Noah Syndergaard

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Leave Phillies All Wet

With two rainouts, the series between the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies turned from a four game set to a Mets three game sweep. There was a lot to unpack here:

1. Due to rain outs and COVID, the Mets have only played in eight out of a possible 13 games.

2. That’s going to mean a lot of seven inning double headers this year, which in turn means, the Mets are likely to set a record for fewest innings played over a 162 game season.

3. The seven inning doubleheaders are terrible. The runner on second in extras is worse. Having a runner on second in the eighth inning is an abomination.

4. For all the nonsense thrown Marcus Stroman‘s way, he took the ball on one day of rest, and he was dominant. The Mets are very lucky to have him.

5. The top of the lineup is now clicking big time with Francisco Lindor heating up and Dominic Smith batting third.

6. Lindor’s defense is difference making. The fact he is also a good hitter is what makes him so special.

7. Brandon Nimmo has been PHENOMENAL. He’s hitting an absurd .464/.583/.571, and he’s reached base at least two times in every game the Mets have played.

8. Michael Conforto has been hit by pitches more than he’s gotten hits. The last one was intentional, and Jose Alvarado should’ve been suspended for it.

9. Conforto’s struggles are giving cover for Pete Alonso who has really struggled this year. He’s not hitting balls out the way he did the last two years.

10. That said, he’s had a couple of big RBI, including driving home Lindor in extra innings.

11. For all the flack Luis Rojas gets, he was aware of the pitcher spot extra inning loophole to get Lindor on base. He’s also gotten his outfield defense playing better than expected.

12. Perhaps the most important thing to happen this young season is Aaron Loup getting five outs. That included that huge double play to escape a jam.

13. With Loup there and Jeurys Familia showing signs of returning to his 2015 form, the Mets may not have to rely on Miguel Castro and Trevor May every night like they had been.

14. It’s interesting Robert Gsellman hasn’t gotten into a game yet. Hopefully, he’s not too rusty before the Mets head to Colorado where bullpens are usually taxed.

15. David Peterson‘s start was so impressive. That goes double when the Phillies have owned him in his young career.

16. James McCann had his first big hit with his first Mets homer, but his real impact has been his work behind the plate where he’s done a masterful job handling this pitching staff.

17. Mets pitchers have a 2.81 ERA, which is third best in baseball. That’s BEFORE Carlos Carrasco, Seth Lugo, and Noah Syndergaard have thrown a pitch.

18. You get the sense you’re in for a special season when Jonathan Villar gets the game winning hit in the first end of the doubleheader, and then he does it again in the second half.

19. Even with Villar doing that, and J.D. Davis coming off the IL, Luis Guillorme continues to prove every game he gets an opportunity, he’s the Mets best option at third.

20. With the Mets being the only NL East team over .500 and their going to play a bad Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs teams, they’re going to get an opportunity to put an early stranglehold on the division.

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.

Mets Failed David Peterson In Loss

If not for the need to call him up last season, David Peterson would arguably be the Mets top prospect heading into the season. To a certain extent, you’d expect the Mets to handle him like a top prospect.

After all, for the success he had, there were some real reasons for concern. His walks and FIP were too high. His slider was his only consistent weapon. He succeed was very BABIP dependent, and he didn’t go deep into games.

Still, partially the result of the injuries to Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco, Peterson was in the Opening Day rotation. With that should come with the responsibility of treating him like a prospect and protecting his arm and development.

The Mets failed him and their team miserably on the front today.

There are many studies out there on what causes pitcher injury. As detailed by Keith Woolner of Baseball Prospectus, fatigue is one of the biggest causes. Sameer Mehta of Science Direct surmised many pitcher injuries happen early in the season due to pitcher usage and their ramping it up too early.

In 2018, we would see Jacob deGrom lifted after a 45 pitch first inning. The rationale is 40 pitches is just too much of a workload and puts you at risk for injury.

In the first inning of the Mets loss to the Phillies, Peterson threw 38 pitches in an inning where he allowed four runs.

Despite that heavy workload, one which one day would’ve gotten deGrom pulled, Peterson went back out there. He went back out there.

He went back out there despite Joey Lucchesi warming up and the Mets not needing a fifth starter for at least another turn through the rotation.

Really, there was no reason for him to pitch. And yet, they put him back out there. Sure, the results improved, but what did it accomplish?

The Mets pushed him when there was zero reason to do it. The bullpen was mostly fresh, and they had another starter ready to go. It was a complete failure by the team.

The failing of Peterson also went to the offense. The team was 1-for-12 with RISP leaving 14 on base. Michael Conforto was the biggest culprit going 0-for-5 leaving NINE men on base.

Overall, this 8-2 loss was just one of those losses you just want to forget. Put it out of your mind, hope there are no long standing ramifications, and go home for the opener.

Game Notes: Jonathan Villar made the start for Jeff McNeil and was a homer short of the cycle. Dellin Betances made his season debut. He topped out at 93, which he hit just once, and his last fastball dipped under 90.

Fernando Tatis, Jr. Injury Reminiscent Of Michael Conforto

Back in 2017, Michael Conforto had emerged as a true star. In fact, he had made his first All-Star appearance, and at 24, the former first round pick was starting to push to become one of the best players in baseball.

That’s exactly when disaster struck. Robbie Ray threw a pitch, Conforto took a big cut, and then he went down:

https://youtube.com/watchv=mvw6Ge5BSgY

Conforto tore the posterior capsule in his shoulder requiring surgery. At the time, there was a real question whether he’d ever get back to being Conforto.

There were a lot of factors, including his being completely and unnecessarily rushed back, but it would take him about a year to get back.

Truth be told, it was longer than that. It probably wasn’t until nearly two years after did we see Conforto return to the form he was at before that swing.

That’s exactly the thoughts which ran through Mets fans minds when Fernando Tatis Jr. went down.

No injuries are quite the same. Even two of the same injury is not the same. Just look to how Zack Wheeler needed multiple years and surgeries to return from Tommy John whereas Noah Syndergaard seems primed to go once he’s eligible to come off the IL.

That said, it would seem Tatis is likely gone for the year. Fortunately for San Diego Padres fans, their front office doesn’t have Jeff Wilpon. That means doctors will make decisions on Tatis’ rehab and return.

It should also be noted this is the benefit of Tatis’ mega-extension. Both he and the team will be forced to take the long term view. There’s no rush to play him in his pre-arbitration or team control years because he’ll be a Padre for a decade.

That’s decidedly different for Conforto. He didn’t get the benefit of the organization taking a long term view of his career. Tatis will, and he will be better for it.

Shohei Ohtani Doing His Best Noah Syndergaard Impersonation

It was big news tonight that Shohei Ohtani was in the lineup. The reason was for the first time in his career Ohtani was in the lineup for a game he pitched.

He didn’t disappoint. Ohtani not only hit 100 MPH with his fastball, but he also did at the plate.

This was a great moment, and it was even better it happened on Sunday Night Baseball, so we all could watch on in awe. It was also unique that it happened for an AL team as teams are not all that willing to part with the DH for a game.

That said, it’s not all that unique. In fact, we’ve seen Noah Syndergaard do this. In fact, you could argue Syndergaard was much more impressive. First off, there was The Syndergaard:

For those who ask what The Syndergaard is, it’s homering while pitching a shut out. There are extra points for surpassing 100 MPH on the mound and at the plate like Syndergaard did in that game.

There was also the time Syndergaard had two homers in a game against the Dodgers:

If you think about it, when we see pitchers out there hitting homers and cranking 100 MPH fastballs, we should be thinking of Syndergaard because he’s done it in a game more than anyone.

Hopefully, we will soon see Syndergaard back on the mound and at the plate surpassing 100 MPH. And yes, we will hopefully see more of this for Ohtani (hopefully he’s alright) because it’s great for the game.

Jed Lowrie And Zack Wheeler Have Outhit Mets Roster And Other Alarming 2021 Stats

After being unable to make more than eight hitless pinch hitting attempts over two years, Jed Lowrie has out-hit the entire Mets team in 2021. For that matter, so has Zack Wheeler.

So much for the universal DH.

Wheeler also has more strikeouts than anyone on the Mets pitching staff including Jacob deGrom. For that matter, so has Matt Harvey. In fact, Harvey has struck out more batters than the entire Mets staff combined.

If you think that’s scary, consider Chris Flexen does as well. In fact, Flexen has more wins that the Mets do this year. Of course, that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise considering Brodie Van Wagenen was horrible as the GM.

Of course, we all know the reasons why Wheeler is out-hitting the Mets, and Flexen has been stats than anyone on the Mets is because the Mets haven’t been able to play their opening series.

Until that point, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, and Carlos Carrasco are atop all the Mets pitching categories despite their not being able to begin their season for at least a month. Of course, no one is pitching for the Mets now.

The stats are so skewed J.D. Davis is the Mets top fielder . . . and hitter. Right now, Davis can be considered the Mets player because he’s tied atop every statistic. That’s how you know things aren’t great.

Fortunately, the Mets hiatus will be over soon when they take the field in Philadelphia on Monday. When that happens, we should soon see deGrom correct a number of these bizarre discrepancies caused by the Nationals COVID infections.

Mets-Nationals Opening Day Game Should’ve Been Played

Back on August 16, 2017, the New York Mets faced a rash of injuries. Instead of postponing the game, Travis d’Arnaud, a catcher, rotated with Asdrubal Cabrera between second and third all game long. The reason that happened is Major League Baseball does not cancel games when teams face injuries.

At times, this leads to tough and frankly bad decisions. A classic example was when the New York Mets took a risk by designating Darren O’Day so Nelson Figueroa could make a start. That led to O’Day getting claimed by the Texas Rangers. O’Day is still pitching now whereas Figueroa last pitched in the majors two years after this decision, and he had a full career arc as the Mets postgame analyst.

Point is, teams are forced to play through injuries. Baseball is unforgiving that way. However, when it comes to COVID teams are not forced to play. Sure, the Miami Marlins played with COVID last year, and Don Mattingly was rewarded for putting the entire season in jeopardy by naming him the National League Manager of the Year, but that is another story for another day.

On the eve of Opening Day, there was a Washington Nationals player who tested positive for COVID, and through contact tracing, an additional four Nationals players were put into quarantine. Since that first test, four other Nationals players have tested positive, and the Opening Day game between the Mets and and the Nationals has been postponed indefinitely.

Again, if there were five Mets players injured and unavailable on Opening Day, the Mets would have been forced to play the game. They would have been put in the position over whether they call up players or roll with the players they had available. Understandably, COVID is different than a torn hamstring, but not really in terms of player availability.

Because of COVID concerns, Major League Baseball has allowed teams to carry a taxi squad of five players with them on road trips. When not on road trips, those players are at the team’s alternate site. Put another way, Major League teams are supposed to have five players ready to be called up to play at a moment’s notice if there is a COVID issue. Coincidentally, that number coincides with the amount of players the Nationals had out.

Now, there are reports Max Scherzer, the Opening Day starter, was away from the team. So, we know he was available. Past him, we really don’t have any idea who could or could not play. On a related note, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said their entire team is in quarantine. Again, while there are reports both teams could play on Saturday, in reality, if the entire Nationals team is in quarantine, there is really no knowing when they will be able to play.

That puts the Mets at a significant disadvantage to start their season. The Mets were setting their rotation where they did not have to use a fifth starter early on in the season. That helped alleviate the loss of Carlos Carrasco, and it did give them a preview of Joey Lucchesi, who may be destined for the bullpen once Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard are ready to return. Again, this was the Mets plan, but now, they can’t execute their plan because the Nationals players got infected with COVID at a time when none of the other 29 teams had any issues.

The answer can’t be for the Mets and Nationals to cancel an entire series. This would have the Mets dormant for half a week before they have to travel to play a Phillies team who has already been playing. This is how you create injuries and problems. Again, if the Mets suffer injuries as a result of this, no one is postponing their games until that players is healthy.

Really, Major League Baseball has to have a better answer than to shut down a healthy team abiding by COVID protocols. The Nationals should be forced to call up their Triple-A team to play if that what is necessary. On that note, there is no Triple-A baseball until May. These are games on the schedule, and the weather is permitting them to play.

Instead, the Mets are going to have to scrap their plans for the rotation, be forced to play cold against teams already warmed up, and they are going to have to force games in later in the season when we are already concerned about pitchers being able to sustain the 2021 season after the 2020 shortened season.

This is ridiculous, and Major League Baseball has to have a better response than postponing games and kicking the rock down the road. Of course, they don’t, so they are going to put the Mets in a precarious position now and in the future. And we know if anyone gets injured as a result of this recklessness, the Mets will play that game even if it means someone playing out of position the way d’Arnaud once did.

Mets Will Win 2021 NL East Title

Maybe this is just the excitement which comes from Opening Day. Certainly, that is amplified by new ownership, the Francisco Lindor extension, and Jacob deGrom taking the mound. However, taking everything into account, this New York Mets team is the best one we have seen since 2015 and probably 2006.

Like most times the Mets are good, they are going to be led by pitching. Their starting staff is great, and when healthy, it is the best in baseball. Part of the reason why is deGrom is still the best pitcher in baseball. Behind him right now is Marcus Stroman. Stroman has made adjustments and added new pitches, and he looks set for a career year. That is really saying something considering he has been a gamer his entire career, and he was the World Baseball Classic MVP.

Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco may be the two most underrated pitchers in baseball. Looking at their FIP, they pitch at or near an ace level. In this rotation, they may be no better than third or fourth starters. It’s not just doing deGrom-Stroman-Syndergaard-Carrasco. This is one of the deepest rotations in all of baseball.

Behind that quartet is Taijuan Walker who was once a top 100 prospect, and he seems poised to take a big step forward after using analytics to help him improve. After Walker, the Mets have David Peterson, Joey Lucchesi, and Jordan Yamamoto, each of whom could be around a three in most rotations. For the Mets, they will eventually be on the outside looking in.

They are all going to be better pitchers because they have the tandem of James McCann and Tomas Nido behind the plate. Both of these players are strong catchers who are excellent pitch framers. Having catchers like that behind the plate make good pitchers even better. When your starting pitching is great and operating at a high level, you are going to win a lot of games.

This is paired with an incredible lineup. They Mets have an embarrassment of riches on that front. Consider Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil have each been All-Star lead-off hitters, and they aren’t even the Mets best lead-off hitter. That’s Brandon Nimmo. With that group plus Pete Alonso and Dominic Smith, their 1-6 of their lineup can and probably should be hitting in the middle of the order.

Now, this Mets team isn’t perfect. Far from it. The first problem is their bullpen. The good news on that front is between Edwin Diaz and Trevor May, they have the last two innings covered well. The hope is at least one of Dellin Betances, Miguel Castro, or Jeurys Familia can figure it out to become that seventh inning reliever. That is at least until Seth Lugo is good to return. When that happens the Mets bullpen will be in great shape.

Another factor there is the Mets have some other interesting options. Sooner or later, Drew Smith will be healthy and ready to rejoin the bullpen. It should also be noted when the Mets have their full rotation, someone like Lucchesi can move down to the bullpen where his churve could be a weapon on par with Lugo’s curveball.

The other issue is the defense. Simply put, having J.D. Davis at third is unacceptable. He can’t remotely field the position. Having Dominic Smith behind him makes the left side defense one of the worst in baseball. To that, they may not be the worst in the division with the Atlanta Braves probably being worse with Austin Riley and Marcell Ozuna.

It’s very possible Brandon Nimmo can succeed with positioning in center. After all, he’s had positive OAAs in center most of his career, and he does have the speed for the position. Jeff McNeil seems more comfortable at second, and while Alonso has his defensive issues, he is quite adept and receiving throws around first.

While the lineup has serious defensive issues, the bench does not. Luis Guillorme is a Gold Glove caliber defender. Albert Almora and Kevin Pillar are also quite good. With the lead, we can and should see Luis Rojas run all three out with Smith moving to first base. When that happens, the Mets defensive alignment turns from questionable to really strong.

Therein lies the key. Aside from health, Rojas is going to be the biggest key to this Mets season. He is going to need a deft touch as to when to utilize his defensive replacements. He and Jeremy Hefner are also going to have to get their rotation healthy through the season, which is all the more challenging because of the shortened season last year. They are also going to have to find the right mix in the bullpen while making sure they don’t overuse their best relievers.

Right now, the Mets have the right mix to have a great season. They also have an owner willing to invest in the team, and they have Sandy Alderson in charge, who we know will not be shy making a key trade or two to improve this Mets roster.

Looking at the Braves, their pitching has durability issues, and their defensive issues may be worse than the Mets. The Phillies don’t have the starting pitching, and their bullpen was a disaster last year. The Marlins are young and not deep. The Nationals still don’t know what they are going at key positions on the field.

Taking everything into account, the Mets are the best team in the National League East. If Rojas is up to the task, and there is every reason to believe he will be, the Mets are well poised to return to the postseason again and let their pitching take them back to the World Series.

Mets Sticking To Offer To Francisco Lindor Bad Idea

Being honest and fair, the 10 year/$325 million offer to Francisco Lindor was absolutely offering the superstar a contract everyone should’ve expected him to accept. As such, it’s a fine place to draw a line in the sand.

If that was it, everyone could move forward and wait until after the 2021 season. However, that is just part of the story. The other part is how the Mets have handled this publicly.

The Mets obviously leaked their offer, and Lindor’s camp obviously leaked their 12 year/$385 million counter-offer. If reports are to be believed, both sides are firmly entrenched in their positions and are playing chicken in advance of Opening Day.

If a deal is going to get done, someone has to blink. If it’s Lindor, that may not be as good for the Mets as some may believe.

Yes, Lindor blinking and signing that record deal is great for the Mets. It keeps a superstar and future Hall of Famer on the team for a decade. However, that’s only part of the story.

If the Mets very publicly make Lindor blink, all of baseball will notice. They’ll notice it just like they noticed when George Springer became a Toronto Blue Jay.

The Mets will look to be rigid and ruthless in negotiations. It will not be seen as a team trying to get a player, but rather, as an organization who looks to win every deal.

Keep in mind, that’s not the same as being cheap like the Wilpons. Clearly, Cohen has shown an ability and willingness to spend. This is something different.

It’s an odd situation where you make a record offer, and you make the other side have to swallow his pride and accept it. That’s exactly what will happen if Lindor signs that deal.

He will be in a clubhouse overjoyed he’s staying. He will also be in a clubhouse with players looking for their own deals.

Certainly, Michael Conforto, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, and their agents are watching this closely. At least with respect to Conforto and Syndergaard, the Mets have indicated there’s an interest in an extension.

How these players and their agents approach those negotiations will be very much impacted by the Lindor resolution. That’s not to say they won’t sign if the money isn’t right. Rather, it’ll be much more difficult to get there. That goes double where Scott Boras is involved.

The same will be true for future free agents. To a certain extent, it’s fair to say the Mets were shy in bidding wars, and they were not willing to go where they needed to go to get deals done.

Saying that with Lindor would be all the more alarming. It’s one thing for this to not get done. It’s another to leak offers and put public pressure to accept the proverbial “take it or leave it” offer.

Really, if the Mets just give an inch, perception changes. They will have finally gotten the big deal done. They suddenly seem more able to get deals done and be more creative and flexible. That has real value.

By first pitch on Opening Day, the Mets and Lindor either will or will not have a deal. If the Mets have a long term view, they will have Lindor for the next decade while just giving him that inch he needs to save face, and the inch the Mets need to give to help them with negotiations with their other star players and future free agents.

20/20 Offseason Hindsight: Let The Steve Cohen Era Begin

Steve Cohen purchased the New York Mets, and suddenly, everything got better. After Cohen purchased the Mets, things were different, very different:

1. It’s still unbelievable to think the Mets added $92.1 million to the 2021 payroll alone. If nothing else, that announced everything was different.

2. The Francisco Lindor trade was a franchise defining trade. He’s a superstar as future Hall of Famer.

3. It’s still hard to believe a contract extension won’t get done. After him, Noah Syndergaard may get one next.

4. It’s hard to see Scott Boras letting Michael Conforto sign an extension now. However, if he does, he will be poised to be the next captain and break a lot of David Wright’s records.

5. Speaking of breaking records, Jacob deGrom looks primed to have a great year. He cane out in midseason form, and it’ll be a shock if he’s not the Cy Young.

6. When Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco return, this will be an all-time Mets rotation.

7. It’s still curious the plan to start the year is to put David Peterson in a position where he bounces back and forth all year.

8. Speaking of curious decisions, how do the Mets make all of these moves and build a ground ball staff only to trust J.D. Davis at third.

9. They’re also putting a lot of stock in Edwin Diaz being great, and Miguel Castro figuring it out. Although to be fair, it’s not the same with Davis as this was the result of Seth Lugo‘s injury.

10. Dellin Betances looks done. With him, we may find out just how much Cohen can tolerate and whether the Mets know how to handle a sunk cost.

11. With Jordan Yamamoto not making the Opening Day roster and Luis Guillorme not getting a starting job, we see Spring Training competitions are a complete fraud.

12. For all the lip service Sandy Alderson gave to making the Mats a better defensive team, he did what he always did in putting multiple first basemen in the field.

13. They may be deadening the ball, but Pete Alonso looks ready to murder them. He’s completely locked in and looks poised to have a monster year.

14. Marcus Stroman also looks set to have a great year. He may be a surprise Cy Young contender, and it may behoove the Mets to lock him up before his price tag soars.

15. Stroman is a reminder the Mets never needed Trevor Bauer. Bauer may have another great year, but he’d be a fifth starter on this team, and he would’ve prevented the Mets from extending their stars.

16. All told, this is a team who has a deep lineup and a very good starting rotation. There are holes, but the team seems confident they can win.

17. The black jerseys returning does give this team big 1999 vibes.

18. Luis Rojas may emerge as a surprise manager of the year candidate. This team is that good and so is he. The key will Be how well he utilizes his defensive replacements in Guillorme (who should be starting), Albert Almora, and Kevin Pillar.

19. James McCann seems like the perfect addition to this team. The pitchers seem to be raving about his leadership and work behind the plate. If he hits a little (and he can hit a lot), he’s going to be great.

20. Everything about this organization is different. The team is vastly improved. They’re looking to keep their best players. They’re beefing up their analytics and player development. Overall, it’s a great time to be a Mets fan.