The danger with calling up Mark Vientos was that Buck Showalter was not going to play him. That is just Showalter’s instincts when it comes to young players. While veterans need not have to produce to keep a roster spot, young players have to go above and beyond to earn playing time.
When Brett Baty was first called up, he was immediately put into a platoon at third base with Eduardo Escobar. What was bizarre about that was Baty was called up to the majors specifically because of Escobar’s struggles. Baty has since played his way out of the platoon.
For two years running, the Mets said when Francisco Álvarez was called up to the majors, he was going to be the primary catcher. However, when Álvarez was called up after the Omar Narváez injury, Showalter first made Álvarez the back-up to Tomás Nido.
Eventually, Nido’s struggles and eye issues forced him to the IL, and now Álvarez is the primary catcher. However, even with Álvarez being the Mets best hitter for over a month now, he still bats ninth.
That brings us back to Vientos.
Vientos was called up because Daniel Vogelbach was not hitting for power, and he was slumping. Tommy Pham was not getting it done either from the DH spot. Mostly, the Mets needed more power in their lineup. Given the power display Vientos was exhibiting in Triple-A coupled with him dramatically cutting down on the strikeouts, the Mets were almost forced to call him up.
When he was first called up, it looked genius. Vientos would homer off of Ryan Thompson to tie the game and spark what would be the Mets best win of the season. Notably, Vientos was just one of four players over the past three seasons to homer off of Thompson’s slider:
Good thing they didn’t call up Mark Vientos sooner.
— Mike Mayer (@mikemayer22) May 18, 2023
Even with the homer, the Mets would not get him back into the lineup. He sat against the right-handed Taj Bradley. However, he would get into the lineup again against the right-handed Cal Quantrill. In that game, Vientos came up with the big base hit off Emmanuel Clase in the 10th to pull the Mets within a run.
For Vientos, that was two games played with two big hits producing an RBI. Despite that, he would not appear in the lineup until two games later. Being fair here, one of the games he missed the first half of a doubleheader. Still, after two big hits, Showalter’s inclination was to sit Vientos for two straight games.
Vientos struggled against Shane Bieber, who was excellent over eight innings. Then again, the Mets lineup only produced two runs on seven hits for the day.
Vientos would start at DH in the first game of the series against the Chicago Cubs with Drew Smyly taking the mound. After going 0-for-2 with two strikeouts, Showalter pinch hit Vogelbach for Vientos when the right-handed Jeremiah Estrada relieved Smyly.
When Showalter pinch hit for Vientos, there were runners on first and second with one out. Vogelbach flied out with Francisco Lindor and Alonso moving up. You’ll note when Starling Marte, the Mets worst hitter this season, came to the plate, Showalter did not use Jeff McNeil to pinch hit for him. Instead, he left Marte in to ground out killing the Mets chances of getting back into that game.
With Marcus Stroman taking the hill, Vientos was again on the bench in favor of Vogelbach. Vogelbach was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Again, Vogelbach had the type of performance which led to Vientos getting called up.
Taking all into account, here is where we are. Vientos was impactful the first two games but has not been since. He is struggling with sporadic playing time going 2-for-13 at the plate with a homer and two RBI (65 wRC+).
Vientos is not producing enough at the moment. He has also been taken out the rhythm he was in Triple-A with the sporadic playing time he has had. Put the blame where you want it, but the end result is Vientos not playing frequently and not producing the way he did even when he was first called-up.
Bottom four. Mets trailing 4-1 after Pete Alonso homered in the top half of the inning to get the New York Mets back into the game. Tylor Megill toes the rubber looking to build off a strong third after a very difficult second inning.
Michael Tauchman hits a soft liner right at Tommy Pham. It’s as routine as a play gets. Except, Pham can’t catch a ball hit directly into his mitt, and Tauchman is on second. Megill and the Mets unraveled from there.
This moment was emblematic of the type of season Pham is having. More than that, it was yet another reason for the Mets fanbase to become increasingly frustrated with Pham.
Defensively, Pham has flat out been bad. It’s not just the error. It is the fact Pham has a -2 Outs Above Average (OAA) in left field. That should come as no surprise to anyone because he is coming off a season where he had a -6 OAA with the Cincinnati Reds and Boston Red Sox.
This is not a one year anomaly either. In 2021, Pham had a -7 OAA with the San Diego Padres, and the year prior, he had a -10 with the Tampa Bay Rays. Summing up, Pham has long established himself as a bad defensive outfielder.
Of note, Pham has lost a step. His sprint speed is down to 27.3 ft/sec. That rates outside the top 30 among Major League left fielders, and it is just 0.2 ahead of the recently released Aaron Hicks. In all, Pham was already a poor outfielder, and now, he is a slower poor fielder.
Despite that, Buck Showalter has pressed Pham into action. He’s in a stretch where he’s played in nine out the last 10 Mets games. That’s more than Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, and Mark Vientos.
Mets fans have noticed and are questioning it, and at some point, you have to wonder what exactly the organization is seeing with Pham.
To be fair to Pham, he was supposed to be brought it to platoon at DH with Daniel Vogelbach, or at least that is what we were led to believe. That plan has not been going well, and it is one of the reasons Vientos was called-up to the majors.
On the season, Pham is hitting .210/.298/.358 with three doubles, three homers, and 10 RBI. He has an 83 wRC+. Notably, Starling Marte and Vientos are the only Mets on the current roster with a lower wRC+.
The argument for playing Pham has been the analytics. He has a .267xBA and .469 xSLG. He also has a 92.5 MPH average exit velocity. Put another way, with how hard Pham hits it, you expect far better results than he’s had.
However, that is just part of the picture. Pham has a 50 GB% and 1.82 GB/FB. He rarely goes the other way. His hard contact percentage is down from previous years when he was also a below average hitter:
- 2020 – 79 wRC+
- 2021 – 102 wRC+
- 2022 – 89 wRC+
- 2023 – 83 wRC+
At 35, you really have to question how the Mets thought Pham was going to improve upon being a below average hitter. Circling back, it does need to be pointed out again he was supposed to be a platoon bat.
There was some validity to that thought. In 2022, Pham had a 115 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. However, the previous season, it was only 94. This year, we see it is an 86. In essence, Billy Eppler bought a one year anomaly for an aging and declining outfielder.
The decision making there is concerning when the Mets knew Brett Baty would be Major League ready at some point in 2023, and Escobar kills left-handed pitching. The Mets also had Vientos and Francisco Álvarez set to begin the year in Syracuse.
Overall, the best argument we have for Pham is he hits the ball hard occasionally, but he is not showing elite exit velocity numbers. He is a poor fielder who is getting slower. He has a fanbase that is getting increasingly frustrated by him. However, in the end, he apparently has a manager and GM who believe in him, so for the moment, he appears set to play until the situation no longer becomes tenable.
EDITOR’S NOTE:: This post first appeared on MMO
When Pete Alonso cursed on the field, it did bother some people. Sure, it was after 10:00 and worse things are said in the stands, but it is going to bother some people. That’s fine and to each their own.
However, most of the people who were upset or offended are not the manager of the New York Mets. Yes, Buck Showalter was not happy with the comments. That’s fine. Whether it was actually the language or how his team is perceived, he has every right to be upset.
He can and should address it with Alonso. He can and should speak with the team about how they represent the Mets. He should never have publicly aired his grievance publicly with one of his New York Yankee buddies:
Michael Kay: “Did it bother you when Pete (Alonso) cursed on the field?”
Buck Showalter: “Of course it did.”
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) May 23, 2023
On the Michael Kay Show, Showalter brought up the topic on his own. He wasn’t asked about it. However, he felt compelled to bring it up. He then went on to criticize Alonso for cursing and talked about how he addressed it with Alonso so it’ll never happen again.
This is disloyalty to the Mets best player this season.
You can see why other fanbases dislike Alonso. He is who he is, and he is unapologetic about it. He’s a rah-rah guy. However, he is not a bad guy. Not even close.
When Alonso won the Home Run Derby, he donated the proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project and Tunnel to Towers. He’s been available for every interview, and he does everything he can to promote the Mets and the sport.
The LFGM was a thing between him and the fans, and he got carried away after a great win. For some reason, that moment irked Showalter so much he complained about it about a week later to his old buddy Michael Kay.
If Alonso were to criticize a teammate publicly, Showalter would be the first to say that needs to stay in-house, but those rules apparently don’t apply to Showalter. Extrapolating further, the Mets have a radio deal with WCBS, a sister station of WFAN. He went on with Kay to voice that displeasure.
There are beat writers who cover the Mets. Showalter didn’t give them that story despite them carrying water for him for over a year now. He didn’t give the story to SNY who covers the team. No, he gave the story to Kay.
Worse yet, Showalter brought it up so it could be discussed. This is not remotely acceptable. This is not how a manager comports himself, especially over a very minor off the field issue if you could even call it that.
Alonso deserved to be treated better by his manager. Showalter needs to keep things in-house unless he wants Alonso and the team publicly chastising him for overplaying Tommy Pham, running to pinch hit Daniel Vogelbach for Mark Vientos, and his general disdain for playing the Mets young players.
The Mets players won’t do that because they’re professionals. Needless to say, if that ever did happen, you can bet Showalter would appear on YES to tell everyone his problems with it.
One thing that has been abundantly clear is the New York Mets lineup isn’t working. Even going back to last season, Buck Showalter never truly maximized his lineup. That should change now, especially since Showalter can’t justify many of his decisions.
That’s not to say Showalter has been completely inflexible. To be fair, he did drop down Starling Marte in the lineup due to his early season struggles. On that point, Marte never should have been batting second. As we have seen, from a Sabermetric/analytical standpoint, your best hitter should bat second.
Instead, Showalter treated it like a second lead-off hitter. That never really worked last season, and it is time to see Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil, or Brandon Nimmo bat second. If players like Aaron Judge and Mike Trout bat second, the Mets can put their top hitter there.
Since the start of last season, those are the Mets top three hitters. Alonso has a 141 wRC+. McNeil is behind him with a 136, and Nimmo has a 132. The Mets could easily justify batting anyone one of them second in their lineup.
Before getting to that point, the Mets do have to wrestle with who leads off. Part of the issue there is while Nimmo seems like the obvious candidate, the waters do get muddied a bit when looking at the numbers.
In his career, McNeil has been at his best batting lead-off (131 wRC+), his four games in the clean-up spot (144 wRC+), or towards the bottom of the lineup. He has been his weakest batting second (115 wRC+) and fifth (104 wRC+). While we can and should look towards analytics, we should also take into account where players thrive and meld the two.
On that front, Francisco Lindor has been at his best when batting lead-off (123 wRC+) or fifth in the lineup (183 wRC+) in his career. The caveat there is he’s hit fifth only once, so that should really be disregarded. Really, Lindor has spent his career in the top third of the lineup, and it is clear he’s a much better hitter when leading off.
For his part, Nimmo has a 135 wRC+ as a leadoff hitter. He’s got better numbers in other spots in the lineup, but there’s nothing close to an appreciable sample size to derive anything of it. This is where the Mets conundrum is. They have three players who thrive batting leadoff, but only one of them can fill that spot.
The question is how exactly do you balance that out keeping in mind this is all before you account for players like Francisco Álvarez, Brett Baty, and Mark Vientos.
Going back to Alonso for a moment, he has a 135 wRC+ batting clean-up. However, he has a 149 wRC+ batting second and a 151 wRC+ batting fifth. He’s very good batting third hitting third.
So going through the numbers, here is what we know. Nimmo has the best wRC+ as a lead-off hitter, but Lindor has the biggest drop-off from the lead-off to other spots in the lineup. Alonso can hit basically anywhere. Going deeper, over the past month, Álvarez has been the Mets best hitter with a 162 wRC+. Put another way, he’s arrived.
Basically, there’s a lot going on with the Mets lineup, but one thing we know is Álvarez batting last is something that needs to change immediately. We also know base stealing is easier with the closer base paths, and Lindor is their best base stealer out of their top hitters. Taking everything into account, perhaps the Mets can roll with something like this:
- Lindor, SS
- Alonso, 1B
- McNeil, 2B
- Álvarez, C
- Nimmo, CF
- Vientos, 3B
- Baty, LF
- Marte, RF
- Vogelbach/Escobar/Canha DH
Another interesting look is:
- McNeil, 2B
- Nimmo, CF
- Alonso, 1B
- Lindor, SS
- Álvarez, C
- Baty, LF
- Vientos, 3B
- Vogelbach/Escobar/Canha, DH
- Marte, RF
If that is too radical, the other option the Mets have in play is:
- Nimmo, CF
- Lindor, SS
- McNeil, LF
- Alonso, 1B
- Baty, 3B
- Vientos, DH
- Escobar, 2B
- Marte, RF
The second is the more likely scenario given the manager. However, it is still a major change. The biggest is acknowledging Álvarez is one of the Mets top hitters and needs to be recognized as such.
The other interesting part of the lineup is Marte ninth. This is a page out of Bobby Valentine‘s playbook when he would bat Roger Cedeño ninth in interleague games to give the Mets a leadoff hitter at the bottom of the lineup.
In the end, this is a balancing of what the players are comfortable doing with optimizing the lineup analytically. The Mets seem to be doing better with their top four batters rearranged, and if that is the case, the Mets can roll with that. However, the lower five needs radical reconstruction starting with batting Álvarez fifth.
That last part should be the easy part. Time will tell if Showalter sees it that way.
Francisco Álvarez entered the 2023 season as the catcher of the future. Before Memorial Day, Álvarez has established himself as the catcher of the present.
He’s been great defensively, which has been a very pleasant surprise. His bat is coming around, and over the past month, he’s been the second best hitting catcher in the game.
Keep in mind, he’s just scratching the surface. He’s 21, and he has a potential superstar career ahead of him. When players like these “arrive,” organizations just hand them the keys.
To some degree, this does raise some questions as to how the New York Mets handle their catching situation. At the moment, they’re all over-blown.
We don’t know if Gary Sánchez will ever hit in the majors again. We also haven’t really seen anything to suggest he can catch at the Major League level.
Sánchez is a back-up catcher, DH, and/or power bat off the bench. In reality he’s the later two and more of a complication for Mark Vientos.
Tomás Nido is a defensive back-up. He’s not starting for anyone or pushing the future of your franchise back to Double-A. He’s needed and important but nowhere near indispensable.
The “complication” is really Omar Narváez. However, much of this is overblown.
First and foremost, Narváez was moved to the 60 day IL. He’s not yet begun a rehab assignment. Although, that should be happening within the next few weeks.
Narváez signed the deal with the Mets knowing Álvarez existed. He signed a deal with a player option for 2024.
Essentially, Narváez signed in hoping he could keep Álvarez in the minors. In the event he couldn’t, he has a built-in escape clause. Put another way, he knew the current situation could well happen, and he was prepared.
That does not mean he will be happy or accept it. That’s his prerogative, and no one can blame him for being upset for losing his job due to injury.
That said, Álvarez is flat out better than him at the moment. Álvarez is going to get a lot better too.
However, Álvarez has never caught more than 81 games in a season. He’s currently 39% of the way towards his career high in games caught.
As a result, we should expect a rookie wall. There will be fatigue. There may be a need to ease up on the amount of games he catches per week.
Obviously, the Mets will want to DH him those days. Again, that’s a complication for Vientos. It will be one for Daniel Vogelbach and Sánchez as well.
It’s also an opportunity to get Narváez into more games. It can keep him happy, and it can allow the Mets to get the most from him and Álvarez.
Of course, for that to be the situation, Narváez has to return from his IL stint. He needs to be productive and force the issue. Put another way, the Mets can kick the can down the road for now.
While that happens, Billy Eppler needs to be active. It’s obvious he needs to have a plan for what to do with the DHs because Álvarez is here to stay and needs a place to play.
The New York Mets are making the right move calling up Gary Sánchez. We know Sánchez has the ability to have a game changing type of bat, and he has the type of power the Mets are trying to add to the roster.
Sánchez had an opt out date fast approaching. It could be a mix of small sample sizes, good luck, and some adjustments, but Sánchez has been raking in Triple-A Syracuse. The Mets should get a look at Sánchez at the Major League level before letting another team benefit from the risk and work the Mets took on signing Sánchez to a minor league deal.
While a smart decision, it comes with serious risk given who is in charge of the Mets.
Buck Showalter has already given Mets fans reason to be leery on his handling with young players. Mark Vientos hit a big home run, and he sat the next day in favor of Tommy Pham and Daniel Vogelbach, two players whose failures necessitated Vientos’ promotion to the majors.
Based on Showalter’s comments, it seems he may be leaning towards a third base platoon between Vientos and Brett Baty. Baty just escaped one with Eduardo Escobar, but because Showalter is reticent to use his young players over his veterans, it appears two players who should be together in the starting lineup are now going to battle for one spot.
That brings us back to Francisco Álvarez.
When Omar Narváez went down with injury, Álvarez was called up to the majors. Prior to this moment, the Mets always said once Álvarez is called up, he is going to be the primary catcher. Instead, Showalter declared Tomás Nido would start over Álvarez.
It literally took Nido developing an eye issue causing his ineffectiveness for Álvarez to get the starting job he should have had. That was the organizational plan, but on his own volition, Showalter abandoned it.
Looking at Álvarez now, he is an excellent defensive catcher. He just hit a huge homer. Over the past 21 games, he has hit four homers, an .807 OPS, and a 128 wRC+. That would make him one of the Mets best hitters over this stretch, so naturally, he can’t bat anything other than ninth in this lineup.
Now, Álvarez sitting in the series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays was overblown. He’s a catcher. Day games after night games always means your catcher sits. Showalter didn’t need the nicked up excuse. Álvarez is a catcher. Catchers are always nicked up.
From what we’ve seen, the Mets can’t take Álvarez out of the everyday lineup. If the Mets want to play Sánchez, fine, He can DH. He can catch the second end of the doubleheader or the day game after the night game. That’s the job of the backup catcher which Sánchez should undoubtedly be.
Make no mistake, Álvarez is better than Sánchez. Whereas Sánchez struggles defensively, Álvarez is very good behind the plate. Whereas Sánchez never fulfilled his offensive potential, Álvarez is giving us very real glimpses into what he can be.
In the end, the Mets were smart to call up Sánchez. If utilized properly, he can be a real weapon for the Mets. However, if he usurps Álvarez this will be a disaster, and it will the latest in Showalter trying to put a stop to the Mets youth movement. The Mets simply cannot let that happen.
The New York Mets rode with their veterans for as long as they could. To a certain extent, you could understand it with Mark Canha being an integral part of a 101 win team. However, even with that in the 8-7 extra inning win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Buck Showalter did what needed to be done, and he hit Brett Baty for Canha.
Given the fact Eduardo Escobar and Tommy Pham were already out of the game, that meant Baty was going to have to play left field. It also meant that was the first time we got to see Francisco Álvarez, Baty, and Mark Vientos in the field for the Mets at the same time.
In many ways, this was the dawn of a new era of Mets baseball. We knew that Álvarez was always going to be the catcher of the future. It seemed Baty surpassed Vientos as the third baseman of the future. The question was what was to happen with Vientos. DH seemed to be the spot, but perhaps, there’s a new roadmap in place.
We got a glimpse of what Álvarez can do. He’s already an excellent defensive catcher, which has been a very pleasant surprise. We also saw him channel his inner Mike Piazza to hit the game tying homer in the ninth.
The Kids Are Alright!
Francisco Álvarez caps a big @Mets comeback! pic.twitter.com/jzSwfRZo7H
— MLB (@MLB) May 18, 2023
That was the second Mets homer of the game. The first came from Vientos. He was called up to the majors because of his power at the plate. We all suspected it was game changing power, and we saw that happen when he homered in the seventh to tie the game at 2-2. It took a Mets team that looked down and out and put a jolt into them,.
WELCOME BACK TO THE BIG LEAGUES MARK VIENTOS!!!!
THIS GAME IS TIED! pic.twitter.com/z8iegpI5pF
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 18, 2023
We also know Pete Alonso hit the walk-off homer in the tenth to give the Mets an unexpected and much needed win. Of course, Alonso homering there only highlights the problem the Mets have. With Alonso at first, the team cannot put Vientos at first to put Baty at third like they did in Syracuse.
No, Vientos either has to play third or DH. Asking a young player to DH is sometimes an issue, and it would be better for him to play third. Looking to the offseason, the Mets also want to keep DH open to try to entice Shohei Ohtani, but that is a discussion for another time.
The discussion for right now is how to get Baty and Vientos onto the field at the same time. Perhaps, Baty having to play left field in an emergency is the roadmap. Perhaps, the Mets could try putting Baty in left with Vientos at third.
For what it is worth, Baty looked good there in 250 innings in the minors. His 27.1 ft/sec sprint speed is quicker than Pham and is sufficient to play left. He’d be one of the slower left fielders, but with his quick reactions formed while training for third. There is also the fact the Mets were preparing for that eventuality when they initially agreed to terms with Carlos Correa.
Vientos is not a great third baseman. It’s one of the reasons he was usurped by Baty. We saw him make a great throw to get Jose Siri, but he also made a rough throw that cost the Mets a chance at a double play. However, he is vastly improved defensively, and he has a game changing bat.
The Mets can and should bring Luis Guillorme back up to fill in for late inning defense. Canha can be available for that as well. They can use Escobar to spell third on occasion. Using key veterans like Canha, Escboar, and Guillorme will help the Mets keep Baty and VIentos in games.
It will also help the Mets get the most out of their young players. It will help them make Álvarez, Baty, and Vientos the core of this team now and for the future.
The New York Mets finally broke glass for emergency and called up Mark Vientos from Triple-A Syracuse. The move was needed after the Mets went 56 innings without a homer, and the team dropped to three games under .500.
VIentos is not going to fix all that ails that Mets. After all, he can’t help José Quintana heal faster. He can’t get Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to rewind the clock a year. He can’t get David Peterson to rediscover his ability to pitch.
All Vientos can do is go out there and hit. Even on a team with Pete Alonso, Vientos could possibly be the Mets best power bat at the moment. So far this year, he has a 169 wRC+ and 1.104 OPS with Triple-A Syracuse. He has also posted historically higher exit velocities than Alonso did in the minors.
Of course, none of that is here or there. Mostly, it just highlights how the Mets have two very similar power bats in the lineup in Alonso and Vientos. Of course, the Mets can only take advantage of that by actually playing Vientos.
Mark Vientos with his 13th HR of the season.
107.2 mph off the bat and traveled 411 feet.
— Mathew Brownstein (@MBrownstein89) May 17, 2023
So far this season, we have seen Buck Showalter reticent to play his younger players and/or give them more responsibility. When Brett Baty was called up, he started in a platoon. When Francisco Álvarez was called up, he was named the back-up catcher, and even after winning the job from Tomás Nido, he still can’t get above hitting ninth in the lineup.
With Vientos, the Mets already have Daniel Vogelbach as the DH. Showalter does not like playing rookies over veterans, and it is going to be difficult to do that with Vogelbach with him being productive with a 119 wRC+.
That said, Vogelbach has been slumping, and he has not come close to posting the power numbers expected from a DH. More to the point, Vogelbach is not capable of providing the damage at the plate Vientos potentially can.
Certainly, there will be the impetus to make Vientos a platoon option with Vogelbach usurping the role Tommy Pham was supposed to have. Notably, Vientos struggled in that platoon role last season, and you have to believe Showalter remembers those struggles.
To his credit, Vientos has been better for those struggles. He has significantly cut down on his strike out rate. With his making more contact, he is destroying baseballs in Triple-A. He promises to add a dynamic to the Mets offense they sorely need.
However, that only works if he actually plays. That does not mean a platoon at third with Baty. It does not mean a platoon at DH with Vogelbach. It means in the lineup everyday. That is the expectation, but we will see if that is the plan Showalter has.
In 2022, we saw a glimpse of what David Peterson could be as a starter for the New York Mets. Seeing that pitcher, the Mets cannot just give up on him as a starter. However, that does not mean they’re obligated to let him figure things out at the Major League level.
Through eight starts, Peterson is 1-6 with an 8.08 ERA, 1.744 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, and a 10.4 K/9. The advanced statistics don’t provide much more promise either with Peterson having a 52 ERA+ and a 4.82 FIP.
At Baseball Savant, we see Peterson has a decent whiff rate and an excellent extension. However, that is just about all he is doing well with batters squaring him up easily and he’s getting little to no spin on his pitches.
His slider remains an effective weapon getting a 35.6 Whiff%. However, that is a steep drop-off from the 45.0% it was last year. With Peterson’s fastball being flat and hit hard, he can ill-afford the slider not being as elite as it was last season.
Part of the issue may be pitch mix with Peterson throwing fewer sliders and more change-ups and sinkers. The change has been effective pitch, so you understand the increased usage. However, for two years running, Peterson’s sinker gets mauled. At some point, he is just going to have to scrap that pitch because it is completely ineffective at the Major League level.
Between the pitch mix and whatever else is ailing Peterson, he has not been the pitcher he was last season. We see that being one of the driving forces in what has been a disappointing start to the Mets season.
Through his first eight starts (and two relief appearances) last season, Peterson was 4-1 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.346 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, and a 8.3 K/9. Over that stretch, his FIP was 3.91. This is a completely different pitcher. He was one who gave the Mets a chance to win.
The Peterson we see this season is not giving the Mets much of a chance to win. With the Mets lineup devoid of power, they don’t have the chance to win games or even be competitive.
This leaves the Mets with few good options. Maybe, they need to give José Butto more of a look until Carlos Carrasco comes off the IL. At least, Butto has been more competitive. Again, it may not be the best option, but it is a better one at the moment.
Whatever the plan, the Mets are going to need the Peterson we saw in 2022 at some point this season. It is better to get him to Syracuse now to have him figure it out because right now it is just not working, and the Mets don’t have the bats to let him figure it out.
Back when the New York Mets acquired Daniel Vogelbach, early analysis on this site was it hurt the Mets in the short-term. It was also noted as a bizarre trade as the Mets in-house options were more than capable of handling the duties the Mets were seeking Vogelbach to handle.
As we have become further removed from the trade, we see it is a trade which has continued to hamper the Mets.
This is not to say Vogelbach has been bad. In fact, Vogelbach has been better with the Mets than he has at any spot in his career posting a 130 OPS+ with the Mets.
That may be news to some Mets fans as they have become frustrated with the designated hitter. They will point to his numbers with RISP (.200/.455/.200) and his lack of power. While productive as a DH, Vogelbach is not the classic power hitter you expect from the position, or frankly, someone with his physique.
That is very noticeable when Mark Vientos is raking in Triple-A. So far this season, Vientos is hitting .331/.416/.677 with 11 2B, 12 HR, and 35 RBI. By every measure, Vientos should be in the majors.
However, he isn’t, and it is inextricably linked to Vogelbach. Yes, fans are frustrated with him, but he has been productive at the plate. As a result, the team is not going to have Vientos join the club to sit.
This is a consideration Billy Eppler should have had last year and this past offseason. Keep in mind, Vientos was raking with Syracuse last season, but the Mets outright refused to give him a look at DH. Instead, they opted for the Vogelbach/Darin Ruf tandem at the trade deadline.
Vientos did not succeed in a short-side platoon in September. This is a reason not to call him up now no matter how much he hits. Arguably, he’s the Mets best DH option now (and probably was last season), but he’s blocked due to the veteran forward approach of Eppler and Buck Showalter.
The trade is made worse by Colin Holderman‘s success with the Pittsburgh Pirates. So far this season, Holderman is 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA, 1.313 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, and a 10.7 K/9. He has established himself as a very good late inning relief option.
The Mets could use Holderman now, especially after the Edwin Díaz injury. At the moment, David Robertson, Drew Smith, and Adam Ottavino have been the only real reliable relievers so far this season. Past them, the Mets have been cycling through injured relievers and hoping for one or two good outings from the Jimmy Yacabonis and Dennis Santana of the world before they hit the IL or are designated for assignment.
Of course, the there is also the matter of how the Holderman for Vogelbach trade led to the Mychal Givens trade last season. Therein lies the real issues with the Vogelbach trade.
The value of Holderman for Vogelbach was fine. In fact, it might’ve been an underpay for the Mets. However, that trade has forced the Mets into many bad and short-sighted decisions. As a result, we see Vientos stuck in Triple-A, and the Mets still seeking power and production from players who were never going to provide it – players like Vogelbach.