The New York Mets are looking for ways to fill out their bullpen, and with Seth Lugo undergoing elbow surgery, there suddenly is room for relievers to make their Opening Day bullpen. One of the more intriguing names is Tommy Hunter, who signed a minor league deal with the Mets this offseason.
Hunter, 34, is undoubtedly coming off a poor year. If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have signed a minor league deal. Lost in that season is Hunter doing something extremely important – proving he was healthy.
From 2013 – 2017, Hunter was one of the better relievers in all of baseball. Over that five year stretch, Hunter had a 132 ERA+ while going 18-16 with a 17 saves, a 3.12 ERA, 1.090 WHIP, 1.9 BB/9, and a 7.4 K/9. This lead to him signing a two year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Things did not turn out well for Hunter with the Phillies. In his first season, he was effective posting a 109 ERA+, which to that point, was the worst of his career as a reliever. In 2019, after a terrific start to the season, he went down with a torn flexor tendon. That led to him re-signing a one year deal with the Phillies.
While Hunter was trying to come back from the injury, he dealt with the same issues the rest of baseball had. It was a disjointed season where he couldn’t really work out with trainers or in gyms. He couldn’t work with the Phillies new pitching coach Bryan Price. Instead, he had part of a Spring Training, a ramped up summer camp, and then a shortened 2020 season.
In 2020, Hunter made 24 appearances pitching 24.2 innings. Overall, he was 0-1 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.135 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, and a career best 9.1 K/9. Of note, six of those 24 appearances were scoreless, and he allowed one run or fewer in 20 of his 24 appearances. Looking at that, you see Hunter was a bit of a boom or bust reliever.
Again, keep in mind, this was his first season back from elbow surgery. As is usual, you are going to see some good and bad. On the bad side, aside from the stats, we see from Baseball Savant, Hunter got hit extremely hard, and despite the career best strikeout rate, he wasn’t generating many swings and misses.
On the bright side, Hunter had elite spin on all of his pitches, and he had good control. Looking at his spin and velocity, it compared quite favorably to his 2017 season with the Tampa Bay Rays, which was arguably the best season of his career. Looking at that and other factors, we do see some evidence his 2020 season was better than many believed. In fact, he had a 3.31 FIP.
Looking at his 2020 season, you could envision him being able to return to form after a relatively normal offseason. There is something there for Jeremy Hefner to work with in order to get Hunter back to being the impact reliever he was prior to his surgery. Right now, there’s an open competition, and few in the entire Mets organization can boast the Major League success Hunter has had. As a result, we could very easily imagine Hunter not only making the Opening Day roster, but also having a significant impact in 2021.
Like it always seems to be, the New York Mets entered the offseason with the need to rebuild their bullpen. As the Mets entered Spring Training without Seth Lugo, there seemed to be a renewed emphasis on the need to add more relievers to the bullpen. However, when you break it down, the Mets may not need to actually add another arm.
Typically speaking, we will see the Mets carry a 12 man pitching staff which means seven relievers. Right off the bat, the Mets are set at closer with Edwin Diaz. He will certainly be joined in the bullpen by recent signees Trevor May and Aaron Loup. That trio right there takes care of the Mets closer, the eighth inning, and their LOOGY.
That leaves them having to figure out the other four relievers in the bullpen. Based upon the moves of Brodie Van Wagenen, three of those spots are occupied by Dellin Betances, Miguel Castro, and Jeurys Familia. This trio could very well become the core of what might be an excellent bullpen.
As previously detailed, Betances induced very weak contact last season, and he would miss a lot of bats. Looking at Baseball Savant, there was also a lot of promise with Jeurys Familia‘s season as he also induced a lot of weak contact, and he had terrific velocity. What really hampered each of their seasons was a mixture of walks and plain old bad defense.
Betances had a 1.56 GB/FB last year, but despite the weak contact, he yielded a .353 BABIP. Familia didn’t have the same issues with ground balls turning into outs as Betances, but he did see a career worst walk rate come back to bite him. Keep in mind, in only two of the 10 appearances where he didn’t walk a batter did the opposition score off of him.
Both relievers will be helped by the improved infield defense we should see with Francisco Lindor at short. Also, while we may see J.D. Davis start at third, in all likelihood, he should be removed late in games for Luis Guillorme thereby making the Mets defense elite for these groundball pitchers who induce weak contact.
Keep in mind, while Betances and Familia have typically had higher walk numbers, neither had really posted numbers that poor in their careers. Part of that could easily be explained by them trying to regain their prior form in a disjointed offseason. Really, both pitchers needed to hone a number of things, and the pandemic really cost them the opportunity to work with Jeremy Hefner like they needed.
Given a normal offseason and Spring Training, it is reasonable to assume both could be reasonably relied upon to at least easily handle the middle innings. Perhaps, they could eventually be reasonably be able to be relied upon for the seventh and eighth. In fact, we should be able to see them close a game or two here and there.
In terms of Castro, no one throws it harder. Really, that makes him a bit of a wild card not too dissimilar to what Hansel Robles used to be for the Mets. If you can harness him, you have an elite reliever. If you don’t you have an interesting mop up reliever. Either which way, he is out of options, and he is going to get every chance for the Mets to be the team to finally unlock his abilities.
When you add Lugo to these relievers, this bullpen could be the envy of every team in the majors. The question for the Mets is what to do in his absence. In terms of that, the Mets have plenty of options.
Joey Lucchesi profiles as a potential elite reliever. We have seen Robert Gsellman be elite out of the bullpen for stretches. If nothing else, we know he can absorb innings. The same could also be true for Jordan Yamamoto. The Mets also have a number of interesting young relievers to throw at the problem with Jacob Barnes, Yennsy Diaz, Sam McWilliams, Sean Reid-Foley, Drew Smith, Stephen Tarpley, and Daniel Zamora. Of course, there is also Mets fan favorite Jerry Blevins here on a minor league deal.
The moral of the story is the Mets have the talent in the bullpen. The real challenge is going to be for Hefner to work with them to get the most out of them. Then, perhaps the even bigger challenge is for Luis Rojas to deploy them properly. Overall, if Hefner and Rojas are successful, the Mets will get the most out of what is an extremely talented group, and we will begin to wonder why exactly we were so overly concerned about adding a big name reliever in the offseason.
The New York Mets needed to get just one more starter to make this the truly deep rotation they need. This doesn’t mean deep as in going 1-5 in the rotation, but also the type of depth needed to get through the rigors of a 162 game season. The later was of increased importance as pitchers did not throw many innings last season.
While we have seen some players sign with other teams, the Mets obtained Taijuan Walker. Walker, 28, is arguably the perfect fit for this team.
At 28, Walker is in the prime of his career. The once top 10 prospect in baseball dealt with injury issues limiting him to just 14 innings from 2018-2019. Last year, he finally proved healthy in the truncated 60 game season last year. Yes, it was just 37% of the length of a normal season, but it was a positive step.
Last year, Walker made 11 starts going 4-3 with a 2.70 ERA, 1.163 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, and an 8.4 K/9. He was at his career averages for hard hit rate. Believe it or not, his 30.9% hard hit rate was actually better than what Jacob deGrom yielded last year. This is an indication as to how difficult it can be to square up Walker at times.
Digging deeper into Baseball Savant, Walker was middle of the pack in terms of exit velocity while being above average in terms of hard hit rate. However, it should be noted he was way down the ledger in terms of spin, velocity, and whiff rates. Of course, one of the reasons for this is Walker is a sinkerball pitcher who has typically pitched to contact.
Keep in mind, Walker is evolving as a pitcher. Before the 2021 season, he spoke to Fangraphs about going to Driveline. While there, Walker refined his slider, worked on changing speeds, grips, arm placement, and generally speaking, being a better pitcher. We saw the early effects of that in 2020.
Now, in 2021, he is going to be another year removed from Tommy John allowing him to continue to increase velocity. He also has a better sense of what worked for him in 2020 and what didn’t. He’s also in a really good place for him to succeed.
Jeremy Hefner has had success in Minnesota working with sinkerball pitchers. Walker is reunited with Marcus Stroman, who can served as a mentor of sorts, and who is also blessed with a similar type of game. There is James McCann behind the plate, who has developed not only as an excellent framer, but early on in Spring Training, he has emerged as a true leader.
Now, Walker is on a pitching staff where he can thrive. He is also in an organization which is continuing to beef up its analytics department. At 28, he still has upside, and he certainly is putting in the work to get the most out of his talent. In all likelihood, last year was him just scratching the surface.s
As for the Mets, this now adds another established high ceiling starter to their rotation. That also gives them increased depth in the rotation. When Noah Syndergaard returns, the Mets rotation will now undoubtedly be the best in baseball. All told, while he may not have been the top choice by many, Walker fits in perfectly with the Mets.
I had the privilege of appearing on the Simply Amazin’ podcast with the great Tim Ryder. During the podcast, names discussed include but are not limited to Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, Carlos Carrasco, Rick Porcello, Francisco Lindor, J.D. Davis, Carlos Beltran, Bobby Valentine, David Wright, Bobby Thompson, Ralph Branca, Alex Cora, Luis Guillorme, Dominic Smith, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, Jonathan Villar, James McCann, J.T. Realmuto, James Paxton, Trevor Rosenthal, Aaron Loup, Mike Piazza, Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Jose Martinez, Alex Gonzalez, James Loney, Moises Alou, John Olerud, Davey Johnson, Pete Alonso, Wilson Ramos, David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, Jordan Yamamoto, Corey Oswalt, Luis Rojas, Jeremy Hefner, Jim Eisenreich, Alex Fernandez, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Darryl Strawberry, Albert Almora, and more
Please take a listen.
— Simply Amazin' (@SimplyAmazinPod) February 15, 2021
When Noah Syndergaard returns, that’s a tremendous top three. The question is what the Mets should do for the last two rotation spots.
Both pitchers are coming off injury riddled seasons. Instead of cashing in on free agency, they’re having showcases to prove they can return to form. Those forms are better than anything on the market.
Before being traded to the Rangers and suffering a tear of the teres major muscle in his right shoulder, Kluber was one of the best pitchers in the majors.
In 2017 and 2018, he had a 172 ERA+, 2.82 FIP, and a 7.0 K/BB. If he can be anything close to that, he’s taking the Mets to the World Series.
However, there’s no knowing if he can get anywhere close to that. He struggled in his six starts before he suffered a broken arm from a comebacker. He never made it back that season due to injuries, and he lasted one inning in 2020 before the muscle tear.
If Kluber can get anywhere near his 2018 form, he’d be great. That 2018 form makes him well worth the gamble.
The same thing can be said about Paxton.
When the Seattle Mariners did their great sell off, Paxton went to the New York Yankees. In 2019, he had a 117 ERA+, 3.86 FIP, and a 3.38 K/BB. He showed he can handle the stage not just in that regular season but also with a big win in Game 5 of the ALCS.
Over a three year period (2016-2019), Paxton had a 120 ERA+, 3.26 FIP, and a 4.1 K/BB. That’s a very good pitcher.
What wasn’t good was Paxton’s 2020. He had a 6.64 ERA in five starts in an injury riddled season before shutting it down with a flexor strain. At the moment, his velocity isn’t all the way back with him throwing 94 MPH in a throwing session. Still, he’s getting there.
If Paxton’s ready by Opening Day, you want him in your rotation. Unfortunately, the only way you can really figure that out is by signing him. Teams have the right to be leery, but he’s well worth the risk.
If you’re the Mets, adding Kluber or Paxton to deGrom and Stroman is awfully enticing. That goes double when they would slot into the rotation as a three or four.
Adding both allows them to put Peterson in the minors as insurance and to permit him to improve in the areas where he needs to improve. In the event, Kluber or Paxton falter or aren’t quite ready for Opening Day, the Mets have Peterson.
If they work out and Syndergaard returns as planned, Matz becomes a weapon out of the bullpen. Alternatively, the Mets can cycle through all of these starters to keep them fresh and to the finish line much like they did in 2015.
That said, if you really believe Kluber and Paxton are healthy, and you believe in Jeremy Hefner, you roll the dice and add both. You give them the incentive laden deals they merit/want, and you allocate your funds towards George Springer, Brad Hand, and third base.
Ultimately, that’s just one of many paths before the Mets. Fortunately, they have the people in charge and the resources available that you can trust they’re going to make the right decisions to make the Mets a real contender.
With the state Brodie Van Wagenen left the Mets, this was an organization in desperate need for pitching. On that front, the Mets under Sandy Alderson’s competent leadership, the team is off to a great start.
Yes, Stroman is that. From 2014-2019, Stroman is in the top 30 in WAR and top 40 in FIP. There’s other ways to quantify, but this firmly establishes him as a clear cut number two.
Stroman is only part of the solution. Beyond him, the Mets still need to build the rest of their pitching staff. On that note, the Mets just signed Trevor May. Simply put, that was a great move.
May has been one of the best relievers in baseball. Over the last three years, he ranks 12th among all relievers in K% and 13th in K/BB%. His 3.24 WPA ranks 22nd among relievers in this time frame.
Over that time frame, May is 10-4 with a 3.19 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and a 12.0 K/9. He also has a 3.56 FIP and 140 ERA+.
This is a process helped along by his working with Jeremy Hefner. The two worked well together in Minnesota, and they promise to do so again in New York.
This is the type of reliever you can plug into the eighth inning in front of Edwin Diaz. With those two innings fully accounted for, Seth Lugo can be better unleashed as the weapon he can be out of the bullpen.
This singular signing moves the Mets bullpen from giant question mark towards solid to reliable. This is exactly how to start building your team.
That’s an important note too. Unlike prior years with the Wilpons, this is the start, not the finish. Typically, May would be the coda to the Mets free agent shopping, not the salvo.
Right now, the Mets have Stroman and May. That significantly improves the 2021 roster. It’s just a start, but it’s a fantastic one at that. Seeing how Alderson has begun, we should be excited for the next move.
With reports the Tampa Bay Rays are willing to entertain trades for Blake Snell, this would seemingly be the perfect time for the New York Mets to act. When you look at it, Snell would presumably fill a short and long term fit for the franchise.
Even with Marcus Stroman in the fold, the Mets need to find at least one more starting pitcher. Ideally, they would want two more. Snell would not only fill that need, but he could help make the Mets rotation once again the envy of all of baseball.
Snell also would fill another starting pitching need. After the 2021 season, Steven Matz, Stroman, and Noah Syndergaard will be free agents. That will leave the Mets looking to fill at least 2/5 of their 2022 starting rotation. If you have Snell in the fold that will lessen that burden. The question for the Mets is how much Snell would be worth pursuing.
When many look at Snell, they see the pitcher who won the 2018 Cy Young Award. Our lasting impression of him was his dominant performance in Game 6 of the 2020 World Series before he was inexplicably lifted early. When you look at him from that lens, Snell is an ace level pitcher. When an ace level pitcher available, you need to pursue that pitcher heavily.
However, there are real questions if that is what Snell truly is. Really, when you break it down, Snell’s 2018 Cy Young award winning season has been a complete outlier in his career.
In Snell’s first two seasons, he had a 108 ERA+, 3.87 FIP, 4.5 BB/9, and an 8.9 K/9 while averaging 5.0 innings per start. In the two seasons since winning his Cy Young, Snell had a 111 ERA+, 3.65 FIP, 3.3 BB/9, and a 12.0 K/9 while averaging 4.2 innings per start. Certainly, these past two years have been a significant improvement over what he was over his first two years, but those stats are not remotely indicative of an ace level pitcher.
Of course, this is the Rays, so the analysis is not that simple. Remember, the Rays focus on not allowing their pitchers to go through the rotation a certain amount of times, and they are very strong believers in bullpenning. As a result, it is very arguable their handling of Snell has stunted his ability to again be what he was in 2018.
Taking a deeper look, Snell does have good stuff. Looking at his Baseball Savant page, Snell has elite to near elite fastball velocity and spin, and he has terrific whiff numbers. However, that is only part of the picture. When you dig deeper, you see his spin rates on his change and curve have significantly worsened since his Cy Young season. That said, after struggling with his slider in 2019, he was able to regain his slider spin rate in 2020.
All told, it is really difficult to ascertain what Snell’s trajectory will be. You could argue this is a pitcher who needs to get away from Tampa Bay to permit him to really focus on being able to become the ace level pitcher he can be instead of a five inning starter. You could also argue the Rays know his limitations and that their handling of him allows him to put up such high strikeout numbers, and as a result, with another organization, he may truly suffer.
In some ways, when you see the Rays dangling Snell, you can’t help but be gun shy due to the Chris Archer trade. For many, Archer was a pitcher who could thrive away from Tampa Bay. He was a pitcher with a similarly team friendly contract, and as a result, the Rays were able to extract a kings ransom for him. Now, Archer had his option declined due to TOS issues, and the Pirates are routinely chided for giving up Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and Shane Baz.
That’s not to say or suggest the Rays knowingly traded damaged goods. That is an unfair and unsubstantiated claim. Rather, this just highlights how well the Rays self scout their team, and it shows their ability to extract a significant price in return for their players. Assuredly, if the Rays do in fact trade Snell, they are likely going to try to command an Archer like return, and really, they should do that.
If you are a team like the Mets, and you want Snell, you better be right. You need the utmost confidence in Jeremy Hefner, Jeremy Accardo, and Phil Regan in their ability to not only return Snell to his 2018 form but to keep him there for the ensuing three seasons. If you are not, the Mets as an organization should not be pursuing Snell. Instead, they can look towards a very interesting starting pitching market which still has Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Jose Quintana, and others available.
Better yet, they could be using their financial capital to give Stroman and Syndergaard extensions while keeping their player capital in place to swing deals for other areas of need. That said, adding Snell to those two starters and Jacob deGrom is awfully enticing . . . .
In what feels like Omar Minaya taking the helm in 2014, the Mets are real players in free agency, and right now, it appears they’re going to get in touch with every available free agent. That goes double for free agent starters.
Considering the Mets still have two slots to fill in their rotation, at least until Noah Syndergaard comes back from Tommy John, that’s quite understandable. The question is how the Mets attack it.
One rumor has the Mets talking to Jake Odorizzi. In some ways, that’s a move which makes a lot of sense.
In 2019, Odorizzi worked with current Mets pitching coach Jeremy Hefner, who was then a Minnesota Twins assistant coach. That was Odorizzi’s best year as a pitcher.
In 30 starts, he was 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA, 1.208 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and a 10.1 K/9. He had a career best 129 ERA+ and a 3.36 FIP. To date, it was his only All-Star appearance.
The hope with Odorizzi is this is the level of pitcher he can be working with Hefner again. There’s the added benefit of having a pitcher on the team who can help translate what Hefner is trying to accomplish to the rest of the pitching staff.
While all positives, there are some underlying problems with Odorizzi.
While he was an All-Star in 2019, he only averaged 5.1 innings per start. Still, if you’re the Mets or any team you take 5.1 quality innings every time. Of course, this would put increased emphasis on not just improving the bullpen, but also adding more multiple inning relievers.
The bigger issue for Odorizzi is he may not be the pitcher in 2019. In fact, that could have been nothing more than a career year. Another factor is Odorizzi attributes much of that success not to Hefner, but as Dan Laurila of Fangraphs wrote, to an offseason training regiment at the Florida Baseball Ranch.
Last year, in what was a bizarre year for everyone, Odorizzi really struggled. In his four starts, he was 0-1 with a 6.59 ERA. Certainly, back issues, blisters, and getting hit with an Alex Gordon liner didn’t help. To that end, for evaluation purposes, this season should be noted but largely disregarded.
On that note, we should consider what he was prior to 2019. Through six full MLB seasons, he was 47-47 with a 3.95 ERA, 1.240 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, and an 8.4 K/9. Looking towards his 102 ERA+ and 4.21 FIP, he was little more than a league average back of the rotation starter.
If the Mets want to gamble on potential upside, Yankees starters Masahiro Tanaka and James Paxton are free agents. Tanaka has shown postseason mettle, and when healthy, Paxton has been good with a career 114 ERA+.
All that said, Odorizzi has real value and could help this team. Certainly, there are a number of factors at play like how and where the Mets choose to allocate their budget.
Odorizzi can help, but ultimately, as the Mets enter this new era, you can’t help for a better starter than Odorizzi in this rotation. That said, given the people in charge, if they go and grab Odorizzi, we can probably trust this was the right decision and part of a larger plan.
Make no mistake, Steven Matz was an unmitigated disaster in 2020. He had a very good start on the second day of the season, but he just kept getting worse and worse.
He had a 44 ERA+ and a 7.76 FIP. He allowed 4.1 homers per nine. His 9.68 ERA was unseemly.
Under no circumstances would you tender a pitcher like him a contract. You non-tender him and make decisions from there. However, the Mets are not really in a position to non-tender him, and aside from that, it would be unwise to non-tender him.
For starters, the free agent starting pitching market is a mess. Beyond Marcus Stroman and Trevor Bauer, the pitchers available are really not guaranteed to be any better than what Matz could give you on what will essentially be a one year deal.
As an organization, you’re in a better position to take a pitcher you know and work with him than go with another pitcher and start from square one. On that note, the Mets should be better equipped to get Matz right.
Entering next season, Steve Cohen has promised to beef up the Mets analytics departments and to upgrade the Mets technology. This means Jeremy Hefner, Jeremy Accardo, and even Phil Regan have more at their disposal to get Matz pitching to how we know he can.
We’ve seen that Matz not too long ago. In the second half of the 2019 season, he seemingly turned the corner.
While working with Regan and Accardo, Matz finished the season going 6-4 with a 3.46 ERA over his final 13 starts. This wasn’t a complete anomaly for Matz. At different points of his career, he’s shown this ability.
Matz was this good in 2015 through the first half of 2017. Again, he had a strong first half in 2018.
There’s a lot you can take away from this. It’s certainly possible injuries took their toll. Maybe, even to this point, he’s battling inconsistency. It’s also possible the Mets increasingly worse defense have had an impact on him. There’s many possible theories and explanations which can be proffered.
Lost in any of them is Matz is a good pitcher who has shown the ability to be a quality Major League starter. For a brief moment, it did appear as if 2020 was going to be the year he took his game to the next level.
During Spring Training, there were reports of his having increased velocity and being ahead of where he’s been in previous seasons.
The first thing Luis Rojas mentioned about Steven Matz's performance in Camp: his increased velocity.
Said he's been mid-to-upper 90s with really good velo differential on his curveball.
"I was pumped," Rojas said.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) July 21, 2020
The best pitcher in baseball, Jacob deGrom, was impressed with Matz before the 2020 started saying Matz was pitching “maybe the best I’ve seen him in a long time.” (William Bradford Davis, New York Daily News). He also said of Matz, “I think the upside’s unbelievable.”
That’s the real issue with Matz – the upside is there. It’s incumbent on them to unlock it.
Again, based on the free agent market, there’s not a definitive better option. Also, due to Brodie Van Wagenen’s stripping the Mets pitching depth for no good reason, there’s no one coming through the Mets pipeline to help in 2021.
That leaves keeping Matz as a necessity. They need to figure him out, or possibly, make him a left-handed Seth Lugo in the bullpen. With the state Van Wagenen will be leaving the Mets, that’s it.
Matz is a real asset. With Cohen, they’ll have the people and technology in place to help Matz take his game to the next level. With Sandy Alderson, they have the people in place who were able to help get consistent performances from Matz.
In the end, the Mets need Matz. They should be preparing to tender him a deal and set him up for his best season yet. If for no other reason, there’s really no better option available.
Lloyd Christmas may want to say there’s still a chance here, but there isn’t. Any realistic shot the Mets had faded when they lost this series to the Atlanta Braves:
2. People rightfully focus on the starting pitching and pitching staff as a whole when examining what a terrible job Brodie Van Wagenen has done. Looking at it Wilson Ramos‘ production against d’Arnaud, and his other moves, he might’ve bungled the catching position even worse.
3. Yes, we saw d’Arnaud be this player in a Mets uniform previously. Yes, it was fair to believe he’d return to his 2015 form post Tommy John. Yes, he has always been a very good catcher. Anyone saying otherwise is lying to you, pushing an agenda, or just doesn’t know that much about catching.
4. You’ll notice with the Wilpons selling Gary Cohen and Brandon Nimmo were quite vocal in their support for d’Arnaud and wishing he didn’t leave the Mets.
5. Nimmo has every right to talk as he’s come back from injury and proven himself to be a terrific ballplayer. He’s just not a center fielder.
6. On the note of people who have performed well, Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith, Andres Gimenez, and Jeff McNeil are part of the still young core who have had good seasons and are very much a part of the Mets future.
7. Seeing that young core, we should all celebrate Steve Cohen bringing back Sandy Alderson to the Mets organization. Hopefully, Cohen will right some other wrongs in due time.
8. David Peterson stepped up big time in what was the biggest start of his career. Hopefully, that’s a sign of his figuring things out and raising his ceiling.
9. Rick Porcello stepped up and was phenomenal yesterday. If the Mets truly invest in infield defense this offseason, he can be a part of the 2021 equation.
11. Sending down Luis Guillorme was stupidity. He did everything to earn not just the role he had but a much bigger one at that.
12. Amed Rosario lost his starting job, and he needed a recent hot streak to improve to a .266./283/.379 hitter. He should’ve been sent down.
13. J.D. Davis is hitting .248/.376/.383 since August 1, and he’s incapable of playing a defensive position. He should’ve been sent down.
14. Instead, it was Guillorme so Franklyn Kilome could allow six earned over 1.1 innings giving the Mets zero chance to win a game at a time when they can ill afford to punt games. Another great decision by Brodie Van Wagenen.
16. The Mets are in a precarious spot with Steven Matz. After last year and in Spring Training, he appeared poised for a breakout. Since the return, he looks like a non-tender candidate. These are critical franchise and season altering decisions.
17. Alex Rodriguez confirming he’d have Jeff Wilpon in the front office in a prominent role shows just how much the Mets dodged a bullet when A-Rod failed to beat out Cohen in the bidding.
18. Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon thinking they’re smarter than everyone and watching their team failing to make an expanded postseason is the perfect way for them to leave this organization.
19. Normally, we’d be saying it was time to tear it down and rebuild. Thanks to Cohen and competent baseball people in charge, we know the Mets can build off this strong core.
20. This season has been a massive disappointment, but on the bright side, we got 60 games of Mets baseball. That’s a real positive.