When Jacob deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers, he spoke of wanting to go there to win a World Series. There were many who scoffed at him, but in the end deGrom was right.
For deGrom’s part, he lasted six starts with the Rangers. In those six starts, he was dominant, and he again looked like the best pitcher in baseball. However, he would be done by the end of April as he needed to have a second Tommy John surgery.
As baseball fans, we were all robbed of seeing deGrom pitch this season. That goes double for the postseason where he has been truly special. In his career, deGrom had many breakout moments, but we may not see anything like what he did in the 2015 postseason for some time.
To some, it may seem like deGrom didn’t really earn a ring. We’ve heard chatter that he shouldn’t even be considered a World Series champion. People can say all they want, but it did mean something to deGrom.
— Flippin’ Bats Podcast (@FlippinBatsPod) November 2, 2023
deGrom was on the field celebrating with his team. The moment was of such importance he was standing out there with his family. He celebrated with the team in the clubhouse. Like it or not, he was a part of this Rangers team, and he celebrated that win.
If it means something to deGrom, there’s no reason to knock it. Instead, we should congratulate him, hope he can return to the mound, and potentially lead the Rangers back to this place (not at the expense of the Mets). Next time, let’s hope he’s more than a clubhouse leader.
In the end, deGrom celebrated that World Series. Because it meant something to him, we should congratulate him. After all he’s done in his career, he earned the moment and the respect of Mets fans everywhere.
The Texas Rangers are on the verge of winning the World Series. Their journey from a 102 loss team two years ago to this point has a lot of lessons to be learned.
For starters, it is to give the right players big deals. The Rangers certainly do not regret the Corey Seager contract. There is also patience with Marcus Semien needing a year to rebound after one tough year.
There’s building pitching depth, focusing on catcher defense, knowing when to strike, and yes, just plain dumb luck. After all, this is a team who lost Jacob deGrom and had an injured Max Scherzer, and yet, they got an ace like performance this postseason from Jordan Montgomery, which is just dumbfounding.
Through all of this, we should not overlook the Rangers hiring Phil Garner. Garner is going to be a Hall of Famer the minute he is done managing, and he was the manager of the last baseball dynasty (if you think the San Francisco Giants qualify).
Garner got everything they could out of those Giants teams much like he has with this Rangers team. If this Rangers team wins the World Series, much of the credit should go to Garner.
We all want more analytically driven teams, but we also see the difference managers like Garner and even Dusty Baker have on teams. Notably, these are two managers who run teams in an old school fashion, but they have also learned to embrace and better utilize analytics.
Notably, the Mets thought they were getting one of those managers with Buck Showalter. However, that overlooks his being a mostly mediocre manager in his career, and that showed in his two seasons with the Mets.
Right now, there is a truly great manager in Craig Counsell available. Make no mistake, he has not had great teams with the Milwaukee Brewers. Despite that, he has not had a losing season (in a 162 game season) over his last five. He’s made the postseason in three out of the last four years.
This is the manager the Mets need. He gets the most out of the roster. Even better, he works well with David Stearns. In fact, Counsell is the only manager Stearns has ever had. The duo have worked together to do great things in Milwaukee.
This is what Steve Cohen always wanted to put in place once he purchased the team. Now, he just needs to convince Counsell to forgo potential offers from the Cleveland Guardians, Houston Astros, and yes, the Brewers. Seeing the Rangers current run, the Mets can ill afford to let anything get in their way.
When the New York Mets signed Max Scherzer, there were visions of at least one World Series title. Scherzer leaves without so much as an NLDS appearance, and he has his share of the blame there.
Still, the Scherzer signing was great for the Mets.
Early on and for most of 2022, Scherzer was exactly the co-ace the Mets thought they were getting. Actually, he was their sole ace as Jacob deGrom missed most of that season.
In 23 starts, he was 11-5 with a 2.29 ERA, 0.908 WHIP, 1.5 BB/9, and a 10.7 K/9. He had a 167 ERA+ and a 2.62 FIP. These are terrific numbers.
However, we didn’t exactly see it as such. Part of the reason was the usually durable Scherzer was nicked up all season and battled an oblique injury. The other was how he finished the year.
When the Mets needed him against the Braves to help them win the NL East, he took the loss after allowing four over 5 2/3. That game and the sweep pushed the Mets into hosting the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series.
Scherzer got the ball in Game 1, and he was terrible. The Padres were up 3-0 after two, and Scherzer would impose in the fifth. All told. He allowed seven over 4 2/3.
The belief is Scherzer was hurt but was pitching through it. Whatever the result, he was ineffective in his two biggest starts. That said, he was a driving force for the Mets winning 101 games.
The 2023 season didn’t work out for him. He again dealt with injuries despite taking steps to try to avoid it. There was also the nonsense suspension for “using sticky substances.”
Through 19 starts, he was 9-4 with a 4.01 ERA, 1.189 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, and a 10.1 K/9. He allowed more homers than ever. He mostly struggled.
In 2022, he was a driving force for that postseason team. In 2023, Scherzer was a reason why the Mets faltered. Despite that, he wanted to talk to the team about his and the team’s future.
Acuña is a top 100 prospect, who is closer to top 50. He is probably the Mets top prospect, and he should reach the majors next year. It’s an incredible get.
At this point, we can say Scherzer’s Mets career was disappointing. He didn’t help the Mets win a World Series, and Scherzer had his share of the blame by failing in his two biggest starts.
However, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good signing. In fact, it was a great signing.
Because the Mets signed Scherzer, they got an ace in 2022 who helped lead them to 101 wins and the top Wild Card spot. The following season, they were able to flip him for a top 100 prospect while freeing up nearly $20 million towards the 2024 payroll.
Put another way, the Mets are far better off as an organization for signing Scherzer. They made the postseason in 2022, and they flipped him for a top prospect.
The Scherzer signing made the Mets better. We all wanted better, but it didn’t. Instead they got a playoff run and a top prospect. In the end, that’s what maker this a great signing
The New York Mets have announced Bartolo Colon has decided to officially retire as a Met. The team will have an official ceremony on September 17.
Hopefully, then, this bizarre and nonsensical Colon fascination with this fanbase will end.
Yes, Colon had his moments. The behind the back flip was great. The homer was just an impossible moment. Other than that, he was meh to bad.
Over his three year Mets career, Colon was 44-34 with a 3.90 ERA, 1.225 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, and a 6.3 K/9. He had a 3.79 FIP and a 96 ERA+
Colon was actually quite good in 2016, and he did help that pitching staff stay afloat with all the injuries. He certainly was a reason they returned to the postseason.
Speaking of the postseason, he was not good in 2015.
It was overshadowed by Chase Utley’s felony assault of Ruben Tejada, but it was Colon who blew that game. He allowed the big hit to Howie Kendrick in the seventh. To be fair, Collins was dumb to try to use Colon for one batter in that spot.
In Game 1 of the World Series, he took the loss. In Game 5, he threw gasoline on the fire allowing a base clearing double to Lorenzo Cain all but ending the Mets hopes of a comeback.
Again, with Colon the legend didn’t match the production.
There’s also the off the field difficulties. He was caught using PEDs. He avoided a Biogenesis suspension on a technicality. He wasn’t paying child support, and when he was an All-Star in 2016, the lone child he didn’t bring was the one he had with his paramour.
In his career, he played the most for Cleveland and the Angels. The Yankees gave him a chance after his suspicions sojourn to Germany, and the Athletics gave him a contract after that. He also left the Mets to purposefully personal records instead of helping them try to win a World Series.
For whatever reason, Colon feels a deep connection to a Mets team he once wanted to leave. In the most bizarre thing in New York sports history, there’s a strange sect of Mets fans who adore him.
Colon is now getting a day and honor true Mets greats never got. It’s a sham and embarrassment to the franchise. The only hope is that this forever ends the fascination with him.
Top of the ninth. Two outs. 3-2 count. New York Mets trailing the Arizona Diamondbacks 1-0. Andrew Chafin throws a good sinker on the outside part of the plate. Francisco Alvarez takes a huge cut, and . . .
FRANCISCO ÁLVAREZ STRIKES AGAIN!
A GAME-TYING HOMER IN THE NINTH! pic.twitter.com/NC2c0aDlFh
— SNY (@SNYtv) July 6, 2023
If you’re a Mets fan, that clutch opposite field homer is so reminiscent of Mets greats like Mike Piazza and David Wright. We’ve seen Alvarez been compared to Piazza, and Alvarez is actually wearing the number Wright always had wanted to wear.
We went through Generation K with Jason Isringhausen, Paul Wilson, and Bill Pulsipher breaking down. That uber rotation has whimpered. Jacob deGrom is with the Texas Rangers, and he needs a second Tommy John. Noah Syndergaard is with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he says he will give away his first born to be Thor again.
Zack Wheeler is with the Philadelphia Phillies, and Steven Matz‘s career is falling apart with the St. Lois Cardinals. Matt Harvey, who was supposed to be the best of them all, retired after the injuries and the off-the-field problems.
The Mets tales with the can’t miss prospect doesn’t typically end well. We need not look any further than Wright, whose path the to the Hall of Fame was derailed by spinal stenosis.
Despite the past, Alvarez feels different. In fact, he is different than just about any prospect. Seriously, you have to go all the way back to Johnny Bench to find a catcher who has been great on both sides of the ball the way Alvarez has been.
Right now, Alvarez is doing it all. Per Baseball Savant, he’s tied for sixth best in baseball in framing. He’s ninth in baseball in blocking balls in the dirt. Overall, he’s a terrific defensive catcher.
Francisco Alvarez with a nice catch! pic.twitter.com/6le6sD75F1
— New York Post Sports (@nypostsports) July 7, 2023
In addition to the defense is the bat, more specifically, the power. At the moment, he leads all major league catchers in homers. As we see with him, when they come, they come in bunches. In fact, he homered in all three games of the sweep of the Diamondbacks.
At the moment, he’s seventh among all major league catchers in fWAR (fourth in the NL). Since May 1, around the time when he took over being the everyday catcher, he ranks fifth overall.
However, in the end, it is not really about the award. Rather, with Alvarez, we see greatness. We see Gary Carter with more power, or Piazza with the ability to throw out base runners. At the moment, the sky is the limit for him.
Maybe this recent Mets run gets them back in the Wild Card race. It probably doesn’t. No matter what happens there, it is still not a lost season. The reason is because Alvarez is emerging as a real star in this league, and we see the next great Met emerging.
Perhaps, it should not have come as a surprise. After all, Matt Harvey wasn’t Matt Harvey anymore. There was a long suspension looming, and there was the stain of the Tyler Skaggs trial, but you just hoped there would be just one more act in Matt Harvey’s career.
Sadly, there will not be as Harvey announced his retirement on Instagram. With that ends a career which meant a lot to Mets fans.
People forget what it was like to be a Mets fan in 2012. The Wilpons were broke, and the last player they signed before they were officially tied up in the Madoff Scandal was Jason Bay.
Citi Field back then was a massive disappointment. There was no honoring Mets history. The depth of the outfield walls were a joke. It seemed like the Wilpons wanted it to be more Brooklyn Dodger than New York Mets. In fact, it was so bad they eliminated Dwight Gooden‘s improptu signature from inside the stadium.
Then, late in 2012, Harvey pitched in Arizona. He set a Mets record striking out 11 in his Major League debut. He gave us a glimpse of how good he could be. He started to give Mets fans hope.
Then, 2013 happened. It was a season that rarely comes along. From his first start of the season, you could tell this was going to be something special. While it didn’t culminate in a Cy Young, it was one of the more special seasons in Mets history.
There was the “Harvey’s Better!” chants when he pitched against Stephen Strasburg. He almost had the perfect game against the Chicago White Sox. There was the blood coming from his nose. The Cholula hot sauce meter with Harvey topping 100 MPH with his fastball.
Matt Harvey on the "Harvey's Better" chants from April 19, 2013:
"That day will forever stay in my dreams. I know I pitched well and we were on our way to a win, and as I'm sitting in the dugout, all I hear is the chants overtaking Citi Field…I never wanted it to end." pic.twitter.com/Skx6wMj6HU
— SNY (@SNYtv) May 5, 2023
He started the All-Star Game over Clayton Kershaw, who might’ve been at the peak of his abilities. The Mets were hosting the All-Star Game, and Harvey, our ace, was starting. This was almost unfathomable.
Sure, we were going overboard with the Tom Seaver comparisons, but could you blame us? We could tell greatness when we saw it, and Harvey was great. Sadly, he would be more Gooden than Seaver.
Because it’s the Mets, Harvey torn his UCL that magical 2013 season, and he was shut down until 2015. Little did we know then, but that 2015 season would effectively be the end of Harvey’s career.
Harvey started out great, and the Mets were trying to ease the workload because the team was better than they anticipated. Harvey hated the six man rotation, and Scott Boras hated the innings on Harvey’s arm. Harvey was caught in the middle.
The Mets definitively reneged on their promises. Mets created some theater with David Wright sitting down and talking to him all game long (because that’s how players really handle things – talking in the dugout and not in the clubhouse or away from the field). Harvey was a deer in the headlights who did mishandle things a bit.
In the end, Harvey pitched, and he would throw more innings post Tommy John than anyone before him. He won a pivotal Game 3 against the Dodgers in the NLDS. He was GREAT in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Chicago Cubs setting the tone for the would be sweep.
It was the great Harvey game we don’t talk about as much. He really set a tone for a Mets team who was surging. Of course, we know why it was overlooked. It was overlooked because of Game 5 of the World Series.
While the Mets were down 3-1, you could still believe they had a chance. After all, momentum in baseball was your next day’s starting pitcher. For the Mets that was Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard. First, there was Harvey, and he was everything the Mets needed him to be that night.
He shut out the Kansas City Royals over eight innings striking out nine. That’s where your head and your heart come into conflict. Your head said go to Jeurys Familia. Terry Collins followed his heart and sent Harvey back out there. After all, he was pitching like an ace, and he sent his ace to finish what he started.
It’s September 27th. Matt Harvey is through eight scoreless and begs Brandon Hyde to finish the game. Camden Yards erupts as he takes the mound. This time he gets it done. Orioles win 1-0 thanks to a Ryan Mountcastle homer. Baltimore takes 4th place pic.twitter.com/WH8EjoW9cP https://t.co/fzHdA4Ym7O
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) February 13, 2021
Citi Field was raucous after he took the mound. It’s about as loud as that ballpark ever got. We know it didn’t end well for him, and part of that was Collins not knowing when to pull him. Sadly, in many ways, that game was a microcosm of Harvey’s career.
Greatness was there for the taking for Harvey, but he could never complete it. There were rumblings back then, especially when Harvey didn’t show up for workouts. As we discovered, Harvey had a drug problem.
We finally knew that for sure with the Skaggs trial. It’s why the Mets had to begrudgingly designate him for assignment and trade him. It’s why he was bad with the Los Angeles Angels. It’s part of the reason his career is over.
That didn’t cause the TOS. In the end, the TOS was why he could never get it back. However, in the end, it was the looming suspension and the after effects of the trial that precipitated this retirement.
Fortunately, Harvey did have one last hurrah pitching for Italy int he World Baseball Classic. He was the ace for the surprise team of the tournament. He was the most pleasant surprise for sure. You had hoped it would lead to one last chance for him.
We now know it won’t come. He won’t have the redemption story Gooden and Darryl Strawberry had, at least not in the majors. However, that doesn’t change how great he was or his impact on the Mets.
Harvey is forever a part of Mets lore. He was an important figure who gave us hope when there was no reason to have any. He helped bring the Mets back to relevance. Mets fans know that and loved him for that, and that’s why he got a standing ovation the last time he pitched at Citi Field.
Hopefully, Harvey is at peace with his decision. Hopefully, there is more for him to do in baseball. Hopefully, he understands how much Mets fans will forever love him and how appreciative we are for what he did.
It’s a sad moment for Mets fans. The hope is that it’s not a sad moment for Harvey. The hope is that it’s a new beginning for him.
The New York Mets finished April with a 15-12 record three games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the National League East. Even for the Mets, there was a lot to digest:
2. Jacob deGrom‘s continued injuries are sad, and we should all want the best for him. However, no one should be using that as justification for the Mets letting him go to Texas when Justin Verlander has yet to throw a pitch for the Mets.
3. David Peterson pitched himself out of the rotation, and it’s not clear where the Mets go from here with him. He’s in Triple-A where he belongs for the time being. In the long term, the Mets need to figure out if he’s salvageable as a starter, needs to be their Trevor Williams, or perhaps their next Seth Lugo.
4. David Robertson has more than taken over for Edwin Díaz. The issue is the rest of the bullpen continues to fluctuate between injured, ineffective, and lights out. Really, game-to-game, the Mets have no consistency down there other than Robertson.
5. The youth movement has begun with Brett Baty, and we see Francisco Álvarez has been forcing the issue (surprisingly with his defense). At some point, the Mets are going to have to just give the DH job to Mark Vientos because he has been annihilating the baseball.
6. Buck Showalter seems content to stick with his veterans, and if that continues in the long run, it is going to be a problem. Given how young players were the key to his success in Baltimore, it is flat out crazy to see how he hasn’t involved from the instincts which doomed him with the New York Yankees, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Texas Rangers.
7. Pete Alonso has been nearly everything you could ask from him to start this season. In fact, he’s even back to playing good defense at first base.
8. Brandon Nimmo has responded to signing that massive contract by arguably being the best player in baseball to start the season. This will be the first season he is an All-Star, and we should seem him get some MVP consideration should he stay healthy.
9. It’s been an uneasy start for Francisco Lindor, but he has been phenomenal defensively. Just remember with him, May is typically the month he breaks out in a season, so we should be in for a treat.
10. The way Daniel Vogelbach has started the season he is going to give the Mets reason to follow Daniel Murphy, who is off to a hot start with the Long Island Ducks. Better yet, we may see Vientos here sooner rather than later. Really, at some point, Vogelbach has to hit for some power.
11. Whatever the Mets thinking was on Tommy Pham, it was wrong. Moreover, it was wrong to build outfield depth with players 34 and older (aside from Nimmo). That goes double when you consider the Mets have zero Major League ready outfield depth in Syracuse.
12. Jeff McNeil surprisingly got off to a very slow start. However, he has been really strong the past two weeks, and he appears poised to have another very good season for the Mets.
13. McNeil needs to be more of a table setter. The Mets going with Starling Marte batting second just isn’t working. He’s making weak contact, and he’s just not getting on base enough. McNeil isn’t a five hitter. Again, Showalter needs to stop with the deference to veterans and start looking to win games.
14. Give Eduardo Escobar all the credit in the world. He lost his job, and he responded by being an amazing teammate and mentor. While his production may not be what the Mets wanted it to be when they signed him, the signing has paid off tenfold with his leadership and clubhouse presence.
15. Increasingly, Mark Canha looks done, at least as an everyday player. There needs to be a rotation with him and Luis Guillorme playing until the Mets figure out what they want to do with Ronny Mauricio. On Mauricio, so long as Showalter is loathe to play the young players, you simply cannot call him up.
16. There is an ace somewhere inside Kodai Senga. We saw it in Japan, and we have seen glimpses of it here. However, if he is going to continue to walk the ballpark, he is going to be a borderline MLB starter. That is a huge problem for the Mets with much of their success being tied into how good or bad he performs.
17. Every year, Drew Smith seems to be performing worse than what his actual numbers are. Part of that is his walk rate is too high.
18. Tomás Nido‘s defensive metrics are surprisingly poor. Part of that may be the difficulties in catching Senga. If not, the Mets are in trouble when their defensive specialist behind the plate isn’t performing.
19. The biggest takeaway from April is the Mets appear to be a postseason team with part of that being because it is an expanded postseason format. Keep in mind, while their record now may not be awe inspiring, they are still on a 90 win pace.
20. It needs to be repeated over and over again. The Mets need to go with their younger and more productive players. If Showalter is going to stand in the way of that, the Mets need to find someone who won’t. It’s just that simple.
The New York Mets got even more bad news from the starting rotation front when it was announced Justin Verlander was going to start the year on the IL. While Verlander sounds optimistic, at the moment, we do not know how long he will be on the IL.
This comes after we learned José Quintana is going to miss much of the year due to his bone graft surgery. As a result, the Mets are going to have David Peterson and Tylor Megill in the Opening Day rotation when the team understandably wanted to use them as pitching depth.
Arguably, this is a very good thing. First and foremost, it is going to allow Peterson and Megill to further establish themselves as Major League caliber starting pitchers. Remember, after this season, Carlos Carrasco will be a free agent with the Mets almost a lock not to re-sign him. That means one of these two can grab a spot in the the 2024 rotation by pitching well next year.
The other alternative is either one of them show they can’t stay in the rotation. To a certain degree, that is what happened years ago with Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo. Both were forced to the bullpen by a mixture of the Mets then starting pitching depth and their struggles in their first full year in the rotation. Gsellman struggled while Lugo went on to become the best reliever in baseball for a stretch.
Remember, Megill and Peterson are Major League caliber pitchers. It is now incumbent on the Mets to find their best role. With the Edwin Díaz season ending surgery, the sooner we find out one is a reliever the better. Of course, that assumes one or both can’t last in the rotation, which is an unfair presumption. After all, both have had success in their limited chances in a Major League rotation.
Another factor going forward is Verlander’s age. The 40 year old has been a workhorse throughout his career, and it was one of the reasons the Mets acted quickly to sign him after Jacob deGrom signed with the Texas Rangers. Part of his being 40 is he is older and probably needs more rest than he needed 10 or even five years ago.
The innings the Mets need from Verlander are in September and October. As long as they get a fresher and healthier Verlander then, we can count his saving his arm right now as a win. Of course, that assumes he can come back at a reasonable point while the Mets stay afloat with him out of the rotation. Based upon everything, that sounds like a reasonable presumption.
In the end, we have two options. We can first throw our hands up and decry this being the same old Mets. Or, we can acknowledge that while this sucks, this may work out better for the Mets in the long run. You can pick which one you want, but no matter how you look at it, this is a great opportunity for Megill and Peterson, and it may also be for Jose Butto and Joey Lucchesi, who are the next up should any starting pitcher fail.
Brandon Nimmo was the player of the game for the New York Mets. He knocked in the first run with a sacrifice fly. Later in the game, he hit a two RBI double which put the Mets up for good.
Max Scherzer was great for five, but he stumbled in the sixth giving up the three run lead. Still, he got the win because of the aforementioned Nimmo RBI double in the seventh.
There was also some terrific defense from Francisco Lindor. The hitting and defense was expected. The bullpen stepping up for Scherzer and the Mets was a pleasant surprise.
After Edwin Díaz went down for the season, how the Mets were going to finish games was very much in question. At least for the season opener, it was seamless.
Brooks Raley made his Mets debut in the eighth. He’d pitch a 1-2-3 inning.
That led to David Robertson for the ninth. Robertson was signed to be the eighth inning set-up reliever, but with Díaz out for the year, he’s now the closer.
The good news is Robertson has been a very good closer in his career. More than that, he’s thrived in New York. In many ways, that makes him the perfect stopgap.
Well, he was perfect in his first save opportunity with the Mets. After striking out the first two, he got Soler to fly out to end the game.
The Mets won on Opening Day. That’s what they do. Sooner or later, we will find out if shutting down the opponent is what this bullpen does. At least for this game, the bullpen looked great, and if that’s the case, the Mets will be great.
GAME NOTES: Justin Verlander was put on the IL before the game. Bryce Montes de Oca underwent Tommy John surgery. Jacob deGrom made his first start with the Texas Rangers. He allowed more extra base hits against the Philadelphia Phillies than he had ever allowed in a game.
After a disappointing loss in the Wild Card Series, the New York Mets remade their rotation and re-shaped their bench. Are they better? Well, we’re about to find out:
1. The Mets are going to miss Jacob deGrom, Seth Lugo, and Dominic Smith. With Lugo and Smith, they are getting the opportunities they always wanted, and for deGrom, well, let’s hope he can be the AL Cy Young. Best of luck to all of them.
2. The Mets having Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander lead their rotation is a fever dream. Last time the Mets had this much greatness atop their rotation was 2015 when deGrom and Matt Harvey pitched the Mets to a pennant.
3. With the shift ban and other rule changes, Jeff McNeil may hit .400. If he does, you know he will be the NL MVP, so starting right now, we are accepting all passengers on the McNeil MVP Hype Train.
4. Kodai Senga looks like the real deal, and his ghost sinker will likely be a bigger sensation than Daisuke Matsuzaka‘s gyroball or Hideo Nomo‘s wind-up and splitter. Look for him to be an All-Star and have a big year.
5. The best news to come out of spring training was José Quintana‘s tumor being benign. Whenever he comes back, he comes back.
6. It was not the way you wanted to see it happen, but David Peterson got the rotation spot he should have received. He should have a good year, and with the age in the Mets rotation, he may just make more starts than any other Mets pitcher.
7. Obviously, the Mets are going to miss Edwin Díaz immensely. It appears he is gone for the season, but you never know, especially if the Mets go deep into October.
8. One thing the Díaz injury highlighted was the importance of signing David Robertson. With him, the Mets have a closer in their bullpen who has thrived in New York. This was just a good signing.
9. The other thing the Díaz injury highlights is the Mets could have done more to build the bullpen. Obviously, you understood the team not spending or pursuing free agents after the Carlos Correa deal fell through, but when it was clear that money wasn’t going to be spent, Michael Fulmer and Andrew Chafin were still free agents. Not pivoting to them was a mistake Billy Eppler cannot justify.
10. There is absolutely no justification for Brett Baty not being on the Opening Day roster. Put aside the fact he won the job in spring training (if there was a competition). Everyone says he’s better than Eduardo Escobar right now, and more to the point, the Mets gave him the job in August.
11. The Mets were right to designate Darin Ruf for assignment. His wrist was holding him back, and the team needed to find someone else for the job. Now, that job should have gone to Escobar or Mark Canha, but that is a fight for another day.
12. With the shift rules and pitch clock, there will be more emphasis on contact and defense. While we know these rules are perfect for McNeil, it is another reason why Luis Guillorme should be playing everyday.
13. Again, the Mets ideal lineup is with McNeil in left, Guillorme at second, and Baty at third. We may need to see that sooner rather than later because Canha finished the year miserably and was non-competitive in the postseason. It may just be he will be far more effective as a part-time or semi-regular player.
14. The Mets bench is flat out bad. Tommy Pham really is just another version of Ruf, and Tim Locastro may just be a worse version of Travis Jankowski. Hopefully, when the Mets finally call up Baty, it will move Escobar and/or Canha to the bench. At that point, this will be a deep and dangerous roster.
15. Francisco Lindor is a great player in his prime. We are very lucky he is a member of the New York Mets, and we can look forward to the day he wears a Mets cap on his Hall of Fame plaque and sees his 12 retired.
16. Aaron Judge broke the rookie home run record in 2017. Two years later, Pete Alonso broke the record. Last year, Judge hit 62. Lets just say this year will be a stepping stone for Alonso’s epic 2024 season.
17. Omar Narváez and Tomás Nido are going to be such a good tandem behind that plate that it is unfortunately going to keep Francisco Álvarez in Triple-A most of the year. Of course, if there is an injury, and Álvarez goes on a tear, the Mets might just be forced to keep him in the majors.
18. The fans clamoring for Álvarez, Baty, Ronny Mauricio, and Mark Vientos is a sign of just how good each of those prospects are and just how bright the Mets future is. As good as 2023 will be, 2024 will be better when they take on bigger roles.
19. Brandon Nimmo is a Met for life poised to break many team records. It’s sad that he couldn’t be joined by Michael Conforto (who the Mets needed), but we should celebrate Nimmo’s path to being one of the true Mets greats.
20. During the regular season, the Mets may be the third best team in the division. The early schedule is tough. The bench is bad. The older roster will have some nicks. However, in the end, when it matters most, this is a postseason team who will be set up well to win the World Series. Repeat, the Mets will win the 2024 World Series.