Severino, 29, was dreadful last season, and he really hasn’t returned to his All-Star form after his 2020 Tommy John surgery. That said, there was hope in 2022.
In 2022, he was 7-3 with a 3.18 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, and a 9.9 K/9. Over his 19 starts, he had a 124 ERA+ and a 3.70 FIP.
Last year was a disaster. He had a 65 ERA+ and a 6.14 FIP. The caveat is he dealt with injuries which likely impacted his performance.
On that, Severino dealt with a lat strain in 2022 and an oblique in 2023. As we saw with Max Scherzer, the Mets struggled to deal with these types of pitcher injuries the past few years.
All that said, one year $13 million is a worthwhile gamble. That goes double with Jeremy Hefner as pitching coach and Stearns ability to build a pitching staff.
With Severino slotted for the back of the rotation, this makes sense. It makes more sense with the Mets needing to completely build a rotation.
Where things go awry is Wendle.
Wendle is coming off a year where he had a 47 wRC+ and a -3 OAA. He turns 34 in April, and unsurprisingly, he’s past his prime and in decline.
His wRC+ declined four straight years. The OAA dropped three straight years. He had seen his sprint speed drop three straight years before marginally rebounding last year.
Maybe he rebounds defensively, but he’s also going to be 34. He’s also literally slowing down If you’re betting on a defensive bounce back from a player, Luis Guillorme was a better bet.
However, the Mets non-tendered Guillorme. They then gave Wendle $2 million. It’s not a lot of money, but it’s a roster spot guaranteed to a player who should’ve been a minor league signing.
The hope is Wendle NEVER plays. The same would’ve been true if Guillorme stayed.
Of course, it’s plausible all of the above fails. Also, let’s never speak of Francisco Lindor getting injured. Taking all that into account, Wendle is not the answer. He can never be the answer.
Whatever the case, it’s still early with plenty of difference making players available. We should wait to see the entire picture come to focus before fully judging even with this being an unspectacular and curious start.
If you tune into WFAN (why would you do that yourself), you will hear the narrative being pushed that the Steve Cohen tenure as New York Mets owner has not been successful. If you hear someone espouse that, please ignore them because they are just espousing ignorance.
That’s not to say there haven’t been missteps. Of course, there have been missteps.
Since purchasing the Mets, Cohen has had difficulty building the front office he envisioned. A very large part of that is the fact Cohen wanted the best of the best for the role, and David Stearns was not available until this year. When Stearns became available, Cohen pounced.
What is important with the rocky GM history is Cohen’s response to each of them. With Jared Porter, his alleged improprieties cost him his job. The same for Zack Scott. This led to the hiring of Billy Eppler, which was a mixed bag.
What was interesting during Scott’s tenure is he traded Pete Crow-Armstrong for Javier Baez and Trevor Williams. At the time, the Mets were in first place and the only team in the division over .500. At the time, no one knew injuries would dismantle that team, and the thumbs down drama would ensue.
What Cohen did learn from that is not to double down on a flawed team. We saw that at the trade deadline this past season as the Mets moved David Robertson, Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Tommy Pham, and Dominic Leone. Having learned lessons, the Mets completely revamped their minor league system.
Looking back on that 2021 season, Luis Rojas was foisted upon Porter and Scott. With Stearns being hired, he was permitted to fire Buck Showalter even though he was a popular figure with the media and players. Again, Cohen learned a lesson.
People will want to harp on and mock the signings of Scherzer and Verlander. However, that purposefully ignores the 101 win season. You can’t mock the signings while ignoring where it was successful.
We can opt to hold the Mets payroll and failures against them in 2023. It was definitively a failure. However, it was a failure borne out of an owner attempting to win and build off of a successful season. When it didn’t work, Cohen changed course.
Keep in mind, this wasn’t the Mets 2017 sell-off to save money and collect right-handed relief prospect after right-handed relief prospect. No, Cohen continued to use his financial might to fortify the farm system.
Cohen is now entering his fourth year of ownership. Let’s take stock of where the Mets are now.
They have Stearns as the POBO. They have a future Hall of Famer in Francisco Lindor. They kept Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil over the long term. Top prospects like Francisco Alvarez and Mark Vientos have had successes to build upon for 2024. Kodai Senga was phenomenal, and Edwin Diaz is coming back healthy next year.
The Mets are in great shape to build a competitor in 2024, and they have what they need to make the Mets contenders year-in and year-out. If you don’t think this has been a success, you’re a fool.
As had been detailed here when the Mets fired Luis Rojas, Buck Showalter was never the right man to manage the New York Mets. When you’re looking to overall your organization top to bottom to be more analytically driven like the Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Tampa Bay Rays, you can’t hire someone who never was willing to adapt his style of managing to suit the modern game.
Assuredly, there were people who loved him. He talked a good game. He kept the media in check even despite the Mets collapse of yesteryear. A lesser respected manager would have routinely mocked for the way he handled the Joe Musgrove glistening ear situation in the deciding game three.
Perhaps, that was also the result of low expectations and an unwillingness to recognize just how good and deep the 2022 Mets roster was. Certainly, that was a driving force behind his winning Manager of the Year.
As for this year, he and the Mets were a bit snake bit. Edwin Díaz was injured during the World Baseball Classic. José Quintana had a cancer scare and bone graft surgery. Starling Marte never fully healed from offseason surgery. Justin Verlander was injured to start the season.
There was the Mets inability to adapt to the new rules right away. Max Scherzer had difficulty adapting to the old rules. The list goes on and on with that article from The Athletic doing him no favors in terms of just how ill suited he was for the job this season.
That’s not to say Showalter is too old to adjust. That’s unfair and unwarranted. He still has a sharp mind, and he knows what he knows. The issue is he was taught to manage a certain way, and that worked wonders for decades. He has just been unwilling to change.
Part of the issue is his apparent loyalty and affinity for older players. In the case of Tommy Pham, the Mets were better for it as Pham had a good year, and it led to a great trade at the deadline. However, in the case of Daniel Vogelbach, it severely damaged the team in the short term and the long term.
Maybe the Mets were always going to hire David Stearns. Certainly, it didn’t seem like an accident Craig Counsell‘s contract was up the same time as Stearns’, and Counsell wasn’t looking to sign a contract extension with the Milwaukee Brewers.
To that end, it does seem like Showalter was hired for two years with a chance to force himself upon Stearns. Certainly, if Showalter was more like Dusty Baker in his willingness to balance his strengths while accepting the analytics more, perhaps we would have seen Showalter remain on the job.
However, for better or worse, Showalter wanted to manage this team like he wanted to manage. In the case of players like Francisco Lindor, they loved him for it. Perhaps, they would’ve loved him more if he changed even a little bit, and the Mets won the World Series.
All this said, Showalter does deserve respect for taking this job and not embarrassing the Mets organization in the process. He did come at a time when things were going sideways, and he did in fact restore some public credibility, and he did keep the media pressure off in ways Bobby Valentine and Willie Randolph (two better Mets managers) ever could.
He deserved the dignity of being able to end it publicly on his terms. He earned the respect of his players, and he does deserve some gratitude from the fans, especially with all the damage that had been done to the organization since Brodie Van Wagenen and Mickey Callaway did, and the shadow it cast until Showalter’s hiring.
In all honesty, hopefully, we will see Showalter get one more crack at managing. Hopefully, like Baker, he will accept the game has changed, and we can see his strenghts carry him to that elusive World Series title. With that, he may eventually get into the Hall of Fame.
While not specifically called as such, Will Sammon and Tim Britton of The Athletic wrote an autopsy of the 2023 New York Mets season. It was an excellent article with players being more open and honest than usual. It should be noted no one was attacking other players or throwing anyone under the bus.
Keeping that in mind, while reading the article, it became glaringly obvious Buck Showalter was the wrong manager for this 2023 Mets team.
The key quote out of the whole article was Tommy Pham saying, “Out of all the teams I played on, this is the least-hardest working group of position players I’ve ever played with.”
People will run a million different directions on this, but Francisco Lindor and Brandon Nimmo were at least receptive and took it to heart and improved. Notably, we have seen Lindor and Nimmo have big second halves. Putting player reaction aside, this is an indictment on Showalter.
This was the sort of theme with why the season failed. The players weren’t working hard enough. There were miscues. The play was sloppy. The team was doubting themselves. They had a manager who didn’t have the pulse of the team.
When the team was holding player meetings pushing better play and accountability, Showalter had a rah-rah meeting the following day. His players were too comfortable with some being too complacent. There were mistakes, miscues, and as we would see with Max Scherzer unnecessary suspensions.
As noted by one unnamed player in the article, this is the sort of thing that comes into question when you don’t win. However, the Mets didn’t win, which allows these issues to be investigated.
For sure, Showalter isn’t the only reason the season failed. There was blame on the World Baseball Classic not allowing the team to adapt to new rules, but that also wasn’t the reason for the losing. There were the injuries, which were a major reason for the losing early on, and based on Adam Ottavino‘s comments, we saw the Edwin Díaz injury damaged the Mets psyche more than we ever appreciated (again, this is on the manager).
Again, we can point to injuries, but Showalter’s managing was an issue all season. Currently, we are seeing Mark Vientos mashing, but we had to watch Daniel Vogelbach flounder all season long. He was hands-off and being a rah-rah guy when players are talking about needing more accountability from one another.
If you wanted the reasons to look in another direction (Craig Counsell), it was detailed in that article. Keep in mind, this article was not a hit job or even directed at Showalter. However, when you have all that evidence, it is hard to ignore.
Francisco Álavarez‘s presence at the meeting with Pham, Lindor, and Eduardo Escobar about how to turn around the season speaks volumes to how he is viewed by his teammates. We heard stuff like this when he was in the minors, but it was interesting to see him quickly become not just a part of the fabric of the team, but to be a part of these leadership moments.
Fans have long pushed for Pete Alonso to be named captain, but Lindor and Nimmo are the unquestioned leaders of this team.
Alonso really cares, and he puts pressure on himself to succeed. If anything, his going into Showalter’s office is another reason why the Mets should be pushing for an extension.
Pham was great for the Mets, It wasn’t just his production, but it was seeking to hold everyone across the board more accountable. The Mets will be better for years to come because of Pham’s time spent with the team.
It would see Showalter leaned heavily on having Mark Canha, Escobar, and Starling Marte last year on a team full of leaders. With Canha pushed down the depth chart, Escobar traded, and Marte injured all year, Showalter was missing something he needed to have the team run as smoothly as it did last year.
The injuries and struggling to adapt to the new rules was certainly a factor (albeit probably small) in the need to pivot and move to younger players.
It was interesting Pham specifically said he had respect for Lindor and Nimmo and their work ethic with the article immediately going to Jeff McNeil saying “everyone comes ready to play and does what they need to do.” Immediately after that Nimmo says, “Ultimately, a lot of this comes down to individuals and what they’re willing to do.”
This was as interesting an juxtaposition as you can have, and you do have to wonder how purposeful the presentation was.
Mostly, it was injuries that hampered the Mets with the team not having the pitching depth it did in 2022. It will now be incumbent on Billy Eppler to work with David Stearns to make sure a season like 2023 does not happen again.
Earlier in the season, there was a debate amongst New York Mets fans on Mark Vientos. One camp said he’s done nothing in his 2-3 stints in the majors, and as a result, he probably isn’t going to be in the Mets future plans, and/or he’s not going to be a quality Major League player.
The other camp pointed to the sporadic playing time from Buck Showalter serving as an impediment to his being able to have success. At a minimum, the argument was he has to get an extended run to see what he could be. Well, with the Mets being out of it, and Showalter finally acquiescing, Vientos has gotten that extended look, and he has taken off:
Since August 29, Vientos is hitting .307/.349/.581 with a triple, five homers, and nine RBI. On the season, he is averaging an exit velocity of 93.6 MPH. Among players with 100 balls batted in play, Vientos leads the Mets, and he is fifth overall in the majors. (Anthony DiComo, mlb.com).
Keep in mind, his strikeout rate has stabilized to a more manageable 27% over this stretch. As Vientos has shown throughout his professional career, he can lower that number with more experience and adjustments.
With Vientos hitting the ball this hard and with this much power, he is earning a spot on the Mets 2024 roster.
For sure, there are going to be some complications. Pete Alonso blocks him at first. The Mets may go get Shohei Ohtani, who could be their DH as they await his return to the mound post Tommy John surgery. That leaves third base for him.
Admittedly, Vientos is the weakest defensive option there, but he has shown progress this season. His -1 OAA is a step in the right direction even if it is a very small sample size. Of note, this is a team with Eric Chavez as a coach, which would have you think he has the perfect mentor to get him up to speed at the position.
Part of the challenge there is Brett Baty is better regarded, but he has done nothing this season to prove he is ready. Moreover, he has been outplayed by Vientos all year.
The next challenge is Ronny Mauricio. With Mauricio, he too is proving he should be part of the Mets 2024 Opening Day roster.
Mauricio has played 16 games, and he is hitting .300/.354/.400 with three doubles, a homer, and seven RBI. He is also a perfect 6/6 in stolen base attempts. Overall, he is showing he is ready for the majors, and he needs to play everyday next season.
Where he plays is up for some debate. He is blocked at short by Francisco Lindor. That leaves second and third. While Jeff McNeil has been the team’s second baseman, he has the versatility to move to the outfield to allow Mauricio to man second.
Of course, there is a thought Mauricio was always best suited for third. That said, Mauricio has looked quite good at second base since the promotion.
He combined with McNeil on a cut off to cut down Jazz Chisholm Jr.trying to stretch a single into a double. He would also impress Keith Hernandez by his standing his ground and releasing a strong throw to turn a double play.
To some degree, it is not so much a matter of preference for where you want Mauricio to play. It is more what is best for the Mets. If Mauricio is playing second well and hitting, they should allow third base to be open for one of Baty or Vientos to play there. At the moment, Vientos has won that job, and he has a whole offseason to improve there.
In the end, Vientos and Mauricio have gotten the opportunity they have pushed for all season. Both are thriving, and they are leading the Mets to play the role of spoilers. They need to be rewarded for it by being penciled in as 2024 Opening Day starters.
This has been about one of the most disappointing New York Mets seasons in a long time. Part of the reason for it was how unexpected the team’s failures have been.
This is the type of season we never expected under Steve Cohen. Unlike with the Wilpons, this really isn’t his fault, and we can expect him to learn from it.
The Wilpons never learned, and some careers were ruined. Two of those careers were Amed Rosario’s and Noah Syndergaard’s. We were reminded of that when the Los Angeles Dodgers traded Syndergaard to the Cleveland Guardians for Rosario.
These were once two young players who were supposed to be part of a young Mets core. The next great Mets run that never happened.
The Mets failings with Rosario have been detailed here previously. His bat wasn’t Major League ready as he never developed enough plate discipline, and it’s held him back his entire career (cautionary tale for Ronny Mauricio).
He was given a mentor in Jose Reyes who was more interested in taking Rosario’s playing time for himself. When his defense wasn’t up to par, they never switched him to another position where he could thrive (like CF).
After all the Mets did to ensure Rosario never reached his immense potential, it’s a minor miracle the Guardians saw enough value in Rosario to make him a significant part of the Francisco Lindor trade.
As for Syndergaard, much of his issues were related to Jeff Wilpon playing doctor. There was the 2017 incident where Syndergaard didn’t get an MRI before exacerbating his last injury.
We can’t know if that incident led to Syndergaard’s future injuries, but it assuredly couldn’t have helped. Of note, Syndergaard’s rehab was rushed to get him back on the mound for some “starts” (read gates) before the end of that season.
Something was wrong with Syndergaard at the end of the 2019 season. Part of it seemed like the Mets forcing Wilson Ramos on him. In reality, it was Syndergaard was hurt.
Syndergaard had a torn UCL, and it was discovered during spring training. Controversially, he’d have Tommy John surgery during the height of the pandemic. Right then and there, his being Thor was over.
The Wilpons were in power during Syndergaard’s Tommy Joh rehab. For some reason, Mets pitchers never handled that rehab well. Syndergaard would be Jeff Wilpon’s last victim.
Syndergaard is now just another pitcher. He’s mentally broken, and not even the Dodgers could resuscitate his career. In fact, the Dodgers traded the injured pitcher away.
Rosario and Syndergaard were supposed to be great Mets who led the team to multiple World Series titles. After the Wilpon led Mets were done with them, they were no more.
Now, they’re bit parts getting traded at the deadline. One, Rosario, becomes a utility player. The other, Syndergaard, was just moved to just get rid of him.
This is a cruel fate for both players. They both should’ve been more. We wanted it for them, they deserved it, and we deserved it. The Wilpons ruined them like everything they touch. It’s cruel.
At the moment, no one should be making a big deal out of beating the New York Yankees. They are without Aaron Judge, and they’re reeling.
Since the Citi Field iteration of the Subway Series, they’re 14-18 dropping to last place in the AL East. Of course, that makes them a much better team than the New York Mets.
Speaking of the Mets, they’ve been nearly unwatchable. There is just so much wrong you don’t even know where to begin. However, on a night where the Mets walloped the Yankees 9-3, you begin to dream again.
In that 9-3 win, you saw exactly what you expected this Mets season to be. It started with Justin Verlander, who was dominant over six shutout innings.
Alonso is red hot at the plate after struggling once he came off the IL. He’s not the only Met heating up with Jeff McNeil’s bat coming to life.
McNeil had a two hit night. He now has a four game hitting streak and has a hit in six of his last eight games. He’s getting closer to being what he would be all this season.
It wasn’t perfect from an offensive standpoint, but there was a lot to like from the offense. That includes scoring two runs off the best bullpen in baseball.
The bullpen wasn’t exactly great. It was one off night for Brooks Raley in an otherwise good season. David Robertson got the Mets out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth, and Adam Ottavino handled the ninth with no problems.
This was the Mets team we expected all season. This had the look of a Mets team who you think could make a miracle run.
After the game, Velander was saying he didn’t want to go anywhere. As a team, the Mets are talking like a team who doesn’t believe their season is over, and Robertson has been rankled by questions over him moving at the deadline.
So, for a night, you can believe the Mets have what it takes to make a miracle run. However, it’s just one night. The Mets have effectively run out of time to make a run before the trade deadline.
It will be interesting to see what the Washington Nationals series brings before the deadline. It’ll be interesting to see what the Mets do. Mostly, whatever team is left, let’s see what the Mets do with an August schedule conducive to making a run.
Even by New York Mets standards, this June Swoon was miserable. 7-19. Didn’t win a series. Not a one.
Went from two games over to 10 games under. In the NL East fight being down 3.5 games. Now completely out of it down 18.5 games.
One game up in the Wild Card standings. Now, 10 games back. Already sold off Eduardo Escobar. Multiple press conferences, and who knows what else to come.
Fortunately, June is over. It’s July, and the Mets have their last chance to turn things around. Being a team in that position, Justin Verlander was a great choice to have on the mound.
Verlander’s slider was working. As a really, the San Francisco Giants’ bats were not.
The Giants couldn’t do anything against Verlander in the seventh, and they needed a Pete Alonso error to do it. The only run they scored was off a double play, and Verlander made sure that was it.
Offensively, the Mets did what they needed. It started with Francisco Álvarez homering in the third. Suddenly, it looks like his slump is over, and he will be an offensive force again.
The defense was improved as we saw with Luis Guillorme quick on the game ending double play. There was a lot to like, and it started with great starting pitching.
At this point, you can dwell on the negative all you want. There’s plenty there not to like. However, on a day like this, there’s a win and finally reason to be happy.
Who knows? Maybe, the Mets go on a run, and it all started with Verlander. Chances are it’s not, but stranger things have happened.
At this point, let’s enjoy this one. There was a lot to like. Maybe 50 years later, history will repeat itself again. As Tug McGraw said then, “Ya Gotta Believe!”
Everywhere you look, the sky is falling for the New York Mets. They lost seven in a row before winning a game, and then they promptly lost again making them losers in seven of eight.
They’ve lost 11 series this season after losing 11 all of last season. They are four games under .500. Pete Alonso is on the IL. Who knows what to believe with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander anymore. Buck Showalter has been bad and completely out of touch.
Guess what? Despite all of that, the Mets are only three games out in the Wild Card race. That’s not remotely insurmountable for this team. While we’re understandably focused on the negatives, there are plenty of positives happening with the team right now.
Mark Canha has completely turned his season around. Since May 14, he is hitting .300/.400/.467 with four doubles, two homers, and 11 RBI.
Tommy Pham has done the same. Since May 17 he is hitting .333/.392/.711 with six doubles, one triple, three homers, and 13 RBI.
Eduardo Escobar‘s resurgence has been oft discussed. Since May 12, he is hitting .378/.425/.487 with a double, homer, and five RBI.
Of course, all of this pales in comparison to what Francisco Álvarez is doing. He’s playing like an All-Star and Rookie of the Year candidate. On the season, he has a 128 wRC+. He’s sixth among all rookies in fWAR, and he is a top five catcher in all of baseball.
Francisco Lindor is a second-half player, and he seems primed to be just that for the Mets again this season. Since June 4, he is hitting .250/.357/.542 with a double, two homers, and three RBI while playing Gold Glove defense.
The Mets are in this race even with them faltering of late. They have an owner able to take on payroll to make a run. Mostly, you can argue, the Mets have everything right where they want them seeing how the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies were in similar situations in recent years only to make a charge to the World Series.
The Mets dreams of winning a World Series isn’t over. They are very much alive and in postseason contention. They just need to hang in there.
The absolute last thing the New York Mets needed was for Pete Alonso to hit the IL. He was on pace for a historic 60 homer season, and he was the Mets best player so far this season. Really, outside of him, Francisco Álvarez, and Brandon Nimmo, the Mets players have truly under-performed.
That said, the Mets did score 10 runs in the series finale against the Atlanta Braves proving they can score runs without Alonso. They just need other players to pick up the slack. Honestly, the Mets do have the talent to do that.
First and foremost, the Mets need Francisco Lindor to be more of an offensive threat. For much of last season, it was him and Alonso carrying the Mets offense. This year, he’s just at a 100 wRC+. The good news is this is the point of the year where Lindor typically takes off, and he’s right on schedule with a four game hitting streak.
In addition to Lindor, Jeff McNeil has to snap out of this funk he’s been all year. It seemed like the shift rules could help him chase history. Instead, he’s having one of his worst seasons mostly driven by an inability to hit on the road. He was last year’s batting champ. He needs to get much closer to that for the Mets to have a chance.
Brett Baty was supposed to be the solution at third. Instead, he has been mired in a deep slump for other a month. He’s really struggling hitting breaking pitches, and he’s pounding the ball into the ground. He’s coming off a two hit game, so maybe, there’s some hope for him still.
Buck Showalter has used every excuse not to play Mark Vientos, but now, it seems like he is out of excuses. Against the Atlanta Braves, we saw a rusty player who went from hot to fighting it. With Alonso out, Vientos can now finally get enough games to get into a groove and establish himself as a bona fide Major League power hitter.
These are all possibilities, and if these players can get going, the Mets will be fine offensively even without Alonso. However, that’s not going to be the biggest issue.
Mostly, the Mets need Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander to figure it out right now. This team is three games under .500 and in fourth place in the NL East. Much of that is because their co-aces have been more like deuces. They’ve been inconsistent and unreliable, and all we hear is that they are so close, blah, blah, blah.
Well, time is up with them. They need to finally deliver. We know the bullpen is unreliable and not going to get better. The Mets need length and quality innings from their starters. That starts with Scherzer and Verlander.
Finally, we go to Showalter. Look, at this point, he’s done enough to get fired by the team. He may treat this injury as an excuse for more Daniel Vogelbach and Mark Canha at first. He can’t. If he does, the Mets are sunk.
In the end, there are just a few Mets who have not under-performed. To a certain extent, that is actually good news. After all, that means if the Mets best players start performing, this team can start rolling off wins. Of course, the manager needs to let that happen, and the players need to start doing that now.
They have no other choice.