Coming into the 2019 season Mets fans were told we have a winner from the new business savvy former agent turned GM Brodie Van Wagenen. A winner in the eyes of every baseball fan is a team who is good enough to still be around when the calendar rolls over into October. Here we are though at the end of September, with the Mets being mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. To be fair Brodie acquired talent, but just like every-time the Mets make a big time move we always wind up walking away the loser. In this case, as a new GM trying to make a splash I understand the moves Brodie made. He traded our best prospect which was unfortunate, but in return we got the best reliever from the 2018 season who was poised to be our closer for years to come. In return we got a shell of Edwin Diaz who looks lost every time he takes the field, blowing games more than a call girl when the rents due. Oh and we got Robinson Cano for the next four years so thats that. Next we decide to bring back Jeurys Familia to fortify our pen as a set up guy, after his short successful stint in the Bay Area. What we actually got was a guy who has simply lost his head for pitching, especially in New York, which ultimately resulted in a near 6 ERA. Then who can forget the big time signing of Jed Lowrie, who was going to be our Swiss army knife veteran, who the season prior was an all-star and top 20 in the MVP voting. Unfortunately he got hurt in spring training, practically disappeared with no timetable of return, and then logged 8 meaningless at bats in September. It wasn’t all bad though. Brodie’s best move actually went under the radar when he traded for J.D. Davis in the offseason. He wound up becoming one of the best hitters in our lineup, and although his defense is still shaky, his bat definitely makes up for it posting an .895 ops. Another very solid move was getting catcher Wilson Ramos, when at the time the Mets biggest concern was the catching position. He struggled in the first half of the year, but had a great comeback half which included a 26 game hit streak and an overall .351 OBP which is great for a catcher. Skip ahead a little after a disappointing first half of the year, the Met’s shocked the baseball world and decided to trade more prospects for Marcus Stroman. They felt that the little hot streak they were on would be ignited into a scorching second half after the trade, turning their already good rotation into a great one. Although Marcus didn’t perform great the Met’s still wound up going 46-26, to give them a total record of 86-76 for the year. Some fans see this as a great improvement, which to be fair it was, but in all honesty as fans we must step back and look at the bigger picture. This season was fun because of the electric players we had. Guys like Alonso, Davis, deGrom, and McNeil made the season enjoyable and gave us hope, but as a whole the team was a let down. You play each season with one goal in mind, and thats to win the World Series, or at the very least have a chance to play for it. Every fan saying it’s okay that we missed the playoffs is just feeding into the mediocrity in which the franchise has become. The owners see sold out crowds and all this positive buzz around the team not making the playoffs and think that nothing needs to be changed. As fans we must not applaud almost making the playoffs, we need to change because in the end if you don’t win, you lost.
One major positive from this season despite the outcome was the emergence of legitimate cornerstone pieces for the Mets. Jeff McNeil showed his short sample size in 2018 wasn’t a fluke becoming one of the best contact hitters in the league. J.D Davis who was taken in and out of the lineup, and had his position changed, was still able to show off his fantastic bat that will be essential to the Mets 2020 lineup. Lastly with no introduction needed we have Pete Alonso, a big power guy(understatement) who loves the game and city of New York playing first for us entering the next decade. The rotation is a question right now, due to the Syndergaard rumors and whether or not we will be bringing Wheeler back, but will have a clearer picture hopefully of our plans after the postseason. The major questions that need to be addressed are the bullpen, third base, and Mickey Callaway. The bullpen is without a doubt the major reason why the Mets fell short of the postseason. On paper it seems good but either guys were injured, or guys of star caliber(cough Diaz) just simply didn’t perform. The one staple going forward in the pen is Seth Lugo who was one of the most consistent relievers in all of baseball. Hopefully the Met’s can add at least one arm, while simultaneously getting their big names like Diaz and Familia(huge stretch) back on track. Third base was typically occupied by either Todd Frazier who will more than likely not be brought back, Jeff McNeil who played all over, and J.D. Davis who mostly played left but was originally going to play third. As of next year it really depend on Cespedes. I say this because if he’s back to playing everyday(big if), then maybe J.D. can go back to his original role of third base but these are questions time will explain later. A pipe dream would be if Rendon walks and the Mets can get him, but with our luck we would sign him and he would be nowhere near the player he is now. Lastly the Mets must address Mickey Callaway. Mickey got the Mets to improve by 9 games this year, but for the most part it seems like he was actually a hinderance. There was a lot of bonehead moves made, whether it was pulling starters on low pitch counts, making questionable lineups, sitting people for rest in important games, the list goes on. Formerly being a pitching coach you would think he can help the pen but clearly he wasn’t able to do that. It seems like Mickey’s time in New York may have run his course, especially with all the drama that occurred this year in the clubhouse as well. For a clear answer on this matter we need Brodie to speak to the media soon, but the majority feel there will be a new skipper in the clubhouse next season. To put it simply the Mets need to patch some holes, figure out the rotation, and overall play more consistent next season if they don’t want to be spectators again this time next year.
Published by Fran