Well, it didnt’ take long for the New York Mets depth to be tested. Jacob deGrom is out for about half of the season with a stress reaction in his right scapula. Max Scherzer has a hamstring issue. Taijuan Walker has issues with his surgically repaired knee. Brandon Nimmo needs cortisone shots in the neck he injured last season.
Buck Showalter is talking about the Opening Day starter being one of Tylor Megill, David Peterson, or Trevor Williams. Travis Jankowski, Peterson, and Nick Plummer have been put on the taxi squad awaiting the call-up. Without even playing a game, this is far from the situation the Mets thought they would be.
However, this does underscore the job the Mets did this offseason to address their overall depth.
In years past, at least one of Megill or Peterson (;ikely both) would have been guaranteed a rotation spot, and Williams would have been non-tendered. Instead, all three are there to provide innings if needed. More than that, the team still has Jose Butto in the minors. There is depth here allowing the Mets to throw credible Major League starters even in the absence of at least three starting pitchers.
In terms of the outfield, the depth is there to sustain a Nimmo injury. The question is whether the Mets do what needs to be done on that front.
In all honesty, the Mets fourth best outfielder is Jeff McNeil. If Nimmo’s injury is serious enough to necessitate an IL stint, McNeil should shift out to left field allowing the team to see just how much Robinson Cano has in the tank. In some ways, this would be the best test for the team to see what Cano can actually provide to this team.
However, in all likelihood, they will play Dominic Smith in left. On one hand, this underscores just how much the Mets needed Smith and why they were smart not to trade him. On the other hand, Smith isn’t a good left fielder underscoring why the Mets should go out and re-sign Michael Conforto.
Whatever the case, the Mets have versatile players, and they have credible Major League players to plug into the lineup even without 3/5 of their rotation and their starting center fielder. This underscores the good work the team did in the offseason. However, the proof is in the pudding, and we won’t find out just how good of a job the Mets did until we see how it translates on the field.