Buck Showalter was talking to the media recently and said that we will see what happens with Jacob deGrom for Opening Day, and I didn’t believe him. The way he said it, the sell job wasn’t good.
As you all know, five minutes later, ESPN breaks the story via a source that deGrom was out a minimum of a month. And we all know that will turn into two months. All Mets fans know that. So, Buck looks silly, and once again, you can’t control the New York media.
Next up, Showalter floats the fact that the Mets could use an opener for Opening Day. Excuse me? You have David Peterson, Tylor Megill, and even Joran Yamamoto if you don’t want to upset the rotation. That’s three starters right there. But once again, if you present a situation to Showalter, he will complicate it. He will overthink it. That’s not a good quality.
Now let’s talk about the outfield. Showalter wants the Mets’ strongest arm in right field so now he is moving a gold glove center fielder to right field. Michael Conforto, who is still out there, didn’t have the strongest arm, but it was accurate, and he had a fast release. That’s all you need. Now Brandon Nimmo is playing center field on an everyday basis, which is fine, but we’re still not sure he can do that job. Let’s see how this one plays out.
Now, let’s talk about third base. Francisco Lindor is a terrific fielder but his range isn’t what it was with Cleveland. J.D. Davis can’t field the position. He’s proven that. Enter Eduardo Escobar. Like Davis, he has power, he seems to be a better fielder compared to Davis, but his range isn’t great. Here is a recent ranking of him. Even if he was 12th and I don’t think he is. Is that good enough for a potential championship team? This has been a problem for years now.
Lastly, Billy Eppler didn’t put together a complete team this offseason. That was obvious when the Mets traded Miguel Castro for Aaron Loup replacement, Joely Rodriguez. Castro is better. In every way. Some fans don’t like him, but he’s the better pitcher.
What’s happening with James McCann. I expected him to be an average catcher, and I’m not sure he is at this point. He hasn’t shown much this spring, and the same goes for last season. Who else thinks Tomas Nido is already better than him, and will Showalter figure that out? Nido is hitting .455, and I get spring training statistics aren’t the best barometer. How about this. He threw out 57% of base runners last season. The league average is 25%. McCann threw out 27%.
The Mets have a talented roster but how and when they use their players is what will matter most this season.