Trevor Williams

Revisiting 2022 Bold Mets Predictions

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

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

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

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

Fortunately, Howie has not announced his retirement.

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

See above.

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

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

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

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

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

Diaz was an All-Star.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Williams was a vital part of this team all season.

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

This did not happen.

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

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

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

His name has not surfaced as a managerial candidate.

24. So will Eric Chavez.

Neither has him.

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

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

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

He did not.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

That did not happen.

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

Sadly, this was true.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This one was actually true.

42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was a chilly reception.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

True even as his team collapsed.

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

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

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

On April 29, the Co-No happened.

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

This likely will not happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mets Must Act Like NL East Race Is Over

The New York Mets were rained out, and the Atlanta Braves lost the first game of their series to the Miami Marlins. Should the Braves lose two more, and the Mets sweep, the Mets can still win the division. Cueing Lloyd Christmas:

Yes, there is an infinitesimal chance the Mets win the NL East. If that were to occur, the Mets would not have to play in the Wild Card series permitting their best players, especially their starters, extra rest. It cannot be understated just how important winning the division would be.

That said, the Mets need to pretend like they lost the division because they would need an absolute miracle to win the NL East. This is a team who has to actively prepare for the Wild Card Series against either the Philadelphia Phillies or San Diego Padres. Remember, the ultimate goal is to win the World Series, and in all likelihood, the Wild Card Series will be where it all begins.

Let’s say the Braves lose again, and the Mets sweep their doubleheader (should it be played). That would mean if the Mets win their final game, and the Braves lose their final game, the Mets win the NL East. That would get awfully tempting to go for it. After all, it is more than possible for the Braves to lose just one more.

The Mets still need to hold Jacob deGrom back. Sure, they’re be eviscerated in some corners if the Mets lose that final game without using deGrom. Those people should not be given the time of day.You can’t use deGrom on Wednesday leaving him unavailable for the first round of the postseason.

Most people will seem to grasp this with the Mets not having control of their own destiny. The next ask is where we may see fans be a little less inclined to agree.

The Mets doubleheader is the clinch day lineup. Actually, not really. Better put, it is a Spring Training type of lineup. These are the final three days to determine who can be on the Mets postseason roster. The Mets need to use them wisely.

That means Francisco Álvarez and Mark Vientos need to play all three games. We need to see Álvarez catch at least one, and we need to see Vientos at third or first. We need to see a little more what each can do because the time may come when the Mets need to rely upon them.

The Mets need to call up Dominic Smith. They need to see if he can start hitting. If Álvarez and Vientos aren’t, then the Mets need to see if Smith can. Fans may not believe in him, but it is the time to roll the dice, and see what hits. Keep in mind Tyler Naquin hasn’t been hitting. No, the Mets aren’t and shouldn’t going to leave Naquin off the roster for Smith, but Naquin’s struggles may demand the Mets add another player.

Moreover, key players need rest. That goes double for Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor. Ideally, they would skip the doubleheader all together, and we can see them get a couple of at-bats in the season finale just to stay fresh.

We do not need to see Adam Ottavino or Seth Lugo pitch. They’ve pitched enough, and they are better rested. Let them be at maximum strength when the Wild Card round opens Friday. Really, anyone who needs a rest, and anyone who needs to be fresh should be given every opportunity to do so over the next three games.

That means if the Mets lose because a Smith or Vientos fail, it means they lose because they failed. If it means Tylor Megill blows up costing a game, it means it cost the Mets a game. That means if the Mets don’t win the division because David Peterson or Trevor Williams can’t get it done on the final game of the season, then the Mets will have to live with it.

The Mets are in the 2022 postseason. They have the best chance of winning the World Series if they get deGrom and Max Scherzer pitching like the aces they are. Everything the Mets do from here on out must be predicated upon that and nothing else. In the end, if the Mets win the World Series, no one will care about the last series in Atlanta, winning the NL East, or anything else.

Mets Projected Postseason Roster

While the division is still up for grabs, the New York Mets are definitively headed to the postseason. While their opponent remains to be seen, we can start looking at who will be on the roster. After all, the Mets have begun doing that themselves by playing Mark Vientos in addition to taking looks at starters Tylor Megill and David Peterson in the bullpen.

While September rosters are at 28, rosters will drop back down to 26 for the postseason. So with that, at least two players currently on the roster will not be on the postseason roster. With that in mind, here’s a look at who is currently a lock to make the postseason roster.

CATCHERS (2)

Believe it or not, Francisco Alvarez could potentially be added to the postseason roster. However, that’s only in the event of an injury to McCann or Nido and another to Michael Perez. Put another way, we’re going to see McCann and Nido all postseason.

INFIELDERS (5)

There are no surprises here. This is obviously the starting infield with the Escobar/Guillorme platoon. Of course, Marte’s health will impact if Guillorme and Escobar play everyday with McNeil in right field against right-handed pitching.

OUTFIELDERS (3)

The obvious caveat here is Marte. If he is good to go, there are four outfielders who will be good to go. However, at the moment, we do not know how or if Marte can play through the pain. Keep in mind, that broken middle finger is inhibiting his ability to throw.

DH (1)

Simply put, Darin Ruf is not doing enough to secure a spot on the postseason roster, and the same goes for Vientos at the moment. The Mets obviously brought Gore in for the sole purpose of being a pinch runner, but his spot may be in some doubt with the Mets platoon strategy. Marte’s health may very well impact who is carried to be the right-handed DH with Marte himself being a possibility.

STARTERS (5)

We now the top three will be deGrom, Scherzer, and Bassitt. At the moment, it looks like the Mets will have to decide between Carrasco. Whichever they pick, it would be an absolute shock if the Mets do not put the other starter in the bullpen for the postseason.

BULLPEN (4)

There are a name or two here that may very well be here, but at the moment, this is the only group that can be considered a lock. Yes, it is a surprise that’s it after a long season and multiple opportunities for upgrades.

With all the aforementioned players, the Mets have 20 players who are locks for the postseason roster. Per MLB roster rules, the Mets (or any team) can only carry up to 13 pitchers. At the moment, the Mets have nine pitchers considered as locks. As a result, the Mets can add up to four more pitchers leaving them to add two position players.

POSITION PLAYER BUBBLE

If Marte is healthy and ready to go, he will be on the postseason roster. However, the Mets have to be very careful here. If they carry Marte in the first round series, and he can’t go that puts them in a very precarious spot. That means they’re going to be down a player for the round, lose Marte for the ensuing series if he needs to be replaced on the roster, or both.

Marte’s availability is the biggest question mark, and it may be the biggest issue with how the roster is comprised.

For example, Gore was brought here solely to pinch run in the postseason. However, if Marte is still working his way back, the Mets just may roll the dice and use Marte for the role and revisit it again for the next series. If Marte can’t play the field but can DH, that takes Ruf and Vientos completely out of the picture.

Essentially, what Marte can and can’t do will dictate which two players will make the roster. Ideally, the Mets probably want to carry Marte and Gore, but we will see if that is a possibility. Of course, we can’t rule out the possibility, the Mets carry just 12 pitchers with a reliever going to the bullpen to allow the Mets to carry Marte, Gore, and one of Ruf/Vientos.

RELIEF PITCHER BUBBLE

As noted above, we can see the Mets carry 3-4 pitchers from this group. Keep in mind, who the Mets carry from this group may be somewhat opponent dependent.

Right off the bat, the Mets would carry Givens, but he is on the COVID IL. Until he is activated, we are not quite sure if he can be carried on the postseason roster, at least not in the first round. Assuming for a second Givens is available, things get interesting.

Realistically speaking, the Mets will carry Rodriguez even though he has been bad all year. Of course, Lucchesi is a wild card here. However, if we don’t see him pitch in the Majors soon, there is just no way the Mets can carry him on the postseason roster.

If the Mets want two left-handed relievers, they are definitively going to carry Rodriguez and Peterson (short of Lucceshi being good to go). If they carry both, and Givens is healthy, that may just be a full bullpen depending on what the Mets want to do from a position player perspective.

To a certain degree, that squeezes Williams off the postseason roster. That is unfair and dubious considering he has been one of the Mets best pitchers all season. That said, if you’re carrying your best pitchers, Williams has been that all season.

Theoretically, Megill of Co-No fame would be left off the roster. At the moment, Megill is trying to prove he can be utilized in the bullpen.

Overall, this all hinges on Marte’s health. The role if he can play, if he can play role at all, can dictate just how the Mets are able to comprise their postseason roster. Right now, there are eight games for players to secure their place on the roster leaving a number of moving pieces and decisions yet to be made.

 

 

Mets Should Move Taijuan Walker To Bullpen

It doesn’t have to be today. It doesn’t have to be this week. It’s certainly not a punishment. However, sooner or later the Mets should move Taijuan Walker to the bullpen.

Simply put, after Carlos Carrasco’s latest gem, he needs to be the fourth starter in the postseason. This is far more Carrasco winning a job than it is Walker losing it.

Over his last 11 starts, Carrasco has allowed two runs or fewer. Over this stretch, he’s 7-2 with a 2.12 ERA, 1.230 WHIP, and a 9.4 K/9. He’s pitching great, and the Mets need their best pitchers in the postseason.

Walker has again struggled in the second half, but he was great in his last start. We have seen him rise to the occasion and needs to be part of the equation, so the Mets should start looking to put him in the best place to succeed.

To a lesser degree, the Mets are doing this with David Peterson. He’s being removed from the rotation and being put in the bullpen. It’s no secret that it’s to see if he can be a left-handed reliever in the postseason.

Of course, Peterson is in a significantly different spot than Walker. First and foremost, Peterson was filling in for Max Scherzer, and Scherzer is set to come off the IL on Monday.

However, it is illustrative. When the time is right, start putting players in the roles they will be come postseason. Peterson will be a reliever, and so will Walker.

Obviously, winning the division comes first, and clearly Walker is one of the Mets five best starters. He will likely prove that again in his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates. From there, he’s on turn to face:

  • 9/21 at Milwaukee Brewers
  • 9/28 vs. Miami Marlins
  • 10/4 vs. Washington Nationals

Certainly, the Mets want him making that Brewers start. After that, it may be best to remove him from the rotation.

By having Trevor Williams take his spot in the rotation, that would free up Walker to pitch out of the bullpen in that pivotal series in Atlanta.

In terms of attempting to win the division, having Walker at the ready could prove huge. If a starter is knocked out, he can jump in and eat innings or keep the team afloat. He’s also capable of getting the big strikeout or generating a ground ball for a double play.

Looking at the whole picture, this should be Walker’s penultimate start of the season. After Milwaukee, moving Walker to the bullpen aides in winning the division and preparing for the postseason.

Mets Starting Pitching Will Be Fine Without Carrasco, Walker

In back-to-back games, the New York Mets saw Carlos Carrasco and Taijuan Walker to injury. We would also see the Mets lose both of those games.

With Carrasco, it was very bad news. He has an oblique strain which takes about a month to heal. Depending on how he heals, his season may be in jeopardy.

With respect to Walker, it’s the second time in three starts he’s had an issue. This time, it was back spasms. At this point, there’s no telling when he can return.

Losing both pitchers hurts as both have been very good for the Mets this year. They’ve been the mainstays and stabilizing forces for a rotation which has dealt with more than their fair share of injuries.

That is exactly how we know the Mets rotation will be fine in their absence.

In all due respect to Carrasco and Walker, they’re not Jacob deGrom or Max Scherzer. We didn’t see deGrom until August, and Scherzer was down for all of June and part of May.

Carrasco and Walker stepping up were part of the reason. That was just part of it as the Mets needed pitchers to step up in the vacated rotation spots.

First and foremost, David Peterson has been in-and-out of the rotation due to a myriad of pitcher injuries. In his 14 starts, he’s 5-2 with a 3.17 ERA, 1.225 WHIP, and a 10.5 K/9 while averaging five innings per start.

In sum, Peterson has shown himself to be a more than capable fifth starter with real upside. While he’s a step back from Carrasco and Walker, he’s a credible Major League starter who has flashes of brilliance.

Trevor Williams has served just about every role for the Mets. That includes emergency starter, spot starter, and fifth starter.

Wiliiams has been much better in the bullpen. As a starter, he’s pitched at least five innings just three times in eight starts. He has a 4.67 ERA as a starter with a drastically reduced strikeout rate.

That said, his last start was his best. On July 7, he shutout the Miami Marlins over seven innings while limiting them to just two hits. Ultimately, he has the ability to have a good to great start.

There’s also the Tylor Megill factor. The Mets had announced he was moving to the bullpen, but that was before these most recent injuries.

Overall, the Mets have credible starters to jump into Carrasco’s and Walker’s spots. We know the Mets have pitchers who can pitch well. In the end, that’s why there’s no reason to panic.

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.

Trevor Williams More Important Than His Stats

In the previous game, Edwin Díaz threw two innings leaving him unavailable until the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Then, Taijuan Walker threw an awkward pitch.

Walker somehow got out of the first allowing “just” four runs. In the second, you saw he was off. It was 6-0 with runners at the corners and no outs. Doubleheader or not, Walker had to come out of the game.

That meant the New York Mets unsung hero Trevor Williams came into the game. He did what he always does. He gave the Mets innings.

En route to giving up the inherited runs, he got the Mets out of the inning. He’d load the bases in the third, but he wiggled his way out of the jam.

After throwing just one inning over two weeks, we was summoned to take the ball and do the thankless task of just eating innings. When all was said and done, Williams did not allow a run over four innings.

Williams answered the call and got the job done just like he has all season.

When the Mets were dealing with injuries to Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Tylor Megill, he jumped back into the rotation. He gave the Mets eight credible starts including a seven scoreless against the Miami Marlins.

As a reliever, he has a 1.29 ERA over 12 appearances and 28 innings pitched. Of the 12 appearances, eight of them are multiple innings. Of those eight, five were 3+ innings.

His work in the rotation has meant credible starts helping keep the Mets in first place. His relief work has saved the bullpen and allowed their big arms to pitch another day.

Just look at what happened in this last game. The Mets fought their way back into the game. This forced the Braves to use all of their high leverage relievers.

The Mets didn’t have to use any, really just Williams. This is what makes Williams so vital to this team, and what he does goes beyond the numbers.

Williams is a reason the rotation has been great. After all, he was a part of it. He’s a reason the bullpen has been great. After all, he’s been a part of it. On the later, Diaz only needing to pitch in high leverage situations is part of the reason, Díaz is having an all-time great season.

Like with Pat Mahomes in 1999, Darren Oliver in 2006, and Sean Gilmartin in 2015, Williams is that long man who is a vital part of the team. Eating these innings while pitching very well makes the team great.

In the aforementioned three seasons, the Mets were a great team who went deep in the postseason. Williams will be a reason why the Mets do it again this season.

Jacob deGrom Actually Is Like A Trade Deadline Acquisition

We hear it all the time, especially from the New York Mets in the Wilpon Error (Era). When so-and-so comes off the IL, it’s like a trade deadline acquisition.

For the Wilpons, it was their way of excusing away having players in the lineup or rotation who had no business being there. For that matter, they might’ve had no business being in the majors.

This is typically where Mets fans cue up the old John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell hitting in the middle of the lineup.

That’s really how we know how things are different under Steve Cohen. The replacements for Jacob deGrom were definitively not at deGrom’s level, but they were Major League caliber pitchers.

Yes, there were other injuries. That said, the Mets were still able to throw out a mix of Tylor Megill, David Peterson, and Trevor Williams as injury replacements.

Those are each credible MLB starters. Certainly, they can be a part of a regular MLB rotation. They proved as much this season.

That’s why deGrom coming back from the IL actually feels like he’s a trade deadline acquisition. He’s coming back as an upgrade and not as the Mets finally getting an MLB caliber player after weeks and months without one.

Assuredly, that feeling is magnified by deGrom returning on the actual day of the trade deadline.

If deGrom is deGrom, this Mets team got better at the deadline than any other team. That goes double when you consider what deGrom has done in the postseason.

After all, that’s what this is really about – it’s about winning the World Series. Sure, even after the day is done, this roster won’t be perfect. However, they will be built to win a World Series.

No team is topping deGrom and Max Scherzer atop the rotation. Some may think they’re close, but they’re not equals. The Mets have a massive advantage here.

After that, the Mets can roll out Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker in the matter they see fit. They each could be a two in most rotations, even good ones, and with the Mets they slot in three through five.

On the trade deadline, Jacob deGrom returns to the rotation. When healthy, he’s the best pitcher in baseball. He makes the Mets rotation the best in baseball. Ultimately, he makes this Mets team the toughest to beat in the postseason.

Mets Bullpen Might Be Better Than We Thought

With Edwin Díaz, the New York Mets have the best closer in baseball. As for the rest of the bullpen, well, that’s a question mark right now.

The expectation is the Mets will address this at the trade deadline. At first blush, there’s a lot which needs addressing. However, when you dig deeper, maybe the Mets are in much better shape than originally contemplated.

Lets start with the fact Major League Baseball has a 13 pitcher limit. After the five man rotation, which will be further bolstered by Jacob deGrom’s return, a team can carry seven relievers.

We know Díaz is the closer. As a result, the Mets need to fill six bullpen spots. Here’s how they look.

Adam Ottavino has been terrific with a 2.29 ERA, 176 ERA+, and a 10.5 K/9. He’s emerged as a primary set-up man. That’s five spots remaining.

Seth Lugo looks like a different reliever out of the break. He’s yet to allow a run in 4.2 innings. His run goes deeper than that. Since June 8, he has a 2.70 ERA. That’s four spots remaining.

Trevor Williams has been an important pitcher for the Mets all season. With a healthy rotation Williams will now stay in the bullpen.

As a reliever this season, he has a 1.50 ERA striking out 10.9 per nine, and he recorded his first career save this season. He can be a long man, and we’ve recently seen him get some late inning opportunities. That’s three spots remaining.

Trevor May will be coming off the IL. He’s a high leverage reliever who had a 3.38 ERA, 130 ERA+, and a 12.1 K/9 out of the bullpen from 2018 – 2021.

He looked strong during his rehab outings. If he’s back to form, the Mets bullpen gets exponentially better and deeper. That’s two spots remaining.

Now, this is where things get a little interfering. The Mets have a mix of arms in Tommy Hunter, Stephen Nogosek, and Yoan López, each of whom has performed well when given a chance.

However, that’s depth, and the Mets understandably aren’t going to rely on them come the postseason. Of course, with the innings they get from the starting rotation, the Mets may never really need anything beyond Diaz-May-Lugo-Ottavino.

Still, you build as strong a bullpen as you can. It’s possible the remaining two spots could bee filled internally.

Buck Showalter has said Tylor Megill will move to the bullpen when he comes off the IL. When he was healthy, Megill was dominant, and he could be a real weapon in the bullpen.

Of course, that also applied to Drew Smith. However, no one knows if Smith can return this year. That may go double with Megill.

As a result, ideally speaking, the Mets have two spots to fill. That could’ve been one, but Colin Holderman was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. As a result, it’s two spots.

With Joely Rodriguez being a disappointment, and with the needless obsession with LOOGYS even despite the three batter rule, the Mets will likely bend backwards to get a left-handed reliever. It’s dumb, but that’s what they’ll do.

That leaves the team finding one more big arm. Given his success in New York, and how he’s pitched this year, David Robertson is THE perfect fit. Of course, there are other options.

Then again, if the Mets get no one, they will still be fine.

As noted, the starting pitching goes deep. So far this year, they average 5.2 innings per start. Remember, that’s without one deGrom start and the team getting 30 starts outside their projected Opening Day rotation.

If we focus on Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Carlos Carrasco, and Taijuan Walker, they’re averaging almost six innings per start. Again, this is without deGrom.

Keep in mind, one of those five moves to the postseason bullpen. That takes one of the two needed slots. Maybe they also carry David Peterson even if he struggled in his two cracks at the short relief route.

Really, when you break it down, the Mets already can go with what they already have in October. That goes double if Megill and/or Smith return.

While very true, the Mets still should get Robertson. That’s a move that puts this bullpen in a different stratosphere and pushes them closer to being World Series favorites.

Mets Need Offense, Bullpen, Luck At Trade Deadline

The line of demarcation for the New York Mets season seems to be June 1. Somehow, someway, it is always June for the Mets.

Entering June, the Mets had the best offense in baseball, and they were running away with the National League East. Since that time, the Mets offense has a 99 wRC+ which is 21st in the majors and seventh worst in the NL.

Keep in mind, the only teams with a worst offense are also-run teams with zero shot at making the postseason. What makes this worse is the Mets starting pitching has been phenomenal over this stretch. Their 3.45 ERA ranks sixth best in the majors and third best in the National League.

Keep in mind, much of that time was while the team had Trevor Williams in the rotation, Chris Bassitt was trying to get on the same page with Tomas Nido and Patrick Mazeika, and Carlos Carrasco was fighting fatigue. It was also a rotation without Max Scherzer for over a month.

Since Scherzer has been back, Mets starters have easily been the best in the majors with a 1.70 ERA. However, the Mets are only 9-7. Moreover, the Mets as a team are 25-20 since June 1 seeing their NL East lead dwindle from 10.5 games to 1.5 games.

Yes, part of the reason is the Atlanta Braves are on a historic tear. However, it has more to do with the Mets. Again, this team is not hitting. Morevoer, the bullpen has just been flat out bad.

Right now, Edwin Diaz is the only reliever the Mets can and will trust. The problem is he only throws one inning a night. The second best reliever on the team by ERA, Colin Holderman, was traded for Daniel Vogelbach. It’s at the point right now where the only set-up reliever the team can trust is Adam Ottavino.

Look at it another way. For the season, Mets relievers have a 3.53 ERA. On the surface, that is pretty good as it ranks as 10th best in the majors and fourth best in the NL.However, that includes Diaz and Holderman.

When you back out Diaz and Holderman, the Mets bullpen ERA rises to 3.90, which would rank 16th. That’s where the Mets bullpen is. They have a great closer, but they have a middling and unstable bridge to him. Arguably, they need a whole new bullpen.

Really, the Mets need luck. They need the kind of luck they had when Yoenis Cespedes became the best player on the planet and Addison Reed was the best set-up reliever out of the 2015 trade deadline.

That’s the thing. It’s not just getting players. It’s getting them to perform. Also, as we saw with 2015, the team got healthy and had help from the minors with Michael Conforto.

The Mets need to get a right-handed bat to push out J.D. Davis once and for all. They need a Francisco Alvarez or Mark Vientos to get called up to help at some point. Seeing the Mets catching situation, the Mets really need Alvarez to go on a tear in Triple-A to force a call-up.

Jacob deGrom needs to healthy. With him and the rest of three rotation going deep, it’ll lessen the burden and innings required from the bullpen.

Trevor May needs to be healthy. David Peterson needs to transition well to the bullpen. Peterson and Williams need to pitch well there, and Buck Showalter has to be willing to use them.

Vogelbach needs to hit as does Davis’ eventual replacement. The ship has probably sailed on relying on Eduardo Escobar hitting leaving his replacement needing to hit.

Really, the Mets need a lot. We’ve previously seen it can be done. Maybe not by Billy Eppler judging from his Los Angeles Angels tenure, but it can be done.

The trade deadline is a little more than a week away. What the Mets do will likely determine whether they win the division and just how deep they’ll go in the postseason.