Drew Smith

Mets Should Look To Add Michael Fulmer

Back in 2015, the New York Mets made the mistake of trading Michael Fulmer to acquire Yoenis Cespedes. No, it was not a mistake to obtain Cespedes, but rather, Fulmer was far too high a price to pay. As it would turn out, the Mets needed starting pitching the ensuing two seasons where Fulmer was winning Rookie of the Year and being named an All-Star.

Well, from there, Fulmer had some injury prone years and moved to the bullpen. For his part, Cespedes needed double heel surgery, and then, he would have an incident falling off his horse or something with a feral hog during his rehab. The details are still murky.

Regardless, the Detroit Tigers received a 12.2 WAR out of Fulmer and a prospect at the trade deadline. The Mets received an epic run from Cespedes amounting to a 2.1 WAR and not postseason production at the plate past Game 3 of the NLDS. In essence, the Mets made a win-now trade and didn’t win.

Fast-forward to 2023, and Fulmer is a free agent while Cespedes is trying to get back into the majors. The Mets are also looking to build a bullpen which can get them their first World Series since 1986. It already looks formidable with the following relievers in place:

There are other pitchers in the mix, but these are the relievers who are guaranteed. With five starters, that leaves up to four more relievers who can be added. The presumption is at least two of Joey Lucchesi, Tylor Megill, and David Peterson will start the season in Triple-A to provide organizational starting pitching depth.

That probably leaves pitchers like Jeff Brigham and John Curtiss on more of a solid footing to make the Opening Day bullpen than they probably should. Even with those names likely to make the bullpen, the Mets are still at least one arm short.

Fulmer, 29, would be an excellent fit. As a reliever, he has a 128 ERA+. As per Baseball Savant, he does an exceptional job limiting hard contact and barrels. We’ve also seen Jeremy Hefner work well with pitchers how have a similar repertoire. All told, he probably remains the best arm remaining on the market.

While we are very confident in this Mets roster, they probably remain an arm short in the bullpen. Fulmer would go a long way to resolving that issue and make this Mets team even better. All this time later, the Mets now need to sign Fulmer instead of trading him to try to help put this Mets team over the top.

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 2022 Projected Postseason Roster (Final)

There was an in initial and second version of the potential New York Mets postseason roster. With the Wild Card Series upon us, it’s time for a final projection.

With respect to this projection, it’s focusing on just the Wild Card Series where the Mets will need a maximum of three starters. With that caveat in mind, here’s the final projection:

CATCHERS (3)

Álvarez’s final two games should be enough to make the roster. The only question is with McCann hitting again, does he supplant Nido as the guaranteed starter.

INFIELDERS (5)

No changes or surprises here. Of course, with injuries, McNeil might just be an outfielder for the postseason.

OUTFIELDERS (3)

Starling Marte is the only wild card here. If he’s good enough to go, he’s going to take someone’s spot. That’ll either be Gore or Vientos.

DH (2)

Marte’s and Darin Ruf‘s injuries basically guarantees Vientos’ spot. He won’t start with Álvarez likely to go against Blake Snell, but we may see him in a big pinch hitting spot.

STARTERS (5)

We know the Game 2 starter debate (start deGrom), and we know Bassitt starts the other game. Chances are, they want both Carrasco and Walker available for long relief even if it would make sense to leave at least one off for this very short series.

BULLPEN (8)

This picture became a lot more clearer. Trevor Williams threw too many innings in the season finale to be considered. We may see him in the next round.

Givens is healthy, and Rodriguez has pitched well of late. Smith is back in the late inning mix.

Really, choosing the bullpen went from difficult to easy over the past week, The important arms are healthy and ready to go.

In the end, we can only hope Buck Showalter deploys his arms well. If so, the Mets win this series.

Arigato, Thank You, Eduardo Escobar

Baseball is the best sport there is. No other sport can give a team and player the chance for redemption like the others.

We were reminded of that with this New York Mets team and Eduardo Escobar.

Escobar was great to start the season. However, he tapered off and was injured. He’d lose his starting job and become a weak side platoon option.

First, he lost his job to Luis Guillorme. Later, he lost it to Brett Baty. The Mets made moves at the trade deadline which had the direct or indirect impact of limiting his playing time.

Well, Guillorme and Baty would both go dish with injury. That meant the Mets had little choice than play Escobar. Boy, are they lucky that happened.

Arguably, Escobar has been the Mets best player this month. In fact, he’s been a top 20 player in the majors this month (per fWAR) with the third most RBI in all of baseball.

That Escobar was on display against the Miami Marlins. It is not hyperbole to say the Mets were collapsing, and they looked dead in the water in this game. That was until Escobar’s seventh inning homer:

Suddenly, the Mets were back in the game, and they had some life. In fact, the Mets team now down 4-2 would load the bases in the eighth.

In that inning, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil could not get that key hit. That left it up to Escobar, who would again come through in a huge spot:

Through six innings, the Mets couldn’t muster a run. In the ensuing two innings, Escobar would knock in a pair tying the score.

In the ninth, the Mets couldn’t come through because, well, Escobar didn’t bat. That’s only half-joking because Escobar was in the zone like no other Mets player.

After Drew Smith came up huge, the Mets went to the bottom of the tenth needing just one to walk it off. With the Washington Nationals beating the Atlanta Braves in extras, the Mets had a chance to go to Atlanta one game up in the division.

Lindor was at second as the ghost runner because Rob Manfred hates baseball. Mark Canha came close to ending it, but he’d strike out.

The Marlins intentionally walked McNeil to get to Escobar. Unlike the previous at-bats, Escobar was batting left-handed, his far weaker side. On a night like this, it didn’t matter:

Like that, the Mets won 5-4 with Escobar driving all five Mets runs. Not too bad for a guy who lost his job twice and saw the Mets try to severely limit his at-bats.

You could see Escobar was ecstatic. We all were. We got to see it on display when Escobar gave one of the more joyful and entertaining postgame interviews we’ve ever seen with him ending the interview saying, “Arigato! Thank you!”

While great and much appreciated, it is Escobar who deserves our thanks and appreciation. Even when times were at their worst, he never gave up, and he kept fighting saying he would one day give the fans a reason to cheer:

Assuredly, this came at a time later than anyone wanted. However, it could not have come at a better time. For this game propelling the Mets to a one game lead, Mets fans should say to Escobar, “Arigato! Thank you!”

Mets Projected Postseason Roster

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.

CATCHERS (2)

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.

INFIELDERS (5)

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.

OUTFIELDERS (3)

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.

DH (1)

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.

STARTERS (5)

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.

BULLPEN (4)

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

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.

 

 

Buck Showalter Needs To Be Better

Back in 2015, the New York Mets blew the World Series in large part due to Terry Collins. While time has somehow been more kind to Collins, fact is he is the main reason the Mets didn’t win the World Series.

Yes, Jeurys Familia blew three saves. Daniel Murphy made an error. David Wright fielded a ball he shouldn’t have while Lucas Duda threw it away. However, there were a series of just baffling and just flat out dumb decisions from Collins which led to these events. Really, these were all consequences of Collins’ horrific managing.

All of his errors have been explained in full here and other places. Ultimately, this is the worst case scenario for a team. You cannot have a manager and his poor decision making be the reason a team does not win a World Series.

We are starting to see signs Buck Showalter is probably cut from the same cloth as Collins. His recent decisions are an indication of that, and that would be very bad news for the Mets.

The Mets last game against the Milwaukee Brewers should have each and every Mets fan very nervous for the postseason. To set the stage, Starling Marte is on the IL, and Brandon Nimmo had to come out of the game with a quad injury. The Mets were trailing 1-0 heading into the seventh despite having base runners on in each and every inning.

Before we get into the pitching, he would leave a very clearly hobbled Jeff McNeil on the field. For one game, Showalter risked losing McNeil for the rest of the season and postseason. He did that and then managed his bullpen horrifically.

Some questioned letting Taijuan Walker start the inning. That is a decision which can be debated with some of the bullpen arms probably unavailable including Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo. After Walker stumbled, Collins went to David Peterson.

Now, Peterson is a starter who has struggled out of the bullpen. This was a big ask of him. Runners were on first and second with no outs and a run already in.

The thing is Peterson did his job. The Brewers gave up the out with a sacrifice bunt before Peterson struck out Christian Yelich. The Mets were one out away from getting out of the inning. That’s where Showalter made a number of flat out dumb decisions.

While you can understand the impetus not to want to pitch to Willy Adames, intentionally walking him to load the bases is a bad move because it gives Peterson, a pitcher who sometimes inexplicably loses command, no lee-way. However, as we found out, it wasn’t going to be Peterson.

After Craig Counsell pinch hit Mike Brosseau for Rowdy Tellez, Showalter went to Drew Smith. This is the same Smith who has not pitched since July 24. This is the same Smith who has been homer prone this year. Well, he would go up 0-2 in the count before giving up that grand slam.

Keep in mind, Showalter isn’t dumb. He is the guy who prepares and over prepares. He is the type of manager who likes to take control and set innings into motion. He’s not a bystander. Put another way, Showalter put that inning in motion with the intent of having Smith pitch to Brosseau.

He was prepared for that eventuality when he sent Walker out there to start the inning. He had that plan when he ordered the intentional walk of Adames. This is the match-up he wanted. He wanted it, and it blew up in his face.

Unfortunately, this is Showalter in big moments. It is David Cone for too long before Jack McDowell. It is Bobby Chouinard over Matt Mantei. It is literally anyone but Zack Britton. It’s been a problem in Showalter’s managerial career, and it is a big reason why his teams have only won one postseason series, and it’s why Showalter is still chasing that elusive World Series ring.

Right now, we’re seeing that same Showalter. If he really wants to win this time, and he has the roster capable of winning a World Series, he is finally going to have to adapt and change. If not, we may see moments like this again come this postseason with Mets fans dreaming of what might have been.

Mets World Series Hopes Hinge On Scherzer

After three straight embarrassing and inexplicable losses, the New York Mets seem back on track. They swept the doubleheader and destroyed the Pittsburgh Pirates in the process.

That was not the only good news. In fact, the Mets got plenty of good news.

Starling Marte has a non-displaced fracture and is day-to-day. Tylor Megill is dominating out of the bullpen in his rehab assignment. Drew Smith is set to start his own.

Then, there’s the Max Scherzer news. In many ways, the reaction is based on your perspective:

The irony of Scherzer saying it’s not week-to-week is he’s on the 15 day IL. That’s literally two weeks and a day. By nature, that’s weeks.

Admittedly, that’s semantics. What truly matters is Svherzer is good to go after those two weeks. As with Carlos Carrasco, he’s not really going to be given a shot to make a rehab start.

Backdating it to September 4, Scherzer can return September 19. The Mets would have 14 games remaining. With a five man rotation and wanting to save billets for the postseason, that’ll mean Scherzer had two starts remaining.

That’s not a lot of time, so Scherzer will have to make do. He needs to use those starts do get fully up to speed because the Mets World Seriew hope now hinge on that right arm.

Chris Bassitt had stepped up in the second half. Conversely, Walker and Carrasco have been nicked up and have struggled. The Mets can’t go with them both in the postseason.

The Mets need Scherzer being the Curt Schilling to deGtom’s Randy Johnson. That’s an untouchable top two, and with Bassitt, it might just be unbeatable. However, that hinges now on Scherzer.

The offense has come and gone. That may happen in the postseason (as it usually does. That puts the onus on the starters.

The starters are up to the task, but only if they’re healthy and ready to go. Right now, they’re not. We need to see in two weeks.

If Scherzer is Scherzer, this Mets team could be the World Series favorites. If not, it may be one-and-done. We will find out soon.

Mychal Givens A Problem

Realistically speaking, Mychal Givens shouldn’t be a real issue for the New York Mets or any team seeking to make a deep postseason run. After all, Givens wasn’t the Chicago Cubs closer, and he shared primary set-up duties.

Keep in mind, the Cubs are a very bad team. Even with the expanded postseason, they sold at the deadline. That made Givens available.

For a team looking to make a postseason run, Givens is nice depth. A nice dependable battle tested arm at the end of the bullpen. He’s the guy who grabs some earlier innings and can steal some late inning set-up spots with a slightly larger lead or when your main guys are tired.

If Givens falters, you should be able to shrug it off. To date, Givens has faltered. In seven appearances with the Mets, he’s 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA, and a 2.167 WHIP. He’s almost allowed as many runs with the Mets (9) as he had in 40 appearances with the Cubs (12).

Again, a team like the Mets should be in a spot to shrug this off and adjust accordingly. However, Givens was the Mets ONLY trading deadline bullpen acquisition. As such, the Mets actually need him to be more than he is.

Except, he hasn’t been. That’s made all the worse by the Mets uncertainty in their bridge to Edwin Díaz.

Adam Ottavino has been great but needs rest. Seth Lugo has been inching back to peak Lugo form, but he’s still uneven. Trevor May is still working his way back to game shape.

Ideally, that group would’ve made Givens a luxury and not a necessity. The Mets may still get there, but they’re not quite there yet.

That’s also before the Mets face any injuries. On that note, the Mets still don’t know if they’re getting anything at all from Drew Smith or Tylor Megill the rest of the season.

Givens was a boom or bust gamble going bust. There’s still time for him and for the rest of the bullpen. The thing is after the trade deadline you’d think the Mets would’ve been in a far better spot than this.

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.

Mets Bullpen Might Be Better Than We Thought

With Edwin Díaz, the New York Mets have the best closer in baseball. As for the rest of the bullpen, well, that’s a question mark right now.

The expectation is the Mets will address this at the trade deadline. At first blush, there’s a lot which needs addressing. However, when you dig deeper, maybe the Mets are in much better shape than originally contemplated.

Lets start with the fact Major League Baseball has a 13 pitcher limit. After the five man rotation, which will be further bolstered by Jacob deGrom’s return, a team can carry seven relievers.

We know Díaz is the closer. As a result, the Mets need to fill six bullpen spots. Here’s how they look.

Adam Ottavino has been terrific with a 2.29 ERA, 176 ERA+, and a 10.5 K/9. He’s emerged as a primary set-up man. That’s five spots remaining.

Seth Lugo looks like a different reliever out of the break. He’s yet to allow a run in 4.2 innings. His run goes deeper than that. Since June 8, he has a 2.70 ERA. That’s four spots remaining.

Trevor Williams has been an important pitcher for the Mets all season. With a healthy rotation Williams will now stay in the bullpen.

As a reliever this season, he has a 1.50 ERA striking out 10.9 per nine, and he recorded his first career save this season. He can be a long man, and we’ve recently seen him get some late inning opportunities. That’s three spots remaining.

Trevor May will be coming off the IL. He’s a high leverage reliever who had a 3.38 ERA, 130 ERA+, and a 12.1 K/9 out of the bullpen from 2018 – 2021.

He looked strong during his rehab outings. If he’s back to form, the Mets bullpen gets exponentially better and deeper. That’s two spots remaining.

Now, this is where things get a little interfering. The Mets have a mix of arms in Tommy Hunter, Stephen Nogosek, and Yoan López, each of whom has performed well when given a chance.

However, that’s depth, and the Mets understandably aren’t going to rely on them come the postseason. Of course, with the innings they get from the starting rotation, the Mets may never really need anything beyond Diaz-May-Lugo-Ottavino.

Still, you build as strong a bullpen as you can. It’s possible the remaining two spots could bee filled internally.

Buck Showalter has said Tylor Megill will move to the bullpen when he comes off the IL. When he was healthy, Megill was dominant, and he could be a real weapon in the bullpen.

Of course, that also applied to Drew Smith. However, no one knows if Smith can return this year. That may go double with Megill.

As a result, ideally speaking, the Mets have two spots to fill. That could’ve been one, but Colin Holderman was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. As a result, it’s two spots.

With Joely Rodriguez being a disappointment, and with the needless obsession with LOOGYS even despite the three batter rule, the Mets will likely bend backwards to get a left-handed reliever. It’s dumb, but that’s what they’ll do.

That leaves the team finding one more big arm. Given his success in New York, and how he’s pitched this year, David Robertson is THE perfect fit. Of course, there are other options.

Then again, if the Mets get no one, they will still be fine.

As noted, the starting pitching goes deep. So far this year, they average 5.2 innings per start. Remember, that’s without one deGrom start and the team getting 30 starts outside their projected Opening Day rotation.

If we focus on Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker, they’re averaging almost six innings per start. Again, this is without deGrom.

Keep in mind, one of those five moves to the postseason bullpen. That takes one of the two needed slots. Maybe they also carry David Peterson even if he struggled in his two cracks at the short relief route.

Really, when you break it down, the Mets already can go with what they already have in October. That goes double if Megill and/or Smith return.

While very true, the Mets still should get Robertson. That’s a move that puts this bullpen in a different stratosphere and pushes them closer to being World Series favorites.