New York Mets: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of Marcus Stroman’s return
By Allen Settle
Stroman is a really solid pitcher. But he is not considered to be one of the game’s elite options. His acceptance of the qualifying offer means that he will be the 16th highest-paid pitcher in 2021. One would be hard-pressed to find someone willing to argue his merit as a top 20 starter.
The New York native also has a unique skillset for a starting pitcher. As mentioned above, Stroman relies heavily on forcing ground balls. His effectiveness as a starter is dependent on this ability. While the Mets pursuit of players like George Springer, JT Realmuto, and Francisco Lindor would greatly boost the starter’s ceiling, there is a real chance that New York enters the 2021 season without landing any of the trio.
This could mean continued playing time for Amed Rosario. It would also result in JD Davis and Brandon Nimmo being forced to shift to unnatural positions. For the record, Nimmo was one of the worst defensive centerfielders after being forced into the full-time role in 2019. Davis, on the other hand, has an acceptable glove as a third baseman. However, his defensive metrics plummet when he attempts to shift to the outfield. Either represents a major liability in the field.
There is also a chance that the DH is not retained in the National League. This would force Dom Smith’s glove to plague the defense as a tradeoff to capitalize on his stellar offense. With Pete Alonso seemingly entrenched as the everyday first baseman, Smith would have no choice to occupy a corner outfield spot. This creates a long jam at a position already occupied by Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo. To make matter worse, Smith has proven to be a below-average defender at any outfield spot.
These factors may cap Stroman’s overall effectiveness. This is even more of a concern considering…