Back in 2016, after we saw Michael Conforto hit a home run in the World Series against a left-handed pitcher, Terry Collins still did not believe Conforto could hit left-handed pitching. As a result, he stuck Conforto into a platoon.
Now, Conforto was 23 years old, and despite the heroics of Yoenis Céspedes, he was probably the best outfielder on the roster. More than that, Conforto was the present and the future of the Mets. Despite that, Collins said Conforto was in a platoon because, “We’re in a situation where we’re trying to win games. This is not a time to develop players.”
It was nonsense at the time he said it, and it remains nonsense now. The goal as a manager is to win games, and it is to get the most out of your players. You win more games in the long run by developing and learning how to get more out of your players.
Fast forward to 2023, and we are seeing Buck Showalter is really no different than Collins.
At the moment, it at least seems like Brett Baty is in a third base platoon with Eduardo Escobar. Now, Escobar did hit left-handed pitching well, but then again, Baty is up here because of Escobar’s failings. Moreover, Escobar could be inserted into the lineup at the DH spot because Daniel Vogelbach cannot hit left-handed pitching at all.
However, it is Baty sitting with Showalter eschewing player development. On that topic, Showalter talked around the fact he has instituted a platoon:
Buck Showalter says that he doesn't see third base as a strict platoon with Brett Baty and Eduardo Escobar right now:
"Want to use both their skills, make sure that I don't close the door on anybody. We're gonna need both of them." pic.twitter.com/kutxXjRWLt
— SNY (@SNYtv) April 26, 2023
Showalter can say whatever he wants, but until Baty plays against left-handed pitching regularly, he’s lying. Again, he’s sacrificing a chance to develop Baty for the sake of playing Escobar and Tommy Pham. That wont’ work for the long term, and we are not talking about future years. it can impact the Mets in August, September, and October.
This isn’t too different than what he is doing with Francisco Álvarez. All offseason and spring, the Mets said when he gets called up to the majors, he is the everyday catcher. Omar Narváez was injured early in the season leading the Mets to call up Álvarez sooner than anticipated.
Well, instead of sticking to the player development plan, Tomás Nido was elevated to starter. He has been that despite not performing offensively or defensively. In fact, in his limited duties, Álvarez has been outperforming Nido.
Sure, it makes sense to keep Nido with Kodai Senga. Asking Álvarez to catch him may be too much, too soon. That said, there is no reason why Álvarez is not regularly catching the other four Mets starters.
Perhaps, it is because Showalter subscribes to the Collins school of thought where you don’t develop young players. Getting players to improve is somehow antithetical to winning in their minds. It’s notable Collins never won anything, and despite all the Manager of the Year Awards, neither has Showalter.
Perhaps, the key to winning is to play your best players. Perhaps, the key to winning is to take your most talented players and get the most out of them. It seems to work for other teams. Perhaps, it could work for the Mets.
In the opening game of the four game set against the San Francisco Giants, the New York Mets spotted a 5-0 for Kodai Senga. Of course, part of that was J.D. Davis‘ inability to play third extending Jeff McNeil‘s at-bat leading to a hit by pitch with his scoring on an Eduardo Escobar homer.
At 5-0 in the fourth, the game should have been all but over. At least, that is the case when you have a pitcher like Senga, or better put, a pitcher like we thought Senga was going to be.
Early on, Senga looked very good. His ghost fork has been unhittable. He wasn’t quite unhittable over the first four innings, but he looked in control of the game. That changed completely in the fifth.
Blake Sabol and LaMonte Wade Jr.. homered in the fifth. After that came back-to-back walks toThairo Estrada and Michael Conforto. Fortunately, Davis was up next and struck out for the second out of the inning. After an RBI single and wild pitch, it was suddenly 5-4.
That would be it for Senga. Five innings of work for a Mets bullpen that is getting increasingly more taxed by the day. So far, Senga has started four games for the Mets, and he has not gone beyond five innings twice.
The biggest issue with him has been the walks. He’s walking 14.9% of the batters he faces. That’s really beyond the limits of what is acceptable from a starting pitcher. The same goes for the 6.0 BB/9.
Even if Senga has the talent to limit the damage, he’s still taking himself out of games early with all the additional pitches. More walks is more base runners. In addition to it being more opportunities for the opposition to score, Senga is just not giving himself a chance to go deep into games.
More than that, this is when the Mets desperately need him to step up. José Quintana is gone until at least July. Justin Verlander has been out to start the season, and as of the moment, we don’t know when he will return. Carlos Carrasco has been shut down with elbow inflammation.
On top of that, Max Scherzer needed an extra day between starts. On top of that, he is being suspended for 10 days due to his being accused of using illegal substances in the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
That means 4/5 of the current Mets rotation is what was supposed to be the Triple-A Syracuse Mets rotation. As we know, David Peterson and Tylor Megill began the year in the rotation. Now, Jose Butto and Joey Lucchesi will be in the rotation. That is the way it will be for at least two turns through the rotation.
In many ways, that makes Senga the de facto ace. That shouldn’t be too big of a deal because that’s what he was in Japan. However, with the Mets, he hasn’t looked like that. He appears to be more of a fifth starter.
To be fair, it is just four starts into his Major League career. There is every chance he figures it out and becomes much more than a fifth starter. However, life and baseball aren’t fair. The Mets need Senga to be more than that now. They need him to accelerate his acclimation to the majors. Hopefully, he can step up and do just that because the Mets need it from him.
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.
With the 2023 Major League Baseball season getting underway, it is time to make some predictions for the season. Last year, well, at least the predictions for the NL side of the ledger looked a lot better than the AL side, which is exactly bragging.
AL East – Toronto Blue Jays
Yes, the New York Yankees kept Aaron Judge, and Anthony Volpe will begin the year on the roster, but they already have Carlos Rodon, Luis Severino, and Frankie Montas on the IL. The Blue Jays are younger, healthier, and added some key pieces around their exciting young core. This is the year they finally break through and win the division.
AL Central – Minnesota Twins
The Chicago White Sox were disappointing last year and took a step backwards this offseason. The Guardians were a surprise, but all they did was add Josh Bell. The Twins kept Carlos Correa while doing well to add Christian Vázquez and Joey Gallo. All told, this division is bad, and the Twins are probably just less bad than the lot.
AL West – Houston Astros
Picking anyone else would be insane (don’t check my predictions for last year). The Seattle Mariners are on the cusp, and as we may be saying for the last time, the Los Angeles Angels have Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. Still, the Astros are the strongest and best team in baseball.
AL Wild Card 1 – New York Yankees – Look, they still have Judge, Anthony Rizzo., and Giancarlo Stanton. How they keep everyone healthy is anyone’s guess, but there is enough talent there to be great when it is all there, which may not be for more than 50 games.
AL Wild Card 2 – Tampa Bay Rays – They’re the Rays. They’re the team where you throw them a million mismatched Lego pieces, and they build you the Taj Mahal. There’s also just the look in Randy Arozarena‘s eyes during the WBC.
AL Wild Card 3 – Los Angeles Angels – Yes, the Mariners are probably better right now. However, the Angels are absolutely hellbent on keeping Ohtani and will pull out all the stops this year to make it happen. We may also see Trout more motivated than ever, which is astonishing considering how great he is.
AL MVP & Cy Young – Shohei Ohtani – Maybe this is a complete overreaction to the WBC, but Ohtani going into a contract year is going to put on a show that may never be repeated in the history of baseball.
AL Rookie of the Year – Gunnar Henderson – He’s the top prospect in the game, and he impressed during his cup of coffee last season.
AL Manager of the Year – Phil Nevin – It’s a narrative award. If the Angels make the postseason when no one thought they would, he gets the award.
NL East – Atlanta Braves
The Braves were the top team in the division last year, and they improved with Sean Murphy. The New York Mets rotation depth took a hit already, and their bench looks ugly. The Philadelphia Phillies are stronger than last year and are best poised to make a run at the Braves.
NL Central – St. Louis Cardinals
NL West – San Diego Padres
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost too much. They not only lost Trea Turner, but they also lost his replacement in Gavin Lux. This is probably the thinnest their starting pitching has been. Meanwhile, the Padres just keep adding. At some point, they have to not have some implosion during the season. Keep an eye on the San Francisco Giants who had a smart under the radar Giants like offseason.
NL Wild Card 2 – New York Mets – This team is still really good with Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Jeff McNeil, Brandon Nimmo, Max Scherzer, and Justin Verlander. It’s more than enough to win, and they will likely have the best roster to get a team through the postseason.
NL MVP – Jeff McNeil – With the shift ban, he could hit .400, and if he does that or makes a serious run, he will get the award.
NL Cy Young – Julio Urias – He has probably been the best pitcher in the NL over the past two years, and this could be the year he gets over the hump.
NL Rookie of the Year – Kodai Senga – It does not appear as if he has struggled with the new ball, and that ghost fork has looked lethal.
NL Manager of the Year – Rob Thompson – The Phillies are going to make a strong run at the division, and he will be partially rewarded for what he did when the took over the Phillies last season.
Wild Card Round
Angels over Twins
Yankees over Rays
Cardinals over Giants
Mets over Phillies
Astros over Angels
Blue Jays over Yankees
Padres over Cardinals
Mets over Braves
League Championship Series
Astros over Blue Jays
MVP – Yordan Alvarez
Mets over Padres
MVP – Francisco Lindor
Mets over Astros
MVP – Justin Verlander
Now that Carlos Correa has signed with the Minnesota Twins, the question is now what? The New York Mets still need to add another bat, and with Michael Conforto signing with the San Francisco Giants, their options have become even more limited.
One of the better hitters left on the market is Trey Mancini, who played for Buck Showalter with the Baltimore Orioles. At 31, it does seem as if he is moving past his prime, but he does have some thunder remaining in his bat.
Last season, Mancini had a 104 wRC+. That came on the heels of a 105 season, which was a drop from his 132 mark in 2019. Of course, two things must be noted here. First and foremost, he missed the 2020 season due to cancer. Second he was thriving with the Orioles before being traded to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline.
Looking at Baseball Savant, Mancini has seen his average exit velocities and barrels drop each of his past five seasons. However, he did hit enough last season to be an effective DH. He also appears to be one of the players who could benefit from the shift.
Last season, Mancini had a .228 wOBA against the shift. When he was not shifted, Mancini had a .314 wOBA. It should be noted the shift numbers have been anomaly for his career with him posting strong numbers against the shift for most of his career. Then again, that was back when he had a higher exit velocity.
Where Mancini does his damage is against right-handed pitching. In 2022, he had a 111 wRC+ against right-handed pitching against an 88 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. For his career, Mancini is actually better against left-handed pitching with a 112 wRC+ against a 111 against right-handed pitching.
Part of the reason for the change in numbers was his role with the Astros. Before the trade deadline, Mancini was a 98 wRC+ against left-handed pitching while with the Orioles. That dropped to a 64 with the Astros. It should also be noted Mancini is typically a much better first half player than second half player.
To a certain degree, we see Mancini did not and would not thrive in the role Darin Ruf had last year. On that note, Ruf did not thrive in that role. Ruf and Mancini are really everyday players or semi-regular players who have platoon advantages.
This is again where Daniel Vogelbach presents a problem. His numbers against right-handed pitching cannot be matched by anyone, but his possible platoon partners do not thrive on limited duty. That would seem to qualify for Mancini, who at this point in his career is an everyday DH who can fill-in at a position for a game or two. No more.
Perhaps, Billy Eppler can start moving things around to make Mancini or someone else a fit. However, it does appear too late in the game to start doing that. It seems Vogelbach is in place at DH. While the Mets should look to improve on Ruf, and Mancini promises to be that, it does not appear he can truly fulfill that role.
When the New York Mets played the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series, it was the first time the Mets were in the postseason since they were in the postseason in 2016. In fact, that marked just the second time in team history the Mets went to the postseason in consecutive seasons.
While just seven years ago, none of the players from those 2015-2016 Mets teams are around anymore. Actually, that’s not entirely true with Jerry Blevins working on the SNY postgame and occasionally filling in for Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez.
Blevins isn’t the only player who is retired. Look back at their starting lineup in Game 1 of the 2015 World Series. Almost all of those players are retired:
- Curtis Granderson – retired
- David Wright – retired
- Daniel Murphy – retired
- Yoenis Cespedes – attempting a comeback after retiring
- Lucas Duda – retired
- Travis d’Arnaud – Atlanta Braves
- Michael Conforto – San Francisco Giants
- Wilmer Flores – San Francisco Giants
- Kelly Johnson – retired
That is five retired and one more effectively retired. Notably, with Johnson, we saw Michael Cuddyer and Kirk Nieuwenhuis pinch hit in that DH spot, and both are now retired. If anything, it would seem the San Francisco Giants is the official team of the 2015 Mets.
As we see with Conforto and Flores, there are still some of those Mets players still in the majors, Matt Harvey notwithstanding. However, when Jacob deGrom signing with the Texas Rangers, there are currently no players from that team still with the Mets organization.
When Seth Lugo signed with the San Diego Padres, that left the Mets with absolutely no pitchers from that two year run. When Conforto signed with the Giants, that meant Brandon Nimmo was the only Mets player from that two year stretch to remain with the Mets, and he only played in 32 games.
When deGrom signed with the Rangers, we obviously lamented the second greatest Met ever leaving the organization. However, it was Conforto and Lugo leaving which officially turned the page on those teams with so much promise which ultimately fell apart due to the Wilpons malfeasance and cheapness.
In a sense, we should welcome this chapter forever being closed. Now, it is all about Steve Cohen and how he runs the Mets. So far this offseason, that means Nimmo is a Met for life in addition to adding Justin Verlander, Koudai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Omar Narvaez and hopefully, Carlos Correa. Oh, and by the way, the Mets brought back Edwin Diaz and Adam Ottavino.
So yes, it is sad to see a part of Mets history gone, but we will have those memories. More than that, we have an exciting new era and owner. Now, it is time to just wait for Correa to sign, and the Mets to win a World Series.
It’s been over two weeks since the New York Mets and Carlos Correa agreed to a 12 year $315 million deal. As we know, the Mets shared the San Francisco Giants’ concerns with Correa’s ankle.
Unlike the Giants, the Mets continued negotiations. By and large, it seemed both sides were still very motivated to get the deal done.
The Giants looked to get back into the bidding with them being informed Correa was going to be a Met. As a result, the Giants shifted their focus and signed Michael Conforto.
The Minnesota Twins were always interested in bringing Correa back. They loved him last season, but they don’t present the same chance to win, and their contract offer was a distant third.
The longer this intricate negotiation continues with the Mets there is more of a chance Amy team could jump back in and sign Correa. The Twins are just as likely as any other team to do that.
Presumably, there are 28 other teams who could do the same. Make no mistake here. It’s Scott Boras’ job to keep other teams engaged to either push the Mets and/or make a quick move in the event negotiations break down.
With respect to the Twins, given their history, there shouldn’t be fear they present a Godfather offer to Correa. That history includes this offseason when they failed to do just that.
In all likelihood, they’re around because Boras is keeping them around. He needs them as leverage. He needs them as a fallback because if not the Twins, then who?
The Mets are aware of this, and we see they’re pondering walking away from the negotiations. In all likelihood, this is usually what we hear at the endgame.
Of course, that means it can still fall apart. However, if it does, it’s not because of the Twins. It’s because of Correa’s ankle.
If Correa re-signs with the Twins, it won’t be because the Mets didn’t match an offer. It’s because Correa’s ankle was too big of an issue.
This is an area where Steve Cohen deserves the benefit of the doubt in the way the Wilpons never did. We know Cohen can and will spend the money if it makes sense.
If Cohen and the Mets don’t sign Correa, don’t blame the Mets. Don’t blame Correa or Boras. Certainly, don’t blame the Twins or whatever other phantom team is out there.
It just means this wasn’t to be, and the Mets will find another way to improve the roster. Trust the Mets here.
Reports are Steve Cohen and the New York Mets believe they still need to add a bat to this roster. In reality, they are quite right in that assessment. They may not be entirely correct in their pursuit.
According to those reports, the Mets are pursuing Michael Conforto and JD Martinez. As previously explained, Conforto would be a very good fit for the Mets roster, and really, it would be a good spot for Conforto to return to familiar surroundings to rebuild his value.
When it comes to Martinez, the Mets should avoid him. He is a very poor fit for this team, and in reality, he may not have anything left.
Martinez will be 35 next season. His sprint speed is 26.1 ft/sec. He didn’t play a single inning in the outfield last season. He has never played first base. The long story short is he’s only a DH at this point in his career. As a result, his ability to provide any value to his team will solely be wrapped up in his ability to hit.
That can be problematic.
Martinez was productive in 2022 with a 117 OPS+ and 119 wRC+. That mark ranked him as the seventh best DH in all of baseball. For a Mets team had the worst DH production for most of the 2022 season that would be an upgrade. However, it is probably not an upgrade from what is here already.
Last season, Daniel Vogelbach had a 150 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and has a 127 mark for his career. Looking towards 2023, he could share that role with one of Francisco Álvarez, Mark Canha, and/or Eduardo Escobar (133 wRC+ against left-handed pitching in 2022). All three of those players provide the ability to play in the field as needed.
Last season, Martinez had a 175 wRC+ against left-handed pitching and a 103 wRC+ against right-handed pitching. Therein lies part of the problem.
If you sign Martinez, you are signing him to DH everyday. However, we see while he kills left-handed pitching, he is not hitting right-handed pitching anymore. Considering the vast majority of Major League pitchers are right-handed, that is a problem. That is also the tip of the iceberg.
Looking over at Baseball Savant, Martinez is in decline like you would expect for a 35 year old baseball player. His exit velocities and launch angles were down. He struck out slightly more and his walks have dipped (both not to the point of any real concern). As a result, his hard hit rates are down as well. Digging deeper, he’s starting to struggle hitting the fastball with his xBA in a steep decline from 2017.
Again, this is what you get from a 35 year old player. That is even if you want to point out much of the regression in his production was related to back issues. Certainly, people will point to Martinez having a bad second half as evidence that the bat will be there now that Martinez has had an offseason to recuperate
If you recall, this is a game the Mets played in 2008 with Adrian Gonzalez. Gonzalez was 36 with back issues, and he played like a 36 year old with back issues. Maybe Martinez is different, but when you’re a win-now team spending upwards of $400 million, this is not the risk you want to take.
For the Mets, their options should be sign Conforto, stand pat, or do something else. The answer is not J.D. Martinez, and really, they should avoid him at all costs. .
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.
Before the season, there were 60 bold predictions made heading into the New York Mets 60th season. Here is a look back at how those bold predictions worked out:
1. The New York Mets will win the 2022 World Series.
While they won 101 games, they collapsed late in the season, and they would lose in three games to the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card round.
2. Howie Rose will retire after the season. The Mets have already tabbed their replacement in Jake Eisenberg, and Rose could not pass up the opportunity to go out calling a Mets World Series victory.
Fortunately, Howie has not announced his retirement.
3. Rose will return in some limited fashion to SNY and will be a fill-in replacement in 2023 and beyond.
Lindor did have a huge second year, but a broken finger cost him any chance of winning the award.
5. Dominic Smith will force his way into the lineup. Yes, he’s battling with J.D. Davis and Robinson Cano for the DH spot, but like he did in 2019 and 2020, he’s going to force his way into the everyday lineup and not relinquish his spot.
As it turned out, Smith was not given a real shot to be the DH. Not only did he not force his way into the lineup, but he was demoted to Triple-A, and he was not called up even with the expanded rosters. He was non-tendered after the season.
6. Edwin Diaz will be an All-Star. Diaz has been an every other year pitcher in his career, and following that pattern, this is his year.
Diaz was an All-Star.
7. The Mets All-Stars this season will be Diaz, Lindor, and Max Scherzer.
Diaz was the only All-Star from this group. The other Mets All-Stars were Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and Jeff McNeil.
It started that way, but deGrom wasn’t quite as sharp when he returned. He did not receive any votes.
9. Jeff McNeil will finish the season as the left fielder. That is an injury prone outfield, and McNeil will eventually be forced to move out there.
As it turned out, he finished the season as the right fielder, but he moved back to second when Marte returned from injury for the postseason.
10. Robinson Cano will reclaim a starting job. We forget that when Cano played he was actually good in the field. If the outfield is as injury prone as we think, we will eventually play almost every day at second or DH.
Wow, this one was way off the mark and couldn’t have been more wrong.
It was the opposite for Bassitt. He was strong all season until the very end.
12. Starling Marte is going to have a fast start and quickly become a fan favorite. When he’s snubbed at All-Star time, fans are going to be livid.
Marte was a fan favortite, and Mets fans would not let him be snubbed with their voting him in as a starter.
13. Mark Vientos will have a thrilling MLB debut. Vientos’ bat is arguably Major League ready, and he’s going to get some run during some point of the season as a third baseman or DH. He may not relinquish a spot.
For whatever which reason, the Mets were reluctant all year to give him a shot. After the Darin Ruf trade disaster, he finally got a shot in a pennant race and was less then thrilling.
14. Brett Baty will be moved at the trade deadline. With the emergence of Vientos and the ground ball problems, the Mets feel comfortable moving him for that big piece at the trade deadline.
Baty was not moved, and he would be called up to be the team’s everyday third baseman until his own season ending injury.
15. The Mets everyday catcher is not on the Opening Day roster. At some point, the Mets will swing a deal or call up Francisco Alvarez to take over as the everyday catcher.
With his ankle injury, Álvarez was only called up to DH late in the season. Tomas Nido did supplant James McCann as the starter.
16. The Philadelphia Phillies will be the Mets main contenders. Last year, the Atlanta Braves were dead in the water until the Mets were too injured. The Mets won’t do that again this year, and the Phillies pitching and hitters will give people more of a run than we think.
Well, the Phillies won the pennant, so this was only true to that extent. However, the Mets missed their every chance to bury the Braves and would eventually collapse.
This was very true in June. It was not true at all after that.
18. Tylor Megill will last the entire season in the rotation. Now that he’s here, it is going to be difficult to remove him from the rotation. If need be, the Mets will go to a six man rotation to keep him in the majors.
Megill had a good run as a starter until he was injured. He returned late in the season and moved to the bullpen. He is likely in the mix for the rotation next season.
19. Carlos Carrasco will rebound and will pitch like he did with Cleveland, but he will not make more than 20 starts.
Shockingly, not only did Carrasco rebound, but he also made 29 starts.
20. Trevor Williams will become a huge part of the Mets bullpen as he becomes more of a fastball/slider pitcher.
Williams was a vital part of this team all season.
21. Steve Cohen will purchase SNY during the course as the 2022 season as the Wilpons are scared off by the increasing rights deals with streamers.
This did not happen.
22. The Mets will have multiple Gold Glove winners with Lindor and Marte.
The Mets did not have any winners with only Nido being a finalist. In terms of the voting, there were multiple Mets who were snubbed despite excellent defensive numbers.
23. Hefner will get interviews for managerial positions with other teams after this season.
His name has not surfaced as a managerial candidate.
24. So will Eric Chavez.
Neither has him.
25. The Mets will not have any player at DH for more than 40 games this season.
This was very close to being true. J.D. Davis was a DH in 41 games before the team mercifully got rid of him. After the trade deadline, Daniel Vogelbach was the DH in 46 games.
26. J.D. Davis will make multiple relief appearances for the Mets this season.
He did not.
While Rodriguez had his moments, he had an 87 ERA+ making his largely true.
28. None of the Mets outfielders will play over 135 games this season.
To our collective surprise, Brandon Nimmo played a career high 151 games. Mark Canha would play 140.
For a one week stretch, when Plummer hit that ninth inning homer against the Phillies, Mets fans did fall in love with him before he stopped hitting as a part time DH. No Mets fan paid any attention to Lee.
30. Mark Canha will play more games than any other Mets outfielder, but he will have the lowest WAR out of all the regular outfielders.
Canha played fewer games than Nimmo, but he did have the lowest WAR among outfielders.
31. There will be an issue over Marcus Stroman not receiving a video tribute when the Chicago Cubs visit the Mets in September.
There wasn’t any issues with Stroman during the season, and he did not pitch against the Mets this year.
32. Old Timers’ Day will have one team wearing the 1986 Mets jerseys and the other team wearing the black jerseys.
That did not happen.
Sadly, this was true.
34. The loudest ovation on Old Timers’ Day will go to Piazza. The second loudest will go to Nolan Ryan, who will be a surprise attendee.
It was difficult to ascertain who got the loudest ovation which was a great thing.
35. The defensive highlight of the season will come from Luis Guillorme.
This award probably goes to McNeil for robbing the Oneil Cruz homer, but Guillorme had more than his fair share of highlights.
36. Pete Alonso will take a step back defensively, and he will see more time at DH than initially expected.
Alonso took a big step back defensively, but the Mets hesitated to give him more time at DH even to give him rest late in the season.
37. A week or two into the season, we will hear some rumblings about Michael Conforto looking to return to the Mets. He won’t return, and likely, he will not sign with anyone until after the Major League draft.
There were some rumblings about Conforto, but he wasn’t tied with the Mets. He also did not sign with any team.
38. Some team will crack the frequency on the pitch calling device, and we will eventually know it is them because they will be the surprise team of the 2022 season. It won’t be the Mets.
We heard nothing on that front, but we should give this one time.
39. Mets fans will actually enjoy the Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts this season.
Nope, we didn’t, and it didn’t help that David Cone was saying Mets fans would complain about them not being GKR.
40. Showalter will be the 2022 NL Manager of the Year, and it might be unanimous.
41. Seth Lugo will return to his dominant form, but he will only be a one inning reliever. The multiple inning role will be assumed by Williams.
This one was actually true.
42. The Tom Seaver statue will be perfect.
This one should’ve been true. However, Paul Lukas of Uniwatch found the flaw.
Smith was well on his way until injury. May did not have a great year, but that was mostly due to injury. It should be noted he stepped up late in the season and in the postseason.
44. People will talk about how Scherzer isn’t what they thought he’d be and the contract was a mistake. Those people will be idiots.
With Scherzer dealing with an oblique injury and faltering against the Braves and Padres, this ultimately proved true.
45. The Mets are going to have a monster second half with them running away with the division.
The Mets did have a monster second half until they faltered against the weakest September schedule. Truth is they should have run away with the division.
46. With the Toronto Blue Jays winning the division, the Mets are going to make a push to get their unvaccinated players vaccinated to ensure their availability for the World Series.
The Blue Jays made the postseason. With them and the Mets losing in the Wild Card round, this was not remotely an issue.
47. Jeurys Familia will receive a tribute video when he returns to Citi Field, and there will be a mix of cheers and boos with probably more boos.
It was a chilly reception.
48. The Wild Card round will be a complete dud and fans will be clamoring for the return of the winner-take-all Wild Card Game.
So far, fans seems to be unhappy with the postseason changes.
49. We will see David Peterson bounced around between starting and relieving due to the injury issues with the Mets starting staff. He will struggle for it.
Peterson did quite well even if he had some struggles, and he stayed in the rotation for the most part.
Holderman emerged as a quality relief option, but he would be traded for Vogelbach. Szapucki was moved to the bullpen with Syracuse with an eye towards using him in that role. He too would be traded for a platoon DH option (Ruf). The Mets only added Mychael Givens at the deadline while espousing they liked what they had.
This proved true with Nido finally taking over full duties at the very end of the season.
52. No New York baseball player will sign an in-season extension. That includes deGrom and Nimmo, and it also includes Aaron Judge.
True, but Diaz was signed before the start of free agency.
53. There will be no negative articles written about Showalter this season even during a time in the season where the Mets slump (as even the best teams in baseball always do).
True even as his team collapsed.
54. Taijuan Walker will make the fewest starts of anyone in the Mets pitching rotation.
Walker tied for the second most starts. deGrom would actually make the fewest starts.
55. The Mets will have a no-hitter this season, but it will not be from a starting pitcher going all nine innings.
On April 29, the Co-No happened.
56. This will be the last Major League season with nine inning double headers. We will see the return of seven inning double headers in 2023.
This likely will not happen.
There was no such announcment, but there was the announcement of Willie Mays and Keith Hernandez having their numbers retired.
58. Mets fans will not care about the Apple TV game, but they will be absolutely livid about the game on Peacock. Of course, MLB will not care one iota about the blowback.
MLB did not care about the lack of quality with the games, and honestly, while there were complaints, Mets fans didn’t complain nearly as much about the streaming games as you’d anticipate.
59. Showalter is going to get Guillorme in a lot of games for late inning defense.
It actually proved to be more than just that. Showalter got Guillorme into the lineup due to his glove.
60. To reiterate, the Mets will win the World Series, and they will not have to wait another three decades for their next World Series.
To reiterate, I’m an idiot, and I’ll probably make the same prediction next year.