The New York Mets are winning often in 2019, but some of the manager Mickey Callaway’s decisions have left fans feeling puzzled.
Through five games, the New York Mets are 4-1. The one game they did lose came on a walk-off home run after rallying from behind on the road. The season is off to a fine start, but manager Mickey Callaway has already made questionable decisions before and during the game.
Maybe his worst choice has been to sit hot bats. Jeff McNeil took a seat in Sunday’s finale against the Washington Nationals after a big day on Saturday. On Tuesday, Pete Alonso watched from the bench a day after having a day to remember complete with his first big league home run.
As reported, these were built-in off-days for McNeil and Alonso. J.D. Davis got the start over McNeil at third base against lefty Patrick Corbin while Dominic Smith took over for Alonso versus righty Jose Urena. From an analytical standpoint, it makes some sense. However, neither player is in a platoon situation. It’s important the Mets don’t get too caught up in “playing the percentages.” Sometimes, you have to go with your gut.
In Tuesday’s win against the Miami Marlins, the Mets called upon Seth Lugo to help secure the victory. Unfortunately, he didn’t pitch well. Callaway explained after the game he hasn’t been feeling well. Neither Edwin Diaz nor Jeurys Familia was available due to their recent trips to the mound over the past few days, forcing the Mets to rely on an under-the-weather Lugo to nearly blow the game in their 6-5 win.
Two straight days now, McNeil has also been double-switched out of the game. He’s one of the last guys the team should remove from action because of his defensive versatility. I understand a manager won’t always have a choice. Even so, it’s a little frustrating to see one of the team’s most consistent hitters over the past two seasons exit early on back-to-back nights.
Callaway looked good in game one of the season. Lately, he hasn’t been so stellar. Justin Wilson got lucky in his save opportunity on Tuesday. The whole team had luck on their side with a subpar outing by Jason Vargas and an offense that practically disappeared after the first inning.
A win is a win no matter how you earn it. The biggest concern right now is how often the Mets can escape the ballpark with the lead after nine.
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Callaway is still learning on the job this year. There may come a time when these poor managerial decisions catch up and he will find his team on a losing streak. I understand a manager can only be as good as the 25 men he has on his roster. Callaway, though, hasn’t picked the best of them in certain situations or to even start the game.