Let’s Stop Celebrating Endy’s Miraculous Catch

All over the internet yesterday was video of Endy Chavez‘s miraculous catch robbing Scott Rolen of a go-ahead homer in the top of the sixth inning of a tied Game 7. It was one of, if not the, greatest catch ever made, and it came against a hated rival with the pennant on the line.

For 14 straight years, this catch is celebrated. We should all agree there should not be a 15th year.

After that catch, neither Jose Valentin nor Chavez could deliver on what was a bases loaded one out situation.

The Mets couldn’t capitalize on Carlos Beltran drawing a leadoff walk in the eighth, and in the top of the ninth, Yadier Molina hit a homer off of Aaron Heilman which sailed over Chavez’s Head.

Cliff Floyd just missed one before striking out. Jim Edmonds robbed Jose Reyes. After Paul Lo Duca drew a walk to load the bases, Beltran struck out.

All told, this ranks as one of the most frustrating and depressing losses in Mets history. This loss was further exacerbated by collapses the following two seasons, and the complete and utter failure which was the first version of Citi Field.

That’s nothing to say about the Wilpons getting caught up in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme only for them to be needlessly propped up by Major League Baseball.

After that Chavez catch, everything just kept getting worse for the Mets and their fans. Frankly, after that catch is was a nightmare which lasted for nearly a decade. Much of the reason for that was the meddlesome ways of the clueless Jeff Wilpon who kept finding new ways to embarrass this franchise we all adore.

Every Mets fan should love Chavez for this catch and for all he gave the Mets. We can and should love the players from that era who were a mixture of snakebit and not quite fully supported by ownership never ready to go all-in on winning, and that’s even when they had the financial capacity to do that.

Still, we should all fall short of celebrating the mile. We can all acknowledge it was perhaps the greatest catch ever made. However, in the end, the Mets lost in the most excruciating way possible, and no Mets fan anywhere should really look to celebrate a moment which is intrinsically tied to the loss.

If you think this is too far or it’s too far, consider this. There is not a Red Sox fan alive who celebrates Dave Henderson‘s homer off Rick Aguilera. That is among the pantheon of the most clutch homers ever hit, and no one cares because the Red Sox lost that game and series in the most excruciating way possible.

Celebrating Chavez’s catch is really no different than celebrating Henderson’s homer. That’s why it’s time to stop and turn the page. With Steve Cohen at the helm, we instead need to look forward to celebrating big moments like the Mets winning the World Series.

Hopefully Mets See Defense Will Win 2020 World Series

Corey Seager was the NLCS MVP and deservedly so, but the defense of Mookie Betts in RF changed the momentum of the NLCS. Without either of his home run robberies, the Atlanta Braves win the pennant.

Like with the Braves, defense was the calling card of the Tampa Bay Rays in winning the pennant.

These are two GREAT defensive teams. By DRS, they were both the second best defensive teams in their league. Over the past two years, the Dodgers are the best defensive team in the MLB, and the Rays are the third best defensive team in the AL.

These two teams prove yet again defense matters and defense wins championships, or at the very least, it puts you in a position where you can win.

As previously detailed on this site, there is a correlation between defense and winning in baseball. That continued this year with all of the top eight defensive teams making the postseason. Conversely, only two of the 13 worst defensive teams made the postseason.

This year, the Mets ranked as the fifth worst defense in the majors with a -22 DRS. Since they last made the postseason in 2016, they are an MLB worst -242 DRS. Over that time frame, they’re 18 games under .500.

Defense, or the lack thereof, is the main reason. Year-in and year-out, they pretend like it doesn’t matter, and they make just plain dumb decisions.

Case-in-point is their insistence on playing J.D. Davis. Whether it was left field or third, he’s been the worst defender in all of baseball. Despite that, the Mets shoehorn into the lineup because of his bat.

That decision has ripple effects throughout the team. The main issue is Brandon Nimmo shifts from the corner OF position, where he rates well, to center where he’s not good at all. In essence, by forcing just one bat into the lineup, you’re failing to get the most out of your pitching due to a horrendous defense, and you’re failing to get the most out of Nimmo, who is a very good player.

We don’t see that with teams like the Rays and Dodgers, at least on a daily basis. No, they realize defense matters, and they put their defenders where they should play. The end result is good to great defense, better results from their pitching, and ultimately, winning. These two teams are everything the Mets haven’t been under the direction of the Wilpons.

Fortunately, Steve Cohen has purchased the team from the Wilpons. Already, he’s making plans to beef up the analytics department to bring it up to par with teams like the Dodgers and Rays. We can only hope that means far less of Davis in the field and a whole lot more winning.

Congratulations Derek Jeter And The New York Yankees

When we talk about the New York Yankees, we’re talking about the most storied franchise of all of professional sports. This is the franchise of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera.

This is a franchise which has accomplished more than any other franchise in Major League history.

Most Hall of Famers (27). Most World Series (27). Most pennants (40). Most MVPs (22). Most wins in a World Series winning season (114). Really, when you break it down they hold nearly every important record and accomplished almost every significant feat there is in baseball history.

Thanks to Randy Arozarena, Charlie Morton, and all of the 2020 Tampa Bay Rays that also includes being the only team in MLB history to blow a 3-0 series lead.

Congratulations New York Yankees! Another one of your records are still in tact.

Oh, and a special cap tip to Jeter. This year, he was not only the only Hall of Fame position player to see his team blow a 3-0 series lead, but he was also the only Marlins CEO to lose a postseason series.

His Astros Players Don’t, But Dusty Baker Deserves This Pennant

Like when Bobby Thompson hit the Shot Heard Round the World off Ralph Branca, the Houston Astros cheated and changed the course of baseball history.

Like the Giants, the Astros used their cheating system to win a pennant. They did better than the 1951 Giants by winning the World Series. In their wake, they’ve left Yu Darvish trying to mentally rebuild his career, and Clayton Kershaw, who was phenomenal in an 11 strikeout Game 1 win, is still answering questions about his postseason struggles.

Throughout it all, we haven’t seen any Astros players show more than the perfunctory show of remorse. Instead, in reality, they’re Liberace laughing all the way to the bank.

If there was any doubt their apologies was nothing more than mere lip service, Carlos Correa confirmed it when he said, “I know a lot of people are mad. I know a lot of people don’t want to see us here, but what are they going to say now?” after the Astros swept the Twins in the best-of-three Wild Card series.

They’re unrepentant for their actions, and thanks to Rob Manfred, they haven’t been punished for their crimes. Even when we see players try to police the game on the field, we see Joe Kelly get a huge suspension while Manfred looked the other way on the Astros purposefully violating COVID19 protocols.

Somehow the Astros came out of this process feeling like they’re the aggrieved party. Instead, they come across as unrepentant jerks who don’t realize they were an under .500 team.

Yes, in terms of their postseason play, they’ve put themselves in the position to become just the second ever team to force a Game 7 in LCS play after falling down 3-0. Outside of Houston, no one is rooting for them to do it.

Between the suspensions they didn’t face, the sub .500 record, and Manfred’s compulsive need to shield them from retaliation, they don’t deserve to be here. Well, that’s true for only the core players from that 2017 World Series winning team.

Their manager, Dusty Baker, definitely deserves it, and you can’t help but cheer for the man.

Baker, the man who literally invented the high five, has been all that has been good about baseball since his debut as a player in 1968. He’s been a great teammate and the consummate leader. Somehow, as a manager, he hasn’t been given the respect he’s due.

Over time, he’s taken way too much heat for removing Russ Ortiz from Game 6 of the 2002 World Series. It was a 5-0 game in the seventh, and the Angels were threatening. Ortiz was nearing 100 pitches, Baker went to Felix Hernandez, who was lights out that postseason.

He then went to Tim Worrell, who had a seven appearance stretch of not allowing a run. The players were put in the spot to win, and they didn’t. In the end, Baker bore the blame.

It was the same in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Washington. Baker brought them to the postseason, but somehow, that wasn’t good enough for those franchises. It shouldn’t have been lost on anyone each of those teams suffered in the season ensuing after Baker’s termination.

Through it all, Baker has handled it all with dignity and class. While he may have lamented not getting more of an opportunity, he didn’t pin the blame on his players whom he always treated with the utmost respect, and in turn, got great performances in return.

If anyone deserves this victory tonight, it’s Baker. Despite his being a three time Manager of the Year and having taken five different teams to the postseason, he somehow needs this win to cement his legacy. He may need it to get into the Hall of Fame like he so richly deserves.

Overall, while this Astros team is as unlikeable and it gets, you can’t help but pull for Dusty Baker. He’s one of the greatest managers in baseball history and an even better person. If anyone deserves this pennant, it’s him.

At least a small part of you should hope he gets it.

Mets Should Keep Steven Matz

Make no mistake, Steven Matz was an unmitigated disaster in 2020. He had a very good start on the second day of the season, but he just kept getting worse and worse.

He had a 44 ERA+ and a 7.76 FIP. He allowed 4.1 homers per nine. His 9.68 ERA was unseemly.

Under no circumstances would you tender a pitcher like him a contract. You non-tender him and make decisions from there. However, the Mets are not really in a position to non-tender him, and aside from that, it would be unwise to non-tender him.

For starters, the free agent starting pitching market is a mess. Beyond Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer, the pitchers available are really not guaranteed to be any better than what Matz could give you on what will essentially be a one year deal.

As an organization, you’re in a better position to take a pitcher you know and work with him than go with another pitcher and start from square one. On that note, the Mets should be better equipped to get Matz right.

Entering next season, Steve Cohen has promised to beef up the Mets analytics departments and to upgrade the Mets technology. This means Jeremy Hefner, Jeremy Accardo, and even Phil Regan have more at their disposal to get Matz pitching to how we know he can.

We’ve seen that Matz not too long ago. In the second half of the 2019 season, he seemingly turned the corner.

While working with Regan and Accardo, Matz finished the season going 6-4 with a 3.46 ERA over his final 13 starts. This wasn’t a complete anomaly for Matz. At different points of his career, he’s shown this ability.

Matz was this good in 2015 through the first half of 2017. Again, he had a strong first half in 2018.

There’s a lot you can take away from this. It’s certainly possible injuries took their toll. Maybe, even to this point, he’s battling inconsistency. It’s also possible the Mets increasingly worse defense have had an impact on him. There’s many possible theories and explanations which can be proffered.

Lost in any of them is Matz is a good pitcher who has shown the ability to be a quality Major League starter. For a brief moment, it did appear as if 2020 was going to be the year he took his game to the next level.

During Spring Training, there were reports of his having increased velocity and being ahead of where he’s been in previous seasons.

The best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, was impressed with Matz before the 2020 started saying Matz was pitching “maybe the best I’ve seen him in a long time.” (William Bradford Davis, New York Daily News). He also said of Matz, “I think the upside’s unbelievable.”

That’s the real issue with Matz – the upside is there. It’s incumbent on them to unlock it.

Again, based on the free agent market, there’s not a definitive better option. Also, due to Brodie Van Wagenen’s stripping the Mets pitching depth for no good reason, there’s no one coming through the Mets pipeline to help in 2021.

That leaves keeping Matz as a necessity. They need to figure him out, or possibly, make him a left-handed Seth Lugo in the bullpen. With the state Van Wagenen will be leaving the Mets, that’s it.

Matz is a real asset. With Cohen, they’ll have the people and technology in place to help Matz take his game to the next level. With Sandy Alderson, they have the people in place who were able to help get consistent performances from Matz.

In the end, the Mets need Matz. They should be preparing to tender him a deal and set him up for his best season yet. If for no other reason, there’s really no better option available.

Mets Need Francisco Lindor

The Mets need to learn their lesson from last offseason. The attitude was let Mookie Betts play out his contract, and then have the Mets sign him as a free agent once Steve Cohen takes over.

The problem with that line of thinking is you risk a player signing an extension, which is exactly what Betts did. We went to a team in the Dodgers who were happy to hand him a blank check.

If you’re a team who does not go out and get Francisco Lindor, you’re assuming the very same risk. The Mets should not be assuming that risk.

The counter-argument is the Mets don’t need Lindor. After all, Andres Gimenez had an impressive rookie season. Amed Rosario, while being lost at the plate this year, was significantly improved defensively. This is all true while also missing the point.

In 2020, the Mets finished in last place with a 26-34 record. During the course of the year, one thing which should have been made abundantly clear was this Mets team isn’t good enough to win right now. In fact, if the last two years are any gauge, they’re not all that close.

What they Mets need is better players across the diamond. It’s not just a catcher, center field, and pitching issue. Really, aside from the first base glut with Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith and the two corner outfield spots, the Mets seem desperate for upgrades and shifting of players to new positions.

Yes, the Mets could use an upgrade at shortstop when Lindor is the player available.

Since his MLB debut in 2015, Lindor has been a top three player in the sport. He’s been the best infielder, and he’s the best middle infielder by a healthy margin. He is literally everything you want in a baseball player.

By DRS, he’s been the fourth best defensive SS in the game since 2015. By wRC+, he’s the seventh best hitter. Overall, there’s no one better at short than him.

That includes Gimenez and Rosario, and it’s a wide margin between him and those two. By obtaining Lindor, you’re making a significant push towards closing the talent gap in the NL East.

Let’s look at it another way. Since his breakout season in 2017, Lindor has been a .276/.341/.503 hitter. In the three previous seasons, he’s averaged 42 doubles, three triples, and 34 homers.

No shortstop in the history of the New York Mets have ever put up these kinds of numbers. They’ve never done it on a one year career year, and they’ve certainly never come close putting up these numbers on an annual basis. When you think about it, over the 58 year history of the Mets, it’s takes their shortstops 2-3 years to put up the extra base hits Lindor can do in one year.

Here’s another way to examine it. Lindor has a 118 wRC+ since 2017. Over that time frame, only Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, and Brandon Nimmo (Alonso didn’t qualify) have a better offensive production.

Over that time frame, Mets shortstops Gabe a 90 wRC+. Getting Lindor would make the Mets lineup deeper and more dangerous. They’ll also be doing that while having a Gold Glove caliber player at the position.

There is no doubt Lindor makes the Mets a significantly improved team. There also should be no doubt he’ll come at a high price. If he’s willing to sign an extension, nearly any price would be worth it. He’s that good.

Anytime you can get a future Hall of Famer in his prime, you have to do it. It is a game changer for the organization, and it can bring your team to another level.

The Mets are certainly familiar with that concept. Gary Carter helped them win a World Series. Mike Piazza took them to back-to-back postseasons. Carlos Beltran helped lead the Mets to one at-bat from a World Series. Hall of Fame talent significantly improves your team and your postseason chances.

The Piazza and Beltran examples are especially illustrative. With Piazza, the Mets already had Todd Hundley. With Beltran, the Mets already had Mike Cameron. Rather than be happy with the status quo for a team not good enough to win, the Mets improved on a strength, and it led to a better future.

That’s Lindor right now. Yes, the Mets may very well be served to go forward with either Gimenez or Rosario. However, with all due respect to both, neither of them are Lindor, nor are they close.

If the Mets want to truly win now, they should be making every reasonable effort to get Lindor in a New York Mets uniform.

Mike Brosseau Showed Rob Manfred Is A Terrible Commissioner

Last night, Mike Brosseau hit an eighth inning go-ahead homer off of Aroldis Chapman to help send the Tampa Bay Rays to the ALCS. It was an incredible postseason moment:

There were many reasons why it was phenomenal story. The Rays entire payroll makes less than Gerrit Cole. In September, Chapman was suspended for throwing at Brosseau’s head (only for the appeal not to be addressed until next year). Mostly, it was incredible because Brosseau was an undrafted free agent.

Brosseau played for Oakland University in college. Oakland University is a mid-major team playing in the unheralded Horizon Conference. Their home field has at times been in an unplayable condition.

Players like Brosseau aren’t supposed to make it to the Major Leagues, but that’s the beauty of short season baseball.

Short season baseball gives Major League teams the opportunity to identify previously overlooked talent. It gives them a chance to give a player a chance in a much better baseball environment to see if they can blossom. Every team has a story of why this is great.

Take the Mets for example. Mike Piazza wears a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque. That never would’ve been possible had the Los Angeles Dodgers drafted the 1B/DH with their 62nd round pick to look to move him to catcher.

In 2016, an injury riddled Mets team probably misses the postseason if T.J. Rivera didn’t get his opportunity to play at second everyday late in the season. Like Brosseau, Rivera was an undrafted free agent.

Now, none of these three players likely get a chance because there’s no longer a place to give them an opportunity. Rob Manfred has eliminated these short season leagues for no other reason than to save money.

The Appalachian League is now the equivalent of a Midwest Cape Cod League. That may be good for scouting, but it does little to nothing to develop players like Brosseau.

No, Brosseau is a player who won’t get a chance starting next year. With that, future postseason series will be effectively be forever altered because Brosseau wouldn’t have even had a chance to develop into a player to take that at-bat against Chapman.

In the end, last night just wasn’t a great moment for the Rays, it was a complete indictment of how terrible a commissioner Rob Manfred is.

Bartolo Colon More Accomplished Mets Hitter Than Jed Lowrie

Justin Toscano of The Record wrote the latest in what appears to be a series of articles giving the pros and cons of keeping Brodie Van Wagenen on as the New York Mets General Manager.

There has been much written on Van Wagenen’s tenure, especially here, but when we look at it the seminal moment might’ve been the Jed Lowrie signing. After all, that was the “Come get us” moment.

As explained by Michael Mayer of MMO, things didn’t quite work out that way.

Really, the best way to sum up how poorly the Lowrie signing went is Bartolo Colon had more homers with the Mets than Lowrie had hits. More to the point, Colon, who set a Major League record for PA before his first walk, drew as many walks as Lowrie did with the Mets.

Colon has nine more runs, 15 more hits, four more doubles, one more homer, and six more RBI than Lowrie has with the Mets. They’ve also played the same amount of innings at second, third, and short.

Now, this isn’t to poke fun at Lowrie. He’s been a very good player throughout his career, and by all accounts, he’s been a good guy.

Rather, this just yet again highlights how horrific Van Wagenen’s tenure as GM has been. As a result, the articles looking for reasons for him to stay are really reaching.

Looking at everything, once Steve Cohen is approved, it’s time to come get a real GM.

Jordan Montgomery Is The Reason The J.A. Happ Decision Was Poor

You’re seeing in many circles the New York Yankees getting killed for using Deivi Garcia to open for J.A. Happ. The reason why they’re being killed is simple – Happ was terrible.

Happ has not done nearly as well against right-handed batters as he has left-handed batters. This year, right-handed batters had a .296 wOBA against a .252 for left-handed batters. That’s not a one year short season blip either.

Last year, it was more pronounced with right-handed batters having a .345 wOBA with left-handed batters having a .280. These splits hold true throughout his career. Simply put, Happ is better against left-handed batters than right.

Before proceeding further, that’s baseball. Typically, pitchers perform better against same side batters. In baseball, you want your left-handed pitchers facing left-handed batters. With starters you can’t just do that; hence, the opener strategy.

Criticizing that doesn’t make much sense. The Yankees put Happ in a good position to succeed, and they were smart having him start an inning as opposed to coming in after just three batters.

The reactionary decision was this was wrong because it was different. That opinion was validated because Happ was terrible allowing four runs over 2.2 innings.

In all honesty, if Happ was going to struggle against that lineup that night, he was going to struggle whether it was the first, second, third, etc. As a pitcher, you either have it, or you don’t.

Moving past that, postseason games are all hands on deck. Players are going to be asked to do things out of the norm. We saw the Dodgers prepare for that by having Mookie Betts play a game at second base this year. As a practical matter, Happ should be mentally prepared to pitch in any inning and any game situation in the postseason.

That said, it was still a dumb decision to use the opener for three reasons.

First and foremost, looking at the Rays, the opener only impacts whether or not they play Yandy Diaz right now. With all due respect to Diaz, no one should predicate important pitching decisions based upon Diaz. He’s not a good enough hitter to try to strategically alter what you’ve done with a pitcher for years now.

Second, it disrupted Masahiro Tanaka. That extra day of rest took him out of his routine. Now, that sometimes happens in the postseason, but this was a conscious decision and not one of consequence of sweeping a series.

The obvious counter argument to that is Tanaka has been better on six days or more of rest in his career. Assuredly, this was a part of the Yankees decision making. If so, this does highlight some of the sound decision making.

However, this all loses the bigger picture. The Rays maul left-handed pitching. This year, they had a 121 wRC+ against left-handed pitching which was fourth best in the majors.

They are not nearly as good against right-handed pitching. In fact, they had just a 105 wRC+, which was good for just 13th in the majors.

By making this decision, the Yankees took Garcia, a right-handed starter, out of the equation to start Game 4. Instead, they’re using Jordan Montgomery, a left-handed starter who is arguably their worst healthy starter.

The Rays mauled him knocking him out after 0.2 innings. Under no circumstance do you want to put Montgomery up against this Rays lineup with the season on the line. That’s the position the Yankees should’ve foreseen by using Garcia and Happ the way they did.

That said, if Happ pitches well the Yankees probably win Game 2, and they had Tanaka for the knockout punch. If not, you’re willing to ride with Montgomery knowing you have Gerrit Cole for a potential winner-take-all Game 5.

You can understand that rationale. However, when your decision making is predicated on counting on Happ pitching well against a Rays team which mauls left-handed pitching, your thought process is inherently flawed.

When you’re knowingly potentially using Montgomery to save your season, your decision completely failed, and frankly, you did something stupid.

Ultimately, that’s why the Garcia/Happ decision didn’t make sense. It wasn’t an issue of game strategy. No, that was sound. It was really an issue of mapping out the series. Failing to take that into account is what may very well cost the Yankees this series.

Because People Forgot: Travis d’Arnaud Was A Good Mets Catcher

Seeing Travis d’Arnaud play great since leaving the Mets has generally seen Mets fans have one of two reactions:

  1. Typical Mets
  2. Can’t criticize the Mets for this one

The second reaction is driven by the premise d’Arnaud wasn’t good with the Mets. Essentially, the Mets gave him every possible chance, and he still didn’t succeed. Ipso facto, he was never going to be good with the Mets.

This is the standard defense when a player the Mets gave up on too soon thrived elsewhere. The most famous recent example was Justin Turner. Of course, that was predicated on a false premise.

Turner worked on his launch angle with Marlon Byrd, and he was getting results late in the season. Rather than pay Turner an absurdly low arbitration salary to permit him to be a useful utility player who could grow to be more, the Mets instead chose to non-tender and slander him.

Mets fans having amnesia from all the other times the Wilpon led Mets front office do this only for the decision to blow up in their face, somehow take the organization’s side. It happens time and time again, and we’re seeing it with d’Arnaud.

The biggest fallacy with d’Arnaud was he wasn’t good with the Mets. Sadly, this emanates from a poor understanding of the catching position wherein people equate the ability to catch with the ability to throw.

Now, there are some truths with d’Arnaud. First and foremost, he was injury prone. Second, his throwing arm wasn’t great. Third, his bat wasn’t as advertised when he was obtained as a prospect.

Still, that should not be conflated to mean he wasn’t good with the Mets. In fact, d’Arnaud was a good Met.

From 2014 (his first full season) until 2017 (his last full season), d’Arnaud amassed an 8.5 fWAR*. Over that stretch, d’Arnaud was the 11th best catcher in the game. His 99 wRC+ made him the 14th best catcher in the game.

Certainly, his bat wasn’t as good as hoped, but it was league average. It was also above average for his position. We also knew there was a chance for more.

In 2015, we got a glimpse of what d’Arnaud would be in his post Mets career. In that season, he hit .268/.340/.485 with 12 homers and 41 RBI. That was good for a 130 wRC+. That made him one of the best catchers in the game, and with his hitting three homers that postseason, he seemed poised for stardom.

Really, d’Arnaud looked like the complete catcher. He could hit. He blocked balls and framed at an elite level. There was no one in baseball better at fielding throws and getting down tags. He just led a young pitching staff to the World Series.

Admittedly, it didn’t happen. Injuries were a big reason why.

In 2016, he dealt with a rotator cuff strain. In 2017, he dealt with wrist injuries. Finally, in 2018, it was discovered he had a torn UCL costing him that season.

These are all injuries which impact your hitting, and they’re reasons why d’Arnaud wasn’t able to build off of his 2015 campaign. Still, he remained a strong defensive catcher and pitch framer.

Put another way, d’Arnaud was actually a good catcher who helped his team win. As noted, he was the 11th best in the game.

After his UCL injury, there was legitimate hole he’d return to his 2015 form. Instead, the Mets under Jeff Wilpon’s direction did what they always do. They unnecessarily rushed a player back from injury.

At a time when d’Arnaud should’ve been on a rehab assignment, or even rehabbing to get ready to play in rehab games, d’Arnaud was catching a Major League game, and he had just about the worst game a catcher has ever had. Instead of realizing it was the Mets who screwed up by forcing a player to return before he was ready, they got rid of him.

This led to d’Arnaud getting the time he needed to get back into playing shape. Now, away from the arm and elbow injuries and away from the Mets medical decision makers, we see d’Arnaud return to his 2015 form.

Again, what d’Arnaud is doing now is something we’ve seen him do in a Mets uniform.

Just because you were frustrated with his inability to throw out base stealers should dealing with a starting staff incapable of holding on runners doesn’t change that. Just because we saw the Mets use SNY and their influence with some media personalities or the fact there are just plain ignorant fans doesn’t change that.

So yes, there’s every reason to believe Travis d’Arnaud would have been this good if he stayed with the Mets. First and foremost, he was healthy. Second and just as important, he had already been this good in a Mets uniform.

And regardless of what he would or would not have done if he stayed with the Mets, d’Arnaud was good with the Mets. Being 11th best at his his position proves that.

Editor’s Note: Typically, this site uses bWAR. Catchers are the one exception as fWAR incorporates framing.