Francisco Lindor

MLB Must Update Safety Protocols And Equipment After Damar Hamlin

Right now, it is irresponsible to speculate if there was anything that could have been done to prevent Damar Hamlin from suffering cardiac arrest after that collision. Certainly, manufacturers are going to go back to the drawing board, and they are indeed going to look to see if they could do anything to prevent that awful moment from every happening again on the field.

Obviously, everyone is going to look at this as an NFL issue. With football being an inherently violent sport, you just assume this is going to happen in football more than any other sport. However, no other sport is immune to these types of tragedies, and this should be a wake up call for all sports to review their safety equipment and protocols.

Look at the New York Mets this past season. They were hit by pitches more than any other team in baseball. There were multiple scary moments with fastballs going up-and-in at the batters, and remember, these pitches are now traveling around or above 100 MPH at times. Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor having the C-flaps on their helmets prevented each of them from more significant and potentially catastrophic injury.

Even with that happening, not everyone on the Mets wears the c-flap. Part of the reason is the c-flap is not currently mandated by Major League Baseball. To a certain extent, the players are to blame because they are always resistant to different changes like that. For example, go back to the 1986 World Series, you’ll see players like Gary Carter and Keith Hernandez not wear the ear flaps on their batting helmets.

At some point, the league and the union has to save the players from themselves. For baseball, this goes beyond just the batting helmets.

There are heart protective shirts available to help protect the heart after a direct impact from a hard hit ball. Baseball doesn’t mandate that despite batted balls screaming towards the pitcher at speeds well in excess of 100 MPH. The same goes for infielders who are actively taught to take the ball off the chest when there is a bad hop. Mandating these shirts could prevent an injury or other catastrophic incident.

Former Met Cliff Floyd has invested in protective liners in caps to protect against line drives taken to a fielder’s head. This would be of real importance to pitchers who are vulnerable with line drives screaming back at the mound. We have all seen at least one incident where a pitcher is hit with a line drive and is left bloodied on the mound.

It is possible Floyd’s product is not ready for MLB use, but we also don’t hear or see MLB investing in it or a similar product. More than that, we never really hear MLB or players speak out about the need for protective equipment like this at the Major League or youth recreational levels.

What we do know is all sports are inherently dangerous. It takes an incident in the sport to mandate changes, and even with those incidents, players are typically dragged along instead of willing participants.

Whatever the case, we saw Damar Hamlin almost die on the field after what was a routine play. While the NFL has been criticized for its immediate response, the one thing they got right was the medical training and protocols for their medical professionals at the games. That saved a life, and it is something each and every sport should be investigating and emulating at the moment.

Make no mistake, what happened to Hamlin could happen in any sport. The goal for each sport right now is to immediately assess their safety equipment and protocols. They need to see what changes they can make to stop whatever trauma they can, and they need to make sure their medical policies and procedures match what the NFL had in place which ultimately saved Hamlin’s life.

Braves Players Apparently Unaware Steve Cohen Exists

In typical fashion, the Atlanta Braves traded for a player and signed him to an extension. Last year, it was Matt Olson. This time, it’s Sean Murphy.

Their homegrown players do it all the time too. As we saw with the Freddie Freeman saga last offseason, Larry Jones’ remarks indicated their players appear brainwashed.

Remember, Larry chastised Freeman for not taking the Braves lowball offer. He acted like it was Freeman’s duty. Of course, such a sentiment is absurd, especially with how profitable the Braves are.

Regardless of the revenues, players should be cautious signing extensions. Typically speaking, it’s to save teams money and gain control in at least one free agent year.

That’s not always the case. Putting aside the entirety of the Braves roster, there’s Fernando Tatis Jr. It’s a judgment call, but it just seems Braves players time and again show poor (financial) judgment.

They also show they’re completely unaware of who Steve Cohen is.

After purchasing the Mets, Cohen’s first splash was Francisco Lindor. The Mets traded for him, and then, he was given the largest ever contract to a shortstop.

He followed that up by giving Max Scherzer the largest ever AAV to a player in the following offseason. Cohen has shown he is willing to spend to get great players and build great teams.

All of Major League Baseball is on notice. The other owners are angry while the players are thrilled. For example, when the deal fell apart with the San Francisco Giants, Carlos Correa jumped at the chance to sign with the Mets.

Apparently, the Braves players don’t seem to know or care that’s happening. Every agent, player, GM, and owner is watching Cohen’s every move. Meanwhile, the Braves players happily take less.

In all seriousness, they have to be brainwashed somehow. They even have former Braves spreading pro-team, anti-union rhetoric. After all, who wants to make far, far less than worse players while an intra-division rival continues to assemble a juggernaut?

Carlos Correa Accelerates Decisions On Baty, Mauricio, And Vientos

To the shock of everyone, the New York Mets signed Carlos Correa to a 13 year $315 million deal after the San Francisco Giants found an issue with Correa’s physicals. Once we sift through the shock and awe of it all, we are eventually left with the question as to what it means for the Mets top prospects.

Both Brett Baty and Mark Vientos are third baseman, and Ronny Mauricio is a shortstop. We saw Baty and Vientos make their Major League debuts this past season, and Mauricio was just named the Dominican Winter League MVP. In an alternate universe, they could have all been on the Mets in 2023 playing everyday at some point in the season.

With Francisco Lindor and Correa set to play the left side of the Mets infield for the next decade, all three of the aforementioned players are going to have to find a new position if they are going to stay with the Mets. In all honesty, these were decisions the Mets were investigating anyway.

In terms of Vientos, he had been twice bumped off of third base. When Baty was promoted to Double-A in 2021 and Triple-A in 2022, he became the the primary third baseman. However, it should be noted the Mets organization did take this as an opportunity to move Baty and Vientos to different positions as well. In the end, that is probably best for both.

Baty’s size has always made his long-term ability to play third a debate. To his credit, Baty has continued to improve at the position, but he was never going to be a plus defender at the position. He projects as hopefully average at the position. In essence, this is part of the reason why the Mets have exposed him to left where he has looked good.

In terms of Vientos, the Mets had already seemed to realize his best defensive position is DH. He has struggled at third, and while he has made improvements, there really aren’t any scouts who believe he can handle the position on an everyday basis. This should allow the Mets to let him focus on DH and maybe even work at first base in the event of an unthinkable Pete Alonso injury.

Mauricio is more interesting, but with him, the Mets have more time to make a decision. Much like with Baty, the expectation was his size coupled with his continuing to grow was eventually going to force him off of his natural position. However, Mauricio has continued to stay at short and has played well there. Still, with Lindor’s presence, eventually, Mauricio was going to have to move off of short.

Mauricio played some third with LIDOM, and he looked quite good. In fact, with his ability to move to his left and his big arm, third seemed like the perfect spot for him in the future. However, now, that is no longer in play because Correa is there for the next 13 years.

Ultimately, this may mean he needs to shift to right field sooner rather than later. Mauricio being an above average runner with a big arm should translate very well there. You can also argue he should get some looks in center.

Another note here is the upper levels of the Mets system does not have much outfield depth. The depth they did have took a hit with Jake Mangum being traded to the Miami Marlins. To a certain extent, moving Baty and Mauricio to the outfield would help a need for the Mets. That goes double when you consider Mark Canha has an expiring contract at least theoretically opening up left field for next season.

There is also the elephant in the room. Having Correa and Lindor makes this trio of prospects more available to be traded. If there is a move available at the trade deadline, the Mets are more in a position to trade them.

However, the Mets proceed, they have a very good problem. They have All-Stars and future Hall of Famers on the left side of the infield with very good prospects who are trying to break through at those positions. In the short term, the Mets are insulated against injury. In the long term, the possibilities are endless.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This was first published on MMN.

 

Michael Conforto Should Be Next

Go back to 2015. Michael Conforto was a superstar in the making, and Brandon Nimmo seemed like the disappointing prospect. Seven years later everything is different.

Nimmo received the largest contract the Mets ever handed out to a homegrown player, and Conforto is looking for work. As soon as three seasons ago, that seemed completely implausible.

In the 2020 COVID impacted season, Conforto played at an MVP level. It was a level we knew he was capable of playing, and it seemed like his career was just going to take off. It didn’t as he would suffer an injury plagued 2021 season greatly impacting his production.

After rejecting the qualifying offer, he became a free agent. However, he would go unsigned as Conforto would injure his shoulder in the offseason. While rumors surfaced he may sign somewhere, he would sit out the season waiting for this offseason where he could attempt to cash in on a weaker free agent outfield market.

There was a report from Mike Puma of the New York Post Conforto was not looking to return to the Mets because ” the outfielder might want an escape from the narrative that he erred last offseason in rejecting the qualifying offer from the club.” That would be stupid on his part, and as we see with the Mets spending, they may be able to entice him to return.

Better put, the Mets need to entice him to return.

In September and the Wild Card Series, one thing which was readily clear was the Mets had a power outage, and it was impacting their ability to score runs. When you face better pitching, mounting those rallies becomes increasingly difficult, and at some point, you just need a guy who is going to put it in the seats.

Looking at the roster last season, Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor were the only two who could consistently do that all season. Eduardo Escobar did hit 20 homers, but he hit eight of those in September, and it became increasingly clear he was really just a platoon option.

With Escobar, the Mets do seem to have Brett Baty ready or near ready to take over for him at third. We should eventually see Francisco Álvarez become the primary catcher. And yet, it does seem the Mets are one power bat short. That goes double with the DH situation and the inability to truly rely on rookies who are questionable to make the Major League roster.

Surveying the Mets roster, it would seem the biggest upgrade possibility would be in left field. Mark Canha did a good job there in 2022, but there remain question marks for him in 2023.

Canha’s defense was bad but not unplayable -1 OAA. His launch angle took a nose dive as did his barrel rates. With his value mostly wrapped in his OBP, it was at least concerning that his walk rate took a considerable step backwards. Again, this is a player in decline. He has value to the roster, but the more you look at him, it does not seem as if he is well suited to be the Mets everyday left fielder.

That’s not necessarily to say it’s Conforto. That said, he was a good fielder the last time he played, and assuming he’s stayed in shape, he promises to be one next season. He also has much more power than Canha, and really, if we want to look towards DH, Daniel Vogelbach. Another point there is Conforto has been able to hit left-handed pitching whereas Vogelbach is worse than a pitcher against lefties.

There’s the other point Conforto can handle New York, and we have seen him deliver in big moments here. When you consider the rules eliminating the shift, he should be even more potent at the plate than he was when he last played. Overall, Conforto should have some big hits in his bat, and the Mets need those big hits. The more you think about it, the more you realize Conforto needs to return to the Mets.

José Quintana Perfect Addition To Mets Rotation

One of the challenges the New York Mets have this offseason is rebuilding their rotation to match the one they had which carried them to 101 wins in 2021. That was going to be a challenge with the Mets needing to address four-fifths of the rotation; well, three-fifths after they picked up Carlos Carrasco‘s option.

The rotation was never really going to look the same, but it had to be as good. Arguably, it had to be better with the Mets losing in the Wild Card Series despite their top three starters lined up. The team did take a bit of a step back losing Jacob deGrom, but they responded quickly and perfectly by adding Justin Verlander.

You can say the same about the team signing José Quintana after Taijuan Walker signed with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Walker was a good and surprisingly durable pitcher for the Mets over the past two seasons. He showed flashes of being a top of the rotation starter, but he did have his struggles. Ultimately, he was a number three starter who pitched at the back end of the rotation. He was a very good Met, and the Mets will certainly miss him.

However, the team did rebound with Quintana. Keep in mind with the age of Max Scherzer, Verlander, and Carrasco, Quintana is “only” going to be 34 next season. He has pitched in the majors for 11 years, and the only time he did not make at least 22 starts was 2020 – 2021. One year was the pandemic (he did have an injury that season), and the other he dealt with shoulder issues.

Whatever concerns you may have after that two year stretch were abated when Quintana made 32 starts last season. The downside was he only pitched 165.2 innings meaning he averaged only five innings per start.

Part of that could be related to his coming back from two injury plagued years. He was in the bullpen in 2021, and he was moved back to the rotation. That does require some ease. Another issue is the Pirates are not very analytically advanced limiting their ability to get the most from their starters.

To a certain extent, we saw that play out when Quintana went to the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline. Yes, he only averaged five innings per start, but that was skewed by a few short outings. To be fair, those happened.

Putting all of that aside for a moment, that does not change the fact Quintana took the ball every fifth day. Much like he has the vast majority of his career, he promises to do the same next season. That gives the Mets some certainty with an older rotation as they also seek to manufacture pitching depth this offseason.

With respect to the stuff, well, Quintana doesn’t wow you in any sense. He doesn’t have velocity or great spin. What he does have is the ability to locate and generate weak contact. He also generates a high number of ground balls. Even without the shift, he should be aided by having Francisco Lindor and one of Jeff McNeil or Luis Guillorme up the middle.

In the end, Quintana’s skill-set is enhanced by the defense behind him. The Mets infielders will make him seem a better pitcher, and maybe then, he can go a little deeper into games. Even if he doesn’t, he is going to take the ball every fifth day and give the Mets five solid innings. There is immense value in that, especially for an older rotation, and the Mets will benefit greatly from having signed Quintana.

Justin Verlander Keeps Mets Great

Based on how everything transpired, we can question whether the New York Mets Plan A was Jacob deGrom or Justin Verlander. In the end, it doesn’t matter.

What matters is the Mets needed to get at least one of them, and they did that. They signed the future Hall of Famer and reigning American League Cy Young winner.

An interest note here is there are three pitchers in Major League history to win the Rookie of the Year and two Cy Youngs – Tom Seaver, deGrom, and Velander. Seaver and Verlander have three Cy Youngs, and deGrom won the award in consecutive seasons.

All three are Mets.

This is just a bizarre place to be as a Mets fan. We’re not even five years removed from the Mets “replacing” Zack Wheeler with Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.

The fact the Mets followed deGrom by giving Verlander the highest AAV for a player is something that didn’t happen here. The fact it came the year after the Mets did the same with Max Scherzer never would’ve been contemplated.

Keep in mind, this is who the Mets are now. They already made Francisco Lindor the highest paid shortstop, and Edwin Díaz the highest paid reliever.

The only objective is winning, and the Mets will now spend to do it. Verlander epitomizes who the franchise is now.

Verlander returned from Tommy John and was Verlander. He led the AL in wins, ERA, WHIP, ERA+, and hits per nine. That’s why he won a Cy Young.

Yes, the strikeouts were down and was the velocity. However, the spin is still there, and he’s still limiting hard contact and barrels.

In some ways, that answers the question we always had about Verlander. What would he be when his velocity dipped? The answer is the best pitcher in the AL.

The next questions doesn’t have an easy answer. How will he handle the 2022 workload? Also, how will he be in his age 40 season?

Looking at Scherzer, he was great, but he was also more injury prone. To some degree, that might’ve cost him and the Mets the World Series.

Then again, just having Scherzer made the Mets a great team who won 101 games. Verlander promises to do the same for this team in 2023. That goes double with the Mets having Scherzer and Verlander.

As an interesting aside, Scherzer and Verlander were in the same rotation for the Detroit Tigers from 2010 – 2014. They Ron the division four straight years winning a pennant.

This is in play for the Mets. They have co-aces who can help the Mets take the next step. Last year, it was the Wild Card Series. Next year, we will see how far they can go.

This is possible because the Mets pivoted after losing deGrom to sign Verlander. They replaced one future Hall of Famer with another. They showed they will continue to do what is necessary to win.

The Mets needed Verlander and signed him. It’s a great day to be a Mets fan.

Jacob deGrom Leaving Mets Was Never Supposed To Happen

When you look at New York Mets history, only Tom Seaver was better than Jacob deGrom. M. Donald Grant was dumb enough and had a big enough ego to get rid of Seaver.

When Steve Cohen purchased the Mets there was an implicit promise we’d never see the organization lose a legend again. Well, first chance a Mets legend had to leave, he left. That makes deGrom signing with the Texas Rangers Cohen’s Seaver moment.

When Cohen first purchased the team, there was an inquiry as to what it would take to get deGrom not to exercise his opt out. It didn’t get done, and as we would learn, it would never get done.

As time passed, deGrom saw the Mets make Francisco Lindor the highest paid shortstop in the game. Max Scherzer was given the highest AAV. Edwin Díaz received the largest ever contract for a reliever.

As for deGrom, well, the Mets never made an offer after the ace officially opted out. Worse yet, they didn’t formulate one, nor were they in a position to act quickly if another team heavily pursued him.

To be fair, there is a conflicting report where the Mets made a very strong opening offer. Notably, the contract was less in terms of AAV than what the team gave Scherzer.

This could be a Jose Reyes situation when signed with the Miami Marlins. The team moved on from the player and never made an offer.

It could also be Darryl Strawberry signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. At that point, both sides knew the relationship was over with Strawberry going to his preferred destination.

Whatever the case, Cohen had the money to keep deGrom, but he didn’t do enough to keep him. If there was a contract that could’ve enticed deGrom to stay, the Mets never got remotely close to positioning themselves to make it. That holds true for whichever report you believe.

If deGrom was going to leave no matter the circumstances, even despite his current and former teammates saying he wanted to stay, the Mets were ill prepared.

If you know deGrom is leaving no matter what, trade him. The package you receive will FAR exceed the compensatory fourth round pick the Mets get for deGrom signing with Texas.

Want to say paying a 40 year old deGrom $37 million was too much? Well, we’re all about to talk ourselves into the Mets giving a 39 year old Justin Verlander $40+ million for multiple years.

We can and will keep going back-and-forth on this. What we’re left with is the best pitcher in baseball no longer resides in Queens.

Whatever we all choose to believe, there’s just the simple truth Jacob deGrom is a Texas Rangers ace. He’s an ex-Met. That was something we never could’ve imagined happening with Steve Cohen owning the Mets.

At this point, there’s nothing left for Mets fans to do but wish deGrom the best and thank him for everything. The Mets front office now has to make sure this doesn’t come back to haunt them.

We will soon find out if this was the best for all involved. Hopefully, it is, and eventually, when it comes time for the Hall of Fame and retiring his number, deGrom will again belong to the Mets just as it should be.

Noah Syndergaard Intriguing Option

Noah Syndergaard left the New York Mets for good reasons. Those reasons included whether he believed he could handle pitching in New York with diminished velocity.

The answer was he wasn’t anywhere close to being Syndergaard. Better yet, he wasn’t Thor. Nowhere close.

Syndergaard was once known for the ability to ramp it up to 100 MPH. Instead, post Tommy John, he was throwing 94 MPH with his slider velocity similarly diminished.

What’s interesting is he did have a slight dip in velocity from April through the 2022 season. That may be an indication he’s still working his way back physically. Perhaps, there’s a couple more MPH in his right arm.

With Syndergaard, that’s the intrigue. We’ve seen it from him previously. Whoever signs him is partially betting on the ability to get Syndergaard closer to the pitcher he was.

On that front, the Mets have Jeremy Hefner. Hefner has built his reputation as an excellent pitching coach. We’ve already seen how his ability to hone mechanics helped Edwin Díaz have a phenomenal season.

Maybe it’s a mechanical issue with Syndergaard. It’s possible he just needs to rebuild arm strength. Likely, it’s a combination of the two. Again, that’s why the Mets have Hefner.

It’s also possible this is who Syndergaard is now. If that is the case, Syndergaard is still intriguing.

Looking at the 2022 numbers, he struggles getting going in the first inning. He starts to lose his control the third time through the lineup. After 100 pitches, opposing batters start hitting him very hard.

This turned Syndergaard into a five and fly guy. The Philadelphia Phillies gave him a very short leash in the postseason. He was just another fifth starter to them.

In some ways, this makes him similar to what the Mets had with Carlos Carrasco. When he returned from injury in 2021, he struggled mightily, especially in that first inning.

In 2022, it was a different story. He was still at his worst in the first, but he was better able to navigate it. Even having the same limitations as Syndergaard, he still won 15 games with a respectable 3.53 FIP.

That’s what we’ve seen with Hefner as pitching coach. If there’s something there, he’s going to help that pitcher find it. With Syndergaard, there is something there.

Per Baseball Savant, Syndergaard still limited hard contact. He also had good control with a low walk rate. Part of the reason for that is Syndergaard’s extension.

We saw Syndergaard slower to the plate this year and taking more time between pitches. Perhaps, that was a confidence issue. Maybe, he was just trying to figure it out. Whatever the case, the pitch clock promises to get him working quicker pushing him towards being more of himself.

Another thing of note is Syndergaard generated a number of ground balls with his sinker/slider combination. He’d benefit from having Francisco Lindor up the middle. A better defense can make a better pitcher.

All told, there’s enough there to talk you into Syndergaard. That’s even before following Zack Wheeler’s rocky return from Tommy John where he threw 94.8 MPH in 2017 and 96.8 two years later.

The 100 MPH may be forever gone, but in all likelihood, there’s another tick or two in that fastball (and slider). Thor is still deep down somewhere in there.

There’s definite risk with Syndergaard, but it’s probably not going to be cost prohibitive to take that risk. That’s a factor for the Mets who are looking to bring back Jacob deGrom and Brandon Nimmo while rebuilding an entire pitching staff.

For the Mets, maybe Syndergaard is worth the gamble. Maybe Hefner is that good. Maybe Syndergaard as a fifth starter can help manufacture pitching depth by forcing Tylor Megill and David Peterson to Syracuse to start the year.

In all likelihood, this probably won’t happen, and certainly, the Mets should pursue other angles first. Syndergaard may not want to return, and the Mets may have no interest in bringing him back. That said, things get weird in the offseason, and at some point, it could make sense for the two to reunite.

In the end, there may be something there with Syndergaard, and the Mets finally have the type of organization which can unlock it. We will see if that will happen.

Revisiting 2022 Bold Mets Predictions

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.

See above.

4. Francisco Lindor will be the NL MVP. Like Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran, he’s going to have a huge second year. Unlike them, he wont’ be denied the award.

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.

8.  Jacob deGrom will receive some Cy Young votes. Whenever he comes back, he’s going to be deGrom, and he’s going to be so great, he’s going to appear on ballots.

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.

11.  Chris Bassitt will have a slow first month frustrating fans, but he will have a terrific stretch starting in the middle of May as he adjusts to working with the new catchers and Jeremy Hefner.

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.

17. The Atlanta Braves will not challenge the Mets at all for the division. They’ll really miss Freddie Freeman, the bullpen will falter, and they will not get Ronald Acuna Jr. back in time.

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.

27. The Joely Rodriguez trade will work out as well as the Alex Torres trade did for the Mets.

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.

29. Fans will fall in love with Nick Plummer and get more frustrated by Khalil Lee.

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.

33. Carlos Beltran will not return to Citi Field for Old Timers’ Day. We also will not see Carlos Delgado.

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.

Whether or not it was the right call, Showalter won, and it was close to being 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.

43. Drew Smith will take over the eighth inning and will be groomed as the next closer. He will not take over the eighth due to any fault of Trevor May who will have another good year.

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.

50. The Mets will not need to add bullpen pieces at the deadline because we will see pitchers like Colin Holderman and Thomas Szapucki emerge as quality relief options at the Major League level.

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.

51. James McCann will have very similar production to what he had in 2021, and in short order, he will find himself in a catching rotation with Tomas Nido.

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.

57. The Mets will announce their next Hall of Fame class, and it will include Al Leiter and Johan Santana.

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.

Trea Turner Odd Fit For Mets

Looking at the New York Mets, there’s surprisingly a lot of work to do for a 101 win roster. Aside from having to completely rebuild a pitching staff, the Brandon Nimmo free agency complicates matters.

With Nimmo a free agent, the Mets need to re-sign him or get creative (which never ends well). Aside from that, re-signing Nimmo of not, the Mets have to address their relative lack of power.

On both of these fronts, there are rumors the Mets have interest in Trea Turner. While Turner is a great player, it doesn’t make much sense.

Look, Turner is a great player, and if you have an opportunity to add him to your roster, you do it. However, you have to ask why Turner fits with the Mets and whether the money can be better invested (i.e. Nimmo).

Start with Francisco Lindor being entrenched at short. Lindor is younger and a better defender. You’re not moving him for Turner leading to find him another position. With Turner being 29 and already declining defensively, that’s probably a good idea anyway.

In terms of CF, Turner hasn’t played the position since 2016. That effectively means he’s not an option there. This is also where things get slightly complicated for the Mets.

Arguably, the versatility of Jeff McNeil permits the signing of Turner. However, that may create more problems than it solves.

Turner has never played third in his career, and the Mets seem resolute in never playing McNeil there again. As a result, this does nothing to solve the Mets third base issues (which may eventually be Brett Baty anyway).

Turner sparingly played second in 2021 and was quite good. That would force McNeil to left or right, which is also fine because he’s a slightly above average corner outfielder.

Moving McNeil to left also is what causes a problem for the Mets.

Shifting McNeil to a corner spot forces Starling Marte to center. That is something the Mets specifically sought to avoid when they signed Marte. In fact, if that was their plan, they would’ve had Nimmo play right field last year.

Marte was already declining defensively in center, and his sprint rate was dropping. Moreover, he’s a bit injury prone making center a problematic position for him for the long term.

This would also have the Mets looking to play Mark Canha everyday again. Playing everyday goes to the heart of the Mets power issue.

Canha slugged .403 last year and has slugged .397 over the last three years. As a fourth outfielder/platoon option, he’s phenomenal depth. As an everyday player, there are some issues.

On the power front, Turner would solve their problems a bit even if he is not who is was in 2020 when he posted career bests in exit velocity and barrels. As an aside, his exit velocities have trended down since that 2020 season.

Keep in mind, Turner will be 30. He’s nearing the end of his prime, and he’s already showing some signs of decreased production. No, this does not mean his prime is over or that he won’t be great.

Rather, it’s a warning. We don’t know how well he’ll age or how many years remain in his prime. We just know he’s showing signs he should move off short sooner rather than later and that the power has a very slight dip.

Taking it all into account, the Mets have to ask whether Turner is worth it. Arguably, signing him means they part ways with one of Nimmo or Jacob deGrom. Maybe both.

Moreover, while it helps with the power (and certainly the speed), the Mets have to ask if that’s enough. That does double when you consider Nimmo is the only everyday CF on the market. Does signing Turner over Nimmo actually make the Mets better?

Of course, we shouldn’t discount that this is Steve Cohen. If he can sign deGrom, Nimmo, and Turner, he will. If he can do that, the Mets would be scary, and you’ll be hard pressed to come up with reasons why they won’t win the World Series.

Short of signing all three, it would seem Turner makes the least amount of sense for the Mets especially considering the real gaps in the rotation and center.