Thomas Szapucki

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Might Be In Trouble

The New York Mets traveled to Atlanta, and they lost yet another road series.

1. At 17-25, the Mets are an awful road team, and they’re not going anywhere if they can’t correct this.

2. When you include the one Washington Nationals make-up game, the Mets three out of four. Digging deeper, they’ve lost 10 out of their last 16.

3. Unless there was a sinkhole on the infield dirt, Luis Guillorme, who was charging in on the ball, was not out-running Ronald Acuña to third.

4. Only Jacob deGrom could have a seven inning game where he allows three runs while walking none and striking out 14 a bad start.

5. It’s very troubling Sandy Alderson hired Mickey Callaway (or at least was the GM when Jeff Wilpon did it), hired Jared Porter, and came extremely close to signing Trevor Bauer. Oh, and he was the guy who brought back Jose Reyes.

6. There’s absolutely no place for Bauer in baseball.

7. We’re starting to see more Jeff McNeil at third late in games. He should be there everyday.

8. Mets are a clutch James McCann three run homer from the walls caving in on them.

9. He was injured, but David Peterson hasn’t been good or consistent all year. The sad part is even with that they still need him.

10. Maybe it’s a blip, or maybe the league has figured out Sean Reid-Foley, but his last few appearances haven’t been good.

11. The Thomas Szapucki outing was disheartening as he didn’t really show any indication he’d be ready to help the Mets this year.

12. Tylor Megill has more than earned more starts, and seeing everything, Corey Oswalt should be slotting in behind him in the rotation as they continue to stretch him out.

13. Albert Almora has now surrendered more homers and RBI than he’s hit. Good on him for volunteering to pitch, but there’s no reason for him to stay up over Billy McKinney when Brandon Nimmo is healthy.

14. Mets need a lot more of what Dominic Smith provided this past week, especially since his LF defense isn’t good.

15. Pete Alonso has been hitting a lot better of late, but sooner or later, he needs to start hitting a home. The same could be said for this entire Mets team.

16. With the great second base defense Jose Peraza has provided and his big hits the Mets should be really be considering his role going forward with the team. You could argue he should be playing everyday.

17. The Mets will never do it, but J.D. Davis still has minor league options and can’t refuse an assignment to Syracuse. Given how he can’t play a position, and his activation may force a Peraza DFA, he should be sent to Syracuse where he can actually learn how to play defense.

18. Speaking of Syracuse, it’s an embarrassment to the Mets and MLB that the Mets organization is not providing housing and other needs to minor leaguers they’re barely paying.

19. The quote was met with derision but hitting coach Hugh Quattlebaum is right. He needs to focus on processes. When processes are correct and clicking, the runs will then follow.

20. The Mets and Yankees both head into the Subway Series in complete disarray and with the threat of all three games being rained out.

Game Recaps

Mets McCann Hit

Albert Almora Pitched, So It Was an Ugly Loss

Nothing Luis Guillorme Could Do

Albert Almora Pitched, So It Was An Ugly Loss

The New York Mets had a 2-0 lead when Pete Alonso hit a first inning two run homer off Max Fried. It was a down hill from there . . . way downhill.

David Peterson immediately gave up the lead in the bottom of the first. After a scoreless second, the Braves plated two more against him in the third.

Then, in the fourth, it all fell apart. After one run had scored increasing the Braves lead to 5-2, and one on, Peterson left the game with an injury. Sean Reid-Foley came in, and he was battered.

While the Mets wanted multiple innings from Reid-Foley, they got 0.2. In that stretch, he allowed the inherited runner to score before allowing four of his own.

This all but forced Thomas Szapucki to make his MLB debut. With Szapucki being a top prospect, and his potentially needing to take Peterson’s spot in the rotation, you wanted this to be the feel good story.

On the bright side, Szapucki escaped that jam allowing just one inherited runner. Past that, he wasn’t great allowing homers to Ozzie Albies and Ehire Adrianza.

The worst thing Szapucki did was not finish the game. He was completely out of gas after 3.2 innings, and he loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth. Luis Rojas had enough, and he brought in Albert Almora, Jr. to pitch.

When Almora surrendered a homer to Ozzie Albies, Almora officially allowed more homers and RBI than he has hit and driven in this season. Basically, that’s the tale of how the Mets lose 20-2.

It’s just time to say nothing more about this one. Before moving on completely, the Mets need to figure it out soon because their +16 rum differential is now -2, and more importantly, their division lead is down to two.

Game Notes: Dellin Betances will have season ending shoulder surgery. Jonathan Villar was pulled from his rehab start in Syracuse. Mets finished June 15-15.

Stop The Bartolo Colon Nonsense

With Marcus Stroman leaving the game with a hip injury, the Mets already thin pitching depth might’ve suffered another blow. These injuries have led to selecting the contracts of MLB retread Jerad Eickhoff and a promising prospect Tylor Megill, who really isn’t ready.

As is always the case, this has led to the bring back Bartolo Colon nonsense. Yes, it’s nonsense, and this time it was Howie Rose asking Mets GM Zack Scott about it. Hopefully, it was tongue-in-cheek:

Just so we’re clear. Colon last pitched in the majors as a 45 year old in 2018. In 24 starts and four relief appearances for the Texas Rangers, he was dreadful going 7-12 with a 5.78 ERA, 82 ERA+, and a 5.47 FIP.

There is zero chance three years later he’s any good. It doesn’t matter how many nonsense workout videos you see or his fooling semipro players. He’s terrible, and he’s going to be terrible.

For all intents and purposes, the nostalgia aspect doesn’t make all that much sense. He was an okay pitcher with the Mets who was horrid in big spots in the World Series. There was also the matter of his refusing to pay child support. Really, he wasn’t the lovable guy some make him out to be.

Colon pitched better than expected when he was with the Mets. He hit a homer. He made some great defensive plays. He made an All-Star team, and he helped drag the 2016 Mets to the postseason.

Enjoy those memories. However, that’s all they are memories because there’s no clinic in Germany, and MLB testing has gotten much better meaning there’s no Fountain of Youth this time.

Instead, let’s enjoy Megill’s debut, hope Corey Oswalt gets stretched out, see if Thomas Szapucki can put it together, and wait to see if Carlos Carrasco can return soon. If not, let’s see what trades this front office can swing in the event any starters need to miss any more time. Really, just anything other than Colon.

David Peterson Remaining In Rotation Pure Stubbornness

Objectively speaking, David Peterson is one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball. Among pitchers with at least 40.0 IP, he has the fifth worst ERA and 14th worst FIP.

The biggest trouble with Peterson right now is he seems to be regressing and showing little signs of coming out of this. Since that gem against the Tampa Bay Rays, he’s made four starts going 0-2 with a 9.88 ERA.

He’s walked eight and struck out 12 over 13.2 innings. That’s 3.1 innings per start. That’s what happens when batters have hit .356/.441/.644 against him. Keep in mind, this is in a year where offense is at historic lows.

Peterson’s Baseball Savant page is a disaster. He’s not generating spin on his pitches, he’s not fooling anyone, his control is poor, and batters are hitting him hard. As many have pointed out, the biggest issue is his release points.

The Visualization portion of Baseball Savant backs that up saying Peterson “tends to have very erratic release points on his pitches.”

It may very well be a matter of fixing that to permit Peterson to be the pitcher the Mets think Peterson could be. From the flashes we’ve seen, this could be a very good starter.

However, he’s not that, and with each start, he gets further from being that. At this point, we should remember Peterson had zero Triple-A starts, only made 24 Double-A starts, and he was really pressed into action last year due to the pandemic with Brodie Van Wagenen’s recklessness with the Mets pitching depth.

While some believed Peterson had a good year last year, it’s important to remember it was just 10 appearances. Also, more advanced numbers like FIP indicated Peterson was due for a significant regression.

Now, you can understand wanting Peterson to work with Jeremy Hefner. After all, by and large, Hefner has seemingly done terrific work with this Mets pitching staff. That said, for whatever reason, it’s just not clicking with Peterson right now.

The other counter-argument is the Mets don’t really have a viable starter in Triple-A to take his place. On the most obvious replacement, Thomas Szapucki, his control issues are correctly demoted.

Of course, the rebuttal is why does Peterson get to continuously falter without giving Szapucki a shot to get the benefit of working with Hefner. More than that, Peterson isn’t giving you starter innings.

On the season, he’s given the Mets 4.1 innings per start. Since May 1, that number is down to 3.2 innings. Over his last two starts, he’s pitched a total of 3.0 innings.

Every Peterson start is effectively a bullpen game. With that being the case, it would be better to call-up Sean Reid-Foley, who has thrived with the Mets in 2.0 – 3.0 inning stretches. Really, at this point, it’s inarguable Reid-Foley for 2.0+ innings is far superior to whatever Peterson is providing.

In the end, this is how you develop Mike Pelfrey 2.0. You rush a pitcher who isn’t ready to the majors. You stubbornly keep him there despite the results indicating he should be sent down. The next part is you call him a bust while completely ignoring all you did to prevent him from realizing his potential.

The Mets need to stop the stubbornness and nonsense. Peterson isn’t and wasn’t ready. He needs time. Give it to him and be ready to maybe call him up later in the season or next year.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Overcome Diamondbacks And Bob Brenly Ignorance

The New York Mets went to the desert, and it was the Arizona Diamondbacks who came up dry. While the Diamondbacks did push the Mets, the Mets took this series:

1. The fact Bob Brenly is still employed after what he said about Marcus Stroman is an embarrassment to the Diamondbacks and Major League Baseball. Seriously, why hasn’t Rob Manfred stepped in here?

2. Brenly should forever keep Tom Seaver‘s name out of his mouth. He should not be sullying the name of a great man and best right handed pitcher in the post World War II era.

3. Luis Rojas going to the well with Trevor May was really bizarre. May has been struggling, and he was very fatigued.

4. Holding back Seth Lugo from a save opportunity when you’ve already used Edwin Diaz and Miguel Castro because you want to ease him back from his injury is all well and good. However, you just can’t follow that up by trying to throw him two innings in his first appearance back. That’s a contradictory and dumb position.

5. Diaz is just a different pitcher than he has ever been. He’s able to go back-to-back days now with no issue. He’s shaking off blown saves. He’s having consecutive good years. There is not enough superlatives you can throw his way right now. He really deserves credit for how much he’s improved.

6. On that note, Jeurys Familia resurrecting his career has been perhaps the biggest key to this bullpen being this good.

7. It looks like that stint at first base was great for James McCann. He’s continued hitting well, and as we’re seeing, he seems to thrive on the platoon role. Fortunately for the Mets, Tomas Nido has taken his game to a new level to make this a tenable plan.

8. Between McCann hitting again and Francisco Lindor having figured things out, perhaps we can stop passing judgments on two months. Clearly, these two needed to settle into a new city with a new coaching staff. And yes, it helps them and everyone that the team replaced Chili Davis.

9. For those who haven’t noticed, Lindor is a truly great player. Look at what he’s doing. He’s top five in the majors in OAA, and over the past month, he has a .758 OPS. Remember, that includes a period when he was in a deep slump. By September, we’re all going to laugh at the panic some people showed over his start.

10. This team is clicking with the return of Pete Alonso. His presence in the lineup seems to have taken pressure off of everyone, and frankly, it helps that he returned to the lineup in peak Alonso form.

11. There is no one tougher than Kevin Pillar. Not only did he return from that fastball to the face and surgery to replace multiple facial fractures, but he’s picked right up where he left off.

12. The Mets have had a number of injuries, but if the hamstring lingers, none might be more impactful than Jonathan Villar. Villar has been able to hold down third base with all the injuries, and while his numbers and propensity to get picked off leave something to be desired, he does find a way to have an impact on games. The Mets are going to miss him.

13. The J.D. Davis injury is getting increasingly worrisome. It seems like he just has set back after set back. You really just have to wonder if the Mets are really missing a significant injury here.

14. The fact the Mets have a 4.5 game lead over the Atlanta Braves, the largest in baseball, is impressive. The fact the Mets have that lead allows them to hold their cards and wait for Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil, and Brandon Nimmo to return at their own pace. Of course, the pitching being so dominant allows that as well.

15. At some point, Jacob deGrom gets a no-hitter, right? Sure, Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux didn’t, but you have to believe deGrom eventually gets one.

16. Because baseball is stupid, you have to guess Joey Lucchesi or David Peterson gets one before deGrom even though neither pitcher really belongs in the starting rotation right now. Injuries have really helped keep them here.

17. The Mets really need to decide if they want Peterson to be Mike Pelfrey, or if they want to try to give someone else a shot while he goes to Syracuse to develop like he needs.

18. For those saying the Mets need Pelfrey, the team can certainly figure it out. After all, they have Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Sean Reid-Foley who can give you multiple innings consistently out of the bullpen. They also have Jerad Eickhoff, Corey Oswalt, and Thomas Szapucki to plug into the rotation. Really, there are options, and they need to do something.

19. Speaking of Gsellman, those 3.2 innings were phenomenal, and it speaks to his being back to being the pitcher the Mets thought he was when he was first called up in 2016.

20. May was right. That game winning hit by Josh Reddick was foul. Really, this just highlights the absurdity of the replay system where there aren’t cameras down the lines to ensure we get calls like that absolutely correct. Then again, this is baseball under Manfred, so why should we expect any different?

 

GAME RECAPS

Jacob deGrom Nearly Perfect

Mets Blow It Against Diamondbacks

David Peterson Should Be Demoted to Syracuse

David Peterson Should Be Demoted To Syracuse

At some point, the New York Mets need to determine what they want David Peterson to be. Do they want more of the same, or do they want to have him develop to become what they thought they were getting when the organization made him their first round pick (20th overall) in the 2017 draft.

More than that, they may need to ask how having Peterson in the majors is helping anyone. His start in the series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks indicated no one is.

After being staked to a 4-0 lead before he threw a pitch, Peterson imploded in the bottom of the first.

It was 2-0 before he recorded an out. After 35 pitches, there were only one out, and it was a tie game. At that point, Peterson needed to be relieved by Robert Gsellman.

Yes, Madison Bumgarner would knock in the go-ahead run, but Gsellman stepped up big time. He’d pitch 3.2 innings to help save the bullpen and allow the Mets to win the game.

This was Peterson’s 10th start of the season, and it was the fifth time he failed to pitch at least five innings. It was the sixth time he failed to go past five. It was also the third time he failed to go even four innings.

Taking it all into account, Peterson has been wholly unreliable. You don’t know what you’re getting from him start to start, and you don’t know when the implosion will invariably happen.

Before this start, the numbers were poor. He had a 4.63 FIP and a 79 ERA+. What’s scary is that’s with him getting some luck with a .290 BABIP.

Delving deeper, there are bigger problems. Looking at Baseball Savant, he doesn’t have much velocity or spin. Taking that into account, we probably shouldn’t be surprised he’s getting hit very hard.

This isn’t just this year. Yes, Peterson’s ERA and WHIP were better last year, but it was all an illusion. Peterson still had a 4.52 FIP, a poor K/BB, and he was getting hit hard. He was just extraordinarily lucky with a .233 BABIP.

Really, when you break this all down, Peterson wasn’t ready last year, and he shouldn’t have been pushed again this year. He needed more time to work on things, but the Mets short-sightedness interfered.

Now, we all know the counter-arguments. Carlos Carrasco and Noah Syndergaard aren’t close to returning. Thomas Szapucki probably isn’t ready. No one trusts or wants to trust Jerad Eickhoff or Corey Oswalt.

The excuses goes on and on. However, when having those discussions, the focus needs to boil down to what Peterson is.

There needs to be a realization Peterson doesn’t give the Mets what they need at least half the time. It’s probably less than that, and based on what we’ve seen lately, that may be an optimistic view of things.

No matter what you think of the plan beyond Peterson, we should be able to agree he’s not really ready for the majors. Therein lies the problem, and that’s why he should be sent down.

In the end, that’ll help him develop more than he can right now. That’s what the Mets need from Peterson. The 2021 innings can come from a minor affiliate. This is what will be best for him, and that means it’s what’ll be best for the Mets.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Successfully Transverse Rocky Path

The New York Mets kept getting injured, but they keep winning games, especially at home. They just won three out of four from the Colorado Rockies, and they remain in first place:

1. The Mets are so injured right now their injured players are getting injured.

2. Noah Syndergaard and Carlos Carrasco each having difficulty with their rehab assignments and with their probably not being back until August if at all, it’s a reminder you should never part with pitching. Pitching is fragile, and you never have enough of it during the course of a season.

3. The more fans inanely boo Francisco Lindor the more great plays he makes in the field.

4. At some point, we may move past discussing how Tomas Nido claimed the starting job over James McCann to talking about how Nido should be an All-Star.

5. McCann is taking a bad situation, and he is making the most of it by stepping up and playing a pretty good first base. We are also hopefully seeing some signs of life at the plate with his having a a double and homer in this series. At least that’s the hope.

6. Cameron Maybin setting a Mets record for hitless plate appearances to start his Mets career shows you just can’t but a hit for $1.

7. Billy McKinney had quite the Mets debut with some very good defense in the field and doing well at the plate. It was just one game, but it at least appears like McKinney could be part of the equation even with everyone is healthy.

8. While you hope moves like McKinney work, we are getting increasingly to the point where the Mets may have to do something drastic. In the short-term, taking a look at Carlos Cortes makes a lot of sense. If the injuries to J.D. Davis and Jeff McNeil are that bad, it may be time to consider calling up Mark Vientos who is scorching hot in Binghamton.

9. We are not talking enough about the job Jose Peraza is doing for the Mets. Yes, he’s below average at the plate and at second, but he is at least a credible presence on what is moving towards a Double-A roster. It also helps that when he gets his hits it seems to be big like his game winning homer in the first end of the doubleheader.

10. Marcus Stroman is defensively what Jacob deGrom is as a pitcher. Stroman is also a very good pitcher in his own right.

11. This is just a different team with deGrom. Yes, we know the frustration with the lack of run support. That said, he gives this team a swagger, and he eats up a lot of innings allowing the bullpen to rest and be great when needed.

12 People can complain all they want about replay, but when deGrom and Jonathan Villar were called out the primary objective of replay was achieved – it got the call right. Now, there is an easy fix where fielders should not be rewarded for pushing runners off the base. Hopefully, that is something which will be taken up this offseason.

13. It seems the adjustments Joey Lucchesi has made are working. That said, this is a pitcher who should not be relied upon for more than three innings. If utilized properly, that means Lucchesi could have an immense amount of value to this team.

14. At some point, you have to wonder if this is doing more harm than good to David Peterson‘s development. In all honesty, it’s difficult to see in which area of his game he is progressing.

15. The Mets are messing with Thomas Szapucki like they once did with Chris Flexen and Corey Oswalt. They need to let him pitch, especially when they are just going to wind up going with bullpen games anyway. His not stepping on the mound harms his development and may set him up for injury. Next thing you know, you hear the he can’t be good nonsense.

16. The Mets scored a total of 10 runs in a four game series and still managed to win three out of four. There are two reasons for this. First and foremost, the Rockies are bad. The second and perhaps more important reason is teams win games with good pitching and defense. Despite the injuries, the Mets still have that.

17. Even with all the injuries and people wondering why things aren’t as good as we thought they might be, the Mets are still on an 88 win pace. Just imagine where they will be when everyone is heatlhy and performing.

18. Brodie Van Wagenen has a lot of gall showing up at Citi Field for a game even with Edwin Diaz having a great year and finally fulfilling his promise.

19. It is good Luis Rojas is finally being recognized for the job he is doing. It should be noted he is essentially doing all the same things he was doing when he wasn’t popular. It’s just that people now recognize how the other things he does so well are so important when you have no one to play.

20. The Mets are getting back Taijuan Walker just in time. This is yet another big early series against the Braves, and the Mets really need to create more separation between the two teams as the Mets continue to navigate their injuries and head towards June, which is always a nightmare.

Game Recaps

At Least James McCann Was Good

Mets Get a Nido Win

Marcus Stroman Out-Pitches and Fields German Marquez

The Billy McKinney Game on Jose Peraza Day

20/20 Hindsight: M*E*T*S* Nearly Sweep Braves

The New York Mets have been an injury a minute, and somehow, they went to Atlanta and took two out of three from the Braves:

1. If Tomas Nido keeps this up, the discussion may shift from whether he should be the everyday catcher to whether he’s one of the best catchers in the game.

2. Khalil Lee can keep striking out if he is going to continue to make outstanding game saving catches in right field.

3. Kudos to Edwin Diaz to taking that significant step in his career where you can rely on him on consecutive days.

4. The front office people who told Diaz to put on more weight deserves a raise. The same goes to Jeremy Hefner, who is getting all you can out of Diaz and the entire bullpen.

5. The same goes for the people designing the Mets shifts. They’re shifting nearly more than everyone, and they’re doing it better than almost everyone.

6. Seeing how the Mets played this series and the improvements he seems to be making, Luis Rojas should be getting more credit than he is.

7. Jonathan Villar is a guy with poor numbers across the board, and yet, he just finds a way to have an impact in nearly every game.

8. Kevin Pillar suffered the worst HBP this side of Ray Chapman. It’s miraculous he didn’t suffer more than multiple nasal fractures.

9. Pillar certainly made himself more fans with his play and his talking about how it’s breaking his heart he can’t be out there when his team needs him.

10. That should serve as a reminder we shouldn’t be rushing to judgment to players after a week. Remember, there were plenty of very vocal fans who were convinced Pillar would do nothing this year.

11. It’s not hyperbole to say the Mets play a game and someone else turns up injured. It’s so bad we find out Pete Alonso suddenly has a wrist issue and can’t play.

12. It looks like Dominic Smith could supplant Alonso as the first baseman for now. Hopefully, that helps get him going.

13. For as much as the Mets didn’t want to give Jordan Yamamoto a real chance, they have no choice now. Oh, and we’re probably going to see Thomas Szapucki soon.

14. There’s joy, and then there’s Tommy Hunter, a 14 year MLB veteran, getting his first career hit.

15. Good job by the Chicago Cubs honoring their commitment to Cameron Maybin by trading him to the Mets for $1.

16. It wasn’t that long ago Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon didn’t honor their agreement to Devin Mesoraco. That led to Mesoraco retuning, rushing to activate Travis d’Arnaud, and then rage cutting d’Arnaud.

17. If you’re looking for a comp for David Peterson, it’s Mike Pelfrey. Both were sinkerball first rounders rushed to the majors from Double-A, and the team didn’t let them go back and develop after the initial panic call-up.

18. If you’re even being competitive with a Maybin-Johneshwy Fargas-Lee outfield, you’re doing something right. Seriously, what the Mets did in this series was beyond impressive.

19. Think of everything that has gone wrong with this team. They’re still over .500 and in first place.

20. Sometimes teams just have one of those special seasons. So far, this is shaping up to be one of them.

Game Recaps

Mets Win Game And Lose Two More

Tomas Nido Wins It

Mets Bullpen Too Exhausted To Hold On

Mets Ownership Question Affects Future Of Mets Rotation

Today, the offseason is officially over, and Spring Training officially begins with pitchers and catchers reporting to St. Lucie. Looking at the way the contracts are structured, this could be the last year this rotation reports, and in very short order, this rotation could be almost completely dismantled over the ensuing few years.

Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello are free agents after the 2020 season.

Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are free agents after the 2021 season.

Jacob deGrom has a player option after the 2022 season.

This is what remains from a homegrown group which led the Mets to the 2015 pennant and brought the Mets back to the 2016 postseason. We have already seen Matt Harvey and now Zack Wheeler (on neither team) leave for very different reasons. Now, the Mets have to assess who is next.

Ideally, the Mets would be moving quickly to lock some of these starters up. After all, Syndergaard and Matz are coming off down years, and the Mets have a year of control to use as leverage in negotiations. Seeing how Matz finished the season, Syndergaard’s offseason workouts geared towards pitching better, and Jeremy Hefner already working on getting the most out of both, they may get very expensive very soon.

Like Matz, Stroman and Porcello are local kids who grew up Mets fans. We have already seen Porcello leave some money on the table to pitch for the Mets. Could Stroman do the same knowing he gets to pitch for his hometown team and his being born to pitch on this stage?

Sure, you could argue the Mets should be looking to maximize on the value of some of these pitchers on the trade market. At some point, the team also has to look to the future when pitchers like David Peterson, Thomas Szapucki, Matthew Allan, and others are ready to contribute.

The payroll obligations, along with having to pay players like Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo have to be balanced. The Mets also have to balance that against building the type of team which would discourage deGrom from exercising his opt out.

Of course, the question is who exactly is negotiating these contracts. Not too long ago, we thought that would be Steve Cohen, and what many assumed were bottomless pockets. Now, with that deal falling apart, we don’t know.

Sure, the Mets say they are going to sell the team, and they are no longer going to insist on having control over the team, but we have seen this show. It has previously ended with deals falling apart, and the Mets moving to sell off minority shares as as short term fundraising scheme.

Long story, short, here, the Mets need to figure out their ownership, and they need to figure it out fast. There is a lot more riding on the sale of the team than the 2020 season and the ability to add payroll, if necessary, at the trade deadline. As noted, the Mets need to figure out the pitching staff for 2021 and beyond.

The sooner they figure it out, the better. Once they have clarity on that issue, they will know who exactly are trade chips, and how exactly the Mets can build the 2020, 2021, 2022, and beyonds World Series contending teams.

Mets Who May Soon Be Designated For Assignment

With the Mets protecting Andres Gimenez, Jordan Humphreys, Ali Sanchez, and Thomas Szapucki from the Rule 5 Draft, the 40 man roster is completely full. With the Mets needing to address a number of areas of this team, this means ever trade, waiver claim, and free agent signing is going to require a player coming off the 40 man roster.

Obviously, Drew Gagnon was the first casualty, but he is not going to be the last. Here is a look at some of the other players sitting on the bubble:

Tyler Bashlor

2019 MLB Stats: 0-3, 6.95 ERA, 24 G, 22.0 IP, 1.727 WHIP, 7.0 BB/9, 8.2 K/9

The success Bashlor has had in the minors has not translated at all to the majors. In fact, his control issues have only been magnified, and he has not been able to blow his fastball by anyone. This left him hittable, and he has been hit hard.

Sam Haggerty

2019 Stats: 11 G, 4 PA, 0 H, 0 BB, 3 K

Haggerty was a September call-up with the Mets looking to add some late game speed as they were making a push for the Wild Card. With the current roster crunch, the Mets are too heavy on infielders. With Luis Guillorme firmly establishing himself as a Major League caliber utility player, Haggerty’s spot is all the more tenuous, and he’s very likely the first position player designated for assignment in the event a non-catcher is signed.

Chris Flexen

2019 Stats: 0-3, 6.59 ERA, 9 G, GS, 13.2 IP, 2.049 WHIP, 8.6 BB/9, 6.6 K/9

After struggling as a two pitch starter in his brief Major League appearances, Flexen was finally moved to the bullpen where he had fleeting success. You could argue with his stuff he could succeed next year in a bullpen role, but it’s very possible the Mets don’t see that happening as he was not called up last September. His being out of options may only accelerate a DFA decision.

Franklyn Kilome

2018 MiLB Stats: 4-9, 4.18 ERA, 26 GS, 140.0 IP, 1.343 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 8.0 K/9

Kilome is a promising prospect who has control issues and is coming off Tommy John surgery. So far, the Mets have indicated things are going well in his rehab, and he should be ready to pitch early in the 2019 season. That said, if he has a setback, he could be moved off the roster in short order.

Chris Mazza

2019 MLB Stats: 1-1, 5.51 ERA, 9 G, 16.1 IP, 1.592 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 6.1 K/9

Mazza was a 29 year old rookie who finally made his debut with the Mets last year. While he was on the September roster, he did not pitch in a meaningful game although he did pick up his first Major League win on the final game of the season.

Tomas Nido

2019 Stats: .191/.231/.316, 5 2B, 4 HR, 14 RBI

Nido got his chance to be a defensive minded back-up, and he worked well with pitchers like Noah Syndergaard. Still, he effectively hit like a pitcher at the plate, and his framing numbers, albeit good, were not at the point where you could justify keeping him in the Majors with the way he hit. With him being out of options, and the Mets looking to upgrade, he has the most tenuous spot on the 4o man roster.

Stephen Nogosek

2019 Stats: 0-1, 10.80 ERA, 7 G, 6.2 IP, 2.100 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.1 K/9

Nogosek seemed to turn a corner getting his control under wraps in Syracuse, but those issues would resurface in his brief Major League appearances. There is promise in his arm, but his control issues may eventually make him expendable.

Corey Oswalt

2019 Stats: 0-1, 12.15 ERA, 2 G, 6.2 IP, 2.250 WHIP, 8.1 BB/9, 6.8 K/9

Oswalt was added to the 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft after he was the 2017 Eastern League Pitcher of the Year. Since that time, he has struggled, and it was partially the result of how the team left him sitting dormant for stretches and asking him to pitch on very short rest. He also dealt with some nagging injuries last year. In July and August, when he was healthy and finally giving a stretch of starts, he pitched well posting a 1.98 ERA in 10 starts which will probably save his spot on the 40 man roster. Still, with his not getting a September call-up, it’s not a guarantee.

Paul Sewald

2019 Stats: 1-1, 4.58 ERA, 17 G, SV, 19.2 IP, 1.068 WHIP, 1.4 BB/9, 10.1 K/9

Last year, Sewald was designated for assignment, and yet again, despite the odds, he pitched his way back to the Majors. In fact, at the end of the year, he was arguably the most reliable right-handed reliever in the Mets bullpen not named Seth Lugo. He has a low walk rate, good strikeout rate, and had a better FIP than ERA. One thing which may save him is his still having a Major League option remaining.

Daniel Zamora

2019 Stats: 0-1, 5.19 ERA, 17 G, 8.2 IP, 1.731 WHIP, 5.2 BB/9, 8.3 K/9

Zamora is an interesting case. In his career, he has posted reverse splits, but he has a very good K/BB ratio against LHB flashing a wipeout slider. With MLB enacting rules effectively eliminating the LOOGY role, a pitcher like Zamora could actually have increased value, but for that to happen, he needs to harness himself better. Fortunately, he has options remaining.