In some ways that was a more radical teardown than even I anticipated. For a time I was hoping to keep Justin Verlander in the hopes that he, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana could be the start of a decent rotation for 2024. He got us two promising hitters instead. And how about that Dominic Leone trade? This was a guy we got off the trash heap in May and he brought back the Angels’ No. 9 prospect.
The problem with all this in-season wheeling and dealing is we’re left with a club that can’t beat the Royals. Thanks the the depletions of Tommy Pham and Mark Canha we’re running out palookas like Rafael Ortega (30) and Jonathan Arauz (19). We have new dudes in the bullpen I’ve hardly ever heard of like Reed Garrett (75) and Phil Bickford (50).
I’ll miss David Robertson and his reliable socks more than I’ll ever miss Max Scherzer and his reliable gopherballs.
Who knows whether Luisangel Acuna actually becomes a star; what we know was that Scherzer wasn’t one anymore. At best, he was a fading one whose 2024 looks pretty risky, so I’m glad he and all that money are gone.
Next up? Probably Tommy Pham and maybe Brooks Raley. Verlander? He might stay. Hopefully the rest of these guys give us a starting pitcher because I’m not looking forward to David Peterson and Tylor Megill.
Up from Syracuse to take Max’s place is Vinny Nottoli. Reed Garrett, No. 75, replaced Robertson.
Welcome to SHaM Opening Night! (Second HAlf Mets) Many of us I’m sure will be missing the opener which is available to view only on Apple TV.
Not that it will necessarily be the kind of thing you shouldn’t miss. The less you saw of the First Half Mets the better. Who could have guessed that Tommy FHaM would be the Mets most reliable player? (He or Nimmo, I suppose). But I don’t have to tell you guys it was awful pitching that sunk us. Newcomers like Trevor Gott have the chance to improve that, if you want to be optimistic.
What will be interesting to watch I suppose is whether the SHaMs have another few 6-of-8 runs in them and get back into contention for a Wild Card, or revert to FHaM form and sell.
I know I’ve been running behind schedule but I didn’t think I’d miss the entire Gary Sanchez Era. The Mets solved the problem of too many catchers today and designated the former Yankee for assignment. We’ve got to stop giving catchers No. 33, it did so little for James McCann.
Tomas Nido is back but he’s not about to be the starter any longer now that Francisco Alvarez has settled in. He’s pretty good. Brett Baty isn’t bad either though he may be having his first Big League slump. Mark Vientos? His swing looks long to me and I’m afraid he’s going to strike out too much. I’m a little scared to pull the plug on Tommy Pham yet.
I was in the stadium when Josh Walker made his first and still only appearance as a Met. He became the first 91 since Carlos Gomez broke it in in his brief return to the Mets in 2019.
As exciting as it would have been I had a hard time seeing how Brett Baty or Mark Vientos would have fit on the Mets’ veteran-soaked roster. The Mets cut both guys yesterday and sent ’em to the minors where they’ll await injures or inconsistency in the third-base or DH positions.
Both things could happen. While I’m somewhat confident Daniel Vogelbach is capable of keeping up his end of the DH platoon, Darin Ruf and/or Tommy Pham on the right side is a bigger question. Then there’s Eduardo Escobar. We can’t wait 4 months for him to heat up again this time around.
By the way the Mets new Speakeasy in the right field corner, an exclusive club normal people like you and me will never step inside, has made the right field corner some eight and a half feet closer to home plate this year, so that’s good news for Vogelbach, (and possibly bad news for Max Scherzer). The club was named after Joan Payson (actually, it’s named after Cadillac), who was also filthy rich and probably was chauffeured in a Cadillac, but who in real life sat in field level seats among the people.
Catching up on the news, Dennis Santana, who was acquired from Minnesota after Edwin Diaz went down, is wearing No. 65 in camp, taking the number formerly belonging to Rule 5 acquire Zach Greene, who was returned to sender. Former top draft pick Dylan Bundy was signed to a minor league contract the other day, giving depth now that Jose Quintana is out. I think we’d have been better off just resigning Taijuan Walker.
Reports say Tommy Hunter has made the roster, but that’s an easier thing to do now that Diaz is out. Stephen Nogosek has an edge for a bullpen spot due to his veing out of options. John Curtiss has pitched well enough to make the squad, and Brooks Raley could made the opening day roster if his injuries heal in time. Then there’s new closer David Robertson, and from last year’s group Drew Smith and Adam Ottavino.
Thanks to commenter John below we know coach Dom Chiti is wearing 58.
Then oftentimes unreliable winter Mets roster has been updated.
Headlining the data is a change for Drew Smith, who appears to be surrendering No. 62 to new arrival Jose Quintana and moving to No. 40 vacated recently by Chris Bassitt. Quintana we noted has been a 62 for most of his career.
Another controversy appears to have worked out by giving Tommy Pham 28, with Darin Ruf now listed in the 33 made available by James McCann‘s departure.
Then there’s a few guys who hadn’t been listed with numbers now having them. Lefty Brooks Raley is 25; that number belonged most recently to Tyler Naquin. Omar Narvaez is taking the 2 formerly with Dom Smith. (Dom appears to be going back to No. 22 with Washington, if their roster is to be trusted).
Then there’s info on a few guys who appear to be retaining whatever they wore last year and shouldn’t necessarily be trusted. Pitcher Jeff Brigham is 43, same as he was in Florida; the number is vacant so we’ll go with it. But I doubt Danny Mendick keeps to No. 20 he’s listed in, so you gotta take this info with a grain of salt until camp opens.
Catching up on recent Mets news, the club signed outlaw/outfielder Tommy Pham to a one-year deal and lists him wearing No. 28, which is unfortunate for Darin Ruf who’s the incumbent reserve outfielder/DH who also wears 28. Pham’s been a bit of an inconsistent performer who’s been moved around a bit; I thought he might have been a candidate to acquire last summer when he played for the Reds, but he wound up going to Boston instead.
Pham’s worn 28 with St. Louis, San Diego and Cincinnati so in the rare event he and Ruf both make the club I’d guess Pham takes 28.
You can probably search the archives of this site and find me advocating to move Jeff
McKnight McNeil, who seemed at times unhappy and miscast, but I’m pleased to have been proven wrong. He signed a four-year extension this week that’ll keep him in blue and orange through age 35 and heightens the chance he, along with Brandon Nimmo, will be long tenured one-team-only Mets.
Barring injuries, Nimmo will no doubt overtake Todd Hundley as the club’s most prolific No. 9 of all time–he’s still about 1 season’s worth of games and at-bats behind Hundley and already leads all 9s in on-base percentage and runs scored.
McNeil’s shot at uni number immortality would seem to be the best three-numbered Met of all time. Ron Darling probably holds that title today.