Last year, when a spate of injuries befell the Mets, a group of subs stepped up and helped keep the Mets at the top of the division, at least for a while. Players like Kevin Pillar, Jonathan Villar and Brandon Drury, among others, helped the Mets stay relevant until the Braves made their late charge. The group became known affectionately as the “bench mob.” The three players mentioned above are all gone to other teams, but others have stepped up to make their mark this season.
We can call the 2022 subs the “bench mob 2.0.” Our criteria for being in the current bench mob will be Mets that were not regulars at the start of the season but have had considerable playing time and have made a distinctly positive impact. Please note that all stats cited will be through Sunday’s action.
Luis Guillorme has been with the team for a few years and has been a useful substitute inielder in the past. In 2021 he suffered an injury which limited his playing time right when there was an opportunity. Guillorme has been healthy this year and he has really broken out. His best position is probably second base, but he plays well at third and short also. He is extremely smooth at turning the double play at second, and his great quickness and hands make him an exceptional fielder all over the infield. So far he has played in 61 games, and he has made the most of his opportunity so far. Overall his DRS total is plus 4 in the infield this season.
Guillorme has always been known for his defense, but his offense has improved this year. He is slashing .303/.374/.360. He’s never had much power, as the SLG figure shows, but he gets on base at a pretty good clip and he has proven to be a useful bat toward the bottom of the order this year. He’s had some really good games this year with highlight reel defensive plays. One such game was on May 22 in a 2-0 Mets victory at Colorado. Guillorme made a diving stab and strong throw to first to end an inning where the Rockies were threatening. He also went two for three at the plate.
Tomas Nido was part of last year’s bench mob, and like Guillorme his playing time was hampered by injury. This year he has played in 53 games, and he is on pace to play the most he ever had in the Majors. His slash line is .216/.258/.242, and that’s not going to impress any body, although there are plenty of starting catchers with similar or lower stats in the Majors. One stat does stand out, Nido’s BA with RISP is a very impressive .341, showing that he hits in the clutch.
Nido does provide good defense, he was among the leaders last year in framing, and he is solidly in positive figures with 2.2 mark this year. In two separate games earlier this month Nido threw out attempted base-stealers with strong throws from his knees. His signature game just might have been this past weekend on Keith Hernandez day when the Mets beat Miami 5-4 in 10 innings. Nido smacked a double past the third baseman with two outs in the tenth to drive in the tying run, then he scored the winning run on a subsequent error. He also picked off a runner at second in the top of the tenth. He finished 2 for 2 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Trevor Williams was not in the starting rotation to start the season, but he has made eight starts and eight relief appearances. In 52.2 innings he has a very respectable 3.76 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. He has not been given good support, his won-loss record is 2-5. His best game was against Miami in the opener of the recent series where he pitched 7 innings of two hit, shutout ball as the Mets triumphed 10-0.
David Peterson spent some time in the minors earlier this year but he has righted the ship and has pitched to a 5-1 record with an ERA of 3.48 in 62 IP. Batters are hitting only .227 against him. His big game was June 20th against Miami when he hurled 5.1 innings of shutout ball with seven strikeouts as the Mets cruised to a 6-0 win.
Of course there have been other contributors from the bench. Fourth outfielder Ender Inciarte has made some fine catches in limited duty. Travis Jankowski had good defensive form and basepath speed earlier in the year and now has returned from injury and a stint in the minors.
The current bench mob may not be as famous as the previous incarnation, but this group has a good chance to do something the previous bench mob did not do. That would be making it into the postseason.