The New York Mets have played enough exhibition games down in Florida where we can begin to look at some numbers, crunch some stats, and feel some feels. A few guys have had notably strong starts in camp while others have struggled.
It’s easy to feel discouraged by players when they aren’t performing. Every failed at-bat by Jeff McNeil, error by J.D. Davis, or run allowed by a pitcher we know won’t be back again anyway can hurt.
In my best Allen Iverson voice, I want to remind everyone that we’re talkin’ ‘bout spring training.
The only Mets stats that should matter
How many home runs a player has, how low his FIP is, or the number of pitches he sees in a single at-bat (although, that was impressive by Luis Guillorme purely out of entertainment) doesn’t matter. This is spring training. Guys are out there to warm up their muscles, stretch their ligaments, and prepare themselves for the games that count.
From a fan perspective, there are two statistics to watch. Playing time is one of them. The more a guy takes the field, the more likely the front office and coaching staff has some belief in him. Even though some innings are being eaten just to get through the dog days of March, the more playing time a guy gets, the better.
There is a secondary statistic to look at. This one is important for everyone in the organization and can have a ripple effect; it’s how many injuries are piling up.
Thus far, the Mets have seen Jose Martinez knocked out of action for a few months. Carlos Carrasco’s fate remains questionable. Hopefully, we get some good news soon.
Barring any more injuries, the Mets are set to begin the season relatively healthy. There are still two weeks left for someone to sprain an ankle, twist a shoulder, or break a bone we need a spell checker to write correctly.
We can only hold our breaths and hope for the best when it comes to a team’s health. It’s the one thing nobody can control.
As upsetting as it may be to see players struggle in camp or as thrilling as it is for others to succeed at a high level, we have to curb all enthusiasm of the positive and negative.
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These Mets games, as refreshing as they are to see after a long winter, don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. You don’t judge a meal on the appetizers. Spring training is the mozzarella stick/buffalo wing/fried jalapeno platter. On April 1, when the season begins, the waiter finally brings us our meal.