Luis Guillorme

Brett Baty Should Be Opening Day Third Baseman

Back in 2019, the New York Mets had Pete Alonso begin the season on the Opening Day roster. The idea was he gave the team their best chance to win games, and they thought keeping him in the minors for two weeks could cost them the postseason. Essentially, one year of service time was not worth missing out on the postseason.

Of course, now, we know that was all part of the grift. The Wilpons knew they were going to be forced to sell, so they had Brodie Van Wagenen set out to completely mortgage the future to try to win that one year. That included starting Alonso in the majors and not caring about that extra year of control. The irony would be the Wilpons limited budget and cheapness ultimately did cost them the postseason as they didn’t have the money to address the bullpen.

While the plan was flawed from its inception with the Wilpons, it is a plan that has merit with a real owner like Steve Cohen. To wit, the Mets should look to eschew service time concerns and control, and they should have Brett Baty being the 2023 season on the Opening Day roster.

That is at least the general consensus from the scouting community. Keith Law of The Athletic says Baty has nothing to learn in the minors and is the Mets best third base option. Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline says Baty should be the third baseman in 2023 because he is an improvement defensively over Eduardo Escobar with a better offensive ceiling.

While Mets fans were understandably not impressed with Baty defensively in short sample size, Escobar has proven he can’t really play the position. He had a -6 OAA a year after he had a -3. As he’s 34 and with their being no shift in 2023, he is only going to get worse. The Mets did recognize that last season, and that is part of the reason why they moved him to a platoon with Luis Guillorme.

Guillorme has been previously addressed here. WIth the shift elimination rules and the limitations of Mark Canha, Guillorme should be the everyday second baseman. That would be the newly extended Jeff McNeil can move to left field where he has been historically move effective. It should also be less wear-and-tear on a player the Mets can have through his age 35 season.

Baty can at least be adequate defensively, which is a step up from Escobar. While the ground ball rates are a problem, he has real offensive potential. He needs to improve those ground ball rates. The hope there is Jeremy Barnes can do that. Even though Baty made significant strides on this front in Double-A last season, Barnes is still arguably the best person to get Baty to lift the ball and get the most out of his power.

What needs noting here is it may not happen right away with Baty. That is fine because the Mets still have the option to send him back down to Triple-A and shift to the Escboar/Guillorme platoon which was very effective last season. Better yet, he can begin to fulfill his promise and be that bat the Mets were hoping to find this offseason. The only way the Mets can find that out is by putting him on the Opening Day roster.

Maybe Darin Ruf Is Answer to Mets Darin Ruf Problem

While the New York Mets have addressed many of their offseason needs, the one area which remains unaddressed is DH. To a certain extent, it seems odd a team so willing to go well beyond the point where teams would consider spending has seen their offseason stall on this front. Certainly, the Carlos Correa drama was part of that.

However, the Mets did see viable options sign elsewhere. Andrew McCutchen purportedly turned down more money from the Mets to return to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Trey Mancini is a Chicago Cub. Adam Duvall just signed with the Boston Red Sox.

This leaves the Mets trying to talk themselves into the next tier of players. Jurickson Profar is a popular target, but he’s not much of a hitter. He does increase the Mets versatility, but he is also not someone who has not thrived in a reserve or part-time role.

Robbie Grossman is an interesting choice. He has good numbers against left-handed pitching, and he does have a good walk rate. Typically speaking, he makes good contact, and he can hold his own defensively. Moreover, he has thrived in a reserve/part-time role. However, he has zero power.

That brings us back to Darin Ruf. What this Mets team was sorely lacking was power, and the Mets gave up way too much to get Ruf to try to help address their power issues. Obviously, Ruf did not do that last season posting a 13 OPS+. He did get one postseason start drawing a walk and a HBP in his one start.

It should be noted Ruf did land on the IL after he was acquired by the Mets with a neck strain. Certainly, it’s possible that impacted his performance. If it did, the hope is he could be back to being a right-handed DH platoon option against left-handed pitching. In his career, he does have a 143 wRC+ against left-handed pitching.

He’s slightly more than a platoon DH option. He can spell Pete Alonso at first base on occasion. That’s important with Alonso needing a break every now and then. He can’t play the outfield everyday in his career, but he can at least play there for a game or an inning or two. This does have some value to the team.

Mostly, he’s simply replaceable. If he doesn’t get the job done, Eduardo Escobar or Mark Canha can easily take over his role. That would require the Mets to play Luis Guillorme as their primary second baseman, but that is something they should be doing anyway. There is also the question of when the Mets are going to call-up Francisco Álvarez or Mark Vientos to at least take over part of this role.

In the end, the Mets have Ruf and are paying him. He has a role which can be easily supplanted by the talent on this team. The upgrades on the free agent market are gone. At this point, the Mets might as well role with him and see if he can rebound.

Mets Should Move Canha Over Escobar

Based upon Carlos Correa‘s Instagram and comments, we are back to feeling good about him signing with the New York Mets. At least according to Correa, it’s a fait accompli, and we should treat it as such while further inquiring what is next for the New York Mets.

Reports are the Mets will look to move Eduardo Escobar once the deal is completed with Correa. To a certain extent, you understand the thinking. Correa replaces Escobar as the everyday third baseman leaving Escobar as the odd man out. However, that ignores Jeff McNeil‘s versatility.

As we saw last year, McNeil was very good at second, left, and right. Over the course of his career, McNeil hits and generally plays better when he is in the outfield. Of course, to move him out there on a more regular basis, the Mets would have to displace Mark Canha. As a result, signing Correa is really a debate of Canha and Escobar.

To get the first part out of the way, while Steve Cohen has shown he doesn’t care about the money, Canha is the more expensive player. He is owed $11.5 million in 2023 with a $2 million buyout of his $11.5 million option for 2024. Escobar is owed $9.5 million with a $500,000 buyout of his $9 million 2024 option. With the 90% Cohen tax, the $2 million difference between their salaries is $3.8 million on the Mets books irrespective of the buyouts.

However, it is more than just the cost savings. Escobar is a better fit for this Mets roster.

First and foremost, Escobar provides more versatility. He has played second and third over the last few seasons, and that provides for insurance in the event of a Correa or McNeil injury. Remember, both players have some durability issues, and we may see a point where both are on the IL or banged up at the same time necessitating playing Escobar and Luis Guillorme.

Another factor is the Mets are very left-handed in certain spots, especially at DH where Daniel Vogelbach is solely a platoon option there. For his career, Escobar is a 109 wRC+ against left-handed pitching with a 133 wRC+ last season. On that, he seemed to settle in well platooning third base with Guillorme, and he does promise to do that with Vogelbach next season.

On the contrary, Canha has a 110 wRC+ against left-handed pitching and a 115 last season. These are certainly not bad numbers, but they are not at the level of Escobar last season. Another note is Escobar has far more power in his bat providing an element to the lineup the Mets need which Canha really does not supply.

At their ages, both players are in decline off their primes with Canha in steeper decline seeing his hard hit rates and defense continue to drop in a steady fashion. Escobar is fighting off Father Time a bit better while being a hair faster on the field.

More important than any of that is neither Canha or Escobar can really play everyday right now. Based on what we saw in 2022, Escobar can more easily slot into a part-time role. After all, he did it effectively last season, and when they needed to call upon him to play everyday again, he was able to answer that call. We still don’t know if Canha can do that.

Whoever the Mets opt to keep, they are going to have to become more versatile. Escobar is already that, and ideally, the Mets will have him working out and learning first to spell Pete Alonso. It would also behoove him to learn to play left for the first time since 2017. As for Canha, he has played third in a pinch, but he has been predominantly an outfielder since 2017.

In the end, the Mets have to ask themselves two questions. First, who can better complement this roster? Second, who will net us a better return? Ultimately, the answer to these questions will dictate which of these two are moved more than anything else.

Brandon Drury Could Be Perfect Or Terrible For Mets

At first glance, Brandon Drury would seemingly be a perfect fit for the New York Mets. After all, he would check so many boxes for the 2023 roster, and as a result, it would make the Mets an even more formidable team.

Drury, 30, is coming off a career year where he had a career best 123 wRC+ and a career best 2.6 WAR. He held his own at third base last season with a 0 OAA while also holding his own at first and second. Historically, his best position is third.

For his career, Drury has had success against left-handed pitching. For his career, he has a 101 wRC+. However, last season, he absolutely destroyed left-handed pitching with a 160 wRC+. That’s not a fluke either as he had a 136 wRC+ against left-handed pitching the previous season with the Mets.

Certainly, that’s a factor in play here. Drury has shown the ability to play well in New York. In fact, he resurrect his career with the Mets in 2021. With him showing his renaissance wasn’t a fluke, it could mean this would be the perfect time for the Mets to bring him back.

Immediately, you think he could be the perfect platoon partner for this team. He could share third with Luis Guillorme and/or Eduardo Escobar, or he could replace Darin Ruf as Daniel Vogelbach‘s platoon partner while giving the Mets the ability to allow him to spell Pete Alonso at first to help keep him fresh next season.

Again, Drury could very well be perfect, but then again, looking at Ruf could be a real warning when it comes to signing Drury.

Notably, Drury did have a great season with the Cincinnati Reds last season. He hit .274/.335/.520 with 22 doubles, two triples, 20 homers, and 59 RBI over 92 games. This led to Drury being traded to the San Diego Padres at the trade deadline.

Drury was a markedly different player with the Padres. Over 46 games, he hit .238/.290/.435 with nine doubles, eight homers, and 28 RBI. He only played one game in the Wild Card Series against the Mets going 0-for-4. While an everyday player after the trade, Drury became a part-time player for the postseason due to his struggles with the Padres.

Looking at Drury’s career, he has always been a bit of a flawed player. He can hit the fastball, but as noted on Baseball Savant, he has long struggled with breaking and off-speed pitches. He thrived in that bandbox called the Great American Ballpark, but he struggled mightily in Petco Park.

We’ve also seen in his career that he’s struggled with the part-time role. Really, his career got derailed in Toronto when they tried to move him into that role. Certainly, the caveat was he thrived with the Mets in a pinch hitting role, but then again, he hit .184/.231/.225 in games he started for the Mets.

This is where the Mets need to be careful. If they pursue Drury, are they fully investing in him as an everyday player, or are they looking for him to be a part-time player? In essence, are they going to risk Drury thriving in a way Ruf could not.

For the Mets, it really may not make sense. The Escobar/Guillorme third base platoon was highly effective. The Mets also may be in a position to just give the job to Brett Baty and may not want to block him from the job in the long or short term. Essentially, the Mets are never going to even contemplate playing Drury at second.

This is the reason why Billy Eppler makes the big money. Decisions on players like Drury make or break seasons. If Drury can handle being a semi-regular who kills left-handed pitching, the Mets go to another stratosphere. If not, they’re stuck with him like they are currently with Ruf. Ultimately, this is the ultimate boom or bust decision.

 

Luis Guillorme Should Be 2023 Mets Second Baseman

In 2023, Major League Baseball will eliminate the shift putting more of a premium on defense up the middle of the infield. As a result, the New York Mets should really be considering making Luis Guillorme their everyday second baseman in 2023.

Part of the reason for this need is Pete Alonso at first base. While Alonso had a promising defensive 2021 season, he completely regressed in 2022 with a -8 OAA. It was the worst he’s ever been, and the Mets can’t shift away his defensive issues anymore.

Now, Jeff McNeil was a good defensive second baseman last season. In fact, he was Gold Glove caliber with an 8 OAA. That wasn’t exactly a fluke with a 4 OAA the previous season. That said, Guillorme is just better.

Guillorme posted a 3 OAA at second last season in 301.1 fewer innings. With more chances and reps, he would have posted a higher total. Moreover, he’s lightning quick on the double play, makes the difficult seem routine, and he makes the impossible into an out.

To be honest, getting Guillorme’s glove onto the field has never really been the issue or a debate. Credit is due and owing to Buck Showalter for recognizing that importance over previous Mets managers, and we saw Guillorme have a strong 2022 season as a semi-regular/back-up player.

The issue has always been the bat with him, and certainly, people are going to argue they do not want to displace McNeil. With respect to McNeil, the truth is he’s typically hit better as an outfielder. In 2022, he had a .852 OPS as a second baseman. That’s phenomenal but not as good as the .863 OPS he had as a left fielder or the .896 he had as a right fielder.

That is McNeil’s career trend. As a second baseman, he has a .804 OPS as a second baseman. He has a .853 OPS in left, and a .860 OPS in right. This is probably the result of McNeil having fresher legs when he plays the outfield against second, but he has always been a better hitter when he has been in the outfield.

So, the move makes sense for McNeil, but that does bring the Mets power outage from 2022 into concern and the continued need to address it. Certainly, Guillorme and his .340 SLG won’t help that. That is true, but again, that is only part of the offensive equation. Another point here is how eliminating the shift will directly impact a player like Guillorme.

Guillorme is a player who sprays the ball around the field. Of note, when he hit against the shift, he had a .271 wOBA, but when there was not shift, he had a much better .313 wOBA. That pulls Guillorme more towards being an average hitter like his 106 wRC+ from last season would indicate.

Remember, that is league average offense at the bottom of the lineup. Guillorme isn’t going to strike out much, and historically, he walks a fair amount. For an eighth or ninth hitter, that is quite good. He can put it in play with runners on base, and he can help table set for when the lineup turns over to Brandon Nimmo and Francisco Lindor.

Speaking of Lindor, he and Guillorme would be an elite combination up the middle. At a time with no shifting, they will be two middle infielders who can thrive without shifting.

Overall, Guillorme can provide elite defense at second at a time where the rules put an imperative on up the middle defense. He can be a very good eighth or ninth place hitter. His presence in the lineup and on the field can and will make the Mets a better team. As a result, the Mets really need to think long and hard about making him the everyday second baseman next season.

José Quintana Perfect Addition To Mets Rotation

One of the challenges the New York Mets have this offseason is rebuilding their rotation to match the one they had which carried them to 101 wins in 2021. That was going to be a challenge with the Mets needing to address four-fifths of the rotation; well, three-fifths after they picked up Carlos Carrasco‘s option.

The rotation was never really going to look the same, but it had to be as good. Arguably, it had to be better with the Mets losing in the Wild Card Series despite their top three starters lined up. The team did take a bit of a step back losing Jacob deGrom, but they responded quickly and perfectly by adding Justin Verlander.

You can say the same about the team signing José Quintana after Taijuan Walker signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Walker was a good and surprisingly durable pitcher for the Mets over the past two seasons. He showed flashes of being a top of the rotation starter, but he did have his struggles. Ultimately, he was a number three starter who pitched at the back end of the rotation. He was a very good Met, and the Mets will certainly miss him.

However, the team did rebound with Quintana. Keep in mind with the age of Max Scherzer, Verlander, and Carrasco, Quintana is “only” going to be 34 next season. He has pitched in the majors for 11 years, and the only time he did not make at least 22 starts was 2020 – 2021. One year was the pandemic (he did have an injury that season), and the other he dealt with shoulder issues.

Whatever concerns you may have after that two year stretch were abated when Quintana made 32 starts last season. The downside was he only pitched 165.2 innings meaning he averaged only five innings per start.

Part of that could be related to his coming back from two injury plagued years. He was in the bullpen in 2021, and he was moved back to the rotation. That does require some ease. Another issue is the Pirates are not very analytically advanced limiting their ability to get the most from their starters.

To a certain extent, we saw that play out when Quintana went to the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline. Yes, he only averaged five innings per start, but that was skewed by a few short outings. To be fair, those happened.

Putting all of that aside for a moment, that does not change the fact Quintana took the ball every fifth day. Much like he has the vast majority of his career, he promises to do the same next season. That gives the Mets some certainty with an older rotation as they also seek to manufacture pitching depth this offseason.

With respect to the stuff, well, Quintana doesn’t wow you in any sense. He doesn’t have velocity or great spin. What he does have is the ability to locate and generate weak contact. He also generates a high number of ground balls. Even without the shift, he should be aided by having Francisco Lindor and one of Jeff McNeil or Luis Guillorme up the middle.

In the end, Quintana’s skill-set is enhanced by the defense behind him. The Mets infielders will make him seem a better pitcher, and maybe then, he can go a little deeper into games. Even if he doesn’t, he is going to take the ball every fifth day and give the Mets five solid innings. There is immense value in that, especially for an older rotation, and the Mets will benefit greatly from having signed Quintana.

Revisiting 2022 Bold Mets Predictions

Before the season, there were 60 bold predictions made heading into the New York Mets 60th season. Here is a look back at how those bold predictions worked out:

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

While they won 101 games, they collapsed late in the season, and they would lose in three games to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round.

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

Fortunately, Howie has not announced his retirement.

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

See above.

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

Lindor did have a huge second year, but a broken finger cost him any chance of winning the award.

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

As it turned out, Smith was not given a real shot to be the DH. Not only did he not force his way into the lineup, but he was demoted to Triple-A, and he was not called up even with the expanded rosters. He was non-tendered after the season.

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

Diaz was an All-Star.

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

Diaz was the only All-Star from this group. The other Mets All-Stars were Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and Jeff McNeil.

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

It started that way, but deGrom wasn’t quite as sharp when he returned. He did not receive any votes.

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

As it turned out, he finished the season as the right fielder, but he moved back to second when Marte returned from injury for the postseason.

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

Wow, this one was way off the mark and couldn’t have been more wrong.

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

It was the opposite for Bassitt. He was strong all season until the very end.

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

Marte was a fan favortite, and Mets fans would not let him be snubbed with their voting him in as a starter.

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

For whatever which reason, the Mets were reluctant all year to give him a shot. After the Darin Ruf trade disaster, he finally got a shot in a pennant race and was less then thrilling.

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

Baty was not moved, and he would be called up to be the team’s everyday third baseman until his own season ending injury.

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

With his ankle injury, Álvarez was only called up to DH late in the season. Tomas Nido did supplant James McCann as the starter.

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

Well, the Phillies won the pennant, so this was only true to that extent. However, the Mets missed their every chance to bury the Braves and would eventually collapse.

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

This was very true in June. It was not true at all after that.

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

Megill had a good run as a starter until he was injured. He returned late in the season and moved to the bullpen. He is likely in the mix for the rotation next season.

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

Shockingly, not only did Carrasco rebound, but he also made 29 starts.

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

Williams was a vital part of this team all season.

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

This did not happen.

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

The Mets did not have any winners with only Nido being a finalist. In terms of the voting, there were multiple Mets who were snubbed despite excellent defensive numbers.

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

His name has not surfaced as a managerial candidate.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

Neither has him.

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

This was very close to being true. J.D. Davis was a DH in 41 games before the team mercifully got rid of him. After the trade deadline, Daniel Vogelbach was the DH in 46 games.

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

He did not.

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

While Rodriguez had his moments, he had an 87 ERA+ making his largely true.

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

To our collective surprise, Brandon Nimmo played a career high 151 games. Mark Canha would play 140.

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

For a one week stretch, when Plummer hit that ninth inning homer against the Phillies, Mets fans did fall in love with him before he stopped hitting as a part time DH. No Mets fan paid any attention to Lee.

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

Canha played fewer games than Nimmo, but he did have the lowest WAR among outfielders.

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

There wasn’t any issues with Stroman during the season, and he did not pitch against the Mets this year.

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

That did not happen.

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

Sadly, this was true.

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

It was difficult to ascertain who got the loudest ovation which was a great thing.

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

This award probably goes to McNeil for robbing the Oneil Cruz homer, but Guillorme had more than his fair share of highlights.

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

Alonso took a big step back defensively, but the Mets hesitated to give him more time at DH even to give him rest late in the season.

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

There were some rumblings about Conforto, but he wasn’t tied with the Mets. He also did not sign with any team.

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

We heard nothing on that front, but we should give this one time.

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

Nope, we didn’t, and it didn’t help that David Cone was saying Mets fans would complain about them not being GKR.

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

Whether or not it was the right call, Showalter won, and it was close to being unanimous.

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

This one was actually true.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

This one should’ve been true. However, Paul Lukas of Uniwatch found the flaw.

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

Smith was well on his way until injury. May did not have a great year, but that was mostly due to injury. It should be noted he stepped up late in the season and in the postseason.

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

With Scherzer dealing with an oblique injury and faltering against the Braves and Padres, this ultimately proved true.

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

The Mets did have a monster second half until they faltered against the weakest September schedule. Truth is they should have run away with the division.

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

The Blue Jays made the postseason. With them and the Mets losing in the Wild Card round, this was not remotely an issue.

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

It was a chilly reception.

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

So far, fans seems to be unhappy with the postseason changes.

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

Peterson did quite well even if he had some struggles, and he stayed in the rotation for the most part.

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

Holderman emerged as a quality relief option, but he would be traded for Vogelbach. Szapucki was moved to the bullpen with Syracuse with an eye towards using him in that role. He too would be traded for a platoon DH option (Ruf). The Mets only added Mychael Givens at the deadline while espousing they liked what they had.

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

This proved true with Nido finally taking over full duties at the very end of the season.

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

True, but Diaz was signed before the start of free agency.

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

True even as his team collapsed.

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

Walker tied for the second most starts. deGrom would actually make the fewest starts.

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

On April 29, the Co-No happened.

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

This likely will not happen.

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

There was no such announcment, but there was the announcement of Willie Mays and Keith Hernandez having their numbers retired.

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

MLB did not care about the lack of quality with the games, and honestly, while there were complaints, Mets fans didn’t complain nearly as much about the streaming games as you’d anticipate.

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

It actually proved to be more than just that. Showalter got Guillorme into the lineup due to his glove.

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

To reiterate, I’m an idiot, and I’ll probably make the same prediction next year.

Mets Snubbed Among Dubious Gold Glove Finalist Nominees

Before getting all undone about the Gold Glove Award snubs, we need to take note of the fact Juan Soto was a finalist for right field. Soto was literally the worst right fielder in 2022 with a -15 OAA. In fact, he was the second worst fielder in all of baseball.

That is according to OAA. Despite OAA being developed and becoming more trusted, it is not actually a part of the Gold Glove methodology. Per Rawlings, Gold Glove winners and finalists are a mix of coaches votes and SDI. Here’s the problem. Soto was also terrible according to that index. In fact, he was the second worst right fielder.

That brings us to the Mets. Before proceeding, it should be noted despite Luis Guillorme being top three in SDI for second baseman, he did not have enough innings to quality. That was even with Guillorme having a 6 OAA making him one of the best fielders in all of baseball. Again, there is an innings requirement, so we move along.

Francisco Lindor was the seventh best fielder in the NL by OAA and the the second best shortstop in all of baseball. However, SDI had him sixth, and apparently, the coaches didn’t love him. Lindor and Mets fans shouldn’t be too upset because Nico Hoerner led in SDI and was third in OAA, and he still was not nominated.

Jeff McNeil was the second best second baseman in the NL by OAA. He was fifth in SDI. He wasn’t a finalist. He spent time in both outfield spots as well, but he was one of the best fielders. To be fair, McNeil should not have won over Tommy Edman or Daulton Varsho. However, he was signicantly better than Brendan Donovan.

There was also Brandon Nimmo. He had a 6 OAA in center tying him for fourth in the NL. With Varsho being deemed a utility player, Nimmo was tied for third. SDI didn’t love him ranking him ninth. Coaches apparently don’t love his defense, so he didn’t get consideration for the Gold Glove.

As we see, while Rawlings may incorporate SDI and say offense doesn’t count, that’s not entirely true. After all, Soto, a truly terrible outfielder, got a nomination. This wasn’t as bad as Rafael Palmeiro, but this one does rank up there.

These snubs aren’t anything new for the Mets. Bartolo Colon led the league in DRS in 2016 and did not win. Last year, Taijuan Walker was the best defensive pitcher, but he didn’t win because he didn’t have enough innings at the right time of the season even if he would have enough at the end of the season to qualify. Lindor was the best shortstop in all of baseball last year per OAA, and he didn’t win.

On the bright side, Tomas Nido was nominated, and it was well deserved too. He may be the first Mets catcher to ever win the Gold Glove. Considering this franchise had Jerry Grote and Gary Carter, that would certainly be a huge accomplishment.

In the end, the Gold Glove was symbolic of this Mets season. The effort and results were there, but in the end, they aren’t going to be taking the trophy home. Hopefully, things will be better next year, both for the Mets and whomever is deciding who should be a Gold Glove finalist.

Buck Showalter Did Not Manage To Win Postseason Game

The reason the New York Mets lost to the San Diego Padres was Max Scherzer was terrible. It was a career worst postseason start for him.

The Padres hit four homers against him. FOUR! They knocked him out after scoring seven over 4.2 innings.

Yu Darvish was shaky over the first four, but the Mets couldn’t push a run across. For all intents and purposes, the game was over.

Except, it wasn’t. There were still five innings. It’s a best-of-three. It’s not a June game where you lick your wounds and come back tomorrow.

A team has to actively do everything in their power to win the game. There’s no 162 game picture. You absolutely have to do everything you can to try to win every game.

Except, Buck Showalter isn’t interested in doing that. Again, there’s a reason the New York Yankees and Arizona Diamondbacks won the World Series after he was gone.

Eduardo Escobar got the crowd back into it a bit hitting a homer off Darvish. The seven run deficit was now six.

It was 7-1 with one out. Tomás Nido was due up. There was zero excuse for him to bat in that situation. You don’t send him to the plate if you’re actually trying to win.

Nido has a career 62 wRC+. He was better than that this season with a 74 wRC+. He was ice cold heading into the postseason hitting .217 over the past two weeks.

Starting him was one thing. He’s a great defensive catcher. However, at this time, the Mets needed a bat.

Notably, James McCann has hit Darvish very well. He was 4-for-10, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, BB, and 5 K against Darvish. He was also hot at the plate heading into the postseason.

Still, he had a poor year at the plate and May not have everyone’s trust. That’s fine. The Mets also had Francisco Álvarez.

The Mets had three catchers and could roll the dice here. The crowd would’ve gotten more into it.

This was the same Álvarez that Showalter trusted against Kenley Jansen. That was even with Daniel Vogelbach available to pinch hit. However, now, Buck doesn’t trust him anymore.

Nope, he sent Nido to the plate. The same Nido who has been a poor hitter his entire career. The same Nido who was overmatched in his first at-bat when he failed to drive a runner home from third.

Nido would meekly fly out. After him, Brandon Nimmo tripled and would be stranded there.

What’s really frustrating about the entire situation was Showalter would pinch hit Luis Guillorme for Nido in the seventh. This wasn’t faith in Nido. No, it was Showalter thinking it was too soon to start trying to overcome a six run deficit.

Even between, with two outs in the ninth, Showalter would pinch hit Álvarez for McCann. Obviously, the best time to utilitize the benefits of having three catchers on the roster is two outs and down sixth in the ninth.

The truth is Showalter is a bad postseason manager. He blew it again tonight by just throwing away an out in the fifth on a batter he didn’t ultimately trust to get a hit.

The argument is batting Álvarez in the fifth probably doesn’t matter because the Mets were losing anyway. Its a garbage point.

The point is this is the postseason. You su everything you can to win. Showalter didn’t. His later moves proved that he didn’t believe Nido batting gave the Mets the best chance to win.

That’s inexcusable.

Mets Batters Against Yu Darvish

It is well documented the New York Mets have never beaten Yu Darvish. Not once. Now, he is taking the mound in Game 1 of the best-of-three Wild Card Series against the New York Mets. Fortunately, the Mets have Max Scherzer, but as we saw in July, that is not always enough.

While the Mets have not beaten Darvish, there are Mets players on this team who have had success against Darvish. Of course, there are some who have not had much. Here is a look at the overall stats in descending OPS order:

At the moment, we do not know Marte’s status, but you can see just how much the Mets need him in this lineup. Marte not only is a big part of this team, but he also hits Darvish. This team needs that against a pitcher this franchise has never beaten.

On the bright side, if he can’t go, Naquin has hit Darvish. In fact, both he and Vogelbach were brought in at the trade deadline to hit right-handed pitching. This is a right-handed pitcher they have both hit. In many ways, this is the exact moment the thought process behind these trade deadline moves comes to fruition.

The obvious caveat with those two, or really anyone in this lineup, is these are small sample sizes. However, behind these small sample sizes are illustrative of something.

The first thing which really stands out at you is the strikeouts. That should not come as a surprise. This is not only a team which racks up strikeouts, but Darvish is a pitcher who records a lot of strikeouts. However, there is something beyond those strikeouts.

Like any pitcher, Darvish will make mistakes, and as we see with this lineup, when he makes them, they have capitalized on them. When you have Scherzer on the mound, the Mets may only need for one batter to capitalize on a mistake and drive it out of the ballpark.

So yes, the Mets have never lost to Darvish. However, Darvish has never pitched against the lineup the Mets are going put out there in Game 1 of the Wild Card Series. Seeing this team’s ability to hit the ball out of the ballpark against him, and with Scherzer on the mound, you have to like the Mets chances.