On Sunday, it was noted here how well the Mets’ pitchers were doing, especially the ones likely to be on the Opening Day roster. Unfortunately, it’s a different tale with the hitters. Pete Alonso and Francisco Alvarez have four-digit OPS totals. Everyone else is scuffling or outright stinking up the joint.

Francisco Lindor is off to a slow start with a .529 OPS. But most of us think he’ll hit when the season starts. Same for Brandon Nimmo, who historically does very well in Grapefruit League action but has just a .686 OPS to date. But do you feel that way about Harrison Bader and Starling Marte? Both players have something to prove and early results are troublesome. Marte seems to be moving better in the outfield but is still showing very questionable swing decisions, ones that have led to a 2-20 start. Bader has half the playing time. He also has half the hits, going just 1-10.

Tyrone Taylor has looked good both in the field and at the plate, even if all of his hits have been singles. But he can only cover one spot at a time. DJ Stewart is continuing his power outage from the end of last season. He has three singles to his name in 20 ABs. And while Stewart is willing to stand in the outfield with a glove on his hand, the question from last year remains: Is it better to be so bad defensively that your team won’t play you in the field, compared to a guy who’s below average that you put out there, only to watch him actively hurt you with the glove?

David Stearns has made an issue about improving the club defensively. Which makes it hard for me to believe that Stewart makes the Opening Day roster. The trouble is, there’s not really an outfielder left in camp who checks the defense box. Trayce Thompson is right up there with Alonso and Alvarez this Spring offensively. But he’s a lifetime negative fielder in the OF by DRS, UZR and Statcast numbers. Will the Mets go with Thompson or will they take another infielder, figuring that once he’s over the biceps problem that Jeff McNeil can cover the fifth outfielder duties, in addition to his starting 2B gig?

The other option would be Ji Man Choi, who has been productive offensively in Grapefruit League action and while on a minor league deal, he has an opt out the end of this month, which means if the Mets don’t keep him, there’s a good chance he goes elsewhere. It’s up for debate if losing Choi is a big negative. If nothing else, he’s ahead of Stewart in the pecking order for me.

20 comments on “Wednesday catch-all thread (3/13/24)

  • Steve_S.

    Agree on Choi over Stewart, with McNeil an emergency OFer. If they sign Martinez, you don’t need either though.

  • Metsense

    The offense is troublesome. Only one good regular is in their twenties, Alvarez, and he is in the cusp of stardom. Baty and Vientos are still finding the footing and are not sure things. The other players are 30+ old and shouldn’t be expected to relive their career years but still be productive.
    Bader reminds me of Lagares and his .650 OPS.
    Marte has still qualities of a fourth outfielder but I’m not sure he is a starter anymore. I hope Taylor gets many at bats to spell Bader and Morte this year.
    McNeil’s elbow is worrisome and it wasn’t repaired. Wendle is the replacement and that is unacceptable.
    Thompson is just a spring training wonder with no resume. Choi has had a spring but are they going rely on Choi or Stewat and a LHB DH. Has Vientos earned the full time DH ? Has Baty earned the full time 3B ? I think not.
    Going into the offseason, 3B, DH and RF needed to be upgraded offensively. Now they need a offensive upgrade at CF also. The offense is troublesome.

  • Metstabolism

    Let me start with the reality that Ron Darling pointed out a handful of years ago: opening day assignments simply aren’t as important as people make them out to be, and the audition does not end on OD. Some of the initial decisions made amount to splitting hairs between two marginal players, neither of whom is likely to stick on the roster for a meaningful amount of time.
    That said: Trayce Thompson has been hitting the ball quite weakly his past few games. It just hasn’t shown up in the numbers yet. So this race warrants further observation. While I thought Stewart was a fluke, I also thought he deserved a chance to play and prove it one way or the other. But I also did not expect him to be this bad in ST.
    I do not expect Lindor to hit [much] when the season starts. He’s gotten off to slow starts the last few years, and builds slowly into June.
    Bader’s offense was always a concern. We knew that going in. But that’s the hand that Stearns has dealt for the team. It is what it is. And Marte is a big question mark. He’s an aging vet coming off of an extensive injury.
    but the key issue, to me, remains the fact that Stearns left this team naked at 3B. We knew Baty was, at best, questionable. Its all well and good to say we want to give a young player a chance and not block him. But there doesn’t seem to be any legitimate Plan B from this PoBO who preached about needing lots of depth, and many layers of depth at all levels. I also strongly question whether this was the kid at this time is the right point at which to adhere to closely to the idea.

  • TexasGusCC

    We always hear that the most important thing is to come out of spring training healthy. So, is McNeil healthy? No. Big problem. Is Senga healthy? No, lesser problem so far. But, luckily, that’s it. So, what’s the solution? I agree that third base is naked as is the starting second base job right now. I’m not rushing Acuna, but I am taking note. I’ll keep Choi to see how long the hot streak lasts. Further, I would like Inglesias as more of a glue in the infield. I pick one of either Vientos or Baty to start at 3B, and send the other one down to play third and get going with the bat. I’m tired of closing my eyes and pretending not to see.

    • Brian Joura

      I’m not worried about McNeil. SNY has been giving regular updates and each time he’s done more than before. It seems like if he has to miss any time at the beginning of the year, it will be minimal.

    • Metstabolism

      If this were a real competition, Iglesias would be in line for the job, and Wendle heading for a cut. But Iglesias is on a minor league deal, and Wendle is getting $2 mil guaranteed. I can’t understand how or why he landed a major league deal at this point. But he did, so he will be given 1st shot at that back-up IF spot. And its not about the $2 million, per se. Its about preserving the depth. They’re both marginal to poor hitters. There is no way to project who has a better shot at succeeding, and its likely that neither one of them does. So the club takes the path that allows them to keep both and maintain a Plan B. If Iglesias has an opt-out, and he continues to outplay Wendle as he has, then the equation changes, as the team could lose one of them either way. And by the way, Zack Short shouldn’t be ruled out just yet. He hits the ball harder than either of the other two, and with some consistency, while still playing good defense, even if its not quite as slick or rangy as those veterans. Yolmer Sanchez needs to be cut from big league camp. There’s just no point, purpose, or value in giving him playing time that can be used on the other three.

  • ChrisF

    Hitting is harder than pitching, Im not at all surprised that as we see lagging numbers by many. As TC constantly reminded us, “The only numbers more meaningless than September are those from March” (or something close to that). I mean we’d all love to see .900 OPS numbers and then think everyone is locked in, but it is not time to panic, or even worry. It is super key to remember the work in Spring is done on the back fields and the gym and the cage, People are testing new swings, no one is under pressure to drive in a key run. The scores and record dont matter. And the most important achievement to post in Spring is not getting hurt. Once games matter, things will be for real!!

    Relax, enjoy, celebrate the sights and sounds of the great game after a long stretch off.

    All the Best From the former Mayor.

    • José Hunter


      You wrote,

      “The only numbers more meaningless than September”

      Possibly, unless that number is the 21st…

    • Brian Joura


      51 of 134 hitters that qualify for the FG leaderboards had an OPS of .800 or more last year. That’s 38%
      28 of 46 hitters that qualify for the MLB leaderboards have an OPS of .800 or more this ST. That’s 61%

      The Mets have three hitters who qualify and two of them have a sub-.700 OPS

      I’m not losing my mind over any of this. Just pointing out what’s happening

  • José Hunter


    It’s not my intention to be a pest about your typo, but you posted

    “I hope Taylor gets many at bats to spell Bader and Morte this year.”

    According to my Uncle Google, the definition of morte is

    “the state of being dead”

    • Metsense

      LOL – it was a Freudian slip.

    • James T OBrien

      What does the ability to spell have to do with remaining with the club? Bader and Marte (or Morte) aren’t hard to spell. Now Shintaro Fujinami or better yet Diosmerky Taveras would be better tests of anyone’s ability to spell a name.

  • TexasGusCC

    I see the pictures at the top are updated! I really can’t quibble with the selections either.

    • Brian Joura

      I do it as soon as I notice new photos at B-R, which is where these come from. I was looking up Manaea and saw they had him in a Mets cap. Will have to be on the lookout if they have him without the long hair…

      • T.J.

        Thanks for the new pics. I didn’t want to register a tacky complaint, but it was more than enough of Scherzer and Verlander…them boyz in the rear view mirror now.

  • NYM6986

    This thread had some great comments. Don’t have anything really to add but just wanted to make note that I loved reading through it!!

  • TexasGusCC

    From The Athletic, discussing who the Opening Day starter is because Garret Cole will be out. They want to keep Rodon as the #2, and this is Stroman’s explanation on why he rejected the offer to stay as the #3 and pitch in the Yankee home opener against the Blue Jays for game 3:

    “Even though Stroman turned down the opportunity to start, Boone said “that could change” and “as of now, he’s not” the Yankees’ Opening Day starter. Stroman is similar to Cole in that both are very particular in how they go about their business.

    “I think they thought that I was going to be like, ‘Hey, let me get it,’” Stroman said. “That’s not my nature, man. I’m confident in whoever goes out there and gets the ball to get the job done. At the end of the day, it’s just another game. I’m not someone who’s gonna be upset if I don’t get the Opening Day nod. I’m trying to go out there and get 30-plus starts. I have confidence in anybody we throw out there for Opening Day. At this point, it’s too hard to get on schedule and on track. They came to me, and we agreed that it was best to stay on the schedule that we came up with.”
    A team player if I’ve ever seen one, good luck Aaron Boone.

  • James T OBrien

    What does the ability to spell have to do with remaining with the club? Bader and Marte (or Morte) aren’t hard to spell. Now Shintaro Fujinami or better yet Diosmerky Taveras would be better tests of anyone’s ability to spell a name.

    • James T OBrien

      This wasn’t all that funny the first time, but I didn’t think it had posted. It certainly didn’t deserve a second posting. mea culpa

  • Brian Joura

    From the Mets PR department:

    On March 13, former Mets RHP Jim McAndrew passed away at age 80 in Fountain Hills, AZ after a short illness…In six seasons with the Mets (1968-1974), he was 36-49 with a 3.54 ERA (287 ER/729.2 IP)) in 146 games (105 starts)…In 1969, Jim went 6-7 with a 3.47 ERA (52 ER/135.0 IP)…He went 10-14 with a 3.56 ERA (73 ER/184.1 IP) in 1970 and 11-8 with a 2.80 ERA (50 ER/160.2 IP) in 1972.

    For whatever reason, I seem to recall more games at the ballpark that McAndrew started than Seaver or Koosman.

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