5 Mets players who will be the biggest X-factors in determining where this team goes

The performance of these five Mets will determine what the team does.
Jul 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) wears a 4th of July themed catcherís kit against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 4, 2024; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Mets catcher Francisco Alvarez (4) wears a 4th of July themed catcherís kit against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports / Rafael Suanes-USA TODAY Sports
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2) Kodai Senga

When will we see Kodai Senga? It seems like an annual event that a Mets pitcher returns around late July. We had Carlos Carrasco in 2021. Jacob deGrom in 2022. Jose Quintana in 2023. This year it’s Senga’s turn to either ride on a white horse and help uplift the team or stroll up on a donkey.

Senga will be advertised as being “like acquiring a player at the trade deadline.” Okay. We can accept it if David Stearns adds to the bullpen. The Mets have more than enough starting pitcher options. And if Senga is anything like he was last season, the Mets are in great shape.

The one thing missing from the Mets roster this year has been the legitimate All-Star starting pitcher. Severino hasn’t been quite there—even when at his best. Senga, on the other hand, proved last year how superb he can be. Deceitful with his ghost fork and dominant for stretches of time, having a true stopper in the rotation is a must for this team.

The starting rotation was always the biggest question for the Mets heading into this season. With Senga back in the mix, we’ll all feel a little better about their chances. Let’s just hope the ramp up doesn’t take too long. The Mets could be cooked by then.