David Peterson has earned his spot in the Mets rotation, but the southpaw’s future is uncertain

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CHICAGO — David Peterson will enter the second half of the Mets season in limbo.

With Jacob deGrom expected to rejoin the rotation as soon as the Mets’ upcoming series against the Padres, Peterson is the odd man out of the starting five. While that’s a little unfair to the left-hander, who owns 3.24 ERA across 72.1 innings and 13 starts for the Mets this season, it’s also completely warranted.

Peterson has embraced the uncertainty surrounding his future with the Mets mostly because, well, he’s used to it.

“It’s been my role this year, some sort of an undefined role,” he said on Sunday after pitching five innings against the Cubs. “Obviously with starters going out and being able to fill that spot in the rotation and a couple of bullpen appearances.”

Peterson slid into the starting five as early as the first week of the regular season, when Taijuan Walker was forced to miss a couple of starts with a shoulder issue. Then he went back and forth between the majors and Triple-A Syracuse from the end of April to the end of May. But since then, he’s been a reliable arm for the Mets pitching staff—staying healthy and growing into his role.

There are no hard feelings for Peterson with deGrom set to return to the Mets rotation. Everyone in baseball knows the two-time Cy Young winner will be key to their success in the second half and potential playoff run.

“We all want Jake back,” Peterson said. “We all want him healthy. That’s the most important thing. We want him to be productive. And we want him to be Jake, the Jake that we love and know. For me, it’s just about taking advantage of the opportunities that I have and when he comes back, talk to Buck (Showalter) and see what the situation is. Go from there. I want to take advantage of every day that I have.”

Peterson said he has not yet spoken to Showalter about his role in the second half, but it’s easy to see the southpaw piggybacking deGrom in the ace’s first start back, when he will likely be limited to a pitch count. Peterson has earned the opportunity to contribute for the Mets in any role, including from the bullpen.

“You can make a case that a number of guys, and Peterson’s one of those guys, have stepped up and taken the opportunity,” Showalter said. “He’s someone we feel like is starting to develop a track record of trust, so to speak. … Pete’s taken the opportunity and ran with it.”

WANT AN MRI? GET IN LINE

Dominic Smith (right ankle) and Tomas Nido (left forearm) received imaging in Chicago. Smith rolled his ankle while leading off second base in the 10th inning of Game 1 in the Mets’ doubleheader against the Cubs on Saturday. Smith exited the game and tested out his ankle alongside a Mets trainer on Sunday, but his availability for the series finale at Wrigley Field was unclear. He received an X-ray and will go for an MRI in New York.

Buck Showalter seemed unconcerned about Nido’s forearm issue, downplaying the severity of it, but the Mets catcher still went for an MRI to be safe. Patrick Mazeika was behind the plate catching David Peterson on Sunday, and Nido was unavailable off the bench. Nido said the MRI didn’t show any cause for concern, so it’s possible he avoided a major injury.