If the New York Mets are going to win in 2020, they are going to need a little help from these underrated contributors.
The New York Mets recently began spring training 2.0, aka “Summer Camp,” at their home stadium in Queens. So far, the talk of Mets town has revolved around whether Yoenis Cespedes is healthy enough to DH, how Dellin Betances’s bullpen sessions are going, and whether Jed Lowrie is indeed a figment of our collective imaginations.
Aside from those three, many other Mets players have reported to summer camp. Depending on how the 2020 season shakes out, the Amazins are going to need as deep of a roster as possible to compete against the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals, the rest of the NL East, and the perennial title contender New York Yankees.
The Mets roster, while strong overall, has question marks related to bullpen effectiveness and depth at the catcher position. With that said, let’s take a look at three players in those areas who have not been talked about much recently, but could play an important role in winning games for the Mets this year.
Amidst the shuffle of trading for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano, along with the fruitful trade for J.D. Davis, Brodie Van Wagenen’s signing of Justin Wilson proved to be one of his best moves last offseason. Wilson started off last year ominously battling elbow soreness. He had two separate IL stints in the first half and made only one appearance between April 19 and July 2. Wilson’s prolonged absence contributed heavily to the Mets’ first half bullpen woes.
But once he was back on the field for good in July, Wilson was a crucial piece of the Mets’ bullpen and served as the primary left-handed reliever. Though he began his Mets tenure with a 4.82 ERA in his first 10 appearances, from July 2 through September 15 he pitched to a 1.40 ERA. His reliability led to several 9th inning appearances in September, resulting in four saves.
Wilson’s 2019 campaign may get overlooked because of his lengthy injuries. However, he finished the year with a 2.54 ERA in 45 appearances, the best ERA in the Mets bullpen, and even lower than Seth Lugo’s 2.70 mark.
Though Lugo was heralded as the bullpen savior for the Mets in 2019, Wilson deserves just as much credit for his role in securing victories in 2019. This season, the Mets recently bolstered their relief supply by signing Hunter Strickland and Jared Hughes, both righty relievers. This still leaves Wilson as the best lefty in the Mets bullpen. Given the ever-tenuous nature of that bullpen, any chance the Mets have of competing this year rests heavily on the health of Wilson’s left elbow.