The first official baseball milestone of year has been reached!
It’s been a long winter without our favorite sport. The Mets season ended 134 days ago, and although the postseason was great, it hasn’t been the same without our team. We still have 44 days before the official first pitch at Citi Field, but the fact that pitchers and catchers are reporting to Port St. Lucie today, Monday, February 12, makes it easier for time to pass.
Among those reporting on Monday are a ton of familiar faces. Included in that group is a starting rotation that we hope is able to stay healthy this year, comprised of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler.
Syndergaard is coming off a shortened year thanks to an awful lat injury. While he was able to make a couple of short starts last season (and we mean really short), Thor will be looking to once again establish his dominance in baseball early on this spring. The Mets hopes start and end with him, so if he’s not able to be himself again, kiss any hope for the playoffs goodbye.
Although deGrom had his worst season statistically in 2017, the Mets no. 2 starter could arguably be starting on Opening Day on most clubs – he’s that good. Will he be able to bounce back and put up All Star-like numbers again in 2018?
Harvey, Matz, and Wheeler can almost be grouped into a single category of being the biggest question marks. These three guys have to be able to show they can stay on the field first, and also pitch well when they’re actually out there.
Added to that list will be rotation hopefuls like Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Both of these guys regressed quite a bit last season after a promising end to their 2016 season. Lugo will benefit from not having the World Baseball Classic happening this spring, and hopefully Gsellman will just focus on making his pitches and not so much on outside distractions.
There aren’t many new faces showing up to Mets camp this early, but the team’s newest bullpen addition, Anthony Swarzak, will be one of them. The 32-year-old was Sandy’s first signing this offseason, so it’ll be exciting to see what he can bring to the pen this year.
It’s time to rejoice, Mets fans. The cold is almost gone and Spring Training is almost here. You can feel it in the air, and you can almost hear the chants saying, “let’s go Mets!”