New York Mets: Four Players Who Should Make the 30-Man Roster

One of the rumors of the MLB’s season proposal is the expanded rosters that come with it. The potential 30-man rosters will allow the New York Mets to carry some extra depth throughout the season. Here are four players who can add the extra punch the team needs.

Drew Smith

Drew Smith had a projected timetable of April-May to return to game action from Tommy John Surgery. The extended time off should put him a position to pitch in spring training games. During his rookie season in 2018 he pitched in 27 games and had a 3.54 ERA. Smith is a very underrated part of the Mets bullpen and is still only 26 years old.

The biggest question comes in how he bounces back from the surgery. Smith has above-average stuff and the lack of urgency to pitch on back to back days with expanded rosters will help his case to make the roster. Even if he is not ready for the first month, he can play a part during the final two.

Rene Rivera

The luxury of having a third catcher is a tough decision, especially when the DH is going to be universal. Rene Rivera is the best defensive catcher in the organization and knows the pitching staff the best. He ranks over Tomas Nido, in my opinion, and hold real value with his defense.

The bat lags behind Wilson Ramos but the Mets could opt to make Ramos a DH for a majority of the season while the combination of Rivera/Nido handled a bulk of the catching. It limits the extra at-bats for Dominic Smith and Yoenis Cespedes but it helps the weakness of controlling the running game.

Daniel Zamora

With Justin Wilson as the only left-hander in the bullpen, Daniel Zamora is a clear cut candidate to land a job. He has less than 20 career innings but has shown the ability to get Bryce Harper and Freddie Freeman out. Zamora’s role changes due to the three batter minimum rule but he did a terrific job getting out hitters from both sides of the plate during spring training.

Andres Gimenez

Is Andres Gimenez ready for an everyday role? Not quite yet but the 21-year old is on the fringe of stardom. The only way he should make the big league roster is if the entire minor league season is canceled. Instead of keeping him around to wait for 2021, he will receive the major league experience.

His role would feature more pinch-running and defensive opportunities. The roster is clogged as is, but it will be enticing to put the rookie in to start a few games. Unlike most of the roster, he is an unknown commodity who has the potential we saw from Amed Rosario in the second half of 2019.

New York Mets: Marcus Stroman’s Creative Quarantine Bullpen

New York Mets, Marcus Stroman

The days of required social distancing have continued to pile up as we continue to go without any sports. For the New York Mets, like the rest of baseball, it is hard to train under these conditions. Marcus Stroman is known for his innovative workouts and figured out a good place to throw a bullpen.

Social distancing has forced athletes throughout sports to create innovative ideas to still get their work in. Stroman is known for his pinpoint control, which is no surprise why he was confident enough to throw on a dock. He also threw to Dominic Smith a couple of days ago as well. Only three weeks in and Stroman might be the most game-ready out of any pitcher in baseball.

Zamora Keeps Ready as Well

Daniel Zamora has also been keeping himself ready by pitching in his batting cage at his home. As the weather starts to get nicer we may see more players follow the trend Stroman has been setting. Outside of the Mets, Joey Gallo of the Rangers recorded himself taking some hacks inside of his apartment. Very risky, but sometimes you have to do anything you can to stay ready.

New York Mets Option Paul Sewald and Daniel Zamora

The New York Mets continue to trim their big league roster as they send down a couple of bullpen arms with major league experience. Paul Sewald and Daniel Zamora will both be members of the Syracuse Mets whenever baseball finally resumes.

Zamora pitched very well in the Spring. Over five innings he only allowed one run, three hits, walked one and struck out eight batters. Always known as a left-handed specialist, he showed the ability to retire right-handed hitters as well. The only lefty in the Mets bullpen is Justin Wilson which makes Zamora the next man up if they need to replace him.

Sewald Out of Options

Sewald’s demotion marks the last time they can send him down without putting him through waivers. He also impressed in the Spring through his 5.1 innings pitched. He did not walk a single batter, allowed three hits, one run and struck out five. Sewald has always shown glimpses of dominance but he has never been able to consistently pitch well for a long period of time. As one of the most experienced relievers in the bullpen, he should see more big league time in 2020.

Last year both would have been guaranteed to make the big league roster but the Mets revamped it to gain more experience from their relievers. Having Zamora and Sewald should give the team confidence in their depth, should the have to deal with injuries.

New York Mets: Young Stars Showcase Personalities Against Cardinals

Wednesday’s game between the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals featured more of the usual from Spring Training. A strong starting pitching performance and Jeff McNeil‘s continued dominance with the bat. The game was televised on ESPN and the Mets certainly had fun being mic’d up with each other.

Marcus Stroman took the mound and had a terrific outing. Over three innings, he only allowed three baserunners and struck out four Cardinals. Things started off rocky when he hit and walked the first two batters. After Rene Rivera threw out a base stealer for the first out, Stroman induced a double play to end the inning. Through the rest of his start, he showed how clever of a pitcher he is. Stroman used his incredible body control to vary his motion which threw off the hitter’s timing drastically.

Bats Waking Up

Jeff McNeil continued his red hot pace with two more hits to move to 10-for-18 (.556), the best mark in Spring Training. Brandon Nimmo chipped in another hit as the 1-2 combination of McNeil and Nimmo have proved to be deadly so far. Pete Alonso, Michael Conforto, and Wilson Ramos all supplied hits as they are picking up the pace after short skids at the plate.

One of the best parts of the ESPN broadcast was their live microphones. They picked the right guys in Pete Alonso, J.D. Davis, Dom Smith, and Jeff McNeil. Alonso dropped an accidental f-bomb, Smith poked fun at Davis and could not hear anyone at one point, and all of them hyped up an Eduardo Nunez triple. It showed how close this group is and there is truly something special going on at Port St. Lucie.

Zamora Rises

Daniel Zamora has always been seen as a lefty specialist for the Mets, but his stock is rising. Through four outings so far he has only allowed one hit, walk and hit by pitch. Zamora even has five strikeouts and the most impressive part is his ability to put away hitters from both sides of the plate. Dellin Betances still is not a lock for Opening Day and Zamora is asserting himself as the top guy to replace him.

Rick Porcello takes the mound on Thursday when the Mets take on the Cardinals in Jupiter. Porcello has allowed one run over three innings so far in the Spring.

Tebow’s Homer and Davis Injury Headlines New York Mets Loss to Tigers

New York Mets, Andres Gimenez

Tim Tebow playing in New York Mets Spring Training games is already a headline in itself. When Tebow homered off Detroit Tigers reliever Alex Wilson, it is a 100 percent guarantee to throw the baseball world for a loop.

Tebow showcased his opposite-field power with a no-doubt home run to left-center field. It was his first during his Spring Training career, and it was the fourth time he reached base in eight Spring plate appearances. Expectations are meager for the 32-year old former quarterback, but we still know he has a flair for the dramatic.

Wacha’s Debut

Michael Wacha made his first Spring start. He is in a battle for the fifth starter spot and was on par with Steven Matz through their respective first starts. Wacha threw two innings, allowing two walks, a hit, and struck out two batters. The outing was not anything special but is a decent way to settle into the beginning of the Spring.

Davis Injury

The other major headline came when third baseman, J.D. Davis, left the game with a left shoulder injury. He jammed the shoulder after diving and spending a moment on the ground. Davis said, “right now it feels fine,” but also said the shoulder is weak and stiff. He will have an MRI Wednesday, but the early news is there is no damage to his rotator cuff or labrum.

This is the first injury scare of the Spring, and the MRI will give a clearer timeline on Davis. Initially, the injury seems minor, and it will likely have more of an effect on his offense over his defense.

Zamora Shines and Gimenez Struggles

Daniel Zamora is a projected minor leaguer to start the season but pitched a scoreless third inning, all against righties, where the only baserunner came from an Andres Gimenez error. Gimenez is known for his slick defense but already has two errors in the Spring.

Wednesday Preview

A couple of big names will face the villainous Houston Astros on Wednesday. Noah Syndergaard makes his first start of the Spring and has already poked at Houston’s cheating scandal during the offseason and early in camp. He is not afraid about throwing up and in, but there should be no shenanigans, especially in his first outing.

Edwin Diaz will make his long-awaited debut in his quest to regain the closer role. Justin Wilson will also throw as the combination of the three pitchers will likely be the crew to start the game.

New York Mets: Daniel Zamora Year in Review

The lefty specialist Daniel Zamora had a small sample size with the New York Mets in 2018 and saw very similar amounts of action in 2019. He was a killer against left-handed hitters in 2018, but the same success lacked during the 2019 campaign.

Zamora’s never going to be a pitcher who will eat innings as only five of his outings in 2019 lasted one inning. In April, he came up for the first time in the season and faced five batters over three outings without allowing a run. He stuck around for the majority of May as well.

Tough Ending to May

Zamora got his ERA down to 1.59 and faired well in his role to get left-handed hitters out. His last outing in May resulted in allowing three runs, including a homer, to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Zamora went back to Syracuse on May 31 when Seth Lugo came off the Injured List.

Zamora only had one other outing before September. In September, he allowed one run over five outings. Zamora pitches such a small amount of innings that any amount of runs allowed will inflate his ERA. He only allowed runs in three outings and only once he allowed more than one.

Zamora will have to adjust to MLB’s new rules, which will force him to face three batters before he can leave the game. It will be interesting to see how Carlos Beltran uses him in Spring Training and the regular season. Zamora is the only pitcher the Mets have who could run into an issue with the rule.

His splits were relatively equal, with hitters from both sides hitting .294. Right-handers hit for a little more power than the lefties. Zamora will likely have a limited role again in 2020 and will have to get right-handers out to stay. The new rules will make it harder for him to live on his slider, which he throws 72% of the time.

Grades:

Pitching Repertoire: B-, He pitches backward due to his fastball staying in the high 80s. His slider is a nasty pitch, and he can throw it at different speeds with different breaks.

Control: C-, 5.2 BB/9 is almost double his 2018 total, and his K/9 decreased as well.

Composure: C+, Still needs more work with right-handers, but has the toughness to get the lefty out in a big spot.

Intangibles: B+, Very deceptive motion, which is what makes him so tough to lefties. The ball looks like it starts behind them.

Overall: C, The ERA is not where he wants it to be, but it was not a bad season. His average against lefties also needs to decrease in 2020.