The Mets enter the 2020 season with the confidence the team will be engaged in the NL East race from start to finish. Be it resolved that…
So that the Mets win the National League East and enjoy a successful Postseason, be it resolved that:
- The Mets provide adequate run support for Jacob deGrom. Jacob deGrom has pitched at a phenomenally high level for the past two seasons. For the most part, however, he has been forced to be a one-person show. In 2018, he finished first in fewest runs scored on his behalf.
The Mets helped deGrom a bit more in 2019, but he still finished eighth in this unwanted category. deGrom will do his part to win a third Cy Young. The Mets need to step up and do theirs.
- Find a way to get Dominic Smith 400 at-bats. Dominic Smith can hit a baseball for average and power. His lack of a position or role on the Mets is well known, as are the daily headlines announcing his trade to another team. Circumstance should not rule out the contribution Smith can make. And don’t forget, the are interleague matchups scheduled (i.e., DH games) with the Yankees, Astros, Mariners, and Rangers.
- Fix Edwin Diaz There is nothing wrong with Edwin Diaz; the Mets shouldn’t be able to fix. He did not forget how to pitch throughout last year’s offseason.
Diaz is a young man going through an adjustment to a new league and a new city that happens to be New York City. Together with Mets bullpen coach Ricky Bones, new pitching coach Jeremy Hefner plans to examine his release points, the break on his slider, among other factors, in the offseason. Spring Training will be a critical time for schooling to allow Diaz to get off on the right foot when the bell rings.
- Ensure adequate rest for Pete Alonso
Pete Alonso may look like Superman, but he is mortal, just like the rest of us. The year he had in 2018 was exceptional in many ways, and it’s not likely it can be repeated.Alonso looked dead tired in the final game at Citi Field. Alonso is The Man in the Mets lineup, and the main reason why fans come to the ballpark. Rest on the road is something Carlos Beltran needs to make happen.
- Beltran avoids the temptation to overmanage. Let the players play. It was no coincidence last season that when Mickey Callaway relaxed, the team in the clubhouse did so as well, turning their season around.
With zero managing experience, Beltran will be feeling his way about, and he will make mistakes. But in this case, it’s better if he speaks softly and carries a small stick.
- Beat the hell out of the Marlins. The Marlins figure to be the pasty of all teams in the NL East, but the Mets need to make Derek Jeter‘s team the biggest patsy of all. The Mets did pretty well against the Marlins in 2019, posting a 13-6 mark. But they didn’t do as well as the Nationals and Braves, who each went 15-4.The Mets need to reverse that in 2020 because, in a tight race, those two games can make all the difference.