While not specifically called as such, Will Sammon and Tim Britton of The Athletic wrote an autopsy of the 2023 New York Mets season. It was an excellent article with players being more open and honest than usual. It should be noted no one was attacking other players or throwing anyone under the bus.
Keeping that in mind, while reading the article, it became glaringly obvious Buck Showalter was the wrong manager for this 2023 Mets team.
The key quote out of the whole article was Tommy Pham saying, “Out of all the teams I played on, this is the least-hardest working group of position players I’ve ever played with.”
People will run a million different directions on this, but Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo were at least receptive and took it to heart and improved. Notably, we have seen Lindor and Nimmo have big second halves. Putting player reaction aside, this is an indictment on Showalter.
This was the sort of theme with why the season failed. The players weren’t working hard enough. There were miscues. The play was sloppy. The team was doubting themselves. They had a manager who didn’t have the pulse of the team.
When the team was holding player meetings pushing better play and accountability, Showalter had a rah-rah meeting the following day. His players were too comfortable with some being too complacent. There were mistakes, miscues, and as we would see with Max Scherzer unnecessary suspensions.
As noted by one unnamed player in the article, this is the sort of thing that comes into question when you don’t win. However, the Mets didn’t win, which allows these issues to be investigated.
For sure, Showalter isn’t the only reason the season failed. There was blame on the World Baseball Classic not allowing the team to adapt to new rules, but that also wasn’t the reason for the losing. There were the injuries, which were a major reason for the losing early on, and based on Adam Ottavino‘s comments, we saw the Edwin Díaz injury damaged the Mets psyche more than we ever appreciated (again, this is on the manager).
Again, we can point to injuries, but Showalter’s managing was an issue all season. Currently, we are seeing Mark Vientos mashing, but we had to watch Daniel Vogelbach flounder all season long. He was hands-off and being a rah-rah guy when players are talking about needing more accountability from one another.
If you wanted the reasons to look in another direction (Craig Counsell), it was detailed in that article. Keep in mind, this article was not a hit job or even directed at Showalter. However, when you have all that evidence, it is hard to ignore.
Francisco Álavarez‘s presence at the meeting with Pham, Lindor, and Eduardo Escobar about how to turn around the season speaks volumes to how he is viewed by his teammates. We heard stuff like this when he was in the minors, but it was interesting to see him quickly become not just a part of the fabric of the team, but to be a part of these leadership moments.
Fans have long pushed for Pete Alonso to be named captain, but Lindor and Nimmo are the unquestioned leaders of this team.
Alonso really cares, and he puts pressure on himself to succeed. If anything, his going into Showalter’s office is another reason why the Mets should be pushing for an extension.
Pham was great for the Mets, It wasn’t just his production, but it was seeking to hold everyone across the board more accountable. The Mets will be better for years to come because of Pham’s time spent with the team.
It would see Showalter leaned heavily on having Mark Canha, Escobar, and Starling Marte last year on a team full of leaders. With Canha pushed down the depth chart, Escobar traded, and Marte injured all year, Showalter was missing something he needed to have the team run as smoothly as it did last year.
The injuries and struggling to adapt to the new rules was certainly a factor (albeit probably small) in the need to pivot and move to younger players.
It was interesting Pham specifically said he had respect for Lindor and Nimmo and their work ethic with the article immediately going to Jeff McNeil saying “everyone comes ready to play and does what they need to do.” Immediately after that Nimmo says, “Ultimately, a lot of this comes down to individuals and what they’re willing to do.”
This was as interesting an juxtaposition as you can have, and you do have to wonder how purposeful the presentation was.
Mostly, it was injuries that hampered the Mets with the team not having the pitching depth it did in 2022. It will now be incumbent on Billy Eppler to work with David Stearns to make sure a season like 2023 does not happen again.
Earlier in the season, there was a debate amongst New York Mets fans on Mark Vientos. One camp said he’s done nothing in his 2-3 stints in the majors, and as a result, he probably isn’t going to be in the Mets future plans, and/or he’s not going to be a quality Major League player.
The other camp pointed to the sporadic playing time from Buck Showalter serving as an impediment to his being able to have success. At a minimum, the argument was he has to get an extended run to see what he could be. Well, with the Mets being out of it, and Showalter finally acquiescing, Vientos has gotten that extended look, and he has taken off:
Since August 29, Vientos is hitting .307/.349/.581 with a triple, five homers, and nine RBI. On the season, he is averaging an exit velocity of 93.6 MPH. Among players with 100 balls batted in play, Vientos leads the Mets, and he is fifth overall in the majors. (Anthony DiComo, mlb.com).
Keep in mind, his strikeout rate has stabilized to a more manageable 27% over this stretch. As Vientos has shown throughout his professional career, he can lower that number with more experience and adjustments.
With Vientos hitting the ball this hard and with this much power, he is earning a spot on the Mets 2024 roster.
For sure, there are going to be some complications. Pete Alonso blocks him at first. The Mets may go get Shohei Ohtani, who could be their DH as they await his return to the mound post Tommy John surgery. That leaves third base for him.
Admittedly, Vientos is the weakest defensive option there, but he has shown progress this season. His -1 OAA is a step in the right direction even if it is a very small sample size. Of note, this is a team with Eric Chavez as a coach, which would have you think he has the perfect mentor to get him up to speed at the position.
Part of the challenge there is Brett Baty is better regarded, but he has done nothing this season to prove he is ready. Moreover, he has been outplayed by Vientos all year.
The next challenge is Ronny Mauricio. With Mauricio, he too is proving he should be part of the Mets 2024 Opening Day roster.
Mauricio has played 16 games, and he is hitting .300/.354/.400 with three doubles, a homer, and seven RBI. He is also a perfect 6/6 in stolen base attempts. Overall, he is showing he is ready for the majors, and he needs to play everyday next season.
Where he plays is up for some debate. He is blocked at short by Francisco Lindor. That leaves second and third. While Jeff McNeil has been the team’s second baseman, he has the versatility to move to the outfield to allow Mauricio to man second.
Of course, there is a thought Mauricio was always best suited for third. That said, Mauricio has looked quite good at second base since the promotion.
He combined with McNeil on a cut off to cut down Jazz Chisholm Jr.trying to stretch a single into a double. He would also impress Keith Hernandez by his standing his ground and releasing a strong throw to turn a double play.
To some degree, it is not so much a matter of preference for where you want Mauricio to play. It is more what is best for the Mets. If Mauricio is playing second well and hitting, they should allow third base to be open for one of Baty or Vientos to play there. At the moment, Vientos has won that job, and he has a whole offseason to improve there.
In the end, Vientos and Mauricio have gotten the opportunity they have pushed for all season. Both are thriving, and they are leading the Mets to play the role of spoilers. They need to be rewarded for it by being penciled in as 2024 Opening Day starters.
In 2022, Jose Butto was pressed into action by the New York Mets, and the results weren’t good to say the least. In his one start, he allowed seven runs in four innings against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The start generated a number of reactions from fans. For the most part, the general reaction from Mets fans was that Butto was not a real prospect, and he was never going to make it.
Now, Butto seemed to solidify the case of the naysayers while pitching with Triple-A Syracuse this season. Over 19 starts, he was 3-7 with a 5.93 ERA. One of the key reasons was his 4.8 BB/9 and his inability to develop a third pitch.
However, something funny happened with Butto. With the trades of Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander along with the season (perhaps career) ending injury to Carlos Carrasco, Butto was pressed into action.
While Butto’s stats didn’t merit the opportunity, he got the opportunity because this was a lost season for the Mets. In many ways, it was for him as well. However, now, you cannot say the same for Butto. He got his chance, and he has put himself into the conversation for 2024.
Over his past three starts, Butto has pitched very well. While you may want to discount the start against the also ran Washington Nationals, the recent starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Miami Marlins deserve real attention with both teams fighting tooth-and-nail for the Wild Card.
He earned his first career win limiting the Diamondbacks to one run over five innings. He followed that up with an even more impressive performance. He struck out seven Marlins while limiting them one run over six innings.
Suddenly, there is talk about Butto being a part of the Mets rotation in 2024, or more likely, his being a part of the pitching staff.
What we are learning is his fastball/change-up will play at the Major League level. That combination was what powered a strong 2021 season, had him added to the 40 man roster (to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft), and put him on the Mets top prospect lists.
Now, that isn’t generating a big strikeout rate, but it is helping him avoid barrels. He’s holding opposing batters to a .274 SLG. Part of the reason is he has a high spin rate on his fastball. Another factor at play is his work with Jeremy Hefner, who has helped pitchers with similar stuff succeed with both the Mets and Minnesota Twins.
Now, there is nothing to say that Butto can repeat this success next year or even the rest of this season. Moreover, there is still a real question whether Butto can stick in the rotation or would need to move to the bullpen at the Major League level.
What we can say is the belief Butto was a prospect who could succeed in the majors was not in error. We are now seeing it. Having now seen it, we should be mindful that prospects take time and sometimes need to be beaten up and demoted before they succeed. That is true for Butto, and it will be true for many prospects which come after him.
At the trade deadline, we were told the New York Mets were sellers. They traded away players like Dominic Leone, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander. In exchange, they received a number of prospects bolstering their farm system and completely revamping the top prospect rankings within the organization.
These are the moves that are supposed to be the signal of the end of the season. However, for the Mets these trades led to a playoff berth. No, not for the Mets, but rather, for the Binghamton Rumble Ponies.
At the time of the trade deadline, the Rumble Ponies were 47-48 sitting in third place in the Eastern League Northeast Division. That was when they would be fortified with top prospects acquired from the trade deadline, who would help the Rumble Ponies make their postseason push.
Perhaps, it should come as no surprise Drew Gilbert has been the best player on the Rumble Ponies since the trade deadline. After all, he is arguably the Mets top prospect acquired at the trade deadline. In his 32 games with the team, he has been destroying the baseball hitting .336/.431/.575 with seven doubles, a triple, six homers, and 20 RBI.
That is an astounding 1.006 OPS and a 172 wRC+. He has done this while playing well in center field.
While Gilbert’s production might’ve been anticipated, the same can probably not be said for Jeremiah Jackson. The 23 year old had not been thriving in the Los Angeles Angels system leading them to part with him in exchange for Leone. So far, the Mets (and Rumble Ponies) are sure glad that he did.
Over 34 games, Jackson has hit 254/.338/.458 with three doubles, seven homers, and 23 RBI. While the 115 wRC+ has been impressive, it has also been his versatility that has been all the more impressive. Since joining the Rumble Ponies, Jackson has played second, third, shortstop, left field, and right field. In all, he has the makings of a utility player defensively while currently hitting like an everyday player.
Finally, there is Luisangel Acuña, who has continued stealing bases at an exceptional rate. Acuña has stolen 14 bases in 19 attempts giving him an astounding 56 stolen bases for the season.
Acuña did have a slow start when he first joined the Rumble Ponies. However, he is hot at the plate. Since August 20, he is hitting .303/.368/.395 with a double, two homers, and 10 RBI while stealing six bases. With this stretch, we have seen his wOBA climb back over .300.
Acuña’s performance is all the more impressive when you consider he is still just 21 years old. That makes him nearly three years younger than league average. It should also be kept in mind, he is performing this well while primarily playing a good defensive shortstop.
With the jolt this trio has provided to the Rumble Ponies, we have seen the team go 25-12 to secure second place in the division and a playoff berth.
Certainly, they did not do this alone. We have also seen tremendous performances from players like JT Schwartz (.913 OPS) and Agustin Ruiz (.829 OPS) since the trade deadline. Christian Scott (1.72 ERA) and Dominic Hamel (2.25 ERA) have provided strong starts, and Tyler Thomas has been lights out in the bullpen.
That all said, this wave of momentum began at the trade deadline. At the time, the Mets were out of it with their postseason dreams crushed. However, those moves led to the playoffs for the Rumble Ponies, and perhaps, one day in the future, this same trio can have the same impact in the majors.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published on MMN.
Even though it was something that needed to happen months ago, all four of the Baby Mets (there needs to be a better nickname than this) are finally on the roster. When looking at each player, it is difficult to grade them out partially because Buck Showalter hasn’t been too eager to play them, and for some reason, he thinks it is more important to play his older players against the teams fighting for the postseason.
With all the caveats and mind and with some injury issues, now is a good time to take a look at where the Baby Mets stand in their first real season in the Major Leagues:
Stats: .215/.292/.435, 9 2B, 22 HR, 51 RBI
When you look at Álvarez, you see a star in the making. Defensively, he has been phenomenal and has been one of the best framers in all of baseball. He’s been better than advertised, and you see the pitchers praise of him was not all team driven propogranda.
At the plate, he was a middle of the order hitter through July, but his production has completely fallen off. There are reasons for this. First and foremost, he’s never come close to playing these many games, and as a corollary to this, the Mets are playing him more sporadically to combat the fatigue that has set in.
In the end, he looks like a cornerstone player. Don’t let him limping to the end as he’s far surpassed his games played high fool you. We should see him as an All-Star and maybe even the MVP conversation as soon as next season.
Stats: 208/.279/.314. 11 2B, 7 HR, 29 RBI, 2 SB
The short answer is the Mets failed Baty. He should have been on the Opening Day roster. He was called up quickly, and in the beginning, he was terrific hitting ..319/.385/.511 over his first 15 games.
Then, disaster set in. Over his next 71 games, he hit .195/.270/.294. He regressed in every aspect of his game, including his defense where he went from a position OAA to a -4 OAA.
After waiting way too long to demote Baty, he went to Syracuse where he began hitting again. Over 17 games, he hit .246/.329/.493. After that he was promoted back to the majors, where he has hit .143/.172/.143 since the most recent call-up.
Behind the problems are a 27.9 K% and a 49.1 GB%. He’s hit the ball hard at times, but nowhere near at the rate he did in the minors. Moreover, he’s just not barreling the ball up.
Sooner rather than later, the Mets need to figure out the disconnect between the Mets and Syracuse. That applies to both offense and defense. More than that, they need to be less tied down to the notion Baty is the third baseman of the present and maybe even the future.
Stats: .313/.353/.375, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 4 SB
When looking at Mauricio, you have to question why the hell were the Mets keeping him in the minors for so long. The answer is complicated as there were issues with defense away from short, and Mauricio never did develop any plate discipline. There was also a minor ankle injury.
That said, Mauricio has been unfazed by the promotion. In fact, he’s doing what he did in Triple-A, albeit without the same power numbers . . . yet. Keep in mind, in his first at-bat with the Mets, he had the hardest hit ball in team history during the StatCast Era.
He’s looked awkward at second, but he does have a 1 OAA (small sample size alert). On the bases, while he’s sprint speed is rather pedestrian, he’s stealing bases and taking the extra base when he has the chance.
It’s way too soon to try to guess what he is as a player in the long or short term. The only thing we can say is he needed to put up here instead of the likes of Danny Mendick back when the Mets were trying to salvage this season.
Stats: .199/.245/.325, 5 2B, 3B, 4 HR, 13 RBI
Look, the Mets have gone out of their way time and again to let Vientos (and the fans) know how little they value him. In his first call-up, despite a hot start, he was sat because of the whims of Showalter and the need to get Daniel Vogelbach‘s non-producing bat into the lineup.
Like with many young players, he struggled with the limited playing time, and he was eventually sent back down. As a result, he has underperformed, and we still don’t quite know what he can be.
What we do know is he hits the ball very hard, and he shows power to the opposite field. He does have a high strikeout rate. He’s been better than advertised at third even if he’s not really all that good there. He has impressed in limited time at first, but Pete Alonso is there, so forget that.
In the end, one of the biggest mistakes the Mets made in this lost season was not using their time to figure out what Vientos could be. Part of that could be the injured wrist. Most of it was allowing their manager get in the way of what was best for the franchise in the short and long term.
The Mets can do a number of things this offseason, which will forever change the outlook of the roster and this group of young players. That all said, it’s clear Álvarez will be the Opening Day catcher.
At the moment, barring some precipitous drop-off, Mauricio will factor into the Opening Day roster as the team’s everyday second baseman. That will likely push Jeff McNeil to left field.
After that, if the Mets were being smart, it would be a third base competition between Baty and Vientos. If the Mets are being honest, Vientos should be ahead, but it seems they made their mind up two years ago that Baty was the guy. Perhaps, that will all change when the team finally hires a President of Baseball Operations.
The New York Mets delayed it longer than needed, but they eventually called up Ronny Mauricio. So far, he has been electrifying giving a jolt to the team and the fanbase. We saw that in his first at-bat when he hit an unreal 117 MPH double off of Seattle Mariners starter Logan Gilbert:
First career hit
Double for Mauricio pic.twitter.com/zfFV3qrS6f
— Mets Daddy (@MetsDaddy2013) September 1, 2023
That was the hardest hit ball by a Mets player in the Statcast Era. Yes, that was hit harder than anything off the bat of Pete Alonso, That’s how you know how special the power and bat could be for Mauricio. That’s why he’s been getting Alfonso Soriano comps from Keith Law.
On the weekend, his first weekend in the majors, he was 5-for-11 with that double and two strikeouts. He would score a run and would go 2/2 in stolen base attempts. All-in-all, it was better than you possibly could’ve imagined his debut to be.
The question for Mauricio is what is next?
Not to downplay his first few games, but he was characteristically over-aggressive at the plate. When he took a pitch, it appeared more like he was taking all the way rather than his showing any real plate discipline. He did not walk and only had one three ball count.
In the all too early tally, he whiffed on half of the breaking balls he saw. He destroyed the fastball. He hit the ball on the ground a lot.
Defensively, he didn’t look comfortable at second. Again, it’s too early, but per Baseball Savant, he’s a -1 OAA already. It should be noted here his defense was an issue in Syracuse. Already, Buck Showalter said Mauricio will get looks at third and left field.
Being excited as a fan, it looks like Mauricio is here to stay. Maybe, he is. However, we also thought that with Brett Baty, and that has not turned out well this season.
Mauricio is currently riding high after a strong weekend at the plate. That was all the more impressive considering the Mariners pitching staff leads the majors in FIP. Perhaps, he is going to take another leap forward as the Mets are set to play the Washington Nationals, who own the second worst FIP in the majors.
However, at some point, things will get more difficult. The Minnesota Twins (sixth in FIP), Miami Marlins (ninth in FIP), and Philadelphia Phillies (fifth in FIP) have strong pitching staffs. They will also have some video and data on Mauricio allowing them to adjust and pitch him tougher.
Put another way, the league is going to adjust, and we will get to see how Mauricio responds. If he holds his own, the Mets have an important piece of the puzzle for next season. If not, Mauricio is back in limbo. This will make September an important month for the Mets giving fans all the more reason to watch.
When Noah Syndergaard left the New York Mets, he thought things would go far different than it has. The further away he has gotten away from the Mets; the further he has gotten away from being Thor.
He thought he was going where he needed to come back from Tommy John when he spurned the Mets to sign with the Los Angeles Angels. His 106 ERA+ wasn’t what he wanted to be, but he was league average.
It led to a trade deadline deal to the eventual pennant winning Philadelphia Phillies. He wasn’t all that great and initially was in the bullpen in the postseason.
In the offseason, he did the smart thing by signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He didn’t perform well, and he spent much of the year dealing with blisters.
The Dodgers were all too happy to dump him on the Cleveland Guardians at the trade deadline. After six starts, the Guardians designated him for assignment.
Look, there’s nothing here to suggest Syndergaard will ever be what we once knew him to be. Going to Baseball Savant, there’s nothing to suggest he’s a good or even capable Major League pitcher now.
That brings us to the Mets.
Carlos Carrasco is making starts every five days (maybe for not much longer). The bullpen also has been a disaster with relievers shuttling back-and-forth from Queens to Syracuse.
You could argue Syndergaard couldn’t be worse than what the Mets have. It’s not an ironclad one (with the exception of Carrasco). Thinking he can resemble the Syndergaard of old is fool’s gold.
The Mets still are in a spot where they’re looking at options for the 2024 pitching staff. They’re also looking for reasons to get fans to the ballpark. Maybe Syndergaard could be an answer to both.
Most likely not.
At this point, the question really is why not? No one is kicking down Syndergaard’s door. The Mets don’t have better waiting. Sure, it’s sappy nostalgia, but that’s at least something.
At this point, just bring back Syndergaard. If nothing else, it’ll be better than watching Carrasco.
Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry forever defined an era of New York Mets baseball, the best era of Mets baseball. Despite that, they are forever defined not by what they did, but by what they failed to do.
We will never know how many more World Series the Mets win if Strawberry and Gooden were clean. Notably, Gooden missed the 1986 victory parade because he was getting high.
It wasn’t just about the World Series titles or other missed chances at the postseason. It was about what they did to their own careers. The narrative is they should’ve been Hall of Famers.
With regard to Strawberry, that was undoubtedly true. It’s a testament to his abilities that he was the best position player in Mets history despite the drug problems.
In his Mets career, he amassed a 36.6 WAR. For the sake of comparison, Dave Winfield, the right fielder on the other side of town, had a 32.0 WAR over his first eight seasons.
Remember, this was with Strawberry battling drug (and related domestic) problems. For that, the Mets were done with him, and he was off to Los Angeles where his life and career would spin out of control.
Gooden has always been a different issue. We forget his career was plagued by shoulder problems. We need not look further than Johan Santana to see how that can completely alter a career.
We could argue the drug problems played a role. Given how Gooden was off found drugs when he should’ve been doing other things leads credence to that. However, we’re also talking about a pitcher who threw 800.2 innings before his age 22 season.
Knowing what we know now, Gooden’s arm was abused. We saw his body break down. With that, his Hall of Fame chances might’ve been overstated. Maybe not.
Wherever you land, we can all agree Gooden limited his own potential and production. Same goes for Strawberry. It’s why they are cautionary tales.
It used to be you needed to be a Hall of Famer to have your number retired by the Mets. It should probably remain that way. Strawberry and Gooden are reasons why.
As much as they did for the franchise, they also harmed the franchise. The Mets run wax cut short for years. Their impact has been too far long lasting . . . just not the way we hoped it would be.
For Gooden, his story never seems to have a happy ending. Just when you think all is good, he’s back in the news. With respect to Strawberry, he finally seems on the right path, and you could see this moment the culmination of his not just saving his life but working towards saving the lives of others.
That’s the way it is. Retiring their numbers is about what they did. It’s also forever immortalizing what could have been. That’s the way it always was with Doc & Darryl.
Their story is more about the fall than the greatness. In the end, the Mets chose to honor all of it.
According to a recent report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Milwaukee Brewers believed they were close to acquiring Pete Alonso from the New York Mets at the trade deadline. For their part, the Mets disagreed with this characterization.
The term the Brewers source told Rosenthal “talks advanced to the point where the teams were within “field-goal range” of a trade.” Here’s a visual representation of that:
Put another way, there’s no way the Mets were close to trading Alonso to the Brewers.
Some background here. The Mets have long attempted to hire David Stearns away from the Brewers. Brewers owner, Mark Attanasio, has rebuffed the Mets while saying he does not like “small market teams” like he claims the Brewers to be serving as executive on the job training for larger market teams.
Stearns’ contract with the Brewers expires after this season. That leaves a clear path for the Mets to hire him.
Certainly, given the adversarial nature of the Brewers/Mets relationship, it would seem the Brewers have ulterior motives in leaking they were close to acquiring Alonso. It sows potential discord between the player and organization as potentially Stearns looks to extend or trade Alonso in the ensuing offseason.
Of course, all of this is pure conjecture as to why the rumor is bogus. There’s also a bigger reason why this trade was never close.
Alonso is the most popular Met setting team power number records. At some point, he’s going to emerge as potentially the Mets best homegrown position player. If the Mets trade him, especially with a year of control still remaining, the team needs an unquestioned haul in return.
Well, the Brewers were not going to trade their top prospect – Jackson Chourio. Chourio is a top 10 prospect in the sport, maybe top two. He’s the centerpiece needed to make this deal, and yet, he on his own would not be sufficient.
Sure, the Brewers have other top 100 guys, but they don’t have anyone sniffing the top 10 or 20 at the moment. Sal Frelick is top 25, but there’s not another top 30 prospect to pair with him.
The Mets simply cannot trade Alonso to anyone without getting their best prospect. There would be a backlash we haven’t seen for decades, which is saying something considering the Wilpons tenure.
The Mets aren’t dumb, and they know this. In all likelihood, they weren’t trading Alonso for prospects, but were perhaps playing the groundwork for a potential offseason deal which could include Major Leaguers. Who knows?
The only thing we do know is Alonso wasn’t getting traded for less than the best anyone could offer. It would’ve taken a nearly unprecedented prospect haul for a team to acquire Alonso, and the Brewers weren’t doing that.
Instead, the Brewers are trying to fracture the Mets relationship with Alonso. They’re trying to make Stearns’ job more difficult. In the end, Alonso, the Mets, and anyone with a brain should just disregard the Brewers nonsense here.
While people have their takeaways from the article, the biggest was Verlander’s frustrations with Puma writing, “Verlander often complained about the Mets’ analytics department, which he deemed inferior to the one that served him in Houston.”
Going back to 2017, Verlander was still a very good pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. He was 34, and in previous seasons, there was a dip in his performance. Between that, his contract, and the Tigers rebuilding, it was time to move him.
After going to the Houston Astros, Verlander became an ace again winning two Cy Youngs. Verlander became a Met because of money. As we saw, Houston still wanted him.
It didn’t work for Verlander in his brief time with the Mets. Part of that was injury. Another part, according to Verlander, is the Mets have areas they need to improve.
Maybe it was constructive. Maybe it was harsh. Certainly, Verlander rankled some feathers. In the end, the only takeaway is the Mets have work to do.
Look, the Astros are the best in the business. You can also make cases for the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers. You can’t make that case with the Mets.
The biggest issue is the Wilpons. They set the organization well back on that perspective, and it takes time to get out from under that.
Another issue is Billy Eppler. Under his direction, the Los Angeles Angels were never an analytically driven or analytically forward thinking organization.
The end result is Steve Cohen is trying to get the Mets up to speed with a GM who really isn’t well versed in the direction of the field of baseball analytics.
The Mets may know some of the things they don’t know and need to investigate. The bigger issue is they don’t know what they don’t know. Verlander made that apparent.
Looking deeper than that, the Mets don’t know what areas the more analytically driven teams are even pursuing. That’s exactly where the Mets need to close the gap.
If nothing else, Verlander let the Mets know where they are lacking. It’s now incumbent on the organization to close that gap, and more importantly forge ahead in the areas other teams have not yet embarked.