Portrait 2021: New York Mets

On April 1, the MLB will launch the activities of its 2021 season. Rob Manfred has taken the bet to see his teams play 162 games in a time of pandemic.

So here is what to expect from the various major baseball teams.

On the menu today: New York Mets.

The Mets, what a fascinating team!

Before a pandemic turned everything upside down, all hopes were high for the New York squad in 2020. Some even placed them at the top of their strong division, especially in connection with their starting rotation, probably the best of the Majors to that time.

However, after a certain global phenomenon, the face of the team was not the same after the forced break, so that they ended up finishing last in the East Division of the National League. It is to say!

Additions and departures

Before talking about the changes on the ground, it should be noted that there has been a great deal of action on the side of senior management. The Mets have changed hands, being now owned by Steve Cohen, in what will have been a true soap opera, starring J-Lo and A-Rod, it will be remembered.

Before continuing in the same vein, parenthesis here. Last year, as part of the 2020 team portrait, your humble servant here mentioned to you as an unusual fact that the Mets had not changed manager once, but twice during the off-season. . This year, incredible, but true, they repeated this feat of arms, but with their general manager. After firing Brodie Van Wagenen, they sacked his successor Jared Porter just a month after he was hired when it came to light that Porter was a sexual predator. Zack Scott is now leading the reigns of the team on an interim basis. When we tell you that they don’t do anything like everyone else!

On the field side now, New York has hit a huge home run as they get their hands on one of the best players on the Manfred Tour, the coveted shortstop Francisco Lindor. Although he will become free as the air at the end of the next season, it will be necessary to follow the evolution of the file as for a potential extension of contract shortly. Knowing the Mets, this should be another more than entertaining soap opera.

The former Indians will make everyone around him a better place and his presence alone instantly lends credibility to the squad as well as the organization.

Besides Lindor, join him for the campaign which is upon us the names of receiver James McCann, reliever Trevor May, former Jays Kevin Pillar, Jonathan Villar, Aaron Loup and Taijuan Walker, as well as his former teammate Carlos Carrasco, notably.

On the departures side, he noted the loss for the next season of Robinson Cano, suspended for 162 games in connection with a second offense for violation of the anti-doping policy of the MLB. Remember that a third sanction equals a lifetime ban from the league, which is not nothing.

Starters Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha will not be returning to Queens in 2021, hence the importance of acquiring Carrasco as a starter.

Finally, we cannot ignore the « loss » of National League Cy Young trophy winner Trevor Bauer after it was announced that the latter had come to an agreement with New York and then announced the signing in LA. What a story like the team, what!

Strengths and weaknesses

The Mets are fortunate to have arguably the best pitcher in the Majors in Jacob deGrom. He has also just been ranked third best player in the MLB currently by the MLB Network, behind Mike Trout and Mookie Betts respectively. Still, like the Angels and Trout, the Mets are not taking advantage of his presence, with the team’s last series appearance dating back to 2016 when they lost in the game of the Wild card.

Besides their ace pitcher, their rotation is not stung of worms, far from it, especially when Noah Syndergaard returns to the job following his Tommy John type operation by June.

On the weakness side, in fact, there are a lot of question marks on the Queens-based side. Let’s put it this way, New York will go as far as the next generation will take them, especially since Seth Lugo will not start the season at the same time as the rest of his teammates. Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances must bounce back and play at the height of their talent. Which Edwin Diaz will fans be entitled to in 2021? It is perhaps not for nothing that the Mets went looking for May and Loup! The change of receiver behind the plate from Ramos to McCann will likely change pitching dynamics.

What to expect from Marcus Stroman, who hasn’t launched for a year due to COVID-19?

Add to this a poor defensive outfield and a third baseman more or less desired by the team; the Mets being all rumored third cushion players this winter.

Finally, still in the question marks, what kind of season will first baseman Pete Alonso experience? Boom or bust?

What to expect in 2021?

At their worst, the New York Mets really play in a tough division, possibly the toughest of the six. Participation in the playoffs is far from certain, despite the quality of their workforce.

Jacob deGrom will most likely have another dream season, Lindor will also most likely play inspired baseball, but will manager Luis Rojas be enough for the gang? The games between division rivals will be crucial. However, the Mets are capable of both the best and the worst, so who knows.

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