The Mets and Noah Syndergaard will have their moments this year. But it will not be enough (again). Which brings us back to this time last season…
Noah Syndergaard is a good pitcher and the Mets are a good team. Or at least, both are better than most others. But therein lies the problem. Neither has the consistency to approach greatness, which is what defines a championship caliber team or pitcher.
The New York Mets were five games over .500 on April 12. A month later (May 19), they were five games under .500. (Baseball Reference) Similarly, Noah Syndergaard has won two consecutive games twice and he has lost two consecutive games twice as well. (Baseball Reference)
This is not a winning formula for the Mets or Syndergaard. Jacob de Grom is not the same pitcher he was last season – how could he be? And if you look at the Mets 2019 pitching stats, Steven Matz is the surprising winner in most categories as the number three starter for the Mets.
Van Wagenen Plays Treasure Hunt
Brodie Van Wagenen, mostly due to injuries, has been forced to raid the roster of the Mets Triple-A team in Syracuse, only to find two relics from the Mets past, Rajah Davis and Carlos Gomez. Both have impacted the Mets, but again, what is their sustainability over the course of the remaining season at 38 and 33 respectively?
Smartly, the Mets are refusing the temptation to promote Anthony Kay from Double-A Binghamton, where Kay continues to light it up (5-2, 1.07 ERA, 0.77 WHIP).
The Mets are stalled. Noah Syndergaard is stalled right along with them. Last year at this time, the drumbeat was getter louder and louder as the Mets tumbled deeper and deeper into oblivion to trade deGrom and Syndergaard. As we know, the Mets reneged and the season played itself out.
We are present at the same crossroads again, in particular, this time with Syndergaard as potential trade bait. DeGrom, on the basis of his contract extension, together with the numbers he’s put up so far (3-5, 3.72 ERA, 1.138 WHIP) is persona non grata for most teams looking for pitching.
With the Mets playing so-so baseball, Van Wagenen has essentially the same choice to make
that Sandy Alderson had last season. Stay put – or leap forward? Do the Mets trade Todd Frazier (headed to the IL again) for a bag of peanuts, Dominic Smith, who is at what is probably his highest value, Robert Gsellman (you gotta give something to get something), and finally the principal piece of the Mets, Noah Syndergaard? Why not?
Finding The Mets And Brodie Van Wagenen
Van Wagenen has other choices as well. Should he concentrate on the upcoming 2019 College Draft, together with fortifying the Mets farm system with players gained in the above trades? Or, would he take the more conventional route of adding major league ready players, hoping to catch (read Yoenis Cespedes) lightning in a bottle to throttle the push to a Wild Card berth?
Long-term or short-term? Both are filled with risks. The vision of Brodie Van Wagenen as the new sheriff in town and afraid of nobody suggests he would choose the former, but here’s hoping he opts for the latter if he does anything at all.
Noah Syndergaard is not going to lead the Mets to a playoff berth this year. Frazier, who I guess simply hit a wall, is dead wood, and Dominic Smith has no place on the team (Pete Alonso) as currently constructed.
A new mix is required, and it has nothing to do with Mickey Callaway, despite how much Mets brass wishes us to think so. Instead, the ball remains in Brodie’s court, and the beginning of his legacy as a GM begins today.
Will Mets fans continue to witness a half-in and half-out approach by upper management, or will there be a firm commitment to travel waters not normally sailed on by previous regimes? Disregard the Wilpons on this one because Van Wagenen can actually reduce payroll with these trades. The question is more – what is the stuff Brodie Van Wagenen is made from?
Noah Syndergaard has by no means failed as a New York Met. His future remains as high as it ever was and what team wouldn’t die for his presence on their staff?
It’s not about Syndergaard’s future, it’s about the future of the New York Mets.