander still threw an additional 20 innings in the playoffs last year. 

Small picture, this news means spot starts for the likes of David Peterson, Tylor Megill and maybe even Elieser Hernandez and Joey Lucchesi. Big picture, though, this is the Mets' way of giving themselves a good shot have the best versions of Verlander, Scherzer, Senga, Carrasco and Quintana when they need it most.