The Mets have had their ups and downs over the first two-plus weeks of the 2023 regular season. But right now, we can definitely consider it an “up”. After all, they’re fresh off a sweep of the Oakland Athletics. With a 10-6 record, they’re one of seven clubs with double-digit wins.
MLB’s new rules have brought a lot of debate (most of which surrounds the pitch clock). But even with some people being annoyed about games finishing quicker, there’s been more action. More runs are getting scored, the overall batting average is up, and there’s much more activity on the bases.
The Mets are just one club that is taking advantage of the bigger bases and limit on pick-off throws. New York has already stolen 20 bases through 16 games this season, which is tops in the National League.
Through the first 16 games, the Mets lead the National League with 20 stolen bases! #LGM pic.twitter.com/rlu969f4DH
— Metsmerized Online (@Metsmerized) April 17, 2023
They might not hold onto this title very long, though. The Chicago Cubs (19), Pittsburgh Pirates (18), and Arizona Diamondbacks (18) are right behind them. But still, this is something we’re not used to seeing from the Mets in recent years.
Signing Starling Marte ahead of 2022 certainly gave the Amazins a boost. Their 62 stolen bases as a squad last season were the most they’ve had since 2018 (71). But hey, April isn’t even in the books yet and New York is already one-third of the way to last year’s total. That’s a pretty significant difference, folks.
It’s also worth noting that prior to the Mets’ series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers, they have registered more stolen bases than home runs (18). And if we take out Pete Alonso’s home runs so far this season (eight), it’s even more lopsided.
It won’t stay this way for very long (we hope), but this shows how much the Mets are using some of these rule changes to their advantage.
Marte is currently leading the squad with seven, but seven different players have swiped at least one. Tim Locastro is close to having more steals (four) than plate appearances (11). Brandon Nimmo’s three thefts have already tied last season’s total. Francisco Lindor and Tommy Pham have each stolen a pair, while Jeff McNeil and Mark Canha both have one.
If power is going to be at a premium for New York again in 2023, being aggressive on the bases will be vital. We’ve already seen them take advantage of it in the early going, and it’ll likely continue.
You can reach Matt Musico at [email protected]. You can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.