The New York Metropolitans are white hot, winning their first four series of the season with a record of 10-1. There’s no doubt about it, first-year manager Mickey Callaway has these boys fired up.
In an offseason in which the Mets made more moves than most teams, there were a lot of question marks about what kind of season this year would bring. Can everyone stay healthy? Do Adrian Gonzalez and Todd Frazier still have productive years left? Can Mickey Callaway even manage? In a 162-game season, things can still be hard to tell. One thing is certain, however; Callaway knows what he’s doing.
After a Mets spring training in which they went 10-18-3, players praised Callaway’s preparedness and fun, yet focused approach towards the game. The team came into the season almost entirely healthy, and from the onset, had a swagger about them that Mets fans have not seen since the playoff pushes in 2006 and 2015.
Jose Reyes told Newsday in a March 26 article, “Sometimes Spring Training can get messed up. This one was very well-prepared. It seems like he’s been doing it for 10 years. He comes from Cleveland, he sat with (Terry) Francona. He’ll be fine. He’ll be relaxed. He’s prepared. He’s ready.”
Being prepared is one thing, but having the utmost respect and support from your players, that’s what makes winning ball-clubs. This has certainly shown on the field, and it will be interesting to see where Callaway can take the Mets this year.
“Yes, hi, I’ll take a base hit with a little salt and pepper.” The Mets most recent celebration, started by a new clubhouse favorite Todd Frazier, has everyone involved with the team excited. I mean, the guy even made t-shirts with the celebration on them for the whole team! The Mets offense is having fun coming up with hits in clutch spots, and have been a driving factor in the success of the team.
As of Wednesday, The Mets are ranked sixth in the majors in batting average. Yoenis Cespedes, possibly New York’s best hitter, is the only starter hitting under .200 to start off the year, and even so, he has come up with big hits left and right, to lead the team in RBIs with 10. Asdrubal Cabrera, Jay Bruce and Adrian Gonzalez have also come out of the gates ready to play, with Cabrera leading the lineup average hitting .341 in 41 at-bats and leading home runs with three, and Bruce and Gonzalez both tied for second on the team with six RBIs.
Michael Conforto has also created a spark in the lineup, coming back from injury early to recording five walks and five hits in 21 plate-appearances at the leadoff spot. I am a little worried about first-year starting shortstop Amed Rosario’s 13 strikeouts to start off the year, but hopefully he can adjust to pitcher’s gameplans and find a way to get his speed on base.
The Mets pitching staff was the least of my worries going into the season. No question, they have depth, which can be a huge factor towards the end of the year and postseason. With Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndergaard being one of the best one-two punches in the game, teams will surely be scared to step in the box against the Mets.
Even with Jason Vargas out, other guys have stepped up and shown that the Mets rotation is one to be reckoned with. Steven Matz built upon his weak first start by shutting out the Washington Nationals, and although Matt Harvey hasn’t been spectacular like he was in 2015, he has found a way to compete and keep the Mets in the game. Zack Wheeler, Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman are all reliable options to start games as well for New York, and have proven they can win in the past.
Although the Mets bullpen has been weak in recent history, they can very well be one of the best in the majors if everyone shows up. Winning Bullpen of the Week honors with an ERA of 1.31, the guys in the ‘pen have been lights out so far. Lugo and Gsellman can have a huge impact on this team as workhorse guys who eat innings up, and I’m excited to see how Callaway uses them as the season progresses.
These next two series at home against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Nationals will be big for the Mets before they hit the road against a red hot Atlanta Braves team, the St. Louis Cardinals and the San Diego Padres. Although it’s a long season, April baseball matters, and coming out of the month with a great record can have a huge impact at the end of the season.
All in all, the Mets have been doing all the things that winning teams do. The catcher situation could be problematic, however, as Travis D’Arnaud might need Tommy John surgery as of Wednesday. Kevin Plawecki needs to show in these next few series that he can hit consistently in the majors. However, if the Mets keep doing what they’ve been doing and have a winning mentality, they will no doubt find a way to be successful at the plate and overall. In Mickey we trust, let’s go Mets!