Chris Bassitt

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

Mets Home Opener Was Terrific

It was an emotional day at Citi Field. It was Opening Day, and it was the official unveiling of the Tom Seaver statue. Seeing Seaver with the drop-and-drive, the statue couldn’t have been more perfect.

Also perfect was the Jackie Robinson Tribute. This was the 75th anniversary, and all MLB teams wore the solid blue numbers like appeared on the Brooklyn Dodgers jerseys.

Emotions were high, and the crowd was ready. Nothing was going to damper this day.

Not the Wilpons’ or Brodie Van Wagenen’s presence. Not Mark Canha or Brandon Nimmo testing positive for COVID. Not even the unnecessary presence of J.D. Davis in the lineup.

Nothing.

Part of the reason is Chris Bassitt ensures that would be the case. After all, if you’re honoring Seaver, a great pitching performance is a prerequisite.

The Mets offense continued to score. Zach Davies and the Arizona Diamondbacks pitching staff never really had a chance.

The Mets got four homers. Robinson Cano got the first. Starling Marte hit his first homer with the Mets. Francisco Lindor homered from both sides of the plate.

Through eight, it was 10-1, and the final would be 10-3 after Sean Reid-Foley struggled again.

The Mets are the first team to six wins. They’re 10-4 in home openers at Citi Field. Lindor looks like a true MVP candidate. The starting pitching has been even better than advertised.

All told, right now, everything is (Tom) Terrific.

Game Notes: Nick Plummer made his MLB debut playing RF in the ninth. Travis Jankowski was 3-for-4 with a run scored. James McCann has started the year 1-for-16. Oliver Perez received a surprise ovation during player introductions.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Capitalize Against Bad Nationals Team

The New York Mets opened their season on the road against the Washington Nationals, and they came just this close to a four game sweep. It was a pretty good start which could’ve been better:

1.  Here’s how good the Mets starting pitching was. They didn’t miss Jacob deGrom, and Max Scherzer was their worst starter in the series, and he had a quality start.

2.  If Carlos Carrasco is what he was on Sunday, which was the same pitcher we saw in Cleveland, than the rest of baseball is in trouble.

3.  Trevor Megill was simply awesome. Not only did he dominate picking up the win on Opening Day, but he stared down Juan Soto and Nelson Cruz in a big spot.

4.  Mets pitching held Soto to 3-for-14 with his homer coming off a mistake pitch from Trevor May. That is extremely impressive with Soto being one of the best in the game. With respect to May, he’ll be fine. It was just one pitch.

5.  In terms of Soto, the Apple TV+ game was a mixed bag, but the one thing they did well was try to promote star players like Soto. Trying to promote him and the images broadcast were definitely pluses. As for the rest, we will see how they improve after this game.

6.  Francisco Lindor has gotten off to a very good start at the plate which was something he and the Mets needed after last season. He had two errors, but we know his defense isn’t remotely an issue.

7.  The HBP were a significant issue with C-flaps saving Lindor and Pete Alonso from serious injuries. And no, this was not a sticky substance issue. The Mets managed to get through that series without hitting any batters.

8.  The HBP did prove an early season galvanizing moment with Buck Showalter and Jeremy Hefner leading the charge after Lindor’s HBP. It did lead to Steve Cishek‘s ejection, and we didn’t see more after that.

9.  There was a lot of good with Showalter this weekend, but his issues with bullpen management and giving veterans a long leash are still present.

10. Not pinch hitting for Robinson Cano and having Trevor Williams face Soto and Cruz helped cost the Mets a game. That isn’t something you want on your manager.

11. Alonso didn’t look great defensively this weekend, and that underhanded toss was something else. If he doesn’t button it back up defensively, the Mets are going to have to play Dominic Smith everyday at first. On that note, Smith was good in his game at first.

12. With respect to Alonso, he was one of two horrible sends from Joey Cora in this series. Remember, Cora was the worst third base coach in the majors last year before the Pittsburgh Pirates fired him. He got off to a very bad start to this season.

13. Eduardo Escobar looked very good in the series, and he is the early Major League leader in doubles. His defense looked better than career norms.

14. Mark Canha was excellent in the series going 7-for-10 with three walks. He also filled in as the center fielder in a pinch. Not too bad.

15. On the subject of how Mets new additions performed, Chris Bassitt was phenomenal in his start. In many ways, he could be the best addition the Mets made this offseason, and perhaps, they should be talking extension right now.

16. Who had Starling Marte as the only Met with a caught stealing and with Travis Jankowski having two stolen bases? Baseball is just funny sometimes.

17. Overall, despite one pitch from May and the Williams meltdown, this bullpen looked good albeit without much pressure. It will be interesting to see how they fare over the course of the season.

18. Jeff McNeil is back. Not only was he 7-for-16 with a homer, three RBI, and three walks, but he showed his versatility playing left field on Opening Day. If he’s McNeil again, the Mets lineup got much deeper and more dangerous.

19. Fortunately, it appears Brandon Nimmo‘s neck is alright. After missing the opener, he was 4-for-14 with a double and triple. He also survived a collision with the outfield wall. One odd thing with him is he only walked once and struck out five times.

20. It was easy beating what promises to be a very bad Nationals team. We’re about to find out more about this team as they travel to Philadelphia against that vaunted Phillies lineup and will face old friend Zack Wheeler.

Pete Alonso Has Mets Feeling Grand

You’d never know the New York Mets miss Jacob deGrom with the starting pitching they’ve gotten to start the season. Tonight, it was Chris Bassitt‘s turn to dominate.

Over six shutout innings, he only allowed three hits and one walk while striking out eight. He was never really challenged, and he was in sync with James McCann.

In terms of McCann, he’s looked better behind the plate than last year. He’d also get the game winning rally started with a leadoff single in the fifth.

After McCann singled, Brandon Nimmo walked. Starling Marte flew out for the first out of the inning bringing Francisco Lindor to the plate.

Lindor fell behind in the count 0-2 to Washington Nationals starter Joan Adon. Lindor battled back fouling off four pitches before drawing a walk to load the bases. Pete Alonso then unloaded them:

It was Alonso’s first career grand slam. Also, after he and other Mets have been plunked in this series, including Marte tonight, he had quite the bat flip.

In this game, and so far this season, Buck Showalter has been looking for everyone to contribute. That included Luis Guillorme, Travis Jankowski, and Dominic Smith getting the start.

Like everyone else, they would each contribute. That includes Jankowski who became the first Met to steal two bases in his first start.

That 4-0 lead grew to 5-0 in the ninth as Nimmo went to work. He hit a leadoff double, and he went to third as he tagged up on a Marte fly out. That put him in position to score when Andres Machado threw a wild pitch.

Again, the Mets bullpen did its job. Drew Smith (1.0), Joely Rodriguez (1.2), and Adam Ottavino (0.1) kept it scoreless. That made it an uneventful final three innings in the Mets 5-0 victory.

Game Notes: Edwin Diaz was unavailable as he was on the bereavement list after his grandfather’s death. Lindor made his second error of the season. For the first time since 2015, the Mets begin the season 3-0.

Bold 2022 Mets Predictions

The New York Mets will be led by Buck Showalter as the team sets to try to win their first World Series since 1986. Since this is their 60th season, here are 60 bold predictions for the season.

1. The New York Mets will win the 2022 World Series.

2.  Howie Rose will retire after the season. The Mets have already tabbed their replacement in Jake Eisenberg, and Rose could not pass up the opportunity to go out calling a Mets World Series victory.

3.  Rose will return in some limited fashion to SNY and will be a fill-in replacement in 2023 and beyond.

4. Francisco Lindor will be the NL MVP. Like Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran, he’s going to have a huge second year. Unlike them, he wont’ be denied the award.

5.  Dominic Smith will force his way into the lineup. Yes, he’s battling with J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano for the DH spot, but like he did in 2019 and 2020, he’s going to force his way into the everyday lineup and not relinquish his spot.

6.  Edwin Diaz will be an All-Star. Diaz has been an every other year pitcher in his career, and following that pattern, this is his year.

7.  The Mets All-Stars this season will be Diaz, Lindor, and Max Scherzer.

8.  Jacob deGrom will receive some Cy Young votes. Whenever he comes back, he’s going to be deGrom, and he’s going to be so great, he’s going to appear on ballots.

9.  Jeff McNeil will finish the season as the left fielder. That is an injury prone outfield, and McNeil will eventually be forced to move out there.

10.  Robinson Cano will reclaim a starting job. We forget that when Cano played he was actually good in the field. If the outfield is as injury prone as we think, we will eventually play almost every day at second or DH.

11.  Chris Bassitt will have a slow first month frustrating fans, but he will have a terrific stretch starting in the middle of May as he adjusts to working with the new catchers and Jeremy Hefner.

12.  Starling Marte is going to have a fast start and quickly become a fan favorite. When he’s snubbed at All-Star time, fans are going to be livid.

13. Mark Vientos will have a thrilling MLB debut. Vientos’ bat is arguably Major League ready, and he’s going to get some run during some point of the season as a third baseman or DH. He may not relinquish a spot.

14. Brett Baty will be moved at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Vientos and the ground ball problems, the Mets feel comfortable moving him for that big piece at the trade deadline.

15. The Mets everyday catcher is not on the Opening Day roster. At some point, the Mets will swing a deal or call up Francisco Alvarez to take over as the everyday catcher.

16. The Philadelphia Phillies will be the Mets main contenders. Last year, the Atlanta Braves were dead in the water until the Mets were too injured. The Mets won’t do that again this year, and the Phillies pitching and hitters will give people more of a run than we think.

17. The Atlanta Braves will not challenge the Mets at all for the division. They’ll really miss Freddie Freeman, the bullpen will falter, and they will not get Ronald Acuna Jr. back in time.

18. Tylor Megill will last the entire season in the rotation. Now that he’s here, it is going to be difficult to remove him from the rotation. If need be, the Mets will go to a six man rotation to keep him in the majors.

19. Carlos Carrasco will rebound and will pitch like he did with Cleveland, but he will not make more than 20 starts.

20. Trevor Williams will become a huge part of the Mets bullpen as he becomes more of a fastball/slider pitcher.

21. Steve Cohen will purchase SNY during the course as the 2022 season as the Wilpons are scared off by the increasing rights deals with streamers.

22. The Mets will have multiple Gold Glove winners with Lindor and Marte.

23. Hefner will get interviews for managerial positions with other teams after this season.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

25. The Mets will not have any player at DH for more than 40 games this season.

26. J.D. Davis will make multiple relief appearances for the Mets this season.

27. The Joely Rodriguez trade will work out as well as the Alex Torres trade did for the Mets.

28. None of the Mets outfielders will play over 135 games this season.

29. Fans will fall in love with Nick Plummer and get more frustrated by Khalil Lee.

30. Mark Canha will play more games than any other Mets outfielder, but he will have the lowest WAR out of all the regular outfielders.

31. There will be an issue over Marcus Stroman not receiving a video tribute when the Chicago Cubs visit the Mets in September.

32. Old Timers’ Day will have one team wearing the 1986 Mets jerseys and the other team wearing the black jerseys.

33. Carlos Beltran will not return to Citi Field for Old Timers’ Day. We also will not see Carlos Delgado.

34. The loudest ovation on Old Timers’ Day will go to Piazza. The second loudest will go to Nolan Ryan, who will be a surprise attendee.

35. The defensive highlight of the season will come from Luis Guillorme.

36. Pete Alonso will take a step back defensively, and he will see more time at DH than initially expected.

37. A week or two into the season, we will hear some rumblings about Michael Conforto looking to return to the Mets. He won’t return, and likely, he will not sign with anyone until after the Major League draft.

38. Some team will crack the frequency on the pitch calling device, and we will eventually know it is them because they will be the surprise team of the 2022 season. It won’t be the Mets.

39. Mets fans will actually enjoy the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this season.

40. Showalter will be the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, and it might be unanimous.

41. Seth Lugo will return to his dominant form, but he will only be a one inning reliever. The multiple inning role will be assumed by Williams.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

43. Drew Smith will take over the eighth inning and will be groomed as the next closer. He will not take over the eighth due to any fault of Trevor May who will have another good year.

44. People will talk about how Scherzer isn’t what they thought he’d be and the contract was a mistake. Those people will be idiots.

45. The Mets are going to have a monster second half with them running away with the division.

46. With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division, the Mets are going to make a push to get their unvaccinated players vaccinated to ensure their availability for the World Series.

47. Jeurys Familia will receive a tribute video when he returns to Citi Field, and there will be a mix of cheers and boos with probably more boos.

48. The Wild Card round will be a complete dud and fans will be clamoring for the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.

49. We will see David Peterson bounced around between starting and relieving due to the injury issues with the Mets starting staff. He will struggle for it.

50. The Mets will not need to add bullpen pieces at the deadline because we will see pitchers like Colin Holderman and Thomas Szapucki emerge as quality relief options at the Major League level.

51. James McCann will have very similar production to what he had in 2021, and in short order, he will find himself in a catching rotation with Tomas Nido.

52. No New York baseball player will sign an in-season extension. That includes deGrom and Nimmo, and it also includes Aaron Judge.

53. There will be no negative articles written about Showalter this season even during a time in the season where the Mets slump (as even the best teams in baseball always do).

54. Taijuan Walker will make the fewest starts of anyone in the Mets pitching rotation.

55. The Mets will have a no-hitter this season, but it will not be from a starting pitcher going all nine innings.

56. This will be the last Major League season with nine inning double headers. We will see the return of seven inning double headers in 2023.

57. The Mets will announce their next Hall of Fame class, and it will include Al Leiter and Johan Santana.

58. Mets fans will not care about the Apple TV game, but they will be absolutely livid about the game on Peacock. Of course, MLB will not care one iota about the blowback.

59. Showalter is going to get Guillorme in a lot of games for late inning defense.

60. To reiterate, the Mets will win the World Series, and they will not have to wait another three decades for their next World Series.

Jacob deGrom Injury Not Cause For Panic Trade

Jacob deGrom is injured, and it’s significant. He has a stress reaction in his scapula which will shit him down for four weeks.

Keep in mind, being shut down for four weeks means he’s out longer than that. After that he needs to rehab and/or ramp back up putting the timetable closer to two months.

The good news is the New York Mets were prepared for this. Finally, they have the depth within the organization to sustain an injury to any of their starting pitchers, deGrom included.

With Max Scherzer, the Mets have a true ace atop their rotation even in deGrom’s absence. After him is Chris Bassitt, who is a very strong number two. We also know Taijuan Walker is a solid back of the rotation starter who showed he could actually be more than that.

After that, when healthy, Carlos Carrasco is a top of the rotation pitcher. If not, he’s a serviceable starter. At this point, we look towards the Mets depth.

Trevor Megill showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie year. Of course, he hit a rookie wall and tailed off significantly. Still, he’s looked great this spring, and he appears ready to at least be a middle of the rotation starter now.

Right there, the Mets have a very good starting five. That’s even before they have deGrom. In fact, that’s still one of the best in baseball.

It’s better when you consider David Peterson and Jose Butto will be in Triple-A. That’s seven pitchers. That’s quality depth before you get to deGrom returning or someone else emerging.

Now, can the Mets get more depth? Absolutely. Time and again, you see you can never have enough depth. That goes double for pitching and really for the Mets.

That said, there’s a difference between INVESTIGATING depth and DESPERATELY NEEDING depth.

The rumors from The Athletic the Mets have talked with the San Diego Padres about a trade centered around Chris Paddack and Eric Hosmer for Dominic Smith is well past panic.

Flat out, Hosmer is bad. He’s accumulated a 2.7 WAR in four years with the Padres. Aside from the pandemic season, his offense is replacement level. Aside from last year, his defense has been putrid with a -10 OAA in 2018 and 2019.

Better yet, Hosmer has a horrendous contract. He’s due to make $13 million in each of the next three seasons carrying him through his age 35 season.

Paddack is interesting. He had success his rookie year. He struggled since and had Tommy John. In the right hands, and Jeremy Hefner is the right hands, you could have a very good starter.

Paddack is an acceptable piece to take back in a salary dump deal. We know how those deals are supposed to work. You get the piece in Paddack and the bad contract, and in return, you give little to nothing back.

If you’re the Mets, that’s a player like J.D. Davis. He has no position. His stats are buttressed by an unsustainable BABIP and success mostly generated with a juiced ball. He’s got just two more years of control. This is exactly who you move.

Instead, the Mets are talking Dom. It’s nonsense. We know Smith is their best defensive first baseman, and he can fake it in left field when needed. We’ve seen he can hit, and his down year was attributable to injury.

Smith came to spring ready to play, and he’s impressed. He’s earned a starting job (again). You don’t trade him for a salary dump and pitching project.

That’s a Brodie Van Wagenen trade. As an aside, it makes even less sense to obtain Hosmer when you’re a team saddled with Robinson Cano.

Overall, yes, inquire on Paddack. You do that regardless of deGrom’s shoulder. Absolutely, go out and be a big market team and absorb a bad contract to get Paddack cheaper. That said, under no circumstances do you panic and include Smith in that trade.

Mets Showing They Can Be Great In 2022

Look, we should not get too over excited about Spring Training results. Yes, that is even the case when the New York Mets annihilate the Miami Marlins and their starter Pablo Lopez, who is coming off a very good year. The same goes with the Marlins having many of their Opening Day players in the game.

But . . .

The Mets didn’t just look great in the game. They have looked great all Spring. More importantly, the players they need to be great have looked great.

Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer are deGrom and Scherzer. Chris Bassitt has not allowed a run this Spring. Right there, the top three in the league look ready to run, and if they pitch like they can, the Mets don’t need much more help.

And yet, they are getting that help as Francisco Lindor seems poised to have his 1999 Mike Piazza or 2006 Carlos Beltran season. Lindor has been a man possessed hitting four homers this Spring, posting high exit velocities, and playing great defense even by his own standards:

Jeff McNeil seems poised to put a down year behind him, and he looks to be playing the best defense we’ve seen from him. We’ve also seen James McCann ready to put a bad year behind him as well as he’s been hitting the ball hard this Spring, and he seems to be getting back to the catcher we thought he was after the 2020 season.

Dominic Smith came to camp ready to win a starting job, and really, at this point, it’s impossible not to give him one. Starling Marte put injuries behind him, and he’s literally hit the ground running. Up and down the lineup, the Mets appeared like they came to Spring Training with World Series aspirations, and they are not going to leave anything to chance.

That goes down to Luis Guillorme and Tomas Nido, who have also had strong Springs. Really, you have to look deep at the Mets roster to find someone who is not contributing and who has not done something to claim a job.

Maybe this is the retooled roster. Maybe this is the excitement over the Scherzer and Marte signings. It could be a Buck Showalter or Steve Cohen effect. Whatever it is, right now, it looks great. If this carries over to the season, the Mets are going to run away with the division.

MLB Already Owes Fans An Apology After CBA Ratification

During the contentious Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiation, one key point was the implementation of the Steve Cohen Tax. In essence, a fourth tier to the tax was created with minimal movement on the threshold. For some reason, the players accepted the offer.

That was already proven to be catastrophic. That goes double with all the increased revenue MLB will receive as a result of the expansion of the postseason and exclusive deals struck for streaming games. In essence, there’s a lot more money in baseball, no real movement on the CBT thresholds, and no real motivation for teams to spend.

We’re already seeing the fallout of the new CBA.

The Oakland Athletics were in the postseason race last year and would have a better path to the postseason this year. They were in the postseason in 2018 – 2020. Despite that success, they’re tearing it all down. Bob Melvin will now manage the San Diego Padres. Chris Bassitt was traded to the New York Mets. Matt Olson was traded to the Atlanta Braves. Matt Chapman was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. There are more moves on the horizon.

If you think that is bad, look at what the Cincinnati Reds are doing. While the Athletics got big returns in their trades which should help them turnover their roster and return to contention at some point, it’s like the Reds aren’t even trying. They’re just dumping salary, and they appear to be looking to move more money.

Already, the Reds traded Sonny Gray to the Minnesota Twins. They traded Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to the Seattle Mariners. We may soon see the impossible with the Reds looking to trade Joey Votto. For his part, Votto is disappointed not just in that prospect, but also in the fact this Reds team was in the 2020 postseason and looked to be a move or two away from contention in 2022. They chose the opposite path.

For all those who declared the CBA was a win for fans, they flat out lied. It did nothing to prevent the Athletics and Reds from tearing it down. The Pirates and Marlins will continue to operate with the smallest possible payrolls. We will see other teams fail to go that extra mile. This is all an embarrassment to the game, and MLB fans are owed an apology from MLB.

Mets Still Need Michael Conforto

The New York Mets have done a lot of work this offseason, and they have transformed their team. The Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt additions have made the rotation deeper, and with Jacob deGrom atop the rotation, the Mets are going to be extremely tough to beat.

The lineup was retooled with Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Starling Marte. Despite that, even with the return of Robinson Cano from his suspension, the Mets likely find themselves one player short from being a real complete team. That player is Michael Conforto.

As detailed first on the Simply Amazin podcast, the Mets outfield really does remain a question mark. We got the first glimpse of that when Marte reporting to Spring Training with a strained oblique. For as good as he is, Marte has played over 132 games in a season once since 2016.

Brandon Nimmo presents a similar problem. Nimmo is arguably the Mets best hitter, and he showed the ability to be a good center fielder in 2021. However, he carries the same injury problems as Marte. In 2018, Nimmo played 140 games. That is his career best with 92 games being his second highest. Like Marte, you can’t trust Nimmo to stay on the field and be healthy for 162 games.

Canha played 141 games last season. That was a career high with his previous career high being 126. Canha is also going to be 33, and he has shown real signs of decline in his career. When healthy, this is a good outfield, but they’re not always healthy, and at their ages, there is some risk with Marte and Canha in decline.

This is where the universal DH can help the Mets. Instead of signing a player like Kyle Schwarber to be the DH, using it for Pete Alonso to get Dominic Smith to play first, trying Cano, or really any other iteration, the Mets could sign Conforto and use the DH to rotate between these outfielders to keep them all fresh and healthy.

With Conforto, you still have a player in his prime, and when healthy, Conforto is a great hitter and defender. Yes, Conforto had a down 2021, but that was in part due to his COVID infection and ensuing injuries. Despite that, Conforto still had a 118 wRC+ in the second half. Again, he showed us he can still hit.

This is also a player who has not only been a leader for the Mets, but he has also shown he can handle New York. That is something which gets lost in the shuffle sometimes. Conforto has seen it all with the Mets, and he has been a player with no controversy, emerged as a leader, and has been an All-Star. He knows what it’s like to play on the biggest stage in the biggest city in the world.

Believe it or not, even with all the moves to move on from Conforto, this roster is likely a left-handed batter short. They’re also an everyday outfielder short. Really, when you break it all down, they are a Michael Conforto short. Luckily for them, he’s still out there giving the Mets the chance to bring him back and let him lead the team to the World Series.