With Spring Training officially underway, the New York Mets look to build upon their 101 wins from last season. This time they will try to not only make the playoffs for a 2nd consecutive year but do so while winning the division.
It was a tough pill to swallow but unfortunately, we will always be reminded of leading the division for an entire season only to lose it to the rival Atlanta Braves in the final week.
Fending off the Braves won’t be the only task because they will also have to contend with the defending National League Champions. Yes, those pesky Philadelphia Phillies will also be trying to win the division after surprising the baseball world with an amazing run from Wild Card to the Word Series.
It won’t be easy, but these Mets should be seasoned enough to be up for the challenge. With a revamped rotation, returning stars, and a possible injection of youth from the minors, there are reasons to be optimistic and think Citi Field could see a division banner hoisted in 2023.
1) The Mets bullpen is strong on the mound as it looks on paper
The Mets bullpen which had its moments last season was mostly a strength due to a dominant performance from their closer Edwin Díaz. He was definitely the best reliever/closer in baseball and it earned him a five-year deal to stay in Queens.
Also returning is Adam Ottavino who quietly had a great season. You sprinkle in the additions of lefty Brooks Raley and veteran reliever David Robertson, and you have a solid back end of a bullpen.
I have been wanting Robertson for this bullpen since last year’s trade deadline. He’s been a solid reliever his whole career but most importantly he has pitched under the bright lights of New York before, winning a World Series with the Yankees in 2009.
We will see some battles to fill out the final spots in the bullpen, but that is a good thing. You can never have enough bullpen arms and that will be a significant relief to the starting staff which has seen some significant changes including the additions of another forty-year-old and a Japanese import getting set to make his major league debut.
If these relievers play up to the back end of their cards and are as good as they sound on paper then I have no doubt the Mets will be in a great position to win the division.