The New York Mets have worked hard over the 2021-22 offseason to put together a highly competitive roster and to achieve some front office stability.
They have signed prominent players, a general manager (Billy Eppler), and a manager (Buck Showalter).
However, there are some unknowns entering the 2022 campaign that may affect their season.
Here are two of them.
2. Rotation Depth And Health
The Mets brought in starter Max Scherzer on a record deal before the lockout.
They signed him to a three-year, $130 million pact with an opt-out after the second season.
Even at 37, there is still a good chance Scherzer remains one of the top 10 pitchers in baseball for the duration of the deal.
However, the Mets’ rotation is in need of at least two or three more pieces.
As currently constructed, there is just too much injury risk to cope with in their staff.
Jacob deGrom, the unquestioned ace and the best pitcher in baseball, could only pitch 92 innings in 2021 with lingering elbow issues and other ailments.
He even suffered a partial elbow tear that “resolved itself”, and hasn’t pitched since early July.
He should enter spring training with a clean bill of health, but with so many injuries in 2021 (he suffered lat, shoulder, and elbow ailments at different points), he remains a question mark.
Last season the Mets had at one point or another every pitcher in the starting rotation go down with something. So it's going to happen again. It does every year. So the Mets need to improve the back end of the rotation with some depth meaning quality.
— Matthew Barasch (@MatthewBarasch) December 11, 2021
1. Francisco Lindor’s True Offensive Talent At This Point
Francisco Lindor was the Mets’ most influential addition for the 2021 season.
He came via trade and was extended right before the regular season started.
The new surroundings, higher expectations, and a very demanding fan base likely played a role on his disappointing first two months.
He had to endure pressure and boos from his own fans because he struggled right out of the gate.
His slump lasted several weeks: in April and May, he hit .194/.294/.294 with four homers and four stolen bases.
He was much, much better since June, but his season was interrupted by an oblique strain in July.
He returned nearly a month later, in August.
From June to the end of the season, the All-Star shortstop hit .252/.340/.482 line, 16 home runs, and a 124 wRC+ (weighted Runs Created Plus, where 100 is considered average).
That line resembled his career performance: .278/.343/.478, with a 117 wRC+.
In the 2021 campaign as a whole, Lindor hit .230/.322/.412 with 20 homers and 10 stolen bases in 125 games, with a 103 wRC+.
He was basically average with the bat, and he also had a 104 wRC+ the year before (2020).
Who is the real Lindor?
The one of April and May?
The one of the second half?
Or the one of 2021 as a whole?
Lindor isn’t cooked and actually provides value on the field, he performed very well for the Mets June onward. I’d like to give him a chance before I say its a bad contract, new team new city can affect a player
— Savan’s Bizarre Adventure (@savanakaamazing) January 3, 2022
The 2022 season will give us a better idea.