Terry Collins

Rafael Montero Forever Part Of MLB History

For those New York Mets fans who watched Rafael Montero, we wouldn’t have been shocked if he was a part of Major League history. Certainly, we could have bought him doing what Lance McCullers did in allowing a record five homers in a World Series start.

Actually, that’s not true at all. By 2017, there was not one Mets fan alive who believed Montero would still be in the Major Leauges at this point. Really, most Mets fans had believed Montero would not only never come close to living up to his prospect status, but they also believed his career was essentially over.

As was par for the course, much of that had to do with the Mets organization. More specifically, there was Jeff Wilpon’s meddling in medical matters, and there was Terry Collins eternal mishandling of pitchers. As we can recall, Montero had complained of shoulder and elbow issues with the Mets claiming he was making it up, and Collins traveling to essentially tell him to “man up.”

Well, eventually, we would see Montero’s Mets career end when he had to undergo Tommy John surgery. After all the disappointment, he was finally free to pursue his career elsewhere. While he had one promising year with the Seattle Mariners, he returned to the enigmatic pitcher he always was. It would not be until he was traded to the Houston Astros that his career would finally take off (pun intended).

Back in April, when the Mets had their combined no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies, it was a shock the Mets used Joely Rodriguez. As shocked as we were to see Rodriguez, it was far more surprising to see the Astros use Montero in the eighth inning to try to keep the combined no-hitter intact.

However, it wasn’t really a surprise for Astros fans. Montero has been phenomenal all season for them. He was one of the best relievers in all of baseball. Over 71 appearances, he was 5-2 with 14 saves, a 2.37 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, and a 9.2 K/9. He also had a 163 ERA+ and 2.64 FIP. In reality, he was better than any Mets reliever not named Edwin Diaz.

In this postseason, Montero has been great. Over nine appearances, he has a 1.00 ERA and a 0.889 WHIP. While it is coming as a reliever, you see what the Mets saw in him when they thought he was better than Jacob deGrom. The skill and execution is finally there. As a result, he has been great, and now, he is forever a part of Major League history.

Now, the old excuse of he wouldn’t have done it here has been far too overused with the Mets. With Justin Turner, his career starting blossoming at the end of his Mets tenure. For Travis d’Arnaud, he actually was great with the Mets in 2015. Both and more could have done it with the Mets.

For Montero, the excuse might actually be applicable. As an organization, the Mets continuously stood in his way. The questioned whether he was really injured. They challenged him when he should have been healing or resting. Because of this Wilponian mixture of arrogance and ignorance, Montero would not be able to be the pitcher he could be until 2022.

That’s a sad fact for Montero. That said, he is a lesson in perseverance. Because he never quit, he finally found the right situation, and now, he will forever be a part of Major League history while Jeff Wilpon is history in baseball.

Buck Needlessly Compromised Bullpen For Game 3

One of the reasons the New York Mets lost the 2015 World Series was Terry Collins bullpen usage. Ironically, Collins lost the Mets the World Series chasing a win.

In Game 3, the only game in the series the Mets would win, Collins used Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia . . . to protect a six run lead. SIX. RUN. LEAD.

Collins would later admit using Familia in Game 3 impacted his decision making in Game 4. Instead of Familia for six outs, Clippard started the eighth with the Mets up 3-2.

That proved the turning point in the series. After two one out walks, Familia entered, and that’s when Daniel Murphy booted the ball leading to the Mets loss.

The Mets losing Game 4 had its roots with Collins needlessly using his best relievers in Game 3. The Mets lost because they did way too much to try to win.

That may be exactly what Buck Showalter just did in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series.

In the seventh inning of Game 2, Showalter brought in Edwin Díaz to help preserve the Mets 3-2 lead. You could understand the decision with the San Diego Padres about to turn over their batting order again.

Getting Díaz through the Padres best hitters, regardless of the inning, was an inspired decision. Use your best reliever against their best hitters. The Mets had to win the game, and that was the best way to do it.

What the problem with what Showalter did was executing the plan and showing an inability to be adaptable to the game situation.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Mets offense finally exploded. They’d put four runs on the board to increase the Mets lead to 7-2.

During the inning, Díaz had not pitched in over 40 minutes. Despite that, Showalter showed no adaptability to the situation, and he never got another reliever warming.

Admittedly, there’s was way too much hand-wringing over the time. Díaz historically warms quickly and does not like to overdo it with the warm-ups. In many ways, he’s uniquely suited to this situation.

The time gap wasn’t the issue. It was going back to Díaz with a FIVE RUN LEAD IN THE EIGHTH INNING.

By losing Game 1, the Mets put themselves in a bad spot. They had to do everything to win Game 2. Realistically speaking, they won Game 2 by going up five heading into the eighth.

You could almost excuse Showalter for using Díaz to start the eighth. By getting through the rest of the heart of the order, you stop the Padres before they can start.

However, it’s a five run lead. Díaz threw an additional nine pitches. The hope is it won’t impact his availability to get six outs in Game 3.

While his use of Díaz was questionable, his use of Adam Ottavino was short-sighted and potentially very costly. Again, the initial idea was arguably defensible, but the totality of the decision making was deeply flawed.

Díaz left with a runner on. Ottavino came in and got the last out to end the inning. At that point, he had thrown five pitches and would’ve been fully available for Game 3.

The Mets had a number of bullpen arms they could’ve turned to in the ninth. Each one of them would’ve been able to hold a five run lead. Instead, Showalter stuck with Ottavino.

Relievers getting up and down like that is always a risky proposition. With respect to Ottavino, he didn’t have it in the ninth.

He would plunk a batter and walk three forcing home a run. In the process, he threw 30 pitches raising his pitch count to 35.

This means Showalter took a fully rested Díaz and compromised how much he might be able to pitch in Game 3. He then took a fully rested Ottavino, and he made him effectively unavailable for Game 3.

As bad as that was, Showalter made it worse because at that point he had no other choice.

After Ottavino walked in a run, Josh Bell came to the plate as the tying run. At that point, Díaz is out of the game, and Ottavino had to leave the game.

Showalter had little other choice than to use Seth Lugo. That is because Showalter’s decision making helped put the Mets in a position where they had to pull out all the stops.

Lugo got the job done. He only needed four pitches to earn his first career postseason save.

Using Lugo there was very problematic, and it may very well make him unavailable for Game 3.

By now, every Mets fan knows Lugo has a torn UCL. He’s opted not to have it surgically repaired, and based on his pitching, he made the right move.

However, it came with some compromises. For years, the Mets would not use him on back-to-back days. On the rare times this happens, Lugo typically struggles with a .788 OPS against and a 4.16 ERA.

He extremely rarely pitches three games in a row. If he were to appear in Game 3, that is exactly what would happen.

Some may say this is making too big of a deal out of the appearance. After all, he only threw four pitches. That position is severely misplaced.

Remember, Lugo got up to warm up multiple times in the game. When Jacob deGrom was struggling in the fifth, Lugo was warming to enter.

This means Lugo warmed twice in the game. He might’ve only thrown four pitches in the game, but he threw 17 over two days. In his career, he very rarely pitches on consecutive days, and no one will consider using him three straight.

As a result, he is probably out of the Game 3 mid. Even if he’s not, he probably should be. That’s an astonishing development.

After the Mets four run rally in the seventh, they were on their way to an easy win with a fully rested bullpen for Game 3.

Somehow, Showalter turned that possibly preventing Díaz from getting six outs (or impacting his effectiveness in doing so), not having Ottavino, and based on five plus years of history, having Lugo unavailable.

Having that happen is a complete and utter failure by Showalter. The only hope is this will not matter or cost the Mets from protecting a Game 3 lead. If it does, Showalter and Showalter alone will be to blame.

Buck Showalter Needs To Be Better

Back in 2015, the New York Mets blew the World Series in large part due to Terry Collins. While time has somehow been more kind to Collins, fact is he is the main reason the Mets didn’t win the World Series.

Yes, Jeurys Familia blew three saves. Daniel Murphy made an error. David Wright fielded a ball he shouldn’t have while Lucas Duda threw it away. However, there were a series of just baffling and just flat out dumb decisions from Collins which led to these events. Really, these were all consequences of Collins’ horrific managing.

All of his errors have been explained in full here and other places. Ultimately, this is the worst case scenario for a team. You cannot have a manager and his poor decision making be the reason a team does not win a World Series.

We are starting to see signs Buck Showalter is probably cut from the same cloth as Collins. His recent decisions are an indication of that, and that would be very bad news for the Mets.

The Mets last game against the Milwaukee Brewers should have each and every Mets fan very nervous for the postseason. To set the stage, Starling Marte is on the IL, and Brandon Nimmo had to come out of the game with a quad injury. The Mets were trailing 1-0 heading into the seventh despite having base runners on in each and every inning.

Before we get into the pitching, he would leave a very clearly hobbled Jeff McNeil on the field. For one game, Showalter risked losing McNeil for the rest of the season and postseason. He did that and then managed his bullpen horrifically.

Some questioned letting Taijuan Walker start the inning. That is a decision which can be debated with some of the bullpen arms probably unavailable including Edwin Diaz and Seth Lugo. After Walker stumbled, Collins went to David Peterson.

Now, Peterson is a starter who has struggled out of the bullpen. This was a big ask of him. Runners were on first and second with no outs and a run already in.

The thing is Peterson did his job. The Brewers gave up the out with a sacrifice bunt before Peterson struck out Christian Yelich. The Mets were one out away from getting out of the inning. That’s where Showalter made a number of flat out dumb decisions.

While you can understand the impetus not to want to pitch to Willy Adames, intentionally walking him to load the bases is a bad move because it gives Peterson, a pitcher who sometimes inexplicably loses command, no lee-way. However, as we found out, it wasn’t going to be Peterson.

After Craig Counsell pinch hit Mike Brosseau for Rowdy Tellez, Showalter went to Drew Smith. This is the same Smith who has not pitched since July 24. This is the same Smith who has been homer prone this year. Well, he would go up 0-2 in the count before giving up that grand slam.

Keep in mind, Showalter isn’t dumb. He is the guy who prepares and over prepares. He is the type of manager who likes to take control and set innings into motion. He’s not a bystander. Put another way, Showalter put that inning in motion with the intent of having Smith pitch to Brosseau.

He was prepared for that eventuality when he sent Walker out there to start the inning. He had that plan when he ordered the intentional walk of Adames. This is the match-up he wanted. He wanted it, and it blew up in his face.

Unfortunately, this is Showalter in big moments. It is David Cone for too long before Jack McDowell. It is Bobby Chouinard over Matt Mantei. It is literally anyone but Zack Britton. It’s been a problem in Showalter’s managerial career, and it is a big reason why his teams have only won one postseason series, and it’s why Showalter is still chasing that elusive World Series ring.

Right now, we’re seeing that same Showalter. If he really wants to win this time, and he has the roster capable of winning a World Series, he is finally going to have to adapt and change. If not, we may see moments like this again come this postseason with Mets fans dreaming of what might have been.

Chris Bassitt Shows How To Close Bullpen Gap

After the five game series against the Atlanta Braves, the New York Mets bullpen needed a break. Unfortunately, there wasn’t one in the schedule.

That left Chris Bassitt to get them one.

It wasn’t his prettiest outing, but it was his grittiest. While dancing around eight hits and a walk, Bassitt threw 114 pitches over eight innings.

Like that, there wasn’t any concern over who came out of the bullpen on a night Edwin Díaz was completely unavailable. No need to dance around with Adonis Medina or Yoan López.

No, with Bassitt going eight, Buck Showalter could hand the ball to a trusted reliever – Adam Ottavino – to wrap up the win. Ottavino did just that securing the Mets 5-1 win.

In some ways, this was a page from the 2015 Mets. Use your dominant starting pitching and only those relievers you can trust.

Back in 2015, the only relievers the Mets trusted down the stretch were Addison Reed, Tyler Clippard, and Jeurys Familia. They had the starting pitching to limit it mostly to just these relievers in the big spots.

In the 2015 postseason, the Mets got innings primarily from Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, and Matt Harvey. That proved to be a bit of a double edged sword as it allowed the Mets to only have to roll with these relievers, but then, those relievers were exhausted and faltered in the postseason.

Fortunately for these Mets, they’re deeper. In addition to Díaz and Ottavino, they also have Trevor May, who has looked good since coming off the IL.

Seth Lugo has also better better of late. Moreover, Trevor Williams has performed in whatever role the Mets have needed from him. Keep in mind, Showalter isn’t Terry Collins as Showalter will use the next tier of guys when warranted.

That’s something Collins could never comprehend, and it cost the Mets dearly. Part of the reason the Mets could only use three relievers was because he only trusted three.

That led to disastrous decision making in Game 3 of the World Series which caused further bad decision making the rest of the series. However, the underlying principle was correct.

The more dominant innings you get from your starter; the better your bullpen is. Less innings means more rest. More rest means better performance. Better performance leads to wins.

In pressure spots, the Mets don’t want to see the last couple of pitchers in their bullpen. That goes double in the postseason. Of course, with Mets starters going deep, and we know they can, the Mets can lean on their top performers.

At least for this win, eight from Bassitt meant one from Ottavino as Díaz, May, Lugo, and Williams rested. It means the other pitchers will be fresher when called upon to pitch again.

This is how the Mets cover their tracks in the bullpen. Dominant starting pitching going deep into games followed by the 1-2 relievers a night the Mets actually want pitching in a big spot.

J.D.F.A. Davis, Not J.D.H. Davis

The New York Mets just could not help themselves. Dominic Smith has been hitting, and he was looking more and more comfortable at the plate. It looked like he could be an answer for the DH position while splitting time at first with Pete Alonso.

But no, the Cincinnati Reds were starting a left-handed pitcher. They started Nick Lodolo. Yes, right-handed batters beat him up. However, not right-handed batters like J.D. Davis.

In a play out of Terry Collins‘ book with Michael Conforto, Buck Showalter (or whichever analytical member of the Mets making the decision) shoe horned Davis into the lineup. After all, if a batter is left-handed, they can’t possibly hit left-handed pitching.

It doesn’t matter that since 2019 Smith has a 127 wRC+ against left-handed pitching, and Davis has a 117. Since 2020, Smith has a 126 wRC+ against left-handed pitching to Davis’ 102. Anyway you look at it, Smith hits left-handed pitching better than Davis.

If we’re being honest, as far as left-handed pitching goes, Davis only seems to hit Patrick Corbin well, and that seemed to be only before this season. This season, Davis has been bad, very bad.

Davis has a 97 wRC+. That is despite his being shielded from better pitching. He was given every opportunity to grab the DH job, and he has a 31.6% strikeout rate, 1.74 GB/FB, and he is among the worst players in all of the majors in whiff% and K%.

Looking deeper, since 2000, Smith has a 100 wRC+ to Davis’ 84. That’s against all pitching. Smith can actually play first base well, and with Alonso completely regressing defensively with a -5 OAA, you can argue the Mets need Smith at first. Alonso could also be the answer for the Mets DH woes. Those woes were created by Davis being terrible.

Despite everything, Davis was given the start. He rewarded the Mets faith in him by going 0-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts. His one lone non-strikeout plate appearance was pop out to first baseman Mike Moustakas in foul territory. Simply put, when you put a player like Davis into the game for his offense, you deserve to be shutout, which the Mets were.

Simply put, Davis cannot hit. He cannot field. For some reason, he keeps getting at-bats from the DH spot. Smith struggled and was sent down to Triple-A. Davis is flat out bad, and the Mets go out of their way to find him more plate appearances.

Davis needs to be sent down now. If not that, he should be designated for assignment. That’s if you can’t foist him on a team who still thinks he can be good. Good luck with that. Whatever the case, Davis should be much closer to gone than ever being in the lineup again.

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!

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Win Fifth Straight Series

Another series and another series win for the New York Mets. That’s five in a row to start the season.

1.  As Starling Marte said, Brandon Nimmo‘s hustle rubs off on other people. That’s what makes this team great. They’re making each other play better and harder.

2.  While the extra inning rule stinks, with Marte’s infield single and Pete Alonso‘s stretch, you can get used to extra inning replays for the Mets.

3.  Marte gave the Mets two wins with his speed. It was the infield single, and then, it was the go-ahead run with the double, stolen base, and error on the throw. We’re seeing he can have an impact while still struggling at the plate.

4.  Seth Lugo is back. He’s throwing strikes, getting spin on his curve, and dominating again.

5.  As we saw with the homer, so is Edwin Diaz. He’s always a mixed bag, so we just have to ride the wave this season.

6.  Tylor Megill shook off a rough start to have a very good start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He may very well be a special pitcher.

7.  David Peterson did not deserve the demotion. He showed he is a Major League caliber pitcher right now, but he’s still seventh on the depth chart with Taijuan Walker set to return. This is a good problem to have for the Mets.

8.  With the rosters shrinking May 1, Trevor Williams is putting himself on the bubble with his struggles. Part of that is Buck Showalter‘s usage of him not allowing him to get into the flow of the season.

9.  In some ways, the Mets biggest hit of the season was the James McCann homer. If he gets going at the plate, this is a truly elite team with the way he has framed this season.

10. There aren’t a lot of positives with Trevor May‘s performance so far, but much of that is explainable. He dealt with arms issues, and Showalter is just asking him to do things he has never been comfortable doing in his career.

11. Showalter needs to stop shoehorning Robinson Cano into the lineup. While he can still contribute some, he is just not an everyday player or semi-regular right now. Other players deserve the playing time.

12. Luis Guillorme has earned his playing time, and he should be getting more. The DH allows to get his bat into the lineup and get rest for the outfielders who have been injury prone in their careers.

13. Mark Canha has cooled off, and he still doesn’t have an extra base hit. His hard hit rates are also concerning as is his poor defense to start the season.

14. While he’s had his moments, Alonso has been mostly poor to start the season. His defense has slipped completely, and he’s swinging at a lot of the zone. In some ways, this is very promising because once he gets going, watch out!

15. The Mets are beating bad teams, which is the key to making the postseason. In fact, that’s basically all they did in 2015, and they came within Terry Collins of winning the World Series that year.

16. It is a real shame Michael Conforto is done for the year. Not only is this costing him a year of his prime, but it is also costing the Mets a draft pick and pool money because Conforto had turned down the qualifying offer.

17. Given the year he had, Conforto probably should’ve accepted the qualifying offer and built back his value. That said, the talk around him rejecting the extension is plain wrong. That was a severely discounted offer anyone would’ve rejected.

18. Noah Syndergaard has been excellent to start the season, and Marcus Stroman has been quite bad. This hasn’t been discussed much because the Mets have been excellent with a very good rotation. That’s something the Wilpons never figured out. Make those decisions but make other ones to justify it.

19. In some ways, the Mets are about to get their real first test of the season with a long flight to play the St. Louis Cardinals on the road. This is a true measuring stick of where they are, especially with the Mets having Max Scherzer and Chris Bassitt pitching in the series.

20. The Mets are the only team in baseball with 12 wins. It is a really good time to be a Mets fan right now.

Carlos Beltran Would Be Odd Fit For Mets Coaching Staff

One of the more interesting rumors which emerged during Buck Showalter‘s interview process was he’d be willing to have Carlos Beltran as his bench coach. It was an odd rumor.

When looking at a bench coach, you have someone responsible for running QC during a game. They’re making sure batters bat in order, keeping tabs on who is available, and chatting strategy with the manager.

The entirety of Beltran’s coaching experience is 76 days as the Mets manager. In that time, he had zero team meetings and managed zero games. Put another way, he has zero experience.

Putting him in a position to be Showalter’s right-hand man makes little sense. He’s ill equipped. Moreover, there’s no pre-existing relationship where they’re able to have a synergistic relationship.

It would also be bizarre to have Beltrán in place as a manager in training. Showalter wasn’t just hired to win in 2022. He was hired to be in place and win for as many seasons as he’s capable of doing the job.

The Mets hired the then 62 year old Terry Collins in 2011. He would manage seven more years with the Mets.

Tony La Russa managed the St. Louis Cardinals until he was 66 years old. After being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, he returned to the Chicago White Sox in 2021 as a 76 year old.

Showalter is 65. Looking at Collins and La Russa, he has as many years as he can do the job. With Showalter taking the job, we can presume he’s in for the long haul.

That’s just the thing. Showalter wants to win. He’s been in this game as a manager for 20 years. He knows people, and more importantly, he knows who he wants for different roles.

Maybe he likes Beltrán. It would make sense with Beltran being a noted leader and hard worker who is very intelligent. However, no one knows if Beltrán can coach.

Can he be a hitting coach? Can he be an outfield coach? Does he know how to interpret, apply, and communicate analytics?

No one knows, not even Beltrán. That’s why putting him on a staff makes little to no sense. Grooming an inexperienced coach for a role he may never be suited doesn’t make much sense.

Unfortunately, bringing Beltran back doesn’t make much sense. If Beltran does indeed want to come back and eventually manage, he will have to do the work and go to the minors much like Edgardo Alfonzo did.

When and if Beltran does that, then maybe Showalter can and should add him to a Major League coaching staff. Until that point, it just doesn’t make any sense.

Bob Geren Return To Mets Enticing

When Bob Geren left the pennant winning New York Mets for the Los Angeles Dodgers, it seemed like that was the last we’d see of him. After all, Geren made a lateral move to be closer to his family.

If Geren is willing to return to New York for the managerial job, that’s very good news for the Mets.

Geren, 60, had a very positive influence when he was last on the Mets bench. He was the analytically driven and versed coach who served as the confident and counter-balance to Terry Collins.

Geren’s positive impact went beyond just aiding with decision making. He had a very strong impact on making their catchers vastly improved.

Under Geren’s tutelage, Travis d’Arnaud went from raw behind the plate to a terrific framer. He had a similar impact on Kevin Plawecki, and really, anyone who suited up behind the plate for the Mets.

Geren continued this work in Los Angeles. He did it with both Yasmani Grandal and Will Smith. Unlike most of the managerial candidates, with Geren you have something tangible to point to as to how he improves a team.

Part and parcel with that is his ability to communicate. While it was a purported issue in Oakland, Anthony Recker indicated it hasn’t been one since, and he’s one of the reasons he’s advocating Geren for the job:

In many ways, Recker states the case succinctly. Not only can Geren communicate and coach, but he knows better than most how to use analytics.

There’s a reason smart teams want him. Billy Beane chose him to manage. After that stint ended, Sandy Alderson with his vaunted front office moved quick to hire him. The Los Angeles Dodgers poached him away from the Mets.

Really, Geren understands this job better than anyone the Mets will interview. He knows the amount of input Alderson wants and the wriggle room, if any, a manager gets.

Geren understands the New York media and all the duties of a Mets manager. He knows what it’s like to lose and win with the Mets. In many ways, he checks all of the boxes of what the Mets covet in a manager.

With all that said, Geren likely isn’t the front-runner. Where he ranks is anyone’s guess. That said, if the Mets were to hire him, they would be getting someone who understands how to succeed in this job better than anyone.

Based On Recent Inductions, David Wright’s Career Now Hall Of Fame Worthy

The Veteran’s Committee inducted six new members to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Bud Fowler, Gil Hodges, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, and Buck O’Neil. For most of these players, their induction righted a long standing wrong. However, it did something else. It lowered the bar on what is truly a Hall of Fame level player.

Putting aside O’Neil, who spent his career in the Negro Leagues and was inducted for more than just his playing days, and Fowler, who played in the 1800s, the players inducted were not up to the level of what we have seen of recent Hall of Famers. Of course, that’s not really news with players like Harold Baines being inducted three years ago.

This is what the Veteran’s Committee typically does. For every wrong they right, they also proceed to lower the bar on what is and what is not a Hall of Famer. Consider, the WAR/WAR7/JAWS for each of the new inductees:

  • Hodges 43.9/33.7/38.8
  • Kaat 50.5/38.1/34.4
  • Minoso 53.8/39.7/46.7
  • Oliva 43.0/38.6/40.8

By standards for each position, each one of these players falls far short. As a result, it does open the door for players who were once seen not Hall of Fame worthy for various reasons. One such player would be David Wright, who would’ve probably been a lock for the Hall of Fame if not for his back injury robbing him the rest of his career.

In his 14 year career, Wright posted a 49.2/39.5/44.3. His WAR would be third highest amongst that group despite his career being far shorter than that group. His WAR7 would be second best and his JAWS second best despite the end of his prime being robbed from him. Just think about that. Wright didn’t get to have a full career, and he still posted better numbers than players who had lengthy and storied careers.

What Wright was able to do in his brief career was remarkable. If he was able to have 1-2 more full seasons, he very likely would have easily cleared the bar for Hall of Fame induction. That goes double when you consider he would have had the benefit of being able to be inducted after spending his entire career with the Mets, and perhaps, some boost from his play in the World Baseball Classic (not all that likely).

In the end, Wright’s career will always be defined by what ifs. What if Jon Niese covered third. What if the Wilpons treated his career with more concern. What if Carlos Beltran doesn’t strike out. What if Terry Collins had a clue in the 2015 World Series. Mostly, what if he stayed healthy.

Whatever the case, based on what we saw with the recent inductions, Wright’s career has now risen to the caliber of Hall of Fame worthy. While it’s likely the writers will overlook him, based on recent standards, we may very well see him inducted by the Veteran’s Committee one day.