September is a huge month for the New York Mets. It’s a 30-day period where they can make sure the late-season series against the Atlanta Braves down in Georgia means nothing. This would require them to continue to win while also hoping the Braves figure out a way to lose.
Failing to win the National League East has its consequences. They don’t get the first-round bye and would instead have to host the San Diego Padres or Philadelphia Phillies in the first round. Both beatable teams, it’s much better to have the bye plus home field advantage until the NLCS.
These three roster moves the Mets can make will help them achieve the goal.
1) NY Mets need to give Pete Alonso the best protection possible
With the starting lineup, we’re finally beginning to show some positive changes. Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil are now getting their chance to bat fifth. It’s all about protecting Pete Alonso.
Is it a coincidence that while Daniel Vogelbach and Darin Ruf have struggled that so has the Polar Bear? I don’t think so. While responsibility does fall on Alonso, it doesn’t help to have a pair of struggling DHs behind him.
In the fifth spot, McNeil should bat whenever a righty is on the mound. When it’s a lefty, give those chances to Canha. It’s pretty simple.
Buck Showalter should remain flexible with the lineup, too. Whoever is hitting the hottest should slot in behind Alonso. Over the last several weeks, McNeil and Canha have been two of the better hitters on the team. Move them up and keep them there until their performance dictates otherwise.