J.D. Davis

20/20 Hindsight: Mets/Cardinals Rivalry Still Alive

The New York Mets traveled to St. Louis for another litmus test, and once again, they proved they’re this good. More than that, they proved they’re mentally tougher.

1.  Pete Alonso has now been hit twice in the head and dragged to the ground from behind by Stubby Clapp. He’s either going to break or just absolutely going to go on an absolute tear.

2.  On that note, Alonso needs to start hitting for power again. These opposite field singles aren’t going to cut it.

3.  Chris Bassitt basically said he dominated the Cardinals without being able to get a grip on the ball. He’s that good.

4. Miles Mikolas is an idiot. Bassitt threw his pitchers a life-line saying it was MLB’s fault the Cardinals hit his teammates, and Mikolas, who hit Mark Canha with a pitch, basically said, no, it’s not the ball. We’re going it on purpose, or we’re that incompetent.

5.  Sooner or later, Canha has to get an extra base hit, and it has to be more than an attempt at a hustle double. With him coming out of games last for Travis Jankowski, he’s not good enough to be a glorified slap hitter.

6.  Jankowski has proven himself to be a valuable contributor. He cannot be DFA’s May 1. That goes double when you consider how bad Robinson Cano has been.

7. That may not be an issue with J.D. Davis getting hit on the foot and having to get taken out of the game. The x-rays were negative, but if it’s a lingering issue, there will be an MRI and perhaps an IL stint.

8.  Jacob deGrom‘s MRI was a mixed bag. On the one hand, he is healing, but it does not appear he is on schedule to return when we all hoped. Still, it’s progress, so we should take it.

9.  Max Scherzer has been just as advertised. He’s out there pitching like an ace, and he’s as fierce a competitor as there is. He was in the dugout telling the Cardinals to shut up, and then he was the first one out of the dugout when the benches cleared.

10.  Oliver Marmol is a fraud. His pitchers hit Mets batters in the head. Steven Matz threw one up at Brandon Nimmo‘s head. His team knocked Davis out of a game with an injury. He is then going to get up there and complain like the Mets have been throwing at his batters all series, and then he goes and defends Clapp.

11. Nimmo has been great to start the year as has Jeff McNeil. Those are two homegrown Mets who have been the Mets best players, and they are leading them to first place.

12. The Mets are withstanding slumps from Eduardo Escobar, Francisco Lindor, and Starling Marte to win games, and they are doing it against good teams like the Cardinals. That’s a very good sign for the season.

13. With respect to Marte and Scherzer, there is a real edge to this team. We see it in how the players stick up for one another, and we see it in moments like that comeback against Giovanny Gallegos. This is just a special team.

14. Yoan Lopez made a case for himself when he buzzed Nolan Arenado. That alone is not enough to keep him on the roster (ask Jacob Rhame), but he has the respect of everyone in that clubhouse.

15. There is a lot Buck Showalter is getting wrong here. For example, batting Cano during that ninth inning was indefensibly bad. That said, the way he has handled the time share with James McCann and Tomas Nido has been a masterpiece. He’s starting to get the best out of both of them, and as a result, the Mets pitching staff.

16. Trevor May is fighting it. Fortunately, with the return of the real Seth Lugo in addition to the emerge of Drew Smith, the Mets can wait for him to get fully healthy and back on track.

17. There are some serious 1986 vibes with this Mets team. They are not just beating teams on the field, but they are also taking a mental edge. That is a very large reason why we see miscues like we did from Arenado and why Marmol was so bent out of shape.

18. it may be a golden rule not to make the last out of the inning at third, but you can give Luis Guillorme a pass trying to stretch a double to a triple because that throw from Dylan Carlson was the best you’ll ever see.

19. If you want an idea of how good the Mets are right now, the San Francisco Giants are the second best team in the majors with a 13-6 record. Half of their losses have come against the Mets.

20. The New York Yankees have been surprisingly good to start the year. Aaron Judge has been great, and he has a contract situation. Anthony Rizzo has been phenomenal. Gerrit Cole is struggling mightily. They’re in first place. Despite all of that, right now, they seem to be taking a back seat to the Mets. That is really the most shocking development of the year.

Game Recaps

Mets Shock Cardinals

Mets McCann Beat Good Teams on Road

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Mets Lose While Cardinals Lose Their Cool

Over the course of a 162 game season, there are going to be games like this. Frankly, Carlos Carrasco just didn’t have it, and as a result the New York Mets just weren’t going to win.

With the Mets winning six straight series to open the season, we shouldn’t be dwelling too much on a game like this. That goes double with the Mets resting players in advance of a travel day.

Where the focus needs to be is how the Mets comport themselves and are rattling their opponents.

Again, Mets batters were thrown at by the opposing pitcher. Steven Matz went up-and-in on Brandon Nimmo. J.D. Davis left the game with a foot injury after being plunked by Genesis Cabrera.

Finally, for the first time all season, the Mets responded in a way that wasn’t Starling Marte or Max Scherzer threatening the other team. Yoan Lopez took the ball and buzzed Nolan Arenado.

It was a pitch reminiscent of Noah Syndergaard and Alcidies Escobar. It was up-and-in, but the batter was not in danger of getting hit. Like with the 2015 World Series, an overreaction ensued.

Arenado chirped, attacked Tomas Nido, and then, he headed for Lopez. He wouldn’t get there as the benches cleared, and Arenado backed off. During the melee, the Cardinals went after Pete Alonso.

That was done by the Cardinals first base coach Stubby Clapp, a coach whose name is reminiscent of what Jimmy Duggan advises young boys to avoid. Things might’ve gotten worse, but Albert Pujols stepped in and de-escalated the situation.

At this point, the Cardinals had hit five batters. That included hitting Alonso in the helmet. Then, they went after him in a scrum.

Chris Bassitt tried to throw the Cardinals pitchers a lifeline by blaming MLB. Instead, Miles Mikolas effectively called Bassitt a liar and said Bassitt needed to take responsibility for his own control issues. Again, this was in response to Bassitt trying to absolve Cardinals pitchers of throwing at his teammates.

After the game, Cardinals manager Oli Marmol not only whined after the non-HBP, but he went on to defend attacking someone from behind:

When Buck Showalter was asked about the same course of events, his reaction was markedly different. He noted how when Alonso was ACTUALLY HIT IN THE HEAD, he went to first base.

This is where the Mets and Cardinals could not be more different. The Mets are angry they keep getting hit by pitches, but they’re channeling that anger towards beating you. So far, it’s not only worked, but it’s also galvanized the team.

With respect to the Cardinals, they couldn’t handle it. They threw with reckless abandon and kept hitting Mets batters.

When the Mets said, we get what’s happening here. It’s not your fault. The Cardinals response was to tell the Mets to take responsibility.

When the Mets three inside, the Cardinals freaked out and attacked Alonso from behind. Then, they went and pretended like all of their actions were justified.

In the end, the Mets are better than the Cardinals because they’re a better and more mature team. Every time you hit them, they get you back by winning. As for the Cardinals, well, they’re there to whine, complain, and point fingers.

The Mets took two of three, and they’ll have the mental edge when the Cardinals come visit Citi Field.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Another Series

The New York Mets have played four series this year and have won all four.

1. Now that the Mets have beaten an excellent team in the San Francisco Giants, it will be interesting to see the next talking point as to why the Mets aren’t this good.

2. The DH seems to be magic for the Mets with whomever bats there.

3. The universal DH is still an abomination.

4. Francisco Lindor is playing like a man who is going to be the 2022 NL MVP.

5. When looking into just how great that trade was for the Mets, remember they also got Carlos Carrasco, who has arguably been the Mets best starter so far this year.

6. We got a glimpse of the real Max Scherzer when he flirted with a no-hitter. Man-o-man is this going to be fun.

7. The bullpen has been phenomenal with 15 scoreless innings. Things are going so well even Sean Reid-Foley is putting up zeros.

8. Let’s never do that manager by committee thing again. Putting J.D. Davis at third and using Robinson Cano over Jeff McNeil to pinch hit (and using McNeil as a defensive replacement) is enough to see that never be invoked again.

9. To be fair, Buck Showalter has had his share of those moves. For example, pinch hitting Luis Guillorme to bunt over runners for Travis Jankowski in the ninth was something else. Oh, and he didn’t pinch hit Nimmo.

10. Sometimes the dumbest things work. For example, Guillorme couldn’t buy a hit. After shaving his beard, he’s on a hot steak.

11. Wilmer Flores, who doesn’t have arthritis, absolutely robbed Dominic Smith of the RBI double he desperately needed. Just the latest hard luck out for Dom.

12. Tylor Megill might’ve had a poor outing, but he fought, gave the Mets innings, and he kept it to where the Mets could comeback and win. That’s another huge step for him.

13. Lindor, Eduardo Escobar, and Brandon Nimmo have an OPS of 1.000+.

14. Starling Marte has really struggled to start the year, but when things are going this well, you can easily overlook these things.

15. The Mets have gone from completely inept to lethal with RISP. Part of that is Mark Canha who is 5-for-10 with RISP.

16. You have to love Gary Cohen all the more for his annoyance over SNY showing Yankees highlights.

17. The SNY app has been horrible, and you’re reminded the Wilpons never really had interest in making the Mets watchable.

18. Carlos Rodon is a terrific pitcher who pitched a great game. However, behind that is the fact the Mets haven’t hit left-handed pitching well this season.

20. Its a small thing now, but the Mets are doing something they didn’t do last year. They’re putting separation between themselves and the division while the other teams are struggling.

Mets Home Opener Was Terrific

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

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

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

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

Nothing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mets Opening Day Tylor Winning Continues

Nothing about this Opening Day was as the New York Mets expected. It was delayed by the lockout, and then, it was pushed back to 7:05 only to be rain delayed to 8:21.

Jacob deGrom is out for months, so Tylor Megill got the start. Brandon Nimmo has neck issues meaning Mark Canha was in center, Jeff McNeil in left, and Robinson Cano at second.

Maybe things are different with Buck Showalter, and maybe this is just the Mets Opening Day mojo. Whatever it was, it worked.

It all started with Megill. He was amped throwing 99 MPH in the first, and he was pacing the dugout like Max Scherzer. He had the results to back that up.

In his five shutout innings, Megill easily dealt with the little adversity he faced.

In the second, after a one out double by Keibert Ruiz, Francisco Lindor made an error putting runners on first and second with one out. Megill got out of it by getting Mets killer Maikel Franco (he would have five unassisted put outs at third) to hit into an inning ending double play.

In the third, the Nationals had runners on the corners with one out. Megill was extremely impressive striking out Juan Soto before getting Nelson Cruz to hit into an inning ending fielders choice.

Megill needed to keep the Mets off the board because Patrick Corbin was keeping the Mets off the board for the first four innings despite not really having anything.

There could’ve been a run in the fourth. Eduardo Escobar doubled, and Joey Cora had a bad send leading to Pete Alonso getting thrown out at home.

Then, the Mets first rally of the season started with Cano getting a bunt base hit against the shift. Canha walked, and McNeil singled loaded the bases with no outs.

In 2021, this was a death knell for the Mets. Those concerns were abated when James McCann was hit with a pitch giving the Mets a 1-0 lead.

Starling Marte followed with what could’ve been an inning ending 5-5-3 double play, but Franco’s throw to first was wide giving the Mets a 2-0 lead.

At that point, Victor Arano was in for Corbin. With J.D. Davis getting the start at DH because he kills Corbin, everyone, including GKR wondered why Dominic Smith wasn’t pinch hitting. We all wondered why all the more when Davis hit into the inning ending double play.

In the sixth, Alonso had a one out single, and Cano had a two out walk. Finally, Canha delivered the Mets first RBI hit with a single giving the Mets a 3-0 lead.

McNeill followed him with a two out RBI single of his own. For McNeil, it was a return to what we saw from him before his down 2021 season. He was 2-for-4 with an RBI and strikeout.

The Nationals got one back in the sixth when Trevor May yielded a bomb to Soto. The Mets got that run back in the top of the seventh on a Lindor RBI single.

The Mets bullpen did their job from there with Adam Ottavino, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz locking down the final three innings to secure the Mets 5-1 win.

This is a game where nearly everyone contributed. That included Travis Jankowski who pinch ran and stayed on to play center moving McNeil back to second. Jankowski had pinch ran for Cano who was 2-for-3 with two runs and a walk. McCann was the only Mets starter without a hit, but he was hit by pitches twice.

Overall, this is Mets Opening Day baseball. They win, and they tend to dominate with Megill being the fourth straight Opening Day starter to not allow a run.

Game Notes: Megill had the fewest career innings of any Mets Opening Day starter. Scherzer was the first Met introduced to a warm ovation from Nationals fans. With Marte wearing 6, McNeill switched to 1. Alonso was lifted in the ninth after getting hit by a pitch in the shoulder which ricocheted off his mouth.

Bold 2022 Mets Predictions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24. So will Eric Chavez.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacob deGrom Injury Not Cause For Panic Trade

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mets Can’t Win In 2022 With deGrom Hurt

After dealing with injuries for two straight seasons, Jacob deGrom had to be scratched with a shoulder issue. With deGrom injured, there’s just no way the New York Mets can win this year.

Pitching is everything in baseball, and that goes double for the Mets. This team was built to win with their starting rotation, especially the two-headed monster of deGrom and Max Scherzer.

Right away, those plans have been blown up. What’s left is an interesting roster, but one with holes across the board.

Instead of building a great bullpen, the Mets let Aaron Loup go and replaced him with Adam Ottavino and Chasen Shreve. With that they took an under-performing unit in 2021 and made it worse. Basically, they’re relying on Seth Lugo and Drew Smith to stay healthy, which is like expecting deGrom to be healthy as well.

Lugo and Smith aren’t the only injury concerns. There is also their entire starting outfield of Mark Canha, Starling Marte, and Brandon Nimmo. That trio never lasts a full season, and to compound matters, the team isn’t carrying a real fourth outfielder on the roster.

Fielding is also an issue. Eduardo Escobar isn’t a third baseman. Jeff McNeil refused to follow the defensive alignments. Then, there is the matter of James McCann behind the plate. He wasn’t what the Mets anticipated what he would be, and instead, he was McCann from before his career year.

Other areas of concern include exactly how the DH situation will be resolved. Robinson Cano probably has the best bat, but that is also when he is using steroids. Dominic Smith is a better first baseman, but the team won’t relegate Pete Alonso to DH because he is the crown jewel. Lets not mention J.D. Davis here either.

On that DH and fielding point, you wonder just how much the Mets are going to put out their best alignments in the field. There is some promise with Marte being named the right fielder, but then again, the team isn’t trying McNeil at third despite the fact he’s the best third baseman and really the only one on the roster. Looking at this Mets team, they could put out a Gold Glove caliber defense across the board, but they just refused to do so.

Likely, it is because even with the Wilpons gone, this team still isn’t just letting the baseball people make all the decisions. To be fair, that was a Sandy Alderson calling card. After all, he’s the guy who was rumored to have offered Michael Jordan a Major League deal when he was the Oakland Athletics GM, and Alderson did sign Tim Tebow. In the end, Alderson can’t just shake that carnival act part of the job. When and if he does, this Mets team will finally be special.

Sooner or later, things will change and people will catch-on. Until that point, we just have to move past today and look forward to the day when the Mets can sustain more than just one big injury to be contenders. To that point, Michael Conforto is still out there, and the team does have the money to address other areas. However, at this point, who knows?

So, Which Mets Have Been Vaccinated?

The Brooklyn Nets season has been altered because then Mayor Bill DeBlasio instituted a COVID19 vaccine mandate for private employers. As a result, Kyrie Irving was only permitted to play in road games. What made the rule obtuse was road players who had not been vaccinated could play in Brooklyn.

However, the rules are the rules. The same goes for when the indoor vaccine mandates were lifted with the private employer ones in place. As a result, Irving could attend Nets games, but he could not play in them.

Of course, the easy answer would be for Irving to get the vaccine. That goes without saying, but we also know he isn’t. More than that, we do know there are going to be baseball players who do not have the vaccine. With the vaccine mandates still in place, yes even for outdoor games played for a private employer, there are potentially going to be New York Mets and New York Yankees players who have not been vaccinated.

As we have seen by and through the reports of Mike Puma of the New York Post, Francisco Lindor, Max Scherzer, Jeff McNeil, and Robinson Cano have been vaccinated. When presented with the question, Jacob deGrom, Brandon Nimmo, Pete Alonso, and J.D. Davis declined to answer. Then, there is Jordan Yamamoto, who took a completely different approach to answering the question en route to being the first player optioned to minor league Spring Training:

Now, it is important to note declining to answer is not exactly the same thing as not being vaccinated. Also, as we saw with Aaron Rodgers saying you are vaccinated or “innoculated” doesn’t definitively mean you received the COVID19 vaccine. Moreover, as we saw with Antonio Brown, actually having a vaccine card doesn’t mean you’re vaccinated.

Whatever the case, sooner or later, we will discover which Mets have been vaccinated. If they are, they will be eligible to play games at Citi Field. If they’re not, they can’t, and the Mets are going to have to figure out how exactly to fill their roster spots. Like Irving, the simplest solution is for those players to get vaccinated, and it’s possible those players still might as that mandate does not appear to be getting lifted anytime soon.

Mets Roster Still Feels Very Incomplete

The New York Mets have the rotation which can win them a World Series. That goes double when the top of your rotation is Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. That said, this is a roster which still needs help.

The outfield is more than set with Brandon Nimmo, Starling Marte, and Mark Canha. However, they are not a trio who historically lasts a season. That is going to leave the team shallow for good chunks of the season just hoping Khalil Lee figures it out or Nick Plummer can prove last season was him making his march to the majors.

The infield is also set, but that could be a problem as well. Jeff McNeil and Francisco Lindor seem to be well past their issues, and they promise to be an elite double play combination on the field and at the plate. Pete Alonso made strides defensively and has likely dedicated himself to be even better. However, Eduardo Escobar has always been a poor third baseman, and now, he is going to be asked to play there everyday.

The catching situation is a bit of a mess. James McCann regressed in all areas of his game last season. Unless he starts hitting or framing better, the Mets are going to have to try to pivot to Tomas Nido depsite McCann’s big contract. On that note, Nido remains elite defensively, but he still has issues at the plate.

Looking at the bench, Dominic Smith is a first baseman, and J.D. Davis has no position, which admittedly is much less of an issue with the DH. Robinson Cano has the contract and bat to justify playing everyday, but that is only if he is Cano. Really, at this point, no one knows if he can, but you have to assume with the backing of Buck Showalter he just might get the opportunity to prove he still is.

Luis Guillorme is a great defender who will struggle to find playing time. His pinch hitting ability has also been neutralized with the universal DH. Fortunately, he does seem to finally have a believer in what he brings to a team in Showalter.

Honestly, the concerns over the bullpen is muchado about nothing. Edwin Diaz can close even if he’s not the most reliable. Trevor May is a very good late inning reliever. With the injury concerns past him, Seth Lugo can get back to being Lugo. Drew Smith is on the verge of a breakout. Miguel Castro is good against left-handed batters, and Adam Ottavino gives a different look.

With all the pitching the Mets have a great mix and actual depth which goes down to the Triple-A level. It is something they have not had in quite some time. However, as noted, from a position player standpoint, this team needs some real help. It’s another reminder Michael Conforto is still a free agent, and maybe, it’s a call for one of the players in the organization to step forward and claim a spot.

The Mets need that to happen because the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers continue attacking this offseason looking to push towards winning the 2022 World Series. The Mets have the pitching to get there, but now , they really need to make sure they have everything else.