Mets' 2020 season will swing on these 10 "if" players


PORT ST. LUCIE – When you are in good health – and considering that this term may be associated with a salmon trail – the Mets' 26-man squad is not puzzling.

The entire squad takes part in the field for the first time on Monday. Due to performance, lack of options for smaller leagues and salaries, there are 26 obvious players for 26 seats. These include Yoenis Cespedes and Jed Lowrie, and you wouldn't go exactly to Vegas and bet that this duo will be active against the Nationals at Citi Field on March 26th.

Tomas Nido no longer has options, but if the new swing he's working on doesn't lead to an offensive upswing, the Mets could go with Rene Rivera or reach for a free agent like Russell Martin to back up Wilson Ramos & # 39; backup to be. Luis Guillorme is not currently one of the 26 either, but if an injury opens up a squad position, he would do it, unless the Mets are looking for a better shortstop backup for Amed Rosario.

For the most part, what you see now will open the season on a list that Brodie Van Wagenen describes as "more responses than a year ago". I Agree. The Mets are still worrying if they have to rely too much on their 26, but the main league lineup is made more stable by the appearance of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeil and JD Davis, and Seth Lugo as Pen Force, Jacob deGrom's brilliance, and baseline of high-end performance by Michael Conforto.

The difference between 82 and 92 wins is therefore about the identity of a group of players with the most recent success who did not have it last year. Consider Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Rick Porcello, Noah Syndergaard and Michael Wacha increased their ERAs from one run plus per game to Diaz's three plus. Robinson Cano's OPS fell 109 points between 2018 and injuries in 2019, and Brandon Nimmo's 103 points. Dellin Betances rose from an ERA of 2.70 in 2018 to two Batters in 2019. Lowrie switched from an all-star on eight record appearances.

Van Wagenen called to get rid of the "if" on the list, which is central to his job. But there are different types of "if". There is hope for players who have never done it or have done it a long time ago. However, the Mets season will depend on how 10 players do with recent high-end success but problematic 2019s. My list in order of importance:

1. Diaz – When he moved from Seattle to New York, he changed from one of the best to the worst helpers. The stuff and the strikers were mostly there, but the Homer betrayed mental and mechanical disorders. The Mets believe that they will solve this. If Diaz manages the ninth, the rest of the bullpen is much better geared.

2. Syndergaard – In Sunday’s Post I compared Syndergaard’s career to Gerrit Cole in the Pittsburgh years — talent and fun. Here's another one: Stephen Strasburg. The 2019 Nationals made the playoffs earlier than the Mets and won their first title. A big reason was that Strasbourg A) stayed healthy and B) found peace with a repertoire in which he did not have to overwhelm with every pitch. Syndergaard needs this combination.

3. Rosario – He is a year younger than Alonso, who won the Rookie of the Year last season. He will play at 24 in 2020. If the Mets get the man who has hit .322 in their last 87 games in 2019 and has been more consistent in defense, he's talking to Washington's Trea Turner for the best NL East shortstop.

4. Betances – Are there worse injuries for a pitcher – let alone for a large power pitcher who has had difficulty locating in the past – than for the shoulder and Achilles? Betances insists that he is perfectly healthy and that he will be himself on the opening day. So let's remember what that is: from 2014 to 18, only Aroldis Chapman collected more relief war than Betances, who had an ERA of 2.22, 40.3 percent of those he faced, and kept thugs at an average of 0.167.

5. Porcello – He has made at least 27 starts in all 11 seasons. Even an ERA of more than five with the ability to log innings consistently has value over the Mets, who have to turn to the Walker Lockett or Corey Oswalt types. However, if he can reach the 2018 4.28 ERA, handing it over to the pen will be much more effective.

Rick Porcello Mets Spring Training 2020
Rick PorcelloAnthony J. Causi

6.Nimmo – He was in many major Mets trade discussions and they didn't want to get him to land Starling Marte from Pittsburgh because they weren't sure if Marte was an upgrade enough given the cost differences. If he's healthy and the .886 OPS guy from 2018, the Mets have a legitimate leadoff hitter. Even with Jake Marisnick, he has to manage a lot of midfield skillfully.

7. Cano – Keep in mind that Van Wagenen Cano and his contract didn't consider the price to be paid to land Diaz even though he had given Jarred Kelenic over. The Mets GM thought Cano was a baseball fan, much of which was left. But his health, attack, and defense stalled in 2019. If Cano isn't resuscitated, rookie manager in Luis Rojas, who is only 14 months older than Cano, will find it tricky to get him out of the regular game.

8. Familia – The Mets hope that with the much lighter Familia, less is more. If the Mets Diaz, Betances, Lugo and Justin Wilson do well, Familia is a luxury. But the kind of luxury that matches the raw quality of his things would make the Mets the best pens of the majors.

9. Cespedes – Laugh if you want, but you would definitely bet a large amount against Cespedes – do you have to play this year to win back money and be a viable free agent in the off-season? The Mets have enough outfielders to win without cespedes. But despite everything that has happened, it's hard to say that one of her current outfielder is more talented than Cespedes.

10. Lowrie – He is compared to Jacoby Ellsbury – both were the first in the Red Sox group in 2005 – because it is difficult to get to a field with less than 100 percent. But he played in 310 of 324 possible games in 2017-18 and was 28th in the majors in WAR. If he can even get 300 record appearances at this skill level, think about what that means for the versatility and depth of the Mets.