Jacob deGrom might be the best player on the New York Mets, however, Pete Alonso is the most important to the team’s success in 2020.
Instead of deGrom, I view Pete Alonso as the most important person wearing the orange and blue emblem. It’s not exactly a controversial argument. After deGrom, I think just about everyone would say it’s the Polar Bear who is most important.
Exactly why is it? We can blame the bullpen.
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As we, unfortunately, witnessed during the last two seasons, it doesn’t matter how well deGrom pitches. The Mets can’t win games even when he does deliver a gem.
This doesn’t take away the importance of having him on the roster. Subtract him from the rotation this year, especially with Zack Wheeler gone and Noah Syndergaard sidelined, and the Mets are in even graver trouble than they would have been over the last two seasons.
Remove Alonso from the lineup and we get a similar effect. The team loses its best power hitter, run producer, and heart. Sure, we can hope Yoenis Cespedes comes back healthy and effective. We can also cross our fingers Michael Conforto finally has the kind of year we’ve been waiting for.
I had asthma as a kid. I learned not to hold my breath unless I had to. So, I’m not holding it waiting for those two.
Alonso has the ability to have an all-time great Mets season, again. He’ll have fewer games to do it just as deGrom will have fewer opportunities to defend his Cy Young Awards. In a shortened season, deGrom’s contributions will be far less.
At best, we will see deGrom start 15-20 games in 2020 with a slant closer to the lower number. This equates to two to three weeks of work. Alonso, meanwhile, will get to play every day. And while the percentage of games they play will match what they’d do in a typical 162 game schedule, it’s not the main reason why I view Alonso as the more valuable.
To reiterate, it’s the bullpen that really drags down deGrom and how important he can be to the Mets’ success in 2020 and even beyond. They’ve blown so many games for him. And for the fact that I suspect teams will be especially cautious with pitchers this year, he may need to rely on them more than ever to help him out.
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It has been immensely tough for deGrom to find wins over the last two seasons. A pitcher can only do so much. A position player like Alonso, on the other hand, can help his team each and every night. This can matter a whole lot more in a shortened season.