You knew it was coming. After two good games where Mark Vientos was 3-for-6, he was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
In the top of the eighth, the New York Mets were trailing 6-1 with two on and two out. A big swing would get the Mets back into it.
Naturally, Buck Showalter turned to Daniel Vogelbach with his .361 SLG and all of six homers on the season. To his credit, Vogelbach battled (cue Art Howe) in an 11 pitch at-bat, but ultimately, he struck out like we all expected he would.
Therein lies the problem for the Mets this season, and it’s something that needs to be addressed for now and as the Mets look towards 2024.
Before Vientos was first called up, Vogelbach was hitting .250/.376/.369 with four doubles, two homers, and 13 RBI. This was one of the reasons the Mets felt compelled to call up Vientos.
From May 17 – June 18, both Vientos and Vogelbach were on the roster with Vogelbach getting the majority of the playing tone. Over that stretch, Vogelbach hit .122/.280/.220 with a double, homer, and two RBI. This time frame included the one week stretch where Vogelbach sat for a week to mentally reset and get going again.
Despite Vogelbach regressing, the Mets decided Vientos should go down with Vogelbach “resuming” the primary DH duties. He certainly didn’t improve despite Showalter continuing to lean on him.
In the time Vientos was back in Triple-A, Vogelbach hit .259/.298/.409 with two doubles, two homers, and 11 RBI. As we can see with the declining OBP, Vogelbach has not only stopped hitting, but he has also stopped walking.
All told, Vogelbach is hitting .224/.330/.361 with seven doubles, six homers, and 28 RBI. He has a -0.2 WAR, 93 OPS+, and a 98 wRC+.
For a position where your only job is hitting, Vogelbach isn’t. He’s below average. This season, Major League DHs have a combined 106 wRC+. Vogelbach is behind that mark while simultaneously driving it down.
The same can be said for the Mets. Even with Vogelbach getting the vast majority of starts at DH, the team has been at league average with a 106 wRC+. That means the Mets other options have greatly outperformed Vogelbach.
The caveat is Vientos hasn’t been one of those players outperforming Vogelbach. In his limited and disjointed playing time, he has truly struggled as evidenced by his 41 wRC+ this season.
However, Vientos has been hitting in Triple-A with regular playing time. With Syracuse, he has a 141 wRC+ displaying power only Pete Alonso can match (from a Mets organizational standpoint).
At the moment, the Mets are 46-53. They’re 18.5 games back of the Atlanta Braves and 7.5 games back of the last Wild Card. They’re at a point where they’re looking to sell.
When you look at trade pieces, no one wants Vogelbach. There’s zero reason why the Mets would try to showcase him. It’s over and done, and it’s time to move forward.
That said, there is reason to try to showcase Vientos. He’s blocked at first by Alonso and at third by Brett Baty. That leaves the DH spot for him as the Mets head to an offseason where they plan on heavily pursuing Shohei Ohtani.
If the Mets get Ohtani, that puts them in a spot where they need to start looking to trade Vientos. If Vientos goes on a tear, his trade value increases.
If they don’t get Ohtani, it would look like Vientos is one of the options they should look towards for 2024. Getting him more up to speed with a longer look would give then more of a sense as to whether Vientos should get the job next year.
All told, Vogelbach has hurt the team this year and will not be in the Mets plans next year. The Mets 2024 plans at DH at least partially hinge on Vientos or what the Mets want to do with him.
The team is past the point where they need to make the switch. They need to take Vogelbach away from Showalter and start Vientos at DH the rest of the season.
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.
With respect to Daniel Vogelbach, some things should be made clear. The trade did help the New York Mets last season.
Vogelbach was a definitive upgrade over J.D. Davis. He was a DH for a team in need of one. He was cheap in every sense of the word.
Colin Holderman was a light price to pay for an established Major League hitter. His $800,00 contract was absurdly low as was his $1.5 million option.
Vogelbach kills right-handed pitching. He had a 150 wRC+ against them in 2022. In three of the last five years, he’s been a 127 or better, and in four of the past five, he’s been 117 or better.
However, as good as he’s been against right-handed pitching, he’s been even worse against left-handed pitching. For his career, he has a 41 wRC+ against them.
That’s unplayable necessitating the Mets platoon him. The issue there was Davis is/was not good necessitating another trade.
While Vogelbach was cheap to obtain, Darin Ruf wasn’t. The Mets gave up too much to obtain him. No one would normally care all that much, but Ruf was bad.
Ruf did not adapt well to being a strict platoon DH. With the Mets, he had a 24 wRC+. Mets fans may actually be surprised to learn it was that high.
With Ruf being 36 years old, it’s difficult to see him turning things around. After all, he was already having a poor year with the San Francisco Giants.
This does leave the Mets in a position where they’re looking to address the DH position this offseason. As noted, that’s complicated by the presence of Vogelbach.
Remember, Vogelbach is a platoon DH and really nothing else. That hamstrings your roster flexibility. It also restricts who the Mets can use to address the other half of the platoon DH spot.
As we’ve seen, Ruf struggled, and there’s not much hope for a rebound. They won’t want to restrict Mark Vientos as just a platoon DH. Short of a reclamation project like Yoenis Cespedes, it’s difficult to imagine who will want to sign to be a short side platoon DH.
Perhaps, you could force Mark Canha or Eduardo Escobar into the role, but that forces you to make other moves. In some ways, that may make Brett Baty’s readiness to be an Opening Day third baseman the lynchpin to eventually making the Vogelbach trade work.
However you analyze it, it becomes clear Vogelbach has restricted the Mets ability to address the DH spot, and really, improve the roster overall. Yes, in the short term, it was the right move especially given all the costs involved, but in the long term, the trade isn’t working out well for the Mets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The New York Mets thought their offense needing addressing at the trade deadline, and they set out to do it. Apparently, that was really their objective.
It’s undeniable Tyler Naquin, Darin Ruf, and Daniel Vogelbach make this a more potent offensive team. When you look at the high prospect cost, it appeared the Mets were not going to let prospects stand in the way of a World Series.
So, then, how does Billy Eppler and the Mets explain only coming away with Mychal Givens to bolster the bullpen at the trade deadline?
Keep in mind, Colin Holderman was having a better season than Givens. Yes, Givens is having a good season, and he has a good track record, but overall, Holderman was better leaving the Mets in a worse spot than when they entered the trade deadline.
This is where you wonder what Billy Eppler was thinking.
He traded Holderman because of a purported robust relief market. Then, on the trade deadline, he admits it wasn’t all that robust, and that the prices were too high.
This doesn’t pass the smell test.
The Philadelphia Phillies acquired David Robertson from the Chicago Cubs for prospect Ben Brown, a soon to be Rule 5 eligible pitcher who has not reached Double-A. Sure, he’s the Phillies seventh best prospect, but their system is one of the very worst in the game.
The Minnesota Twins made an intra-division trade to acquire Michael Fulmer from the Detroit Tigers. The cost was pitching prospect Sawyer Gipson-Long. He’s a 24 year old former sixth round pick with a 7.17 ERA in Double-A.
Baltimore Orioles All-Star closer Jorge López went to the Twins as well. Admittedly, it took quite a haul to get him. Really, he’s just about the only reliever who came at a steep cost.
Raisel Iglesias was basically a salary dump to the Atlanta Braves. The Mets could’ve thought outside the box to bring Noah Syndergaard back to recreate Game 5 of the NLDS. That Mickey Moniak led return was laughable.
Drew Smith and Tylor Megill may need a miracle to be 100% in time for the postseason, and Megill has to show he can pitch in the pen. David Peterson has shown he couldn’t, but now, he needs to be in that mix again.
That’s hope, and hope is not a plan. Whatever the case, that’s what the Mets are left with after the trade deadline. They just have to hope it’s enough.
That’s a dereliction of duty by Eppler, and that goes double when you consider his excuses in trading Holderman. What makes this all the worse is the relatively low prices at the deadline, and the Mets overpaying for bats.
In the end, we just have to hope the Mets have enough. If not, they’ll forever lament not going all-in as their trades indicated they were. They’ll be left wondering why they didn’t try to do all they could to win the World Series and why they gave up so much just to fall short.
From a New York Mets perspective, the first installment of the 2022 Subway Series was a success. After all, they completed a sweep.
None of these moments were more important than Seth Lugo’s appearance.
In the previous game, both Díaz and Adam Ottavino pitched over an inning. In all likelihood, neither were available for this game. That goes double for Ottavino.
And yes, Lugo has been part of the problem. On-and-off the field has been mentally tasking for him. There’s the injuries, a sick child, a pregnant wife, and then the missed birth of his second born child.
In some ways, it’s no wonder we hadn’t seen the real Lugo yet. As a result, we see a pitcher with a career worst year out of the pen.
He has a 4.01 FIP and 2.83 K/BB with his strikeouts down to an 8.3 K/9. He has a 9.64 ERA on no rest. He hasn’t been nearly as effective in a second inning of work.
This played a part in Peterson over Lugo to start the inning. Now, if this was the Lugo of old, he’s out there for the six inning save. Well, after the Peterson blown save, we got to see the Lugo of old:
Lugo’s curve embarrassed and struck out Josh Donaldson. It was the first out of the five Lugo recorded en route to his second win of the season.
Lugo was excellent.
After getting two quick outs in the eighth, he would face Aaron Judge with the go-ahead run on first. He would get Judge to ground out to end the inning and the rally.
This is what Lugo once was not long ago. He was dominant for more than an inning golf work. He took control of the game. Lugo chalked it up to adrenaline.
If that’s all he needed, he needs to make sure he has it in his next outing and each of the ensuing ones. If a full house ramped up with energy brought out the best in Lugo, he’s ready and will be phenomenal for October.
It wasn’t just this outing. This is his second one after the All-Star Break. That’s 3 1/3 scoreless. Seeing Lugo out there, there’s a lot more to come.
If so, that’s one fewer reliever the Mets need at the deadline. If so, the Mets could have a lights out bullpen. That goes double with Trevor May returning from the IL.
For at least one moment, Lugo was Lugo, and the Mets won. We’ll see the if he is his next time on the mound. Odds are, Lugo will be great again, and if so, this Mets team is on a whole other level. Just ask the Yankees.
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.
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.
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.
With respect to that, here are the respective wRC+ this season for the players at issue:
* Canha 123 wRC*
* Guillorme 119 wRC+
* Vogelbach 118 wRC+
Vogelbach is the worst hitter of that group. Of course, it’s more about Vogelbach against right-handed pitching. With respect to that, he is better.
However, not so much, you ravage your bullpen. Vogelbach does have a 149 wRC+ against right-handed pitching, but both Canha and Guillorme are at a 136.
Again, they’re better against right-handed pitching, but they were already good against right-handed pitching, at least with an optimized lineup. Also, their bullpen is worse.
We saw it in the Mets 4-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. Max Scherzer left with the Mets down 2-0 after six. Joely Rodriguez was wholly ineffective allowing two runs before needing to be bailed out by Seth Lugo.
It was a perfect illustration as to why the Mets couldn’t just frivolously part with Colin Holderman. As noted above, with the offensive production so close, it was frivolous because it further weakened a weakness.
On the season, Holderman was 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA, 1.019 WHIP, 3.6 BB/9, and a 9.2 K/9. Seeing those numbers and his pure stuff, you understand why the Pirates wanted him.
However, it’s why the Mets couldn’t afford to part with him, at least not now. Right now, there is no bridge to Edwin Diaz. Holderman was emerging to be part of that bridge, but now, he’s gone.
Sure, Billy Eppler said there’s plenty available on the relief market. However, you have to be able to get them. Moreover, you now need another arm to replace Holderman.
The Mets did this to incrementally improve their offense against right-handed pitching while ignoring the very real problems against left-handed pitching. Their bullpen is overall worse.
So yes, Vogelbach serves a need and is a slight improvement. However, the team is on more uneasy footing because it cannot handle the innings leading up to Diaz.
In the end, you can argue this trade actually hurt the Mets chances. That makes the next 10 days vital to the Mets chances to win the division and World Series.
Much of the reason the New York Mets are in first place is due to their unsung heroes. With the rash of injuries, players like Trevor Williams stepped up and has been huge.
His biggest start was his last one where he earned a win after shutting out the Miami Marlins over seven innings. The thing is that may be his last start of the season.
Max Scherzer is back and dominating. Jacob deGrom is throwing 100 MPH fastballs in his rehab starts. When deGrom is back, which will be sooner rather than later, there’s zero chance Williams gets a start.
We saw the Mets accepting and planning for that eventuality as Williams pitched the final three innings in the Mets 8-0 win over the Chicago Cubs. Since Williams pitched the final three innings, he was credited with the save, the first of his career.
We should be seeing more of Williams in these late inning situations. Preferably, it would be high leverage situations.
For starters (or relievers), the Mets need someone to fill that role. It’s something the Mets have been trying since Trevor May was injured.
Drew Smith struggles with left-handed batters, is becoming homer prone, and has a 4.68 ERA since May 14.
Seth Lugo had struggled on back-to-back days and pitching more than an inning. Adam Ottavino is on a good run, but he needs his rest, and historically, he’s terrible in September and October 5.17 ERA).
Likely, the Mets main set-up reliever is not currently on the roster. Keep in mind, the Mets still need to figure out who is going to pitch innings 6-8.
To phrase it as one set-up reliever is a misnomer because the Mets still need at least two more relievers. While we can be curious about a Colin Holderman, Showalter isn’t using him in high leverage situations.
Maybe Showalter will use Williams. Keep in mind, Williams is a veteran. He’s also pitching some of the best baseball of life.
Williams struck out a career high 22.5% of batters. While an admittedly small sample size, in his career, he’s struck out 9.9 batters per nine as a reliever (against 7.1 as a starter).
That could increase as Williams focuses more on his sinker and slider. Right now, Williams has a 40% whiff rate on his slider and a 36.8% put away rate on his sinker. Both are the best marks for his career.
Putting aside the eccentricities, it’s a two pitch repertoire and level of effectiveness reminiscent of Turk Wendell. Of course, we don’t know if Williams can be Wendell, at least not until the Mets try it.
For Williams, it will be an adjustment. It should be noted he’s at his worst this year the first time through the lineup. Then again, he adapted just fine earning his first career save against the Cubs.
Past that, we don’t have a real sample size this year to make any judgments. That is even with him performing well in a very limited sample size last season after the Mets were out of the race.
Ultimately, we don’t know how Williams will fare. What we do know is there are signs he could succeed in the role, and more importantly, the Mets have an immediate need. Everything together, it’s time to give Williams a shot as a high leverage reliever.
In the New York Mets 4-1 loss to the Atlanta Braves, their biggest flaw was highlighted and their downfall. Their bullpen.
Peterson was at 98 pitches before he allowed that homer to Matt Olson. In the at-bat. Olson hit a very long foul. When Mookie Betts did that to Peterson in Los Angeles, Buck Showalter gave him the hook.
The Mets really weren’t able to do that here. That’s even with Peterson set to go over 100 pitches for just the third time all season. It was the third time through the order. That’s something the Mets have justifiably shielded him from all season.
Here, the Mets had little choice. After all, aside from Edwin Diaz, who do you absolutely trust in the Mets bullpen right now? The answer is probably nobody.
Well, Diaz was unavailable as was Adam Ottavino. The Mets bullpen was short, and they needed Peterson to get through six. He didn’t, and he allowed the Olson two run homer to put the Mets down 2-1.
Just like that a shallow and tired pen helped turn what could’ve been a 1-0 win into a 4-1 loss.
Yes, we can and should point to the offense. However, the Mets had a lead. They just don’t have the arms to bring games like these home.
Tommy Hunter is a great story, but you still don’t know if he can trust him quite yet. Same goes for Colin Holderman, who did pitch well in this game and all season. Maybe they’ll get there, especially Holderman, but the Mets don’t trust him completely right now.
That leaves you questioning who else is there? Well, until Trevor May comes back, the answer is no one. That’s the problem.
The Mets proved this in 2015. One of the ways do address a faltering bullpen is to just not use it. Let the starters absorb the innings.
The plan works, but you need more than just a Jeurys Famila, or in this case, a Diaz. They’re also going to need more than just May returning and Peterson likely shifting to the bullpen come October.
The Mets need an answer. That may come from a Holderman. Mostly, it’s going to have to be a trade deadline move. Really, it’s both that are needed. We’ll see if the Mets get it.