Devin Mesoraco

20/20 Hindsight: M*E*T*S* Nearly Sweep Braves

The New York Mets have been an injury a minute, and somehow, they went to Atlanta and took two out of three from the Braves:

1. If Tomas Nido keeps this up, the discussion may shift from whether he should be the everyday catcher to whether he’s one of the best catchers in the game.

2. Khalil Lee can keep striking out if he is going to continue to make outstanding game saving catches in right field.

3. Kudos to Edwin Diaz to taking that significant step in his career where you can rely on him on consecutive days.

4. The front office people who told Diaz to put on more weight deserves a raise. The same goes to Jeremy Hefner, who is getting all you can out of Diaz and the entire bullpen.

5. The same goes for the people designing the Mets shifts. They’re shifting nearly more than everyone, and they’re doing it better than almost everyone.

6. Seeing how the Mets played this series and the improvements he seems to be making, Luis Rojas should be getting more credit than he is.

7. Jonathan Villar is a guy with poor numbers across the board, and yet, he just finds a way to have an impact in nearly every game.

8. Kevin Pillar suffered the worst HBP this side of Ray Chapman. It’s miraculous he didn’t suffer more than multiple nasal fractures.

9. Pillar certainly made himself more fans with his play and his talking about how it’s breaking his heart he can’t be out there when his team needs him.

10. That should serve as a reminder we shouldn’t be rushing to judgment to players after a week. Remember, there were plenty of very vocal fans who were convinced Pillar would do nothing this year.

11. It’s not hyperbole to say the Mets play a game and someone else turns up injured. It’s so bad we find out Pete Alonso suddenly has a wrist issue and can’t play.

12. It looks like Dominic Smith could supplant Alonso as the first baseman for now. Hopefully, that helps get him going.

13. For as much as the Mets didn’t want to give Jordan Yamamoto a real chance, they have no choice now. Oh, and we’re probably going to see Thomas Szapucki soon.

14. There’s joy, and then there’s Tommy Hunter, a 14 year MLB veteran, getting his first career hit.

15. Good job by the Chicago Cubs honoring their commitment to Cameron Maybin by trading him to the Mets for $1.

16. It wasn’t that long ago Brodie Van Wagenen and Jeff Wilpon didn’t honor their agreement to Devin Mesoraco. That led to Mesoraco retuning, rushing to activate Travis d’Arnaud, and then rage cutting d’Arnaud.

17. If you’re looking for a comp for David Peterson, it’s Mike Pelfrey. Both were sinkerball first rounders rushed to the majors from Double-A, and the team didn’t let them go back and develop after the initial panic call-up.

18. If you’re even being competitive with a Maybin-Johneshwy Fargas-Lee outfield, you’re doing something right. Seriously, what the Mets did in this series was beyond impressive.

19. Think of everything that has gone wrong with this team. They’re still over .500 and in first place.

20. Sometimes teams just have one of those special seasons. So far, this is shaping up to be one of them.

Game Recaps

Mets Win Game And Lose Two More

Tomas Nido Wins It

Mets Bullpen Too Exhausted To Hold On

Happy Harvey Day Returns

From the first time he took the mound with the New York Mets, Matt Harvey was special. You could see it. It was more than just the great stuff. He had the build and demeanor to be one of the best pitchers we have ever seen. In 2013, he would be so good where he would not only be in the running with Clayton Kershaw for the Cy Young Award, we would hear him start to be compared to Tom Seaver.

There was the bloody noses. The time he almost had a perfect game against the Chicago White Sox. There was moment after moment until he had to undergo Tommy John surgery.

Harvey would return from that, and he would return to being a top of the rotation caliber starter. Yes, there would be some drama caused when his agent Scott Boras asked the Mets to honor their agreement over the innings limits, but despite that, Harvey would pitch. Harvey pitched where Stephen Strasburg once did not, which at the time only seemed fitting considering the “Harvey’s Better!” chants which echoed across Citi Field.

Harvey was great in the postseason. He won a pivotal Game 3 in the NLDS. He was lights out in Game 1 of the NLCS setting the stage for a Mets sweep of the Chicago Cubs. His performance in Game 5 of the World Series was one of the best pitching performances in Mets history. He and the Mets would come THIS CLOSE to pulling it off.

From there, things went bad, really bad. We don’t need to recall all the drama. In the end, what really mattered was Harvey had TOS. It would cost him almost all of 2016, and it would cost him his chances of once again being that ace. It would lead to him being designated for assignment from the Mets, which led to him being traded for Devin Mesoraco.

After seemingly reclaiming something with the Cincinnati Reds, he would get a free agent deal with the Los Angeles Angels. After 12 starts, he would be released, and Harvey would try to catch on somewhere. He would finish that season in the Oakland Athletics farm system, but they showed no interest in calling him up. During the pandemic season, Harvey signed on and flamed out with the Kansas City Royals.

What the real story is with Harvey is this is a guy who continued to work hard. Where even the strongest willed people would’ve justifiably retired, Harvey just keep working trying to find his way back to a Major League rotation again. He did everything conceivable, and he would leave no stone unturned. That led to him signing with the Baltimore Orioles and earning his spot onto their Opening Day roster.

Through seven starts this season, Harvey is 3-2 with a 3.60 ERA, 1.286 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and a 6.4 K/9. No, this is not the Harvey we knew and loved. And yet, this is still a good Major League starter who is putting up a 118 ERA+.

Because of that, we are going to get to see Harvey take the same mound where he first brought hope to Mets fans after the Madoff Ponzi scheme. He’s going to take the mound where he started the 2013 All-Star Game and where he dominated in the 2015 postseason. He is going to take the mound in Citi Field, but this time as a visitor.

Harvey did more and went through far more than anyone could’ve imagined. It will be tough to see him facing the Mets, but as a Mets fan, you can’t help but root for him. Orioles uniform or not, seeing Harvey on the Citi Field mound makes this a great day. In fact, we can once again celebrate and say “Happy Harvey Day!”

Best Mets Of All-Time: No. 33 Matt Harvey

Right now, we are talking about whether Matt Harvey is able to be able to be an effective Major League pitcher again after he has struggled due to TOS. However, starting back in 2012, we talked about Harvey as the next great Mets pitcher, one who was fairly drawing comparisons to Tom Seaver, one who could lead the Mets to their next World Series.

Harvey dazzled right from the beginning. In his Major League debut he flashed a slider like we’ve never seen, and he set a new Mets record by striking out 11 batters in his debut. In that start, we saw someone who could be the next great pitcher in the game and in Mets history:

That first season was just a glimpse. The 2013 season was the stuff of legends. In 2013, Harvey captivated Mets fans, New York, and eventually all of baseball.

Starting with the numbers, his 2.01 FIP led the league. It is important to keep in mind that was better than Clayton Kershaw, who was back then in his prime and legitimately in the conversation as one of the best pitchers in baseball history (he still is). Between his greatness and the fact the game was being held at Citi Field, Harvey started the All-Star Game pitching two scoreless innings.

There are just so many great stories from that 2013 season. There was the “Harvey’s Better!” chants directed at Stephen Strasburg. There was the bloody nose game(s). There was the almost perfect game spoiled by Ruben Tejada not playing an Alex Rios grounder properly. To sum up how the Mets were then, Harvey didn’t even get the win despite allowing that one infield single over nine innings while striking out 12 because the Mets couldn’t score until the 10th inning.

That 2013 season remains one of the best in Mets history by any pitcher. At the time it happened, his FIP was the third best in team history, and his WHIP was the best ever. He was subsequently passed in both by Jacob deGrom. His K/BB is the best out of any non strike shortened season in team history. To put it succinctly, Harvey was absolutely dominant and pitching at a level only deGrom, Dwight Gooden, and Seaver could replicate.

Unfortunately, Harvey’s season ended with him needing Tommy John surgery. He resisted initially but eventually opted for the surgery. He pushed to pitch in 2014, but he would instead be held back and was ready to go in 2015.

Once again, Harvey taking the mound represented hope for the Mets franchise. While there may have been some early trepidation from fans, he quickly assuaged them by shutting out the Nationals over six innings in his first start of the season. It was the beginning of a strange and great year for Harvey and the Mets.

With this being the Mets and Scott Boras being Scott Boras, it was not one without controversy. First, there as Harvey uncomfortable with the six man rotation. Then, it was Boras trying to enforce previously agreed upon innings limits only for the Mets to get amnesia and try to prod Harvey to pitch anyway.

So Harvey continued to pitch, and he pitched more than anyone else has in their return from Tommy John surgery. He pitched and picked up the win the day the Mets clinched the National League East. He pitched and won a pivotal Game 3 of the NLDS. He pitched a great game against the Cubs to open the NLCS:

Over 7.2 innings, he allowed two earned on four hits and two walks while striking out nine. In that start, he set the tone. The Mets pitching was going to dominate the Cubs, and the Mets were going to sweep their way to the World Series.

In Game 1, even with Yoenis Cespedes completely misplaying a routine Alcides Escobar fly ball into an inside the park homer, he pitched well enough for the Mets to win, and they almost did that coming within a Jeurys Familia blown save and Bartolo Colon 14th inning meltdown of doing that. When Harvey took the mound again in Game 5, he gave everything he had to keep the Mets alive:

This was the moment Mets fans foresaw in 2013, and Harvey delivered with the type of game you expect from an ace. He pitched like an all-time great pitcher. At that time in history, it certainly seemed like Harvey was that and/or was going to be that.

Little did we know at the time that was going to be it for the 2015 Mets, their World Series window, and Harvey’s career. Things were just not right for Harvey in 2016. We eventually found out he suffered from TOS. That began a sad downward turn in his career, and it eventually led to his being traded to the Reds for Devin Mesoraco. In his limited time with the Reds, Harvey pitched well giving us all hope he has one more act in his career.

Before the TOS, Harvey was all over the Mets top 10 lists for pitchers. As it stands, he is still in the top 10 in BB/9, K/9, and K/BB. While not an official category, he is among the Mets leaders in giving a fan base hope and providing them with huge moments. Overall, he is the best Mets player to ever wear the number 33.


1.Mookie Wilson
2.Mackey Sasser
3. Curtis Granderson
4. Lenny Dykstra
5. David Wright
6. Wally Backman
7. Jose Reyes
8. Gary Carter

9. Todd Hundley
10. Rey Ordonez
11. Wayne Garrett
12. John Stearns

13. Edgardo Alfonzo
14. Gil Hodges
15. Carlos Beltran

16. Dwight Gooden
17. Keith Hernandez
18. Darryl Strawberry

19. Bob Ojeda
20. Howard Johnson
21. Cleon Jones
22. Al Leiter
23. Bernard Gilkey
24. Art Shamsky

25. Pedro Feliciano
26. Terry Leach
27. Jeurys Familia
28. Daniel Murphy

29. Frank Viola
30. Michael Conforto
31. Mike Piazza

32. Jon Matlack

Knicks Hire CAA Agent To Run Team Because It Worked So Well For Mets

Just when you thought the New York Knicks were maybe starting to get it, they go out and hire Leon Rose to be their new team president. While there are some who believe this could be a boon for the Knicks much in the same vein Bob Myers with the Warriors or Rob Pelinka with the Lakers, we remember everyone thought it was a good idea to get Rose in the past.

That was the trade with the Chicago Bulls for Derrick Rose. That ended with Rose disappearing and having one of, if not the, worst season of his career.

Looking forward, we see with the Mets hiring a CAA agent is not exactly the best route to success. In fact, aside from not selling the team to Steve Cohen, hiring Brodie Van Wagenen to become the Mets GM has been one of the worst decisions the Wilpons have made over the past two years.

In very short order, Van Wagenen ruined the Mets prospect depth and payroll flexibility. Part of that was his fulfilling Robinson Cano‘s request to come back to New York, and his signing Jed Lowrie, who was physically unable to play last year. Notably, both players were his former clients.

In terms of the prospect depth, we have seen Jarred Kelenic, Anthony Kay, Justin Dunn, and Simeon Woods Richardson reach top 100 rankings.

Van Wagenen has also fired Carlos Beltran for being part of the Astros sign stealing scandal despite trading for two former Astros, J.D. Davis and Jake Marisnick, who had also taken part in that scandal. While Van Wagenen denied any knowledge of the scandal, he notably traded for Marisnick after the news broke.

He has portrayed Hector Santiago as a bit of a savior while also allowing Zack Wheeler to go to a division rival (partially due to budgetary restraints). He also proved to not be true to his word forcing Devin Mesoraco into retirement, cutting Adeiny Hechavarria before he accrued a bonus, and never calling up Dilson Herrera.

As bad as the Wilpons are and continue to be, Van Wagenen has made everything worse.

While Rose may be different than Van Wagenen, the Wilpons are not discernibly different from James Dolan in terms of running a professional sports franchise. Ultimately, while it may not be fair to look at Rose like the next Van Wagenen, you do have to fairly question whether Dolan is more Wilpon or whether he is more like the Warriors or Lakers.

Seeing how Rose’s representation of Carmelo Anthony helped foster the relationship with Dolan much like how Van Wagenen’s representation of Yoenis Cespedes and Todd Frazier fostered the relationship with the Wilpons, you shudder as a Knicks and Mets fan.

Hopefully, Rose is different than Van Wagenen, and he proves to actually know what he is doing. After all, you can cross your fingers Dolan has some clue with how he operates the Rangers. You don’t have the same faith with the Wilpons with their inability to even earn a profit of over a billion.

In the end, the Rose hire may be very different than the Van Wagenen one. No one should have that faith just yet.

Simply Amazin Podcast Appearance (Preparing For The Universal DH)

I had the honor and privilege of joining Tim Ryder on the Simply Amazin Podcast. During the podcast, I referenced my Kobe, DH, and Sign Stealing articles.

The following people were mentioned: Curtis Granderson, J.D. Davis, Seth Lugo, Jake Marisnick, Marcus Stroman, Noah Syndergaard, Jeremy Hefner, Luis Rojas, Carlos Beltran, Mickey Callaway, Phil Regan, Jeremy Accardo, Steven Matz, Dellin Betances, Edwin Diaz, Justin Wilson, Jeurys Familia, Mo Vaughn, Jared Kelenic, Justin Dunn, Andres Gimenez, Mark Vientos, Rick Porcello, Jason Vargas, Bartolo Colon, R.A. Dickey, Asdrubal Cabrera, Devin Mesoraco, and others.

Please listen.

Matt Harvey Was Absolutely Great Four Years Ago

November 1, 2015. That was the date of what was one of the greatest World Series starts we have seen from a Mets pitcher. Through eight innings, the Kansas City Royals had no chance against Matt Harvey. With the way he was pitching, you had to believe Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the 1927 Yankees, or Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and the Big Red Machine would have flailed much in the same way that Royals team had.

This start was the start Mets fans had waited for nearly a year-and-a-half. This was our reward for having our hearts broken when he would need Tommy John surgery late in 2013.

That 2013 season was as great as we have seen any Mets pitcher. To put it in perspective, by FIP, it was better than Dwight Gooden‘s 1985 Cy Young Award winning season, and it was better than all three of Tom Seaver‘s Cy Young Award seasons. That is just how great he was, and that is why he was the starting pitching for the All-Star Game at Citi Field that year.

While Harvey was very good in 2015, he was not quite that pitcher in 2015. That was not until Game of the 2015 World Series.

After working through the first three innings, he rediscovered something in the fourth. He struck out the side that inning, and he would strike out three of the four batters he faced in the fifth. Over those four innings, Alex Gordon (walk) and Ben Zobrist (single) were the only Royals to reach base.

Terry Collins went with his heart instead of his head, and we know what happened from there. After the Eric Hosmer RBI double in the ninth, Harvey would walk off the mound to a standing ovation.

When Harvey walked off that mound, we knew that was going to be the last time we ever saw him pitch at Citi Field that year. What we didn’t know was that was the last time we would see the real Harvey.

In 2016, something just wasn’t right with him. There was discussion it was his mechanics, but it wasn’t that. There were some who wondered if it was something in this private life. but it wasn’t that either. No, Harvey had Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Even after his surgery, things were no better, and in 2018, he would be designated for assignment by the Mets before being traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Devin Mesoraco. In Cincinnati, there was hope he was figuring things out as he had a 4.50 ERA in 24 starts.

This year, he would sign with the Los Angeles Angles. After a 7.09 ERA over 12 starts, he was designated for assignment. Eventually, he would be released, and he wouldn’t latch on with anyone until he was reunited with Sandy Alderson when the Oakland Athletics gave him a minor league deal.

Now, Harvey is a free agent with a very uncertain future ahead of him. Maybe it would behoove him to rejoin the Mets. Certainly, it would help to once again work with people like Phil Regan. Then again, even if he returns to the Mets, Harvey will never return.

That Harvey has been long gone, and it is a real shame. However, no matter how far gone that pitcher is, nothing can take away the memories of just how great Harvey was in a Mets uniform. Nothing will take away the memories of moments like Game 5.

20/20 Hindsight: Mets Feast on Marlins

Nothing like the league worst Marlins to come into town to help the Mets offense get rolling:

1. Michael Conforto, not Derek Jeter, owns the Marlins. He proved that by going 5-for-6 with four runs, two walks, a HBP, two homers, and three RBI in the two game set.

2. For all the (deserved) talk of Jeff McNeil and Pete Alonso, Conforto has been their best player. His 2.0 WAR is sixth in the league.

3. Batting Conforto fifth is plain stupid and reactionary, especially when he’s their best hitter. Same goes to batting Brandon Nimmo sixth.

4. Alonso’s numbers look good due to his first 12 games. Since that time, he’s batting .222/.316/.444. He’s increasingly becoming an all or nothing hitter, albeit one with the propensity for the big hit.

5. Nice to see the Mets wait too long before putting Steven Matz on the IL. It’s like for all of Brodie Van Wagenen’s boasting about things being different, nothing has changed with him in charge.

6. So, Jed Lowrie has gone from being activated on Friday to sitting out two out of the last four games, and the Mets having no timetable for his return.

7. Say what you want about Jason Bay, but at least he played for the Mets.

8. The Mets giving Mickey Callaway no information on Lowrie and then having him be the one answer questions about his status once again shows nothing has changed under Van Wagenen.

9. Mets determined Justin Wilson didn’t need a rehab stint, and now, after one appearance after coming off the IL, he’s going back on with the same injury.

10. Seeing how well things worked with Wilson, the Mets are using the same plan of action with Jeurys Familia.

11. You have to admire Van Wagenen’s refusal to learn and adapt on the job.

12. Injuries create opportunities, and we have seen Tyler Bashlor, Drew Gagnon, and Daniel Zamora take advantage of their opportunity thus far.

13. With Jacob deGrom having three straight good starts after coming off the IL, can we forever have fans stop clamoring for Devin Mesoraco?

14. If Tomas Nido starts hitting that’s a game changer. Over his last three, Nido 4-for-11 with a homer.

15. While it was overlooked, Nido had LASIK surgery in the offseason. It may take time to adjust, but if he’s seeing the ball better, he may begin to hit better.

16. One underrated thing Callaway did Saturday was running out Dominic Smith, Todd Frazier, and Juan Lagares for late inning defense. With Conforto in RF, that’s a great defensive lineup.

17. Amed Rosario went from a below average hitter over the first month to a 111 wRC+ so far in May. Seeing his offense progress this way, maybe there’s still hope for his glove to catch up.

18. Keon Broxton has been worse than terrible, and Carlos Gomez has been hot in Syracuse. That doesn’t erase the past few years, and Broxton should get a longer rope considering he’s out of options, has actually been a successful bench player, and has arguably been a better player over the past few years.

19. Mets going a perfect 5-for-5 for the Marlins is no small feat. It’s exactly what they need to do, and destroying bad teams is exactly how the 2015 Mets won the division.

20. Whoever came up with the new backpack policy is an idiot, and the Mets deserve to have decreased attendance for having implemented it.

Mets Internal Options Better Than Vargas

At this point, it’s clear Jason Vargas isn’t just pitching with a fork in him; he’s got the whole utensil drawer there. As such, it’s time to look for someone to replace him in the rotation. While Mets fans have been imploring the team to add Dallas Keuchel, it seems like the Mets would not be willing to add that much payroll.

Fortunately, the Mets still have some very interesting internal options:

Seth Lugo – definitively the Mets fifth best starter, but he arguably has more value in the bullpen.

Robert Gsellman – hasn’t had the success in the bullpen everyone imagined he be and may just be better suited to the rotation

Corey Oswalt – it’s hard to get a read on him with how the Mets have jerked him around, but he’s still had flashes of viability

Chris Flexen – he has a surgically repaired knee and is in terrific shape giving hope he can finally put that fastball/curve combo to good use.

Anthony KayMets haven’t been shy rushing starters from Double-A to the majors, and Kay has excellent spin rates on his fastball and curve.

David Peterson – the Mets 2017 first round pick is off to a good start, which is more than you can say for Vargas.

Hector Santiago – he was an All-Star in 2015, and based on what we’ve seen having previously being an All-Star is all you need to get a rotation spot.

Drew Gagnon – in his one start last year, he at least managed to pitch into the fifth, which is much better than what we’ve seen this year.

P.J. Conlon – last year, Conlon showed he shouldn’t be trusted for more than 2-3 innings. It’d be nice to get a fifth starter who could provide that much length.

Walker Lockett – he’s in Extended Spring Training with an injury, and he had a 9.60 ERA in the majors last year, so all told, he’s an upgrade.

Mickey Jannis – there’s a better chance he turns into the next R.A. Dickey than Vargas has another quality start

Paul Sewald – Mets have never been worried about pushing Sewald too far, so certainly, you could see them randomly asking five from him, and those five would likely be better than any five Vargas throws this year.

Nelson Figueroa – if he was good enough for the Mets to lose Darren O’Day, he’s certainly good enough to pitch in Vargas’ stead.

Mickey Callaway – had a 6.27 career ERA and last pitched in the majors 15 years ago, which means his arm is probably fresh enough to hit the mid 80s.

Luis Guillorme – it’s not like they’re using him as the team’s backup middle infielder, and we know he’d at least be able to field his position well, which unlike Vargas, would be at least one thing Guillorme could do well as a pitcher.

Devin Mesoraco – since people want to claim he was the reason Jacob deGrom won a Cy Young, maybe he could take that expert knowledge and turn it into pitching effectively instead of sulking at home.

J.D. Davis – he has a career 3.38 ERA in limited appearances, which make sense considering he hits and fields his position like a pitcher.

Dominic SmithSmith pitched well in high school, which is a higher level than Vargas can get out right now.

Pete Alonso – his being on the Opening Day roster was supposed to be the difference between the Mets making the postseason and not. With Vargas being terrible every fifth day, he’s apparently going to need to do more than hit.

And therein lies the problem. The Mets sold their fans they desperately needed 12 games from Alonso while simultaneously punting 32 starts from the fifth spot in the rotation. That’s an even bigger joke than anything said in this post.

deGrom Was At His Best With d’Arnaud

Since Jacob deGrom burst onto the scene in 2014, he has emerged as easily one of the five best pitchers in Mets history, and he is arguably third behind just Tom Seaver and Dwight Gooden (although Jerry Koosman would like a word here). Going through his career, there are a number of signature performances from deGrom, but as we sort through them all, there are two games which should stand as his signature performances.

The first is Game 1 of the 2015 NLDS. In that game, deGrom out-pitched Clayton Kershaw. In his seven shutout innings, he allowed just one walk and five hits while striking out 13 batters. It was as dominant a postseason performance any Mets pitcher has ever had.

That game set the Mets on a path which had them winning the pennant that year. Of course, they do not win the pennant if deGrom does not survive and get the Mets in position to win Game 5 of that series.

It seemed deGrom was in trouble all six of the innings he pitched that night. What’s insane to think about is deGrom did not have a 1-2-3 inning that game until the sixth. Worse yet, in each of the first five innings, the Dodgers had a runner in scoring position with less than two outs.

Despite all of that, deGrom somehow managed to keep the game tied going into the seventh inning setting the stage for Daniel Murphy‘s homer, Noah Syndergaard coming out of the bullpen throwing 100 MPH, and Jeurys Familia with the six out save.

While deGrom had an all-time Cy Young winning season last year, arguably, the 2015 NLDS was deGrom at his best. One night he went out there, and he just dominated the Dodgers. The next, he used guile to get through that lineup to pick up the win. That series was everything you think of when you think of deGrom, and it happened in the postseason.

His catcher in that series? Travis d’Arnaud.

It’s easy to forget, but d’Arnaud has caught deGrom, and he has caught him well. It was d’Arnaud behind the plate when deGrom emerged from seemingly out of nowhere to win the 2014 Rookie of the Year. It was d’Arnaud behind the plate in the 2015 postseason. It was d’Arnaud behind the plate when deGrom was coming back from ulnar transposition surgery.

There are many reasons why d’Arnaud has caught deGrom well. First and foremost, deGrom is a great pitcher. As we have seen this season, deGrom can pitch great to Wilson Ramos and to Tomas Nido. Second, d’Arnaud has proven himself to be an excellent pitch framer, which allows an already lethal pitcher like deGrom ramp up his game to an unfair level.

Overall, d’Arnaud is a very good receiver who has a rapport with these Mets pitchers. If he didn’t, the Mets would have non-tendered him and kept the much cheaper Kevin Plawecki this past offseason, or they would have stuck with Devin Mesoraco. That goes double considering d’Arnaud was coming off Tommy John surgery.

Overall, the point is deGrom is great because he is great, and as we have seen time and time again, he’s even better with a catcher behind the plate who can steal those extra strikes for him. Ultimately, this is why we have seen deGrom at his best with d’Arnaud behind the plate.

Don’t Overreact To Wheeler’s Slow Start

Two starts into the season, and Zack Wheeler looks more like the maddening pitcher he was most of his career than the pitcher who had a better second half era than Jacob deGrom. In fact, you could say this is the worst he’s ever looked. So far, he’s 0-1 with a 10.24 ERA, 1.862 WHIP, and a 7.4 BB/9.

This has led to a a number of different reactions. There is a wonder if the Mets made the right decision not extending Wheeler. It’s possible the second half was an enigma. Possibly, while we focused on deGrom, maybe it was really Wheeler who benefited from Devin Mesoraco.

The most likely answer is it is none of those things. Really, this is a slow start from a slow starter.

In Wheeler’s career, his April ERA is 4.95, which is his worst of his career. Breaking it down, Wheeler is a slow starter. His career first half ERA is 4.45, and his second half ERA is 2.92. This includes his having a 2.30 ERA in the month of August.

For a moment, take a look back at the 2014 season. In April and May, Wheeler had a 4.31 ERA, and he was getting hit hard by some of the better teams in baseball. As disappointing as his first half would prove, something seemed to click with him in July.

In July, Wheeler had a 1.67 ERA. Between July and August, he had a 2.24 ERA. Over the course of those 10 starts, he averaged 6.1 innings per start, and he limited batters to a .211/.295/.343 batting line. In all 10 of those starts, he allowed three earned or fewer, nine of those starts were two earned or fewer, and inĀ  half of those starts he allowed just one earned.

After that second half, there was much excitement about seeing Wheeler being a significant part of the 2015 Mets rotation. Unfortunately, circumstances would prove differently. It would not be until the 2018 season Wheeler would try reemerge.

Like that 2014 season, Wheeler struggled through May. In fact, while it may be easy to forget, Wheeler had a 5.40 ERA as the Mets entered June. Once again, he began to figure it out in July, and over July and August, Wheeler would have a 2.o1 ERA. Once again, his second half had people eagerly anticipating him being a part of the Opening Day rotation.

So far, the enthusiasm has been tampered down a bit. Two rough starts against a potent Nationals lineup will do that to a pitcher. It will do that all the more to a pitcher who is typically a slow starter. It’s easy to overlook that early in the season when two bad starts wildly skew a player’s stats.

In the end, baseball is a marathon, and at the end of the day, the Mets need Wheeler to be Wheeler for them to be successful. If he takes his time to warm up, so be it because in the end, we know how great he can be when he gets it going. And when he gets it going, his poor start will once again be a distant memory.