New York Mets

New York Mets

New York Mets

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 04: Justin Verlander #35 of the New York Mets delivers a pitch against the Miami Marlins in the first inning at Roger Dean Stadium on March 4, 2023 in Jupiter, Florida. (Photo by Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/Getty Images)

Baseball is back and the New York Mets are looking to build off their success from 2022 that saw the club win 101 games during the regular season. However 2023 is looking it could be a very tough year for the Amazin’s, who are already dealing with a number of key injuries to its pitching staff. As the Mets prepare to take the field in Miami for the first time in the regular season, let’s look at the Top 5 Storylines and keys to the upcoming season.

  • 5: Replacing Edwin Diaz

    No easy task here. Edwin Diaz enjoyed one of the best years of his career, locking down 32 saves to a 1.31 ERA, while becoming a culture figure in New York as much for his work on the mound as his entrance song “Narco” by Timmy Trumpet.

    Who will replace Diaz who is out for the year with a knee injury he suffered in the WBC? The thought would be David Robertson, but only Buck Schowalter knows the answer to this riddle.

  • 4: Will Daniel Voglebach Solidify DH Spot?

    Voglebach, the lumbering designated hitter of the Mets had an uneven second half of the year after he was acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates. On one hand he was a great addition to the clubhouse, and provided some serious pop. At the same time he hit only .255 as a Met last year. The thought is with the over-shift eliminated in baseball, Voglebach will have more opportunities to get singles on ground balls and move runners over.

    He did lose weight this spring. He will likely platoon with Tommy Pham at DH. If either or both struggle it could mean the Mets might be forced to either A) make a trade or B) call someone up.

  • 3: When Will We See Baty and Vientos?

    With Anthony Volpe making his Yankees debut on Thursday, Mets fans are left wondering about their two young stars, who already made their debuts last season. Baty hit .375 this spring, while Vientos hit .275 and drove in 11 runs in Spring Training. Neither made the Opening Day roster since no position had an open competition.

    However, should Eduardo Escobar struggle at third, or Mark Canha struggle in left, or Voglebach and Pham struggle at DH, there is always the chance Bill Eppler and Buck Schowalter will make the call to Triple-A for one or both young Mets.

  • 2: Can Pete Alonso or Francisco Lindor be MVP Candidates?

    If the Mets are going to get anywhere in 2023, they need Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor to post big seasons this year. Last year both hit around .270, and combined for 66 home runs and 138 runs batted in.

    Maybe neither player will reach Aaron Judge level of greatness this year, but if they can be difference makers when it matters that is all that counts. If the Mets are to take the next step, both Alonso and Lindor must dominate in August, September, and of course, October.

    Let us not forget, the Mets will welcome back a healthy Starling Marte on Opening Day. They missed his bat down the stretch last year. Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil are also players to watch after signing big extensions.

  • 1: Starting Pitching Must Be Great

    With Jacob deGrom now occupying the top of the Texas Rangers rotation, it is up to two aging vets to lead the way in Queens. The Mets are putting a lot on the shoulders of 40-year old Justin Verlander and 38-year old Max Scherzer. Both are capable. Both are two of the best pitchers in the sport, but can they continue pitching at the high level we are used to seeing? Verlander did tail off toward the end of a Cy Young campaign in 2022. Scherzer hit a wall at the end of last season, and was shelled by San Diego in the playoffs.

    If the Mets are gonna be World Series contenders, they need these two guys to deliver like they have in the past.

  • PREDICTION!

    Unless the Mets make serious upgrades to their rotation and bullpen, they will finish with 89 wins and find themselves in the thick of the wild card race with Philadelphia, Milwaukee and San Francisco for one of the two remaining playoff spots (assuming Atlanta, St. Louis, LA and San Diego are locks).

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