The 2018 New York Mets featured more players than any other team in franchise history. Will they top that in 2019?
In 2018, more men suited up for the New York Mets than they have in any other year. The exact total, 56, bested the previous franchise record of 54 players used back in 1967.
There are obvious reasons for this. Injuries, the increased use of relief pitchers, and a lack of talent surely played a role in setting a new franchise high.
What I find most interesting is how the 1967 Mets held the previous record. All other teams with 50+ players are from 2003 or after. The 1962 Mets and their 45 players are the closest to the 1967 team. With their spot in MLB history as the biggest losers of all-time, we can easily theorize why this was.
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As we dive into numbers deeper, it’s clear to see why the totals were so high. Only six players reached 100 games played. This includes Jose Reyes who was used largely off the bench. Wilmer Flores and Brandon Nimmo also passed the 100 games played mark. When the year began, we expected them to have reserve roles as well.
Only shortstop Amed Rosario (154 games), third baseman Todd Frazier (115 games), and outfielder Michael Conforto (153 games) were expected starters who reached triple-digits. Personally, Conforto’s achievement was the most impressive. After missing the first few games of the year, he only rarely missed time for the rest of the season.
I won’t be shocked to see the Mets set a new high in the upcoming season. With Syracuse much closer to Flushing than Las Vegas, it’s a lot easier to move players from the big leagues to Triple-A without thinking. One bad performance from Jacob Rhame and we could see him swap roster spots with Drew Gagnon.
A lot of this will depend on what the Mets do to round out their bullpen. Late in the 2018 season, it seemed as if the bullpen had a revolving door. Few stuck around long. Many who did get the call they were waiting for all year long didn’t perform well once they did get to Major League Baseball.
It seems inevitable that MLB rosters will expand beyond the 25 men we’re accustomed. Although it won’t get near the 40-men teams are allowed in September, we could see an additional one or two roster spots added in the coming years. On doubleheader days, teams are already allowed an additional player. Soon, there will probably be a 26 or 27 man locker room on Opening Day.
For the quality of the game, it can be both good and bad. The bad is that we will see “undeserving” players crack the major league roster. The good news is the bullpen arms will be fresher and an added bench player may create a little more strategic maneuvering.
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Whatever the future holds for baseball, expect to see plenty more Mets each year in the coming seasons. Unfortunately, this won’t add superstar talent to theirs or anyone else’s roster.