Johan Santana

Mets Neon Moment Of The Week: The Co-No

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It took the New York Mets 50 years to throw their first no-hitter. When Johan Santana did it, no one ever expected the Mets would ever do it. After all, Tom Seaver had come too close, and the franchise seemed cursed after trading away Nolan Ryan.

In many ways, we never quite expected the Mets doing it again. After all, Jacob deGrom has never really come all that close to it, and he has just about the most unhittable stuff there is. in some ways, there is irony that the no-hitter came from deGrom’s spot in the rotation.

Tylor Megill was dominant over five innings, but with his pitch count already at 88 pitches, he left Buck Showalter with no choice but to lift his young starter. Part of the reason there were no hits was a great diving play made by Brandon Nimmo. Little did we know at the time that it would be THE PLAY like we see with all no-hitters.

Showalter then went to his second best (or even best) reliever in Drew Smith. Smith went 1.1 innings before getting relieved by Joely Rodriguez. After Rodriguez got Alec Bohm to hit into an inning ending double play, the moment became all the more real despite their only being one Mets pitcher on the day who would have a clue the Mets actually had a no-hitter going.

That includes Seth Lugo who relieved Rodriguez after he issued a walk. Lugo would prove to pitch the least of the group with his 0.2 innings serving as a bridge to Edwin Diaz for this most important appearance of his career.

This was easily the best Diaz and his slider ever looked. He would face three terrific hitters in Bryce Harper, Nick Castellanos, and J.T. Realmuto, and they would have absolutely no chance against him. With all three striking out, the Mets would have the second no-hitter in team history. It was a moment none of us saw coming (well, almost none of us), and it is a moment that will forever last in Mets history.

As an aside, it happened in the black jerseys. Many of the absolute best moments in Mets history have happened in those jerseys. The most famous was Robin Ventura‘s Grand Slam Single, but we have many more with this being one of the top moments in franchise history.

With this Mets franchise pitching a no-hitter for just the second time in team history, this is obviously the Mets Neon Moment of the Week!

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Mets No-Hitter Mattered

Baseball is different today than it was 20 or even five years ago. There was a time barring real injury risk a pitcher was never pulled with a no-hitter.

Now, there’s a premium put on pitcher health and the longevity of their career. Teams are looking to protect their investments.

That’s why Tylor Megill gets pulled after 88 pitches even though he held the Philadelphia Phillies to no hits over five innings. To some, it tarnishes the no-hitter saying it’s not the same, or it doesn’t count.

Honestly, if Johan Santana didn’t happen, there would’ve been some disappointment in it not being one pitcher. If it was another franchise, the excitement would not be at the same level. There, Jerry Blevins is right.

However, this is the New York Mets, and because of that, it just means so much more.

For me, it was memories of growing up. My dad would always allow me to stay up until the Mets gave up a hit because he didn’t want me (or him) to miss the first ever no-hitter.

To this day, I remember my mom urging my dad to send me to bed while David Cone had a no-hitter going. The fact the St. Louis Cardinals spoiled his bids twice makes me hate them all the more, and I’ll never forgive Felix Jose.

With Cone, we always rooted for him. We stopped everything to watch his perfect game. We did the same for Dwight Gooden‘s no-hitter. While they weren’t Mets at the time, they are forever Mets, and their heroics were worth celebrating.

The same goes for Tom Seaver‘s no-hitter. That glorious one came against the Cardinals.

For the Mets, they were defined by not getting the no-hitter. At times, you wondered if it was a curse emanating from them trading away Nolan Ryan.

But, then it finally happened. To some degree, because we’re Mets fans, we’re almost conditioned to believe it would never happen again. After all, how is it Jacob deGrom hasn’t come close to one?

For me, I got to experience this no-hitter in a completely different way. This time, I was the dad letting my kid stay up late. I was the one regaling him of stories of Mets greats and misses.

Of course, I was on the phone with my dad. First, calling him to make sure he had the game on. Next, to just share that moment only for it to be hijacked by his also wanting to share it with his overexcited grandson.

In a word, the moment was perfect.

That’s why I don’t care if Megill had to share the feat with Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo, and Edwin Diaz. All that mattered was the moment happened.

It brought back fond memories of my youth and why I became a Mets fan in the first place. I got to share it with my son who will forever have this memory. In the end, it was three generations of Mets fans celebrating a moment no one expected.

In the end, not only did that no-hitter count as a no-hitter, but it also mattered to Mets fans. It mattered more than anyone will ever know.

METS NO-HIT PHILLIES

Tylor Megill 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K

Drew Smith, 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, BB, 4 K

Joely Rodriguez 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K

Seth Lugo 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Edwin Diaz 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER. 0 BB, 3 K

There’s so much to talk about with this game.

Robinson Cano started and was booed. Mark Canha finally got his first extra base hit as a Met in the fifth. He was driven home on a Jeff McNeil RBI single. Not bad for your eighth hitter.

After a power drought, we saw Pete Alonso homer in the sixth. It gave the Mets a 3-0 lead.

This was all great. Fantastic even because it allowed what happen to happen. For just the second time in New York Mets history, they pitched a no-hitter.

This was entirely different than the first.

There was no Johan Santana/Terry Collins drama. In fact, Megill was out after throwing 88 pitches over five innings.

The Mike Baxter moment was Brandon Nimmo making a diving catch to rob Jean Segura of a hit. It wasn’t as dramatic, but it certainly was a great defensive play.

This one wasn’t in doubt with a Carlos Beltran type play. Really, this was just pure and utter domination. The Phillies struck out 12 times. Oh, and by the way, they had no hits. The last out was J.T. Realmuto.

This was a special moment in a special season.

LETS GO METS!

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.

Mets Organization Looking Awfully Wilpon Like This Week

While it may not be fair to have expected the New York Mets to start spending like drunken sailors, it was fair to expect significant progress. Frankly, we’re not seeing that entirely.

There’s the caveat the Wilpons never would’ve given Francisco Lindor that extension. They once did it with Johan Santana, but they’ve refused post Madoff.

Things are definitively improved, but it’s really not where it should be. Certainly, someone can say it’s not my money, and that’s true. However, what this ultimately about is winning.

It’s hard to see how the Mets recent decisions are driven by the intent to win. It seems like more penny-wise, pound foolish decisions.

In the Javier Baez trade, the Chicago Cubs paid most of Baez’s salary. With the Cubs kicking in so much money, they got a better prospect in Pete Crow-Armstrong. While the trade may be fair value even without the money, it’s fair to question why the Mets parted with the better prospect instead of adding payroll.

The Mets had the opportunity to add Josh Donaldson and Kenta Maeda. It not only was a move which would’ve significantly improved the Mets World Series chances, but it was all the more necessary with Jacob deGrom injured. They walked away because the Twins weren’t eating enough salary.

Then, they draft Kumar Rocker. The Mets had a handshake agreement if Kumar fell the Mets would draft him and give him a $6 million bonus. That amount plus some injury concerns helped Kumar fall.

Make no mistake here. When the Mets drafted Kumar and when they talked about $6 million, they knew something very likely could pop up on the medicals.

Knowing that, The Mets still went all-in on Rocker. They drafted underslot after Rocker. They had a lot of money remaining in the till, except they didn’t draft a Plan B to sign in the even Rocker didn’t sign. Again, Rocker was the only plan which is a horrendous plan if you’re drafting a guy of questionable health.

Now, Rocker is left figuring out the next step while the Mets pocket the $6 million it promised Kumar and all the savings on the underslot deals. If this was the Wilpons, we’d be screaming about their cheapness and Madoff.

That’s not exactly what’s happening here. Here, the Mets have an owner with the wherewithal to make these deals. He’s just opting not to for various reasons.

In the end, Cohen’s Mets made the same cheap decisions the Wilpons made. The only thing which has changed is the explanation. It’s a matter of “I can’t” to “I could, but I don’t want to do it.” Whatever it is, the result is the same.

So yes, things are better, much better. That said, this Mets team parted with a better prospect to save money, they opted not to eat salary to address an area of need, and they effectively punted the 2021 draft.

Between all of that, and not showing up to score runs against the Cincinnati Reds, this was a bad week, and frankly, it was a bad month. Let’s hope, it doesn’t all equate to a bad rest of the year.

Keith Hernandez Reminder Mets Need Better Attention To Own Hall Of Fame

During this series between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals, it was announced Keith Hernandez will FINALLY be inducted into the Cardinals Hall of Fame. It didn’t exactly go great:

The Edward Jones advertisement being larger than Hernandez’s name is embarrassing. Then again, at least the Cardinals are attending to their Hall of Fame.

The Cardinals have an official committee, and they have fan votes to determine who belongs in their Hall of Fame. More than that, they actually have a Hall of Fame.

When Citi Field first opened, there was some lip service to the Mets Hall of Fame. As time progressed, and the impact of Madoff continued, we saw the Team Store push into and completely overwhelm the Mets Hall of Fame.

Aside from that, there’s been a serious lack of attention to inducting new members. The last member inducted was Mike Piazza in 2013. That’s unacceptable.

Right now, 13 of the top 24 Mets by WAR have not been inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame. Put another way, most of the best players in team history have not been recognized.

That includes Edgardo Alfonzo and Al Leiter. That’s shocking with Alonzo being the best second baseman in team history, and with Leiter being the only Mets pitcher to win a play-in game.

It’s more than that. Bobby Valentine led the Mets to consecutive postseasons. Johan Santana had many great moments including the first and only no-hitter in Mets history. There’s also Nelson Doubleday who purchased the Mets and brought in the right people leading to the best run in Mets history.

Point is, the Mets Hall of Fame is severely lacking. Case-in-point. David Wright has not yet been inducted. We can argue over retiring his number, but his not being in the Mets Hall of Fame is absurd.

The Mets need to have Wright and others in the team Hall of Fame. For that matter, there needs to be a real Mets Hall of Fame.

This is a franchise with real history and great moments. It’s well past time it’s celebrated and properly honored. The Mets need a real and proper Hall of Fame. Hopefully, it will happen soon.

Marcus Stroman Is Pitching, What’s Your Complaint Now?

As has been the case with him over the past year (probably longer), Marcus Stroman has been a lightning rod for criticism. In terms of the New York Mets, it began when he opted out of the 2020 season, but there’s a possibility it began sooner than that.

In terms of that, Stroman was open and honest he was afraid of the outbreaks in Miami and St. Louis, and he had family members who were high risk. Rather than accept his explanation, people opted to read malice into his decision.

Since that point, Stroman signed the qualifying offer, has worked to develop a new pitch, and he has been just about as enthusiastic a Mets fan as there is. Yes, every action he has taken has indicated he is every bit the Mets fan he was like the day he was at Citi Field for Johan Santana‘s no-hitter.

This is a pitcher who not only believes in himself, but he believes in his teammates. He openly speaks about how Jacob deGrom is the best pitcher in baseball. He talks about the talent on the roster. He talk about how great the Mets are. Really, if you look at Stroman, he pushes positivity and belief in not just himself, but also his teammates.

Still, like we saw in 2020, Stroman is going to make decisions which are good for him and his career. After seeing how Matt Harvey‘s career has transpired, we should have learned by now that’s not being selfish, but also, smart. The best ability you can give your team is availability, and if you hit the IL because you unnecessarily pushed it, you’re no longer available.

After the ridiculous decision to start the game against the Miami Marlins which was then suspended due to rain, Stroman announced his frustration he was not available again for five more days. He put in all that work, and it was all for naught. Of course, people opted to take that as Stroman being selfish and not team-first.

As an aside, the reason the Mets did not go with a six man rotation this year was because deGrom voiced his objections. Like all starting pitchers, deGrom is a creature of routine, and he didn’t want anything messing with his routine. What’s interesting is when this was Harvey, he was vilified, and for Stroman, when he said he wanted to stick to his routine, he was criticized.

Well, now, Stroman threw a bullpen session, and he declared himself good to pitch in the doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. Once again, Stroman is stepping up and helping the team. He is doing it when few pitchers would be willing to pitch on one day’s rest.

Now that he is doing that, the people who refuse to embrace him, need to find another reason to criticize him. Better yet, instead of going that route, they should probably embrace him and acknowledge they’re getting to see not just one of the best pitchers in baseball, but also a positive individual who only seeks to build up everyone around him.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Split Bizarre Shortened Series

Due to the rain-out yesterday, the New York Mets split a series against the Miami Marlins. There was a lot which happened in the span of those three days, which is just an indication of just how bizarre the start to this season has been:

1.  Not calling a game which had zero chance of ever getting played was a very Wilpon like decision. Hopefully, this is something that we will not see happen again.

2.  Whenever there is a threat of rain, teams should just use an opener. It is not worth wasting a pitcher’s turn through the rotation in the hopes of a game being played. Instead of getting someone like Robert Gsellman some work, the Mets are going to have to wait until Friday to see Marcus Stroman again.

3. Aside from David Peterson, the Mets starting pitching has been quite good this season. The best surprise might’ve been Taijuan Walker who looked like the pitcher many thought he would be when he was once a top 10 prospect in the game.

4. Why bother reading the Wilpon owned Mets website, when you can come here and read it done first and better?

5. Jeff McNeil was swinging a good bat and ran into some bad luck before hitting that clutch homer. That bat flip was reminiscent of the Asdrubal Cabrera one.

6. The umpires completely blew it when ruling Michael Conforto was hit by the pitch to force in the game winning run. The fact replay can’t fix that error is a failure of the system.

7. Just when you thought that was bad, on Sunday Night Baseball, Alec Bohm never touched home plate, was ruled safe, and the call was somehow upheld on replay. What is the point of the system when you can’t get obviously blown calls corrected?

8. By the way, Travis d’Arnaud did an amazing job receiving that throw and blocking the plate. There really is no one better in the game than him at doing that, and it is also notable the Mets have spent a ton of money on catchers who are no better than him.

9. These two plays are reminiscent of when Chase Utley went out of the baseline, tackled Ruben Tejada, never touched the bag, and was ruled safe on replay and awarded second base. By the way, the manager who asked for that review and wound up winning partially because of that absurdity was Don Mattingly, so he can save us from listening to his whining.

10. The booing of Conforto was ridiculous. Yes, he had a really bad four game stretch as all players are going to have during the course of the season. You would just think a player of his stature who has been a good Met for this long would have a longer leash than four games.

11. Dropping Conforto in the line-up was a pure panic decision. It’s not like he’s the only Mets player not hitting. For example, there was no booing of Pete Alonso despite his being hitless over his last 11 at-bats, and no one wants him dropped in the order. Remember, Conforto was great last year whereas Alonso comparatively struggled.

12. No, this is not a call to boo Alonso. It is also not a call to boo McNeil who has one hit this year. The same goes for James McCann and Francisco Lindor who have matching .176 batting averages with no extra base hits. It is was too soon to boo any of these players.

13. Conforto is eventually going to break out of his slump due to the ebbs and flows of the baseball season. His being dropped to fifth, sixth, or even seventh in the order will have nothing to do with hit.

14. If this was about rewarding the best hitters, Luis Guillorme would be playing everyday. That goes double when you consider J.D. Davis hit the IL. Guillorme is literally hitting .500 in his limited playing opportunities.

15. Brandon Nimmo has been phenomenal to start the season. He has flat out been the Mets best player with a 223 OPS+ and a 1 OAA in center. He’s been locked in to start the season. Yes, it is too soon to talk All-Star or even MVP consideration, but he looks like he’s poised to have a great year.

16. Of course, no one is better than Jacob deGrom. On the season, he has allowed one run over 14.0 innings while striking out 21. We are running out of words to describe how great he is.

17. We’re also running out of ways to describe just how terrible the lack of run support he receives is. It is beyond a joke deGrom is 0-1 to start the year. It’s really difficult to pinpoint the reason, but there is no rational explanation why this keeps happening.

18. Congrats to Joe Musgrove for throwing the first no-hitter in San Diego Padres history. Doing that for the team you grew up rooting for is like Mike Baxter making the no-hitter saving catch for Johan Santana‘s. On that topic, Anthony DiComo certainly showed his true colors.

19. People need to stop this over the top criticism of Luis Rojas. We are five games into a disjointed season with COVID cancellations and front office blown decisions on a rain delay. Like all managers, he is not the one setting the lineup or deciding whether or not to play the games. He is working with the front office on these decisions, including scripting out how long the starters go and which relievers pitch. He’s just the face and fall guy for many of these decisions.

20. The Mets already have four games to make up this season. The bright side will be those games will come when Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco have returned.

Matthew Allan Is Mets Best Prospect

The consensus of people who have done this much longer and better is Francisco Alvarez supplanted Ronny Mauricio as the Mets top prospect. The consensus seems to be they are the top two in the system.

That said, at least here, Matthew Allan should be considered the Mets top prospect. We’re seeing and hearing many of the reasons why this Spring Training.

Before Spring Training, Allan had been at the Mets alternate site at Brooklyn. That’s also where he pitched for the 2019 New York-Penn League Champions.

In that 2019 season, he made a combined six appearances (five starts) for the GCL Mets and Brooklyn. He was 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA, 1.452 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, and a 12.2 K/9.

In the NYPL postseason, he was dominant pitching out of the bullpen. In two games, he pitched 5.0 innings retiring all 15 batters he faced. That included him pitching three innings and picking up the win in the clincher.

In those games, we saw the repertoire and poise which led the Mets to implement their draft strategy to sign him. As per MLB Pipeline, he had a mid to high 90s fastball which he combined with an excellent curve and a change that was a work in progress. He had the size and delivery which portends success as a starter.

As noted by Jacob Resnick of SNY above, Allan improved the change last year. It should come as no surprise that came after getting to work with Jacob deGrom during part of the COVID shutdown last year. In that time, he got to learn from deGrom much in the same way deGrom once got to learn from Johan Santana.

This past offseason, Allan again went to Stetson University to work with deGrom and fellow Stetson alum catcher Patrick Mazeika.

Allan had the opportunity to speak to and learn from the best pitcher in the game. As noted, it helped lead to an improved change. It may also help him in terms of the mental side of the game and preparation. Really with deGrom encouraging him to wear him out with questions, Allan had a real opportunity to hone his craft.

That continued in Spring Training when Allan got to work not only with deGrom but also Marcus Stroman.

With Stroman, Allan discussed grips as well as the mental side of the game. Many forget Stroman is a real student of the game, and he’s someone who works harder than anyone to find ways to improve and get batters out. As noted by Allan, Stroman was genuine in helping him improve as a pitcher.

That’s a huge reason why Allan should be considered the Mets best prospect. Yes, he certainly has the natural talent and pure stuff to earn that consideration. However, it’s more than that.

Allan, himself, is working hard and striving to improve. He’s in a very fortunate situation where he has had the opportunity and will continue to have the opportunity to get mentored by deGrom and Stroman.

Taking everything into account, it’s not just Allan’s change which will make considerable strides. He should also in every aspect of his game. Seeing how he and others are investing in him, he has real top of the rotation potential, and seeing his progress that may come far sooner than originally anticipated.

Overall, it’s very fair to consider Alvarez and Mauricio as the Mets best prospects. Still, seeing Allan’s improvement, maturity, and natural talent, he should probably be considered a step ahead thereby making him the Mets best prospect.

Mets Need To Extend Francisco Lindor PERIOD

When the New York Mets obtain a star, some have some trepidation. There are bad memories associated with the 1992 Mets as well as with future Hall of Famers like Roberto Alomar and All-Stars like Carlos Baerga.

Yes, those names were specifically chosen. They were not just chosen because they were great players before joining the Mets. They were also great Cleveland Indians players traded to the Mets.

What does that have to do with Francisco Lindor? In reality, absolutely nothing.

Alomar was 34 when the Mets obtained him. Baerga was hitting .267/.302/.396 with the Indians when the Mets obtained him.

Lindor is the best shortstop in baseball. In fact, since his debut in 2015, only Mike Trout and Mookie Betts have a higher WAR. That’s it. That’s the list.

No one asked if Trout should get the $426.5 million he received. There wasn’t a question about Betts’ $365 million extension. Yet, somehow, we see fans and articles question whether Lindor should receive an extension at all.

Really, it’s nonsense hand-wringing. It’s assuming everything goes wrong for the Mets. It’s remembering only the bad while conveniently forgetting Keith Hernandez, Mike Piazza, and even Johan Santana.

The Mets traded for those stars and gave them extensions. Hernandez led to the best stretch in Mets history and the team’s second World Series.

Piazza set records for homers as a catcher, led the Mets to consecutive postseasons for the first time in their history, the homer after 9/11, and he became the second player to wear a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Santana had the last great moment in Shea Stadium history, and to date, he’s thrown the only no-hitter in Mets history.

The point is for every Alomar, there’s a Piazza. For every Jason Bay or Bobby Bonilla, there’s a Carlos Beltran and Curtis Granderson.

There’s also the matter of next year’s free agent class. Lindor should find himself the biggest target, but Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, and Trevor Story will also be available.

Do the Mets want to sort through this class and have the Los Angeles Dodgers run up the bidding like they did with Trevor Bauer, or the way the Toronto Blue Jays did with George Springer. That’s nothing to say of the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox who are resetting under the luxury tax to position themselves to attack free agency next year.

That’s whenever free agency does begin. Remember, the CBA expires at the end of the season, which very well may lead to a strike or lockout. In those circumstances, it makes it all the more difficult to navigate your way through the offseason.

Regardless, all of that distracts from the main point. Francisco Lindor is a top three player in the sport and future Hall of Famer who is in his prime. Instead of inventing reasons to try to justify not extending him, we should all just demand the Mets extend him.