As of now, we have no clue when baseball might be coming back. The New York Mets and the rest of the league are playing the waiting game, instead: many of them are returning home as the coronavirus outbreak is getting out of control and authorities are trying to contain it.
Whenever the Mets return to the field, they may have several difficult decisions to make regarding roster construction. After all, spring training, which was the moment in which they were going to make those choices, was halted until further notice.
The New York Mets have, believe it or not, one of the deepest and most complete rosters in the Major Leagues. They do have, however, some burning questions. MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo identifies two areas in which there may be difficult decisions ahead: starting pitching and the bench.
Thankfully, most starting positions in the position player side are set. Wilson Ramos is the Mets’ starting catcher and Tomas Nido has likely locked up backup duties. Pete Alonso is a mainstay at first while Robinson Cano is the starter at second unless he proves he is finished. Amed Rosario is the shortstop of the present and the future, while third base options are, in order of playing time, Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis and Jed Lowrie if he ever manages to get healthy.
Yoenis Cespedes (if healthy) and Davis will share left field, Brandon Nimmo and Jake Marisnick will play center and Michael Conforto is the right fielder. Dominic Smith will also make occasional starts.
The Mets need to make tough choices in rotation, bench
The Mets’ rotation, however, requires manager Luis Rojas and his staff to make a decision. The newly-appointed skipper will surely rely on pitching coach Jeremy Hefner and his assistants to decide who should be the fifth starter: Steven Matz or Michael Wacha.
Both were throwing very well in spring training. Wacha was even showing increased velocity. But since the Mets are unlikely to implement a six-man rotation and Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman and Rick Porcello appear to be locked in to a spot, a victor should come off the battle unless the team is thinking outside the box: openers, piggybacking and similar stuff.
Another “decisions” area is the bench. What happens with Lowrie will likely impact the rest of the dominoes, but the Mets want Luis Guillorme to be their backup middle infielder.
The extra time off is beneficial for Cespedes and his quest to make the opening day roster.
Ideally, the best Mets’ bench is CÃ©spedes, Lowrie, Smith, Marisnick and Nido, but Guillorme remains very much in play. He’ll have to hit, though, as Eduardo Nunez was having a terrific spring.