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NY Mets: Searching for the identity of the 2021 team

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets is carted off the field after injuring his knee crashing into the wall making a diving catch hit by Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning during their game at Citi Field on August 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - AUGUST 13: Jeff McNeil #6 of the New York Mets is carted off the field after injuring his knee crashing into the wall making a diving catch hit by Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the Washington Nationals in the first inning during their game at Citi Field on August 13, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
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CINCINNATI, OHIO – AUGUST 30: A detailed view of an MLB logo during the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 30, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OHIO – AUGUST 30: A detailed view of an MLB logo during the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 30, 2021, in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Rest of the League

At this point, you may be wondering: How does the rest of MLB compare to the Mets injury woes? I’m glad you asked.

This June, the Mets were ranked 5th in baseball in terms of games missed by players on their 40-man roster. This included 846 days missed by 22 different players.

Things got even worse over the second half of the year. The most current data suggests that New York ranks 2nd in the league in games missed due to injury with just over 2,000. The San Diego Padres, who have also failed to meet preseason expectations, are the only team with a slight edge in this unfortunate category.

This graph is a hugely helpful tool in displaying just how many the Mets have had to overcome. It also shows that Mets’ players have missed nearly DOUBLE the number of games as league average. And drastically more than teams like Boston, Oakland, Baltimore, Kansas City, and Cleveland.

Every team struggles with injuries. Especially during a COVID pandemic. However, the numbers clearly show that the Mets have faced a heavier dose.

What does this mean? 

At the end of the day, these factors mean very little. As unfortunate as they are, every club should strive to build the depth necessary to withstand being the most injured team in the sport. This is something New York failed to do.

Their injury status is not a valid excuse for failing to capture the division crown in what proved to be a weak NL East. We all executed more for the 2021 team. We all have been let down.

However, it is also worth considering that no single factor has defined this version of the New York Mets more than their injury status. It is the message written on the tombstone of the team.

With any hope, the silver lining to this season will come in the form of a much more aggressive approach to free agency and the trade market. New York cannot afford to repeat the same mistake as they seek to build a contender under Cohen in 2022 and beyond.

Next. 3 preseason Mets predictions we all got wrong

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They say the first step in fixing an issue is admitting you have a problem. Let’s hope this identifying factor serves as a wake call to the owner and front office.

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