New York Mets: How the New Season Plan Affects the Mets

Daniel Marcillo
yankees, New York Mets, Luis Rojas
Feb 25, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Mets manager Luis Rojas (19) walks away from the mound after a pitching change during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Monday marks the first day the MLB and the Players Association will meet to discuss plans to restart the 2020 season. The meeting is the only good news about it. There is no love lost between both sides, and there is no guarantee they agree on anything.

Hopefully, the MLB proposes their plan on Tuesday after MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred speaks to a representative from each team on Monday. New details from the plan lead with a schedule of around 80 games with the season starting in early July. Teams will play their division rivals and the other teams in their region to limit travel.

Ideally, teams will play in their home ballparks, which helps cut down travel. As reported by us last week, the designated hitter will be universal throughout baseball. The newest information comes in an extended postseason, which includes seven teams from each league.

During this week’s meetings, the biggest dealbreaker comes in the form of pay cuts and health safety for all MLB personnel. In March, the union was against any idea of reducing salaries.

How Does This Affect the Mets?

An 80-games season should push the New York Mets to make the most out of the season. Seth Lugo draws even more consideration to become a starter. Using the projections made earlier this week, he will make no more than 16 starts and using his career averages as a starter, Lugo will throw around 88 innings. Eight more than he pitched as a reliever in 2019, but less than his highest amount.

An 80 game season forces the Mets to make tough decisions with their depth. The depth the Mets have is always a good problem to have, but balancing it out is tricky. Dominic Smith, Jed Lowrie, and Yoenis Cespedes are all projected to come off the bench. If healthy, one will slide into the DH role, but all three have proven to be good bats when healthy.

Thanks to versatile players like Jeff McNeil, J.D. Davis, and most of their outfielders, Manager Luis Rojas can mix and match. Despite getting two weeks to get back into playing shape, most players will need the first couple weeks of the regular season to find their groove as well.

The short season increases the urgency to win quickly. Even with an extended playoff format, no team wants to play in a one-game playoff to decide their fate. The Mets also draw the most competitive division in baseball as the Pirates and Orioles seem like the only teams who are lighter competition.

The depth the Mets have is as good as any in baseball, but their unproven manager has to show he knows how to slide each piece into the perfect place. As we saw with Mickey Callaway, a good manager is a difference between a failed season and a World Series victory.