Mets could see resurgent seasons from 2 key rotational pieces in 2024

New York Mets relief pitcher Sean Manaea (59) throws batting practice during workouts at spring training
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Mets need all hands on deck to make the 2024 MLB season a fruitful one. Starting pitcher Sean Manaea has already been bumped up one spot in the Mets’ pitching rotation with ace Kodai Senga out with a shoulder injury. To make matters better, Manaea had a bounce-back showing in Spring Training on Tuesday.

Mets: Sean Manaea’s strong peripherals point to a potentially improved season in 2024

The 32-year-old pitched five innings against the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing one run while topping out at 96 mph on his fastball for the game. Manaea currently sports a 10.8 K/9 in Spring Training play, which is the highest among all Mets starters that have seen at least 10 innings pitched. He’s also leads the way having played in 14, which is the fewest of the bunch.

The former San Francisco Giants starter is looking to improve upon his 4.44 ERA and get it back into the sub-.400 range it was at as recently as 2021. All signs are pointing toward him being able to do so while putting many batters away next season.

Jeff McNeil returning to pre-2023 form would be huge for the Mets next season

As for McNeil, he went 0-2 at the plate in his Spring Training debut on Wednesday. Albeit, his return from a partially torn UCL on Sept. 11, 2023, is a first and encouraging step toward his returning to dominance next year.

The veteran slugger saw his career-high slash line from 2022 regress below his mean in 2023. His MLB-leading .326 batting average in 2022 diminished to .270 last year, which is still very solid in its own right, while his on-base percentage and slug percentage both decreased by over five percent.

If McNeil can remain healthy, he has a great shot of regaining form as an elite efficient hitter for the Mets in the middle of the order.

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