Going into the season, the New York Mets were deemed as a contender in the NL East, mostly due to their electric starting pitchers and their young core of hitters. Unfortunately, those expectations did not come to fruition.
The once deep starting pitching rotation was decimated by injuries (Noah Syndergaard), opt-outs (Marcus Stroman), inconsistency (Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha), and questionable roster moves from GM Brodie Van Wagenen (the trades of Jordan Humphreys and Kevin Smith). Currently, the only sure things in the rotation are Jacob DeGrom and rookie David Peterson.
The offense has not been as rough as the pitching, but it still hasn’t been ideal. While being number 1 in the MLB in terms of average and on-base percentage, the Mets lead the league in runners left in scoring position per game with 3.9.
Even with the extended playoff format, the New York Mets will not make the playoffs if they continue to struggle in these areas. Changes are needed.
The Arrival of Steve Cohen
Mets fans were ecstatic when the news of Steve Cohen’s purchase of the Mets broke. The billions of dollars to his name would be vital in transforming the Mets from the league’s laughingstock to a serious powerhouse. How does that affect things this season? The exit of the infamous Wilpons is enough to motivate Mets players to play at their highest level. Jeff Passan of ESPN referred to the Wilpons as a “cultural cancer that has been persistent in the organization for 30+ years”. Keith Law, another esteemed columnist from ESPN, stated that there has been “organizational chaos” with the Wilpons at the top. Hopefully, the news of their exit and Cohen’s entrance can motivate players to step it up on the diamond.
For Tom Seaver
The death of Tom Seaver was devastating for the Mets organization. Seaver was arguably the greatest pitcher of his generation and was instrumental in bringing the Mets their first World Series title in 1969. Seaver was looked up to by countless Mets fans. The Mets placed his “41” jersey in the dugout and put a patch immortalizing his number on their jerseys’ sleeve. After his tragic death, Pete Alonso clobbered a walk-off homer against the Yankees, and he said that “he’s smiling down on us today.” Hopefully, the Mets can string some wins together in honor of Seaver.
Solving the pitching issue is challenging, as the trade deadline has passed and the Mets lack starting pitching depth at their alternate training site (Thanks Brodie). However, what CAN be changed is the Mets’ strategy with men on base. Currently, the Mets are 21st in the league in the past 30 days in terms of stolen bases. The Mets have a substantial amount of speedy guys on the team, like Brandon Nimmo, Andres Gimenez, Jake Marisnick, and Amed Rosario. Considering the Mets have the highest team batting average in the league, it wouldn’t hurt to take a few risks on the basepaths. The Mets also lead the league in double plays grounded into. Perhaps changing the batting strategy could work in lowering that number. For example, Mets hitters could look to lift the ball a bit more with guys on base with the hope of extra-base hits and sacrifice flies.
Anyways, with the way things are going now, the Mets should be willing to try anything.
Image: The Atlantic