Expectations are high for the Mets as the 2021 season begins. How does their roster stack up on Opening Day?
With the New York Mets on the ground in Washington D.C. to take on Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals, the Opening Day roster is out.
This is arguably the most talented team the Mets have trotted out since their 2015 run to the World Series. There is a lot of good, however there is some bad as well.
Strength: Starting Pitching Depth
Names such as Ariel Jurado and Walter Lockett have now turned into Joey Lucchesi and Jordan Yamamoto. Although the latter is not on the roster right now, it is a 162 game season again, so the potential for the Mets to rely on their depth is there. Partner Yamamoto with guys like Drew Smith, it gives a sense of security if anyone goes down at any point during the season.
Weakness: A Complete Bullpen
When it comes to the bullpen, it must be taken into consideration that Seth Lugo has still yet to begin throwing after having a bone spur removed from his elbow. Edwin Diaz did have a great 2020, and the additions of guys like Trevor May and Aaron Loup are definitely improvements from years past. But both Dellin Betances and Robert Gsellman should not be on the roster.
Both pitchers have struggled with injuries the past few seasons, and in turn, have seen a regression in their velocity off the mound. The Mets made it a point to bring in a sufficient amount of pitching depth to spring training, but chose to stick with Gsellman and Betances.
Wilson Ramos could not throw out a slug if it were stealing. The addition of James McCann brings a much needed breath of fresh air to the Mets battery this season, as he looks to build off of his success with the Chicago White Sox over the last couple of seasons.
With Tomas Nído as the backup and Major League vet Caleb Joseph on the taxi squad, it gives Rojas the opportunity to get Mets pitchers comfortable with each catcher, while also giving the starters the chance to work with the catcher they feel gives them the best ability to succeed is important.
Weakness: Starting Defense
Although Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto, and Jeff McNeil are proven great fielders at their respected positions, there are a lot of question marks defensively in the field, at least for now.
J.D. Davis is a positionless player, who has struggled both at the hot corner and in the outfield. Due to Davis’s struggles and the universal designated hitter no longer being implemented this season, the Mets are relying on Dom Smith to man left field. Although he has improved defensively out there, he should not be out there every day.
Smith should be able to play first base everyday, where he is an elite defender, but thanks again to the lack of the DH, the Mets must keep Pete Alonso there.
There is a saying that defense wins championships. This defense could cost them one.
This is the most excitement any Mets team has received since the 2015 World Series run. With an Improved roster from top to bottom, they have the ability to compete deep into the postseason this year, however just like with any team, there are some flaws.