With Spring Training wrapping up I want to talk about how the roster is shaping out, and what we can expect to happen during the year.
The Mets are a pitching organization. It’s in the DNA of the their teams. From guys like Seaver and Strawberry, to Santana and Degrom. They build around their pitching and its always the most important piece to their team. This year is no different, as the Mets look to get back into 2015/16 form. At the top the rotation they have one the best 1-2 punches in the league in Syndergaard and Degrom. They also still have Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz. The biggest problem we’ve had, as many fans know, is keeping our guys healthy. If Noah is healthy he is a top 5 pitcher in the league. We haven’t seen Harvey healthy in 2 years so hopefully this year he can regain some of his confidence and show at least some sign of still being a great pitcher. Matz and Wheeler are two guys who have shown flashes of great talent and were both highly regarded when coming up, but injuries as really hurt both their careers and now they’re fighting for back of the rotation positions. Degrom has been steady for quite some time and even he got hurt towards the end of last year. Because of all this the Mets were forced to sign a reliable middle/ back of the rotation guy in Jason Vargas. Vargas is a solid pitcher and will force either Wheeler or Matz to start the season in AAA or in the bullpen. I think Matz should get the nod over Wheeler. He has better stuff right now in my opinion and as a lefty he gives the Mets a different dynamic.
The bullpen was certainly a concern last year. They had their struggles and following Familias suspension he never really got into the groove that he was in years prior. Towards the end of last year the Mets made a trade with the Marlins to acquire AJ Ramos. The 2016 All Star was obtained at a cheap price and I think the move will pay off really well for the Mets for the next couple years. Him and Familia in the bullpen is really gonna send fear to opposing teams especially when you just finished facing Syndergaard. Mets also picked up Anthony Swarzak who i think will help in the bullpen. He had a 2.33 ERA last year between the Brewers and the White Sox and can sure up the middle innings. Robles is still so up and down, but he’ll be in there still throwing 96 and walking a couple. Blevins will hopefully stay in usual form and be a reliable lefty. Lugo and Gsellman will fill out the end the bullpen and also give the mets options for long relievers. This team will only make it as far as the pitching staff takes them. I think the talent is there. But will health be on our side?
Starters: Noah Syndergaard, Jacob Degrom, Jason Vargas, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz. (5)
Bullpen: Familia, Ramos, Swarzak, Blevins, Gsellman, Lugo, Sewald, Rhame (8)
I really like what the Mets have done in the offseason to sure up some holes on the team. They brought in Todd Frazier to play third. He’s an upgrade from anyone the Mets have had since the Captain went down. They also resigned Jose Reyes and brought back Jay Bruce. I like the Reyes signing because at this stage in his career he knows his role can be a perfect utility man off the bench. He’s still one of the fastest players on the team even at his age, and late in games he can pinch run for guys. I’m not sure how I feel about the Bruce signing. I think he’s a great player, especially at his price, and can bring some power and leadership, but it seems like the outfield might be a bit too crowded. When Conforto comes back there will be 5 outfielders who could all be starters. Conforto’s rehab has been coming along well, so it’s possible to he’s back earlier than the May 1st date that was originally set by Sandy Alderson. When that happens Lagaras and Nimmo will both be set on the bench. I really like Nimmo and I feel like he could be our leadoff hitter of the future. Lagaras has his struggle but his defense in the outfield is far away the best of the entire group. Unless Bruce eventually plays 1st and space is opened for Nimmo, I think the Mets may regret the 3 year deal. Mets also brought in Adrian Gonzalez who barely played last year due to injury. The 5 time All Star and 4 time Gold Glove winner, has had a great career, but seems like his body is finally breaking down. He’ll be 36 this year and has already struggled in Spring training. If his struggles continue into the season I hope he doesn’t have too long a leash and Mickey either plays Bruce at 1st or brings up Dominic Smith.
Infield: Travis d’Arnaud, Kevin Plawecki, Adrian Gonzalez, Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera, Amed Rosario, Jose Reyes, Todd Frazier
Outfield: Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo
Coming Soon: Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith