Colin Holderman

Daniel Vogelbach Trade Hamstrung Mets

With respect to Daniel Vogelbach, some things should be made clear. The trade did help the New York Mets last season.

Vogelbach was a definitive upgrade over J.D. Davis. He was a DH for a team in need of one. He was cheap in every sense of the word.

Colin Holderman was a light price to pay for an established Major League hitter. His $800,00 contract was absurdly low as was his $1.5 million option.

Vogelbach kills right-handed pitching. He had a 150 wRC+ against them in 2022. In three of the last five years, he’s been a 127 or better, and in four of the past five, he’s been 117 or better.

However, as good as he’s been against right-handed pitching, he’s been even worse against left-handed pitching. For his career, he has a 41 wRC+ against them.

That’s unplayable necessitating the Mets platoon him. The issue there was Davis is/was not good necessitating another trade.

While Vogelbach was cheap to obtain, Darin Ruf wasn’t. The Mets gave up too much to obtain him. No one would normally care all that much, but Ruf was bad.

Ruf did not adapt well to being a strict platoon DH. With the Mets, he had a 24 wRC+. Mets fans may actually be surprised to learn it was that high.

With Ruf being 36 years old, it’s difficult to see him turning things around. After all, he was already having a poor year with the San Francisco Giants.

This does leave the Mets in a position where they’re looking to address the DH position this offseason. As noted, that’s complicated by the presence of Vogelbach.

Remember, Vogelbach is a platoon DH and really nothing else. That hamstrings your roster flexibility. It also restricts who the Mets can use to address the other half of the platoon DH spot.

As we’ve seen, Ruf struggled, and there’s not much hope for a rebound. They won’t want to restrict Mark Vientos as just a platoon DH. Short of a reclamation project like Yoenis Cespedes, it’s difficult to imagine who will want to sign to be a short side platoon DH.

Perhaps, you could force Mark Canha or Eduardo Escobar into the role, but that forces you to make other moves. In some ways, that may make Brett Baty’s readiness to be an Opening Day third baseman the lynchpin to eventually making the Vogelbach trade work.

However you analyze it, it becomes clear Vogelbach has restricted the Mets ability to address the DH spot, and really, improve the roster overall. Yes, in the short term, it was the right move especially given all the costs involved, but in the long term, the trade isn’t working out well for the Mets.

Revisiting 2022 Bold Mets Predictions

Before the season, there were 60 bold predictions made heading into the New York Mets 60th season. Here is a look back at how those bold predictions worked out:

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

While they won 101 games, they collapsed late in the season, and they would lose in three games to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round.

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.

Fortunately, Howie has not announced his retirement.

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

See above.

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.

Lindor did have a huge second year, but a broken finger cost him any chance of winning 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.

As it turned out, Smith was not given a real shot to be the DH. Not only did he not force his way into the lineup, but he was demoted to Triple-A, and he was not called up even with the expanded rosters. He was non-tendered after the season.

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.

Diaz was an All-Star.

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

Diaz was the only All-Star from this group. The other Mets All-Stars were Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and Jeff McNeil.

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.

It started that way, but deGrom wasn’t quite as sharp when he returned. He did not receive any votes.

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.

As it turned out, he finished the season as the right fielder, but he moved back to second when Marte returned from injury for the postseason.

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.

Wow, this one was way off the mark and couldn’t have been more wrong.

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.

It was the opposite for Bassitt. He was strong all season until the very end.

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.

Marte was a fan favortite, and Mets fans would not let him be snubbed with their voting him in as a starter.

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.

For whatever which reason, the Mets were reluctant all year to give him a shot. After the Darin Ruf trade disaster, he finally got a shot in a pennant race and was less then thrilling.

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.

Baty was not moved, and he would be called up to be the team’s everyday third baseman until his own season ending injury.

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.

With his ankle injury, Álvarez was only called up to DH late in the season. Tomas Nido did supplant James McCann as the starter.

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.

Well, the Phillies won the pennant, so this was only true to that extent. However, the Mets missed their every chance to bury the Braves and would eventually collapse.

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.

This was very true in June. It was not true at all after that.

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.

Megill had a good run as a starter until he was injured. He returned late in the season and moved to the bullpen. He is likely in the mix for the rotation next season.

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

Shockingly, not only did Carrasco rebound, but he also made 29 starts.

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

Williams was a vital part of this team all season.

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.

This did not happen.

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

The Mets did not have any winners with only Nido being a finalist. In terms of the voting, there were multiple Mets who were snubbed despite excellent defensive numbers.

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

His name has not surfaced as a managerial candidate.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

Neither has him.

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

This was very close to being true. J.D. Davis was a DH in 41 games before the team mercifully got rid of him. After the trade deadline, Daniel Vogelbach was the DH in 46 games.

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

He did not.

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

While Rodriguez had his moments, he had an 87 ERA+ making his largely true.

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

To our collective surprise, Brandon Nimmo played a career high 151 games. Mark Canha would play 140.

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

For a one week stretch, when Plummer hit that ninth inning homer against the Phillies, Mets fans did fall in love with him before he stopped hitting as a part time DH. No Mets fan paid any attention to 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.

Canha played fewer games than Nimmo, but he did have the lowest WAR among outfielders.

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

There wasn’t any issues with Stroman during the season, and he did not pitch against the Mets this year.

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

That did not happen.

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

Sadly, this was true.

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.

It was difficult to ascertain who got the loudest ovation which was a great thing.

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

This award probably goes to McNeil for robbing the Oneil Cruz homer, but Guillorme had more than his fair share of highlights.

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

Alonso took a big step back defensively, but the Mets hesitated to give him more time at DH even to give him rest late in the season.

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.

There were some rumblings about Conforto, but he wasn’t tied with the Mets. He also did not sign with any team.

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.

We heard nothing on that front, but we should give this one time.

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

Nope, we didn’t, and it didn’t help that David Cone was saying Mets fans would complain about them not being GKR.

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

Whether or not it was the right call, Showalter won, and it was close to being 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.

This one was actually true.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

This one should’ve been true. However, Paul Lukas of Uniwatch found the flaw.

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.

Smith was well on his way until injury. May did not have a great year, but that was mostly due to injury. It should be noted he stepped up late in the season and in the postseason.

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.

With Scherzer dealing with an oblique injury and faltering against the Braves and Padres, this ultimately proved true.

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

The Mets did have a monster second half until they faltered against the weakest September schedule. Truth is they should have run 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.

The Blue Jays made the postseason. With them and the Mets losing in the Wild Card round, this was not remotely an issue.

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.

It was a chilly reception.

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.

So far, fans seems to be unhappy with the postseason changes.

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.

Peterson did quite well even if he had some struggles, and he stayed in the rotation for the most part.

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.

Holderman emerged as a quality relief option, but he would be traded for Vogelbach. Szapucki was moved to the bullpen with Syracuse with an eye towards using him in that role. He too would be traded for a platoon DH option (Ruf). The Mets only added Mychael Givens at the deadline while espousing they liked what they had.

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.

This proved true with Nido finally taking over full duties at the very end of the season.

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

True, but Diaz was signed before the start of free agency.

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).

True even as his team collapsed.

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

Walker tied for the second most starts. deGrom would actually make the fewest starts.

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

On April 29, the Co-No happened.

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.

This likely will not happen.

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

There was no such announcment, but there was the announcement of Willie Mays and Keith Hernandez having their numbers retired.

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.

MLB did not care about the lack of quality with the games, and honestly, while there were complaints, Mets fans didn’t complain nearly as much about the streaming games as you’d anticipate.

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

It actually proved to be more than just that. Showalter got Guillorme into the lineup due to his glove.

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.

To reiterate, I’m an idiot, and I’ll probably make the same prediction next year.

Mets Neglect Bullpen At Trade Deadline

The New York Mets thought their offense needing addressing at the trade deadline, and they set out to do it. Apparently, that was really their objective.

It’s undeniable Tyler Naquin, Darin Ruf, and Daniel Vogelbach make this a more potent offensive team. When you look at the high prospect cost, it appeared the Mets were not going to let prospects stand in the way of a World Series.

So, then, how does Billy Eppler and the Mets explain only coming away with Mychal Givens to bolster the bullpen at the trade deadline?

Keep in mind, Colin Holderman was having a better season than Givens. Yes, Givens is having a good season, and he has a good track record, but overall, Holderman was better leaving the Mets in a worse spot than when they entered the trade deadline.

This is where you wonder what Billy Eppler was thinking.

He traded Holderman because of a purported robust relief market. Then, on the trade deadline, he admits it wasn’t all that robust, and that the prices were too high.

This doesn’t pass the smell test.

The Philadelphia Phillies acquired David Robertson from the Chicago Cubs for prospect Ben Brown, a soon to be Rule 5 eligible pitcher who has not reached Double-A. Sure, he’s the Phillies seventh best prospect, but their system is one of the very worst in the game.

The Minnesota Twins made an intra-division trade to acquire Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers. The cost was pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long. He’s a 24 year old former sixth round pick with a 7.17 ERA in Double-A.

Baltimore Orioles All-Star closer Jorge López went to the Twins as well. Admittedly, it took quite a haul to get him. Really, he’s just about the only reliever who came at a steep cost.

Raisel Iglesias was basically a salary dump to the Atlanta Braves. The Mets could’ve thought outside the box to bring Noah Syndergaard back to recreate Game 5 of the NLDS. That Mickey Moniak led return was laughable.

Then again, so is the notion the Mets are going to the postseason with Tommy Hunter and Joely Rodriguez in their bullpen.

Now, it’s imperative Trevor May is healthy, effective, and has the stamina the rest of the way. Seth Lugo needs to further prove he’s all the way back. Adam Ottavino needs to continue this run.

Drew Smith and Tylor Megill may need a miracle to be 100% in time for the postseason, and Megill has to show he can pitch in the pen. David Peterson has shown he couldn’t, but now, he needs to be in that mix again.

That’s hope, and hope is not a plan. Whatever the case, that’s what the Mets are left with after the trade deadline. They just have to hope it’s enough.

That’s a dereliction of duty by Eppler, and that goes double when you consider his excuses in trading Holderman. What makes this all the worse is the relatively low prices at the deadline, and the Mets overpaying for bats.

In the end, we just have to hope the Mets have enough. If not, they’ll forever lament not going all-in as their trades indicated they were. They’ll be left wondering why they didn’t try to do all they could to win the World Series and why they gave up so much just to fall short.

Seth Lugo Biggest Part Of Subway Series Sweep

From a New York Mets perspective, the first installment of the 2022 Subway Series was a success. After all, they completed a sweep.

Really, there was a lot of good. Max Scherzer was every bit the ace. Taijuan Walker showed he can be a big game pitcher. Edwin Dįaz had a four out save.

Pete Alonso’s hit hitting continued. Francisco Lindor’s bat reawoken. Starling Marte had a walk-off hit. Again, there was a lot of good in these two games.

None of these moments were more important than Seth Lugo’s appearance.

It’s no secret the Mets need middle relief help. That was all the more apparent when David Peterson allowed a game tying two run homer to Gleyber Torres in the eighth.

Of course, Buck Showalter went to Peterson partially because Joely Rodriguez has not been effective this season. The other reason is the Mets had two innings to figure out.

In the previous game, both Díaz and Adam Ottavino pitched over an inning. In all likelihood, neither were available for this game. That goes double for Ottavino.

If not them, then who? That’s an all the more difficult question in the aftermath of the Mets trading Colin Holderman for Daniel Vogelbach.

And yes, Lugo has been part of the problem. On-and-off the field has been mentally tasking for him. There’s the injuries, a sick child, a pregnant wife, and then the missed birth of his second born child.

In some ways, it’s no wonder we hadn’t seen the real Lugo yet. As a result, we see a pitcher with a career worst year out of the pen.

He has a 4.01 FIP and 2.83 K/BB with his strikeouts down to an 8.3 K/9. He has a 9.64 ERA on no rest. He hasn’t been nearly as effective in a second inning of work.

This played a part in Peterson over Lugo to start the inning. Now, if this was the Lugo of old, he’s out there for the six inning save. Well, after the Peterson blown save, we got to see the Lugo of old:

Lugo’s curve embarrassed and struck out Josh Donaldson. It was the first out of the five Lugo recorded en route to his second win of the season.

Lugo was excellent.

After getting two quick outs in the eighth, he would face Aaron Judge with the go-ahead run on first. He would get Judge to ground out to end the inning and the rally.

This is what Lugo once was not long ago. He was dominant for more than an inning golf work. He took control of the game. Lugo chalked it up to adrenaline.

If that’s all he needed, he needs to make sure he has it in his next outing and each of the ensuing ones. If a full house ramped up with energy brought out the best in Lugo, he’s ready and will be phenomenal for October.

It wasn’t just this outing. This is his second one after the All-Star Break. That’s 3 1/3 scoreless. Seeing Lugo out there, there’s a lot more to come.

If so, that’s one fewer reliever the Mets need at the deadline. If so, the Mets could have a lights out bullpen. That goes double with Trevor May returning from the IL.

For at least one moment, Lugo was Lugo, and the Mets won. We’ll see the if he is his next time on the mound. Odds are, Lugo will be great again, and if so, this Mets team is on a whole other level. Just ask the Yankees.

Mets Need Offense, Bullpen, Luck At Trade Deadline

The line of demarcation for the New York Mets season seems to be June 1. Somehow, someway, it is always June for the Mets.

Entering June, the Mets had the best offense in baseball, and they were running away with the National League East. Since that time, the Mets offense has a 99 wRC+ which is 21st in the majors and seventh worst in the NL.

Keep in mind, the only teams with a worst offense are also-run teams with zero shot at making the postseason. What makes this worse is the Mets starting pitching has been phenomenal over this stretch. Their 3.45 ERA ranks sixth best in the majors and third best in the National League.

Keep in mind, much of that time was while the team had Trevor Williams in the rotation, Chris Bassitt was trying to get on the same page with Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika, and Carlos Carrasco was fighting fatigue. It was also a rotation without Max Scherzer for over a month.

Since Scherzer has been back, Mets starters have easily been the best in the majors with a 1.70 ERA. However, the Mets are only 9-7. Moreover, the Mets as a team are 25-20 since June 1 seeing their NL East lead dwindle from 10.5 games to 1.5 games.

Yes, part of the reason is the Atlanta Braves are on a historic tear. However, it has more to do with the Mets. Again, this team is not hitting. Morevoer, the bullpen has just been flat out bad.

Right now, Edwin Diaz is the only reliever the Mets can and will trust. The problem is he only throws one inning a night. The second best reliever on the team by ERA, Colin Holderman, was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. It’s at the point right now where the only set-up reliever the team can trust is Adam Ottavino.

Look at it another way. For the season, Mets relievers have a 3.53 ERA. On the surface, that is pretty good as it ranks as 10th best in the majors and fourth best in the NL.However, that includes Diaz and Holderman.

When you back out Diaz and Holderman, the Mets bullpen ERA rises to 3.90, which would rank 16th. That’s where the Mets bullpen is. They have a great closer, but they have a middling and unstable bridge to him. Arguably, they need a whole new bullpen.

Really, the Mets need luck. They need the kind of luck they had when Yoenis Cespedes became the best player on the planet and Addison Reed was the best set-up reliever out of the 2015 trade deadline.

That’s the thing. It’s not just getting players. It’s getting them to perform. Also, as we saw with 2015, the team got healthy and had help from the minors with Michael Conforto.

The Mets need to get a right-handed bat to push out J.D. Davis once and for all. They need a Francisco Alvarez or Mark Vientos to get called up to help at some point. Seeing the Mets catching situation, the Mets really need Alvarez to go on a tear in Triple-A to force a call-up.

Jacob deGrom needs to healthy. With him and the rest of three rotation going deep, it’ll lessen the burden and innings required from the bullpen.

Trevor May needs to be healthy. David Peterson needs to transition well to the bullpen. Peterson and Williams need to pitch well there, and Buck Showalter has to be willing to use them.

Vogelbach needs to hit as does Davis’ eventual replacement. The ship has probably sailed on relying on Eduardo Escobar hitting leaving his replacement needing to hit.

Really, the Mets need a lot. We’ve previously seen it can be done. Maybe not by Billy Eppler judging from his Los Angeles Angels tenure, but it can be done.

The trade deadline is a little more than a week away. What the Mets do will likely determine whether they win the division and just how deep they’ll go in the postseason.

Vogelbach Trade Hurt Mets For Now

With the New York Mets current DH situation, you can understand pursuing Daniel Vogelbach. He annihilates right-handed pitching and adds a power threat behind Pete Alonso.

That said, the Mets made the move without ever optimizing their lineup. As pointed out here, the Mets never fully tried Luis Guillorme at second, Jeff McNeil in left, and Mark Canha at DH.

With respect to that, here are the respective wRC+ this season for the players at issue:

* Canha 123 wRC*

* Guillorme 119 wRC+

* Vogelbach 118 wRC+

Vogelbach is the worst hitter of that group. Of course, it’s more about Vogelbach against right-handed pitching. With respect to that, he is better.

However, not so much, you ravage your bullpen. Vogelbach does have a 149 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, but both Canha and Guillorme are at a 136.

Again, they’re better against right-handed pitching, but they were already good against right-handed pitching, at least with an optimized lineup. Also, their bullpen is worse.

We saw it in the Mets 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. Max Scherzer left with the Mets down 2-0 after six. Joely Rodriguez was wholly ineffective allowing two runs before needing to be bailed out by Seth Lugo.

It was a perfect illustration as to why the Mets couldn’t just frivolously part with Colin Holderman. As noted above, with the offensive production so close, it was frivolous because it further weakened a weakness.

On the season, Holderman was 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA, 1.019 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, and a 9.2 K/9. Seeing those numbers and his pure stuff, you understand why the Pirates wanted him.

However, it’s why the Mets couldn’t afford to part with him, at least not now. Right now, there is no bridge to Edwin Diaz. Holderman was emerging to be part of that bridge, but now, he’s gone.

Sure, Billy Eppler said there’s plenty available on the relief market. However, you have to be able to get them. Moreover, you now need another arm to replace Holderman.

The Mets did this to incrementally improve their offense against right-handed pitching while ignoring the very real problems against left-handed pitching. Their bullpen is overall worse.

So yes, Vogelbach serves a need and is a slight improvement. However, the team is on more uneasy footing because it cannot handle the innings leading up to Diaz.

In the end, you can argue this trade actually hurt the Mets chances. That makes the next 10 days vital to the Mets chances to win the division and World Series.

Trevor Williams Should Be High Leverage Reliever

Much of the reason the New York Mets are in first place is due to their unsung heroes. With the rash of injuries, players like Trevor Williams stepped up and has been huge.

His biggest start was his last one where he earned a win after shutting out the Miami Marlins over seven innings. The thing is that may be his last start of the season.

Max Scherzer is back and dominating. Jacob deGrom is throwing 100 MPH fastballs in his rehab starts. When deGrom is back, which will be sooner rather than later, there’s zero chance Williams gets a start.

We saw the Mets accepting and planning for that eventuality as Williams pitched the final three innings in the Mets 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Since Williams pitched the final three innings, he was credited with the save, the first of his career.

We should be seeing more of Williams in these late inning situations. Preferably, it would be high leverage situations.

For starters (or relievers), the Mets need someone to fill that role. It’s something the Mets have been trying since Trevor May was injured.

Drew Smith struggles with left-handed batters, is becoming homer prone, and has a 4.68 ERA since May 14.

Seth Lugo had struggled on back-to-back days and pitching more than an inning. Adam Ottavino is on a good run, but he needs his rest, and historically, he’s terrible in September and October 5.17 ERA).

Seemingly, that’s it for relievers Buck Showalter trusts in a big spot to set up Edwin Diaz. Speaking of Diaz, he might just be the only reliever everyone trusts, and he can’t set up for himself.

Likely, the Mets main set-up reliever is not currently on the roster. Keep in mind, the Mets still need to figure out who is going to pitch innings 6-8.

To phrase it as one set-up reliever is a misnomer because the Mets still need at least two more relievers. While we can be curious about a Colin Holderman, Showalter isn’t using him in high leverage situations.

Maybe Showalter will use Williams. Keep in mind, Williams is a veteran. He’s also pitching some of the best baseball of life.

Williams struck out a career high 22.5% of batters. While an admittedly small sample size, in his career, he’s struck out 9.9 batters per nine as a reliever (against 7.1 as a starter).

That could increase as Williams focuses more on his sinker and slider. Right now, Williams has a 40% whiff rate on his slider and a 36.8% put away rate on his sinker. Both are the best marks for his career.

Putting aside the eccentricities, it’s a two pitch repertoire and level of effectiveness reminiscent of Turk Wendell. Of course, we don’t know if Williams can be Wendell, at least not until the Mets try it.

For Williams, it will be an adjustment. It should be noted he’s at his worst this year the first time through the lineup. Then again, he adapted just fine earning his first career save against the Cubs.

Past that, we don’t have a real sample size this year to make any judgments. That is even with him performing well in a very limited sample size last season after the Mets were out of the race.

Ultimately, we don’t know how Williams will fare. What we do know is there are signs he could succeed in the role, and more importantly, the Mets have an immediate need. Everything together, it’s time to give Williams a shot as a high leverage reliever.

Mets In Desperate Need Of Another Reliever

In the New York Mets 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, their biggest flaw was highlighted and their downfall. Their bullpen.

We know the missed strike call to Dansby Swanson which should’ve ended the inning. However, David Peterson was pitching too long.

Peterson was at 98 pitches before he allowed that homer to Matt Olson. In the at-bat. Olson hit a very long foul. When Mookie Betts did that to Peterson in Los Angeles, Buck Showalter gave him the hook.

The Mets really weren’t able to do that here. That’s even with Peterson set to go over 100 pitches for just the third time all season. It was the third time through the order. That’s something the Mets have justifiably shielded him from all season.

Here, the Mets had little choice. After all, aside from Edwin Diaz, who do you absolutely trust in the Mets bullpen right now? The answer is probably nobody.

Well, Diaz was unavailable as was Adam Ottavino. The Mets bullpen was short, and they needed Peterson to get through six. He didn’t, and he allowed the Olson two run homer to put the Mets down 2-1.

Seth Lugo came in and was huge getting the Mets out of that inning. And then, he was not S he allowed his own two run homer to Adam Duvall in the seventh.

Just like that a shallow and tired pen helped turn what could’ve been a 1-0 win into a 4-1 loss.

Yes, we can and should point to the offense. However, the Mets had a lead. They just don’t have the arms to bring games like these home.

Drew Smith is increasingly unrealizable and can’t get left-handed batters out. Joely Rodriguez is a LOOGY and not really cut out for the three batter rule.

Tommy Hunter is a great story, but you still don’t know if he can trust him quite yet. Same goes for Colin Holderman, who did pitch well in this game and all season. Maybe they’ll get there, especially Holderman, but the Mets don’t trust him completely right now.

That leaves you questioning who else is there? Well, until Trevor May comes back, the answer is no one. That’s the problem.

Sure, with Max Scherzer pitching, it masks the problem. When he gives you seven, you just need one inning from someone not named Diaz. The same is true for when Jacob deGrom comes back from the IL.

Taijuan Walker is approaching this level, and Chris Bassitt is a strong 6+ inning starter. With this starting pitching, you don’t need much in the bullpen.

The Mets proved this in 2015. One of the ways do address a faltering bullpen is to just not use it. Let the starters absorb the innings.

The plan works, but you need more than just a Jeurys Famila, or in this case, a Diaz. They’re also going to need more than just May returning and Peterson likely shifting to the bullpen come October.

The Mets need an answer. That may come from a Holderman. Mostly, it’s going to have to be a trade deadline move. Really, it’s both that are needed. We’ll see if the Mets get it.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Split Dodgers

The New York Mets traveled to Los Angeles with a depleted pitching staff to face-off against the Dodgers. In the end, this was a split with people’s emotions going through the gamut.

1.  For those who panicked after the second game or wanted a litmus test, just stop. Regardless of how this trip goes, this is a very good Mets team who is a World Series front runner. This series only served to prove that.

2.  This was Buck Showalter‘s best managing of the season. Lifting David Peterson during an at-bat and using Edwin Diaz in the eighth inning against the Dodgers best hitters was inspired and absolutely the right call in each circumstance.

3.  Colin Holderman got his first career win, and Adonis Medina recorded his first career save. This team is just built different.

4.  The Mets might’ve lost Holderman if a Rule 5 Draft was held. Medina was obtained after he was designated from assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Going deeper, Stephen Nogosek has an ERA under 1.00, and the Mets had previously designated him for assignment. Not enough is being talked about with how great Jeremy Hefner has been.

5.  Ron Darling was wrong. They’re not getting contributions from all 26 players. We’re hovering around 35+ right now.

6.  Pete Alonso just owns the Dodgers and destroys pitching at Dodger Stadium, so much so that he left Brusdar Graterol befuddled. Just name him the front runner for the NLCS MVP.

7.  Eduardo Escobar is coming out of his funk and starting his June hot streak on schedule. While the homer was great, that 10 pitch sacrifice fly was one of the team’s best at-bats all season.

8.  Tomas Nido might just be the best hitter in the majors with two outs and RISP. He is actually slashing .455/.500/.636 in those spots. Maybe someone can hypnotize him into thinking every plate appearance is two outs with RISP?

9.  How was no one ejected over that snafu where Dave Roberts tried to use Zach McKinstry against the rules? It was a complete and utter joke, and it further confirms CB Bucknor is a bad umpire.

10. Chris Bassitt is really struggling right now. He’s had a 6.35 ERA over his past four starts with opposing batters hitting .261/.327/.544 off of him with a dipping strikeout rate. The Mets need him now, and he’s faltering.

11. Jeff McNeil is struggling to the point Showalter pulled him from a game and gave him a breather. Hopefully, it’s just a blip because the Mets need him.

12. You can argue no Mets player has stepped up like Trevor Williams has this year. He’s gone from complete afterthought to pitching five strong innings against the best offense in baseball.

13. The Mets bullpen was underrated entering the season, and it is all the more so during the season. Case-in-point, this bullpen is undefeated in extra inning games.

14. While we all understand why Nick Plummer is up with this team right now, if the Mets see him as a real player going forward having him as a little used fourth outfielder is doing him a great disservice right now.

15. Luis Guillorme was bound to cool off. The hope is this is a blip and not a complete regression. As he’s never been truly given this chance, no one can definitely state either way even if all indications are he will be fine. Regardless of those struggles at the plate, his defense remains great.

16. At some point, you have to wonder if Brandon Nimmo needs to go on the IL to let his wrist heal. He is just not hitting at the moment.

17. After a small cold streak, Francisco Lindor is hitting and playing elite defense again. Also, he now has the highest WAR among MLB shortstops. It’s as if he’s a future Hall of Famer in the prime of his career.

18. Tylor Megill‘s rehab stint should not be rushed. Give him the time he needs as this is a marathon, not a sprint. When he’s ready, it looks like it’s Peterson who will need to be sent down.

19. The discovery the Mets are using the same pitching machine the San Francisco Giants used for their resurgence may have more of an impact on this team’s offense than anything Eric Chavez is credited with doing.

20. Let’s be honest here. The NL East race is over. It is now just about the Mets getting ready for the postseason.

Dodgers And CB Bucknor Make Mockery Of Baseball

The story of this New York Mets win should’ve been the homers. They got them from Francisco Lindor, Eduardo Escobar, and Pete Alonso . . . TWICE!

It could’ve been about Walker Buehler getting knocked out in the third. It could be the Mets bullpen stepping up after David Peterson was knocked out in the fourth and after throwing one pitch to Mookie Betts.

Buck Showalter made the bold call to not just lift Peterson after one pitch and in using Colin Holderman. Holderman came up big striking out Betts, and the bullpen as a group came up huge. Of course, there was some help from Luis Guillorme’s glove.

But no, it’s not about any of those things or the other good things that happened for the Mets in this 9-4 victory. Instead, it was about Rob Manfred and his rule changes.

The Mets had that five run lead entering the ninth leading Dave Roberts to waive the white flag by having a position player, Zach McKinstry, pitch. This is what the Dodgers do to keep arms fresh, and, well, the Mets bullpen isn’t the Philadelphia Phillies bullpen

Only problem: you can’t do that.

Per Rob Manfred’s rules, you can’t have a position player pitch unless there is a sux run lead. Yes, it’s a dumb and unnecessary rule, but it exists.

Roberts clearly didn’t know the rule because he sent McKinstry to the mound. Honest mistake, unsure if the rule change was actually implemented (some pitching rules have had their implementation delayed), or trying to pull something. Doesn’t matter. It’s not allowed.

It’s one thing with Roberts. It’s a whole other thing with CB Bucknor and the umpiring crew. They actually had to go to replay to resolve it.

The umpires had to go to replay because they didn’t know a rule. They didn’t tell Roberts no because they didn’t know the rule. Worse yet, they let the Dodgers get away with it.

Instead of ordering a pitcher to the mound, they waited. Worse yet, when they ordered a pitcher to the mound, they allowed the Dodgers to stall. Then, they let Evan Phillips warm up on the mound like it was an injury situation.

The only injury was to the umpires who were brain dead. They botched the entire situation and permitted the Dodgers to get away with it with no repercussions.

Overall, this was a sick joke all the way around. Umpires and managers weren’t quite sure about a needless gimmick rule, and there was no penalty for it. Just another embarrassing day for Rob Manfred’s MLB.