The last time a current New York Mets player was in the postseason, Jacob deGrom took the ball in Game One of the 2015 NLDS in the first step of their journey to the pennant. We saw deGrom set the tone with 13 strikeouts over seven scoreless to pick up the win.
It was part of a great postseason for deGrom. If they had an NLDS MVP, it would’ve been his. Overall, he was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA that postseason racking up 29 strikeouts.
Believe it or not, deGrom is the only Mets player remaining from that 2015 team. The Mets made it to the postseason the following year, but Seth Lugo was left off the Wild Card Game roster. However, that does not mean deGrom is the only Mets player with postseason experience. Here is a look at how the other Mets have fared.
Stats: 1-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.455 WHIP, 0.8 BB/9, 7.4 K/9
Bassitt would receive two starts in the 2020 postseason for the Oakland Athetics. He was great against the Chicago White Sox picking up the win and evening the series. One note here is the Mets may be looking for him to pitch a Game 2 in the Wild Card Series again.
Stats: .138/.212/.241, HR, 3 RBI
This century, the Athletics have been defined by quick postseason exits. That is what Canha has experienced being part of teams who lost the Wild Card Game in consecutive years and never advancing to the ALCS.
Stats: 0-1, 3.86 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 4,.5 BB/9, 10.3 K/9
Carrasco would miss Cleveland’s pennant run with a broken right hand. Cleveland would lose in the ALDS in each of the ensuring years, but Carrasco did what he could to prevent that pitching well in his one start in each series.
Stats: .357/.357/.429, 2B
Escobar’s postseason experience is all of five games. While he amassed five hits, he didn’t have much of an impact for two teams that were quick exits.
Stats: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.0 BB/9, 11.6 K/9
Givens lone postseason appearance came in that epic 11 inning Wild Card Game against the Toronto Blue Jays forever defined by Zack Britton not appearing in the game. Givens was brilliant in the game helping save the Baltimore Orioles by pitching 2 1/3 scoreless after Chris Tillman was knocked out in the fifth.
Stats: .000/.000/.000, 5 SB, CS
Gore is known as a lucky rabbit’s foot having been a part of two World Series winning teams. However, he has been more than that. He has been a pinch runner extraordinaire stealing five bases. One interesting fact is his one caught stealing was upon review when it was determined he slightly came off the bag against the Houston Astros in the 2015 ALDS.
Stats: .263/.327/.463, 4 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI, SB, 3 CS
Lindor has had huge moments in the postseason. In 2016, he had a .979 OPS in the ALCS, the only LCS he has played in his career. In his last postseason appearance, the 2018 ALDS, Lindor was great against the eventual pennant winning Houston Astros with a 1.273 OPS.
Stats: .167/.231/.306, 2 2B, HR, RBI, SB
Like Canha, Marte played for a Pittsburgh Pirates team known for not being able to advance in the postseason. What is remarkable with Marte is this is the second straight postseason series he will not be able to appear in his career due to injury.
Stats: 0-0, 0.333 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 6.0 K/9
May was part of those Minnesota Twins, so you knew they weren’t getting past the New York Yankees. That Twins team also didn’t get past the Houston Astros. May was not remotely to blame pitching three scoreless innings in two separate postseasons.
In the 2020 season which led to McCann getting a big contract with the Mets, he did not have an impact in the inaugural Wild Card Series.
Stats: .161/.188/.226, 2 2B, 3 RBI
As a rookie, he was part of that Cleveland team who came as close as any team could to winning the World Series. Unfortunately, Naquin did not do much that postseason or in his postseason career.
Stats: 0-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.714 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 7.7 K/9
Ottavino really struggled in the 2019 postseason; however, Ottavino was overworked. He would appear in seven straight games to diminishing returns. In his postseason, with the 2021 Boston Red Sox, Ottavino was terrific allowing just one earned in five appearances.
Stats: .091/.091/.364, HR, RBI
Ruf’s first postseason experience came in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers last season. The highlight for Ruf was hitting the game tying homer in the sixth off Julio Urias in a game the Giants ultimately lost. It should be noted Ruf will most likely not be appearing in the Wild Card Round due to injury.
Stats: 7-6, 3.22 ERA, 1.104 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, 11.2 K/9
Remarkably, this will be the ninth postseason series for the Mets Game One starter. In his young days with the Detroit Tigers, he had flashes of brilliance. In 2019, he had a 2.40 ERA for the eventual World Series Champion Washington Nationals. Last year, he was great for the Dodgers until fatigue set in during his last start.
Stats: .167/.286/.333, 2B
Vogelbach did not have much of an impact for Milwaukee Brewers teams who were quick outs in consecutive seasons.
Stats: 0-1, 36.00 ERA, 18.0 BB/9, 27.0 K/9
Walker has made only one postseason start, and that came in the 2020 pandemic season. The Dodgers jumped all over him in the first, and he and the Arizona Diamondbacks never recovered.
Showalter will always be defined in the postseason by not using Britton in the American League Wild Card Game. Previous to that, he had been defined by his teams doing better with a different manager in the ensuing postseason.
Much of the reason is Showalter has made a number of curious to baffling decisions in the postseason. It’s not just Britton.
It was leaving in David Cone after the Ken Griffey Jr.. homer, and then trusting Jack McDowell in extras. It was using Bobby Chouinard against Edgardo Alfonzo. And yes, it was not using Britton.
Showalter’s teams have only won one postseason series. He had his best chance of going to the World Series in 2014 where the Orioles were swept by the Kansas City Royals.
Right now, none of this matters. He has a Mets team built to win the World Series. If this Mets team does in fact win, no one will care about his previous failures, and Showalter will have the last piece to what would then be a Hall of Fame managerial career.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article will also appear on MMO.
The New York Mets made the right decisions calling up Mark Vientos and Francisco Álvarez. When the Mets went out at the trade deadline and obtained Daniel Vogelbach, they needed to find a right-handed platoon option for him. Darin Ruf didn’t work, and then, he hit the IL with an injury.
You can and should argue the Mets should have called either one of their top prospects up sooner. That would have allowed them to grow and develop to be more ready for this moment. However, that’s not what happened leaving the Mets to hope either player could catch lightning in a bottle.
The thing is neither player caught lightning in a bottle. They were also given a couple of different chances to come through in big spots, and both players failed. In no way should that shape our opinion of their futures of Major League players. However, it should make us question if they are truly ready for this moment.
This is unfair, and it is based on far too small a sample size. However, that’s all the Mets have available. What we have to look at right now is Vientos has a 60 wRC+ and 31.4 K% in 35 plate appearances. That puts him far ahead of Álvarez who has no hits and three strike outs in eight Major League plate appearances where he’s looked completely overmatched.
Fortunately, the Mets still have three games remaining in the season where they can give both players a bit of an extended look. Maybe one catches hot, and the team can carry them on the postseason roster. Chances are, neither one will, and the Mets will be left flipping a coin as to which one should be on the postseason roster.
At this point, we should say it does not have to be up to these two prospects. At some point, the Mets need to put Dominic Smith in the mix, and that moment needs to be now. With neither prospect producing, the Mets are out of excuses for leaving Smith off the Major League roster.
Yes, we know he struggled and did not produce in two years. There was the shoulder injury last year. This season, the Mets opted to ice him to try to allow Robinson Cano and J.D. Davis win the job. By the time it came to Smith again, he was hurt and in the minors. He lost a chance he never really received in the first place.
With Syracuse, Smith had a 122 wRC+. September was his best month of the season. In 21 games, he hit .294/.351/.541 with three doubles, six homers, and 18 RBI.
He looked like Smith does when he’s at his best. No, it hasn’t worked in the majors of late. Then again, it hasn’t for Álvarez or Vientos. Of the trio, Smith is the only one who has had success in the majors.
The Mets have three games remaining. Let Smith go head-to-head-to-head with Álvarez and Vientos. Whoever is hitting makes the roster.
On August 2, 2022, the New York Mets traded J.D. Davis along with prospects Carson Seymour, Thomas Szapucki, and Nick Zwack. for then San Francisco Giants 1B/OF/DH Darin Ruf. It was a trade widely panned at the time due to the prospect overpay. However, this is the type of trade where if the Mets won the World Series no one would really care about the overpay.
The converse to this is naturally the overpay is highlighted when the player struggles. This is why teams typically will not admit a mistake and do everything they can to try to make the trade work. If they can get just one big hit or a small hitting streak, they can point to that to say they didn’t completely mess up. What most teams don’t realize is that player struggling mightily only makes the trade worse because the player not only struggles, but they also inhibit a team’s chances of winning.
Things with Ruf actually started great. In his first Mets plate appearance, he hit a pinch hit double. The problem is Ruf has done absolutely nothing after that. In 28 games, he is hitting .152/.216/.197 with three doubles and seven RBI. It is not hyperbole to say the Mets have gotten more from him as a pitcher (two scoreless innings in a blowout loss) than they have as a position player.
DARIN RUF HITS A TWO-RUN DOUBLE IN HIS METS DEBUT! pic.twitter.com/xsR9dvTGXS
— SNY (@SNYtv) August 6, 2022
Part of this was probably the Mets fault. They took a player who played semi-regularly, and they asked him to be a pure bench/platoon option. Unfortunately, Ruf was not suited for the role. Make no mistake, this was an unforced error and a complete gaffe by the Mets. They gave it a little less than two months before admitting defeat and investigating their other options.
Mets teams of old play and lose with Ruf. This Mets team doesn’t care about how their image and competency are adjudged. They know that will solely be defined by winning the World Series. The Mets saw Ruf would’ve hindered those chances. Instead, the Mets needed to pursue other options who would give them a better chance to win.
First, it was Mark Vientos. In Oakland, it did seem like he was figuring things out. We would even see him hit his first Major League homer. He was cutting down on the strikeouts and taking better at-bats. The thing is he had chances in his last game in big spots, and he didn’t deliver.
Mark Vientos showed off his sweet swing on his first MLB homer for the @Mets! pic.twitter.com/EHZ917VXGK
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) September 24, 2022
We have seen enough from Vientos to see he is going to be a power hitter at the Major League level. In his minor league career, he has shown the ability to make adjustments and thrive at the plate. However, with the Mets waiting so long before calling him up to the majors, he might not have that time he needs to get comfortable, adjust, and thrive before playing in the postseason.
With that in mind, the Mets called up Francisco Álvarez, the player Keith Law dropped a Mike Piazza comp on before the season. Certainly, with the 27 homers, Álvarez has backed that up. Mets fans have been waiting for this since Álvarez said in Spring Training his goal was to make it to the majors this season. He probably would’ve made it sooner if not for that ankle injury.
Francisco Álvarez against left-handed pitching this season:
— Michael Mayer (@michaelmayer22) September 30, 2022
Right now, it seems Álvarez is here to DH in one game and be available as a pinch hitting option. While Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer were complimentary of his work behind the plate, a team that is going to win and lose the World Series based on their pitching cannot sit James McCann and Tomas Nido, who are exceptional framers.
No, for now, this is a one shot deal. Álvarez is here to DH. He is here because Ruf couldn’t do the job. He is here because the Mets are still unsure if Vientos can do the job. Mostly, he is here because this Mets team will not be defined by their mistakes. Instead, they will be defined by winning.
While the division is still up for grabs, the New York Mets are definitively headed to the postseason. While their opponent remains to be seen, we can start looking at who will be on the roster. After all, the Mets have begun doing that themselves by playing Mark Vientos in addition to taking looks at starters Tylor Megill and David Peterson in the bullpen.
While September rosters are at 28, rosters will drop back down to 26 for the postseason. So with that, at least two players currently on the roster will not be on the postseason roster. With that in mind, here’s a look at who is currently a lock to make the postseason roster.
Believe it or not, Francisco Alvarez could potentially be added to the postseason roster. However, that’s only in the event of an injury to McCann or Nido and another to Michael Perez. Put another way, we’re going to see McCann and Nido all postseason.
There are no surprises here. This is obviously the starting infield with the Escobar/Guillorme platoon. Of course, Marte’s health will impact if Guillorme and Escobar play everyday with McNeil in right field against right-handed pitching.
The obvious caveat here is Marte. If he is good to go, there are four outfielders who will be good to go. However, at the moment, we do not know how or if Marte can play through the pain. Keep in mind, that broken middle finger is inhibiting his ability to throw.
Simply put, Darin Ruf is not doing enough to secure a spot on the postseason roster, and the same goes for Vientos at the moment. The Mets obviously brought Gore in for the sole purpose of being a pinch runner, but his spot may be in some doubt with the Mets platoon strategy. Marte’s health may very well impact who is carried to be the right-handed DH with Marte himself being a possibility.
We now the top three will be deGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt. At the moment, it looks like the Mets will have to decide between Carrasco. Whichever they pick, it would be an absolute shock if the Mets do not put the other starter in the bullpen for the postseason.
There are a name or two here that may very well be here, but at the moment, this is the only group that can be considered a lock. Yes, it is a surprise that’s it after a long season and multiple opportunities for upgrades.
With all the aforementioned players, the Mets have 20 players who are locks for the postseason roster. Per MLB roster rules, the Mets (or any team) can only carry up to 13 pitchers. At the moment, the Mets have nine pitchers considered as locks. As a result, the Mets can add up to four more pitchers leaving them to add two position players.
POSITION PLAYER BUBBLE
If Marte is healthy and ready to go, he will be on the postseason roster. However, the Mets have to be very careful here. If they carry Marte in the first round series, and he can’t go that puts them in a very precarious spot. That means they’re going to be down a player for the round, lose Marte for the ensuing series if he needs to be replaced on the roster, or both.
Marte’s availability is the biggest question mark, and it may be the biggest issue with how the roster is comprised.
For example, Gore was brought here solely to pinch run in the postseason. However, if Marte is still working his way back, the Mets just may roll the dice and use Marte for the role and revisit it again for the next series. If Marte can’t play the field but can DH, that takes Ruf and Vientos completely out of the picture.
Essentially, what Marte can and can’t do will dictate which two players will make the roster. Ideally, the Mets probably want to carry Marte and Gore, but we will see if that is a possibility. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility, the Mets carry just 12 pitchers with a reliever going to the bullpen to allow the Mets to carry Marte, Gore, and one of Ruf/Vientos.
RELIEF PITCHER BUBBLE
- Mychal Givens
- Tommy Hunter
- Joey Lucchesi
- Tylor Megill
- David Peterson
- Joely Rodriguez
- Drew Smith
- Trevor Williams
As noted above, we can see the Mets carry 3-4 pitchers from this group. Keep in mind, who the Mets carry from this group may be somewhat opponent dependent.
Right off the bat, the Mets would carry Givens, but he is on the COVID IL. Until he is activated, we are not quite sure if he can be carried on the postseason roster, at least not in the first round. Assuming for a second Givens is available, things get interesting.
Realistically speaking, the Mets will carry Rodriguez even though he has been bad all year. Of course, Lucchesi is a wild card here. However, if we don’t see him pitch in the Majors soon, there is just no way the Mets can carry him on the postseason roster.
If the Mets want two left-handed relievers, they are definitively going to carry Rodriguez and Peterson (short of Lucceshi being good to go). If they carry both, and Givens is healthy, that may just be a full bullpen depending on what the Mets want to do from a position player perspective.
To a certain degree, that squeezes Williams off the postseason roster. That is unfair and dubious considering he has been one of the Mets best pitchers all season. That said, if you’re carrying your best pitchers, Williams has been that all season.
Theoretically, Megill of Co-No fame would be left off the roster. At the moment, Megill is trying to prove he can be utilized in the bullpen.
Overall, this all hinges on Marte’s health. The role if he can play, if he can play role at all, can dictate just how the Mets are able to comprise their postseason roster. Right now, there are eight games for players to secure their place on the roster leaving a number of moving pieces and decisions yet to be made.
It is long past time we stop sugar coating what is happening with the New York Mets. Moreoever, we absolutely need to stop giving the Atlanta Braves more credit than they are actually due.
Yes, the Braves were nipping on the Mets heels as the result of playing ridiculously well since June 1. That is even the case with them having a losing record against teams with a winning record, and the Mets leading the season series against the Braves. The Braves got themselves in it because they were resilient and won a a lot of games.
However, they are in a first place tie now (in the loss column) because the Mets are collapsing. Yes, it is a collapse, and we need to call it as such.
The Mets have the easiest September schedule in all of baseball. So far, the Mets are 6-7. That record looks worse when you consider they opened the month with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. This means the Mets are 5-7 against teams with a losing record this month.
They were swept for the first time all season. It was the Chicago Cubs, who are on pace to lose 93 games. By the way, they didn’t even need Marcus Stroman to do it.
The Mets are the only team in the Divisional Era (1969) to get swept at home while 35+ games OVER .500 against a team 20+ games UNDER .500.
Last team to suffer such a sweep: Detroit Tigers in the final 3 games of the 1968 regular season.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) September 15, 2022
They had a three game stretch where the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates beat them by six plus runs. That was the first time in Major League history where a team with a 30 game differential in the standings lost three consecutive games by six runs. The first ever time. That’s how unacceptable those losses were.
They lost a series to the Nationals. They were swept by the Cubs. They couldn’t sweep the Pirates, who are dreadful. At least, the Mets took two-out-of-three from them. Of course, everything looked good after that series only for them to be swept by the Cubs. Yes, it is getting redundant saying that, but it is just that maddening.
We can and should note Starling Marte and Max Scherzer landed on the IL, but then again, so what? Did the Mets really need both of them to win these games. That is what was supposed to be so good about this schedule. The Mets could rest some players and allow players to heal. Also, with all the trade deadline moves, weren’t the Mets supposed to be in a position to be able to easily withstand injuries like these?
When it was Willie Randolph trotting out pitchers like Jorge Sosa, Philip Humber, and David Williams, we all correctly termed it a collapse and were embarrassed by it. There were some who called for Randolph to be fired. The fact we’re not seeing similar anger is shocking.
Yes, the Mets are definitively going to the postseason. However, with the new format, not winning the division actually creates an addition hurdle. It actively works against their chances of winning a World Series. For some reason, everyone seems cool with Buck Showalter leading this collapse.
Keep in mind, he’s had some bizarre decisions. Joely Rodriguez in a close game against right-handed batters. Darin Ruf as a pinch hitter with the bases loaded. Not giving Francisco Lindor or Pete Alonso a day off even after Lindor says he and the team is tired, and Alonso is actively showing his frustration on the field.
Showalter was supposed to be different than everyone who came before him. Instead, he’s doing the same exact thing we saw out of Randolph, Jerry Manuel, and Luis Rojas. Showalter was the one in charge when the Mets lost a 10.5 game lead, something that has only been done eight times in Major League history.
That’s not seven in 17 bad, but that’s really bad.
Right now, there are zero excuses for the Mets not winning the division. Failing to win the NL East would be completely and wholly unacceptable. This team is too good to be doing what they are doing right now. Supposedly, Showalter is such a good manager that this never could have even been contemplated.
However, the moment is here. Do the Mets collect themselves and right the ship? Or, are they going to collapse against terrible teams and cede the division to the Braves? With this pathetic schedule, the Mets are in the driver’s seat. It’s time they push the pedal to the floor and take off instead of going to go off path only to crash and burn.
We live in a world where many, many things can be simultaneously true. With his play on the field in 2022, the New York Mets were justified sending Dominic Smith down to Triple-A.
By keeping him in Triple-A, Mets have made it abundantly clear Smith is not part of the future of the franchise. That includes the makings of the postseason roster.
We can all dicker over whether that’s the prudent move for this team. That’s besides the point. What is clear now is the Mets actually need Smith in the majors right now, and they need him at first.
The reason why is Pete Alonso.
All season long, Alonso has given absolutely everything he has to the Mets. He’s very clearly one of the reasons why this team is still in first place. Saying he’s the reason Smith needs to be recalled is no slight to him.
The truth is Alonso is just exhausted. As a result, he’s slumping, and he’s showing his frustrations out on the field.
Historically, Alonso finishes the season strong. So far this September, he’s batting .249/.314/.457. This will mark the third straight month he’s had a SLG under .500 and and OPS of .800 or lower.
Alonso’s last day off was the All-Star Break. Keep in mind, he participated in the Home Run Derby and game. He also had to fly back-and-forth from Los Angeles.
His last day off was June 8. He’s played in both ends of the doubleheader in all eight of the Mets doubleheaders this season. He last DH’d on September 3. He’s only done it four times in the second half.
At this point, the Mets are getting diminishing returns from Alonso. Yes, it’s better than the alternatives, but it’s still not Alonso being Alons, and this Mets team needs that to win games.
The problem is Daniel Vogelbach is slumping and really can’t play in the field. Right now, Darin Ruf is by far the Mets worst hitter and since joining the Mets he’s among the very worst in the game.
Making matters all the more complicated, with Starling Marte’s injury, Ruf needs to play right field against left-handed pitching. There’s no way the Mets can or should trust Mark Vientos at first.
When you break it down, as this roster is currently constructed. Alonso is the only option to play first base. That’s all well and good up until the point we started to see Alonso slump and increasingly start showing his frustrations.
Alonso needs a mini-break. The Mets need to get him out of the field a bit to rest and clear his head. Looking at the organization, Smith seems to be the only player capable of playing a game or two there defensively.
Let Smith spell Alonso for a game or two. In the event of blow outs, let Smith come in late in games. Just get someone out there who can give Alonso a breather and get some rest.
The Mets have been failing Alonso. They need him to be great, and they’re running him into the ground. It’s time to get Smith up here to find an inning or two or game here and there to get Alonso the rest he needs.
It’s time to recall Dominic Smith.
When teams make roster moves, whether intended or not, there are clear messages delivered. The New York Mets delivered one to Darin Ruf.
With Luis Guillorme activated, the expectation was Deven Marrero was going to be designated for assignment. In fact, that is what happened.
That also means the Mets opted to keep Mark Vientos in the majors.
Vientos is a direct threat to Ruf’s playing time, and he could be a threat to Ruf’s spot on the postseason roster. Essentially, the Mets are going to give Vientos plate appearances to show he’s ready right now to be the right-handed DH option.
That’s what Ruf was supposed to be. However, he’s been failing in that role. So far with the Mets, he has a 9 OPS+.
That’s unplayable. That goes double for a DH. The job is literally only hitting, and Ruf hasn’t been able to do that.
Fortunately for Ruf, he’s still going to get an opportunity to prove himself. With Starling Marte on the IL, he can play right field against left-handed pitching.
On Sunday, both Ruf and Vientos were in the starting lineup against Miami Marlins left-handed starter Jesus Luzardo. While the Mets offense exploded that day, neither Vientos nor Ruf impressed.
Ruf was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He was eventually lifted for Tyler Naquin. Vientos was the DH for the whole game. He was 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
For both players, this was a missed chance; all the more so for Vientos.
There are not going to be many chances to impress as the short side platoon option. For Vientos, he has to clearly do it. He has to leave zero doubt he is the better option at the moment.
Ruf is the veteran, and the Mets gave up a ton to get him. Vientos is battling against track record and front office politics.
However, the opportunity remains. It remains because Vientos remains on the roster. The Mets made sure of that.
The news on Brett Baty was bad. He tore the UCL in his right thumb. He will have it surgically repaired, and for all intents and purposes, he’s done for the season.
This means Eduardo Escobar is the New York Mets third baseman for the foreseeable future. That’s the case at least until Luis Guillorme comes off the IL.
It also means the Mets have a roster spot to fill. On that note, they’re an infielder short, but it does appear they’re filling the spot with Deven Marrero. That really doesn’t do much to help this roster right now.
Marrero is your classic Four-A player. In his Major League career, he has a 38 wRC+. That’s actually worse than the Mets catching situation. He’s been solid in the field, but his glove in no way carries his bat.
This is why he started the season with the Long Island Ducks. Picking him up as minor league depth is one thing. Adding him to the roster, and making a 40 man move in the process for a player they don’t need doesn’t make sense.
What the Mets need is Mark Vientos.
In full disclosure, Vientos is not a third base option. He’s been a poor defender there, and that’s why the Mets have looked at him at first and in left. Truth be told, they don’t love him in those spots either.
What Vientos does is hit. More than that, he destroys baseballs.
Through 94 games with Triple-A Syracuse, Vientos has a 136 wRC+. That’s after posting a 159 wRC+ in 12 games for Syracuse last season. A
s a point of reference, Pete Alonso posted a 139 wRC+ in 67 games with Triple-A Las Vegas. Vientos is a full year younger than Alonso was in 2018, and he is in a far less hitter friendly environment.
Another consideration with Vientos is his 136 wRC+ is inclusive of a disastrous first month of the season (Vientos always struggles the first month of the season). In April, Vientos hit .169/.257/.312.
From May 3 to the present, a span of 74 games, Vientos is hitting .310/.382/.582 with 12 doubles, 22 homers, and 63 RBI. Extrapolating that over 162 games, Vientos would be on pace for 26 doubles, 48 homers, and 138 RBI.
The knock on Vientos, even with this level of production, is he strikes out too much. With a 28.5 K%, which is an improvement from last season, there is truth to that.
However, Vientos does not strike out much against left-handed pitching (21.8 K%). On that note, Vientos annihilated left-handed pitching. In 124 plate appearances, he’s batting .343/.411/.759 with six doubles, 13 homers, and 37 RBI.
As an aside, Darin Ruf has struggled with the Mets. In his 15 games with the Mets, he has a 49 wRC+. That includes a 52 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. It’s a small sample size for sure, but it is indicative of the overall struggles the 36 year old has had this year.
At this point, it appears the Mets are just going out of their way to find reasons to keep Vientos in Triple-A. Vientos has proven he can hit, and his bat would fill a need. Moreover, the Mets have again made a 40 man move to call up a Four-A caliber player over him.
Yes, Vientos has his issues. They’re well known and noted. However, this is a player with the potential to be a special bat. He could provide power to a lineup and bench mostly bereft of it.
Vientos is ready to help this Mets team, and he can fill a void. He’s better than the other options the Mets are utilizing. At some point, enough is enough. We’re at that point. It’s time to call up Vientos.
So far, the New York Mets have dominated the Atlanta Braves over the first four games of this five game set. Like the prior matchups, the Mets are just proving they’re the better team.
The only game the Braves won was when Taijuan Walker had that odd step on the mound. He says he was alright, but his pitching was clearly impacted.
The two best players in this series have been Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. With all due respect to Michael Harris, the best defensive play came from Luis Guillorme.
As Carlos Carrasco, David Peterson, and Max Scherzer have shown, the Braves cannot handle the Mets starting pitching. Then again, who can? Oh, and by the way, the Mets have Jacob deGrom up for the finale.
After the dominant starting pitching comes Edwin Díaz. Like the rest of baseball, the Braves haven’t been able to do anything against him either.
Buck Showalter is managing circles around Brian Snitker. He’s expertly deploying Tyler Naquin, Darin Ruf, and Tyler Naquin, and he’s getting great production from each of them.
Showalter also had the stones to have Tomás Nido lay down that suicide squeeze. With Naquin’s speed and Nido’s bunting ability, that’s knowing your roster and managing to their strengths.
Win or lose the finale, the Mets have taken the series. Win, and the Mets will have wrapped up the NL East in the beginning of August and can their sites on catching the Los Angeles Dodgers for the top overall record.
For those nervous at this statement, put 2007 aside. That year never happened, and really, this is a far different and deeper team.
This is the Mets team with the best chance of winning the World Series since 1986. It can and will happen. This Braves series is all the proof we need.
When you think of the New York Mets offseason, you think Max Scherzer. How can anyone blame you. After all, he’s a future Hall of Famer, and he’s still pitching like he’s in his prime.
The other big move was Starling Marte. He’s possibly been even better than expected. He’s an All-Star and may find himself getting down ballot MVP votes.
These are two great moves which have helped the Mets be in first place. They’re phenomenal moves having the exact impact you’d hope. There were other decisions which have fallen short.
First and foremost is the DH disaster.
The Mets decision to go with Robinson Canó at the start was a mistake. Just ask the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves.
Stubbornly trying Canó shelved J.D Davis and Dominic Smith, neither on whom got going on the season. Davis flopped in his extended chance and was shipped out to replace him. Smith never got his shot, and now he’s injured.
This failed triumvirate has been replaced by Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf. Vogelbach has been great so far with Ruf not yet getting a plate appearance as his platoon partner.
While they’re useless against same side pitching, they’re absolutely lethal against opposite side pitching. That makes this platoon nearly unstoppable, and it seems platoon is the name of the game with the Mets.
One platoon move they made without a trade is at third base. That was forced by Eduardo Escobar’s play. After a strong first month, he’s stopped hitting right-handed pitching, and he has a -4 OAA at third.
There were indications signing him to play out of position was a bad idea, but the Mets proceeded anyway. To a certain extent, they’ve been bailed out by Luis Guillorme (and the organization finally being willing to give him a shot to play everyday).
What’s a surprise is the Mets thought they needed a platoon partner for Mark Canha. By all accounts, Canha was having a good season, and the Mets were finding a way to get the best of him.
Canha has a 121 wRC+ and a -1 OAA. The defense isn’t great, but it’s playable.
That said, we did see continued signs of regression. Canha hit but with no power. He got on base but with a reduced walk rate and high .321 BABIP (.290 career).
That was with Travis Jankowski as his caddy. Jankowski was the late inning replacement in the field and on the base paths. The issue was Jankowski got hurt and then stopped hitting.
Rather than be victims to regression, the Mets were proactive acquiring Tyler Naquin. In a sense it was necessary with the Canha risk, but in another, it was odd considering Canha has always hit right-handed pitching better than left-handed pitching.
For that matter, he’s a better hitter overall than Naquin regardless of the split. However, Naquin has power, and Canha doesn’t. Looking at all the moves, this is an area the Mets specifically targeted.
The offseason approach was players who put the ball in play. That worked over the first two months of the season as the Mets had the best offense in baseball.
However, as the Mets hitting with runners on regressed to the mean, so did the offense. Over the past two months, this was an average to below average offense.
The Mets pitching, more specifically the starting pitching is too special to waste. Rather than wait for players to start hitting while hoping others didn’t stop, the Mets made a course correction.
Rather than be stubborn, the Mets acknowledged the limitations of their offseason plan. They made the necessary pivot. The end result is a far more dangerous team.
Whether this results in a World Series remains to be seen. What we can see is the Mets better positioned themselves to win because they acknowledged what wasn’t working and worked to fix it.