Did the New York Mets really bring the best 25 men with them to D.C. on Opening Day? Let’s look at some of the questionable roster decisions they began the year with.
Everybody loves to judge the roster decisions made by teams, especially on Opening Day. We all have different takes, but there are some decisions worth questioning. For the New York Mets, who are now one game into the year, our questioning will have to await full judgment until we see how the year plays out.
Nevertheless, these three roster decisions are somewhat curious ones made by the front office to start the 2019 campaign.
Once Wilson Ramos signed this offseason, the Mets had plenty of different ways to go for their backup catcher. They still had Kevin Plawecki, Travis d’Arnaud was coming back from injury, they brought back Devin Mesoraco on a minor league deal, and they still had prospect Tomas Nido.
Once Plawecki was traded away to the Clevland Indians it seemed like the battle was down to Mesoraco and d’Arnaud if he was ready for Opening Day. Nido was expected to start the season in the minors and most likely see time later in the year.
Mesoraco was recently told he was not going to make the Opening Day roster and was going to be sent to Triple-A, he refused and the Mets placed him on the restricted list and he plans to retire instead of playing elsewhere or in the minors for the Mets.
d’Arnaud began the season on the injured list and Nido will be the backup to Ramos. This is questioned by many, mainly due to the fact that Mesoraco had worked extremely well with Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler last year. It makes more sense for Nido to play every day in the minors and focus on parts of his game to improve, instead of every couple days despite being able to learn from a veteran like Ramos.
Final Bullpen Piece
The Mets made a lot of impact moves this offseason, but none more notably than in the bullpen. They traded for All-Star closer Edwin Diaz, signed back Jeurys Familia, and brought in the lefty arms they needed in Justin Wilson and Luis Avilan. They also already had two good arms in Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.
Going into spring training the Mets had two spots open it appeared, one of them was eventually earned by Avilan during camp which left one spot left for multiple guys.
The last spot was eventually earned by Tim Peterson, he had seen a little bit of time in 2018 and had a decent spring. This led to Rule 5 Draft pick Kyle Dowdy being claimed by the Texas Rangers, Ryan O’Rourke being sent to the minors after a solid spring, and veteran left-hander Hector Santiago being sent down too.
This is a bit of a questionable move since Dowdy had a decent spring and the Mets would end up losing him if he didn’t make the team since he was a Rule 5 pick. O’Rourke had a strong spring as well despite having some control issues and walking guys. They also left out another lefty and veteran presence in Santiago.
Going into Spring Training, it was expected that Todd Frazier or Dominic Smith would be playing first base on Opening Day. The Mets claimed they would take the best 25 guys, and even if Pete Alonso was one of those guys it was hard seeing the Mets actually taking him and losing an extra year of control.
Frazier went down with an injury and it was a two way battle between Smith and Alonso. They both had great springs and the Mets were being tested to see if they would hold true to their word about the best 25 men. Both of them ended up making the team, resulting in losing the extra year on Alonso.
It is nice to see the Mets actually taking the best 25 guys and being committed to winning, but what if Alonso doesn’t live up to his hype the first few weeks when he could have been down in the minors for an extra year of control.
What if the Mets don’t make the postseason and they lose that extra year for nothing?
It is a decision that is under the microscope because of the extra year of control, but it is great to see the Mets actually take the best 25 and be serious about winning.
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Are there any other questionable roster decisions the Mets made this year?