2) The talent and depth of the middle relievers significantly improved.
As mentioned in the previous slide, David Robertson gave much better than expected results for the Mets in 2023. Also, Brooks Raley and Adam Ottavino were a generally solid duo of back-end relievers last season, and it's huge that Ottavino came back for another season with the Mets.
But where the Mets bullpen fell off was with their middle relievers. With the Edwin Diaz injury, there were plenty of circumstances where pitchers were thrusted into high-leverage situations just to give their quality relievers rest. You saw relievers not show confidence with command, they didn't throw strikes when they had to, and it was alarming. Also, Mets pitchers threw zero 100 mph pitches last year, and were one of three teams not to have one, though they will get plenty of that this season.
But David Stearns seemed determined to make a patchwork fix for 2024. He brought in guys who could light up the speedometer. The three newcomers projected to make the team out the bullpen all have average fastball velocities over 95 mph. They are lefty Jake Diekman, and righties Shintaro Fujinami and Jorge Lopez. Do they all have control issues? Yes, but if the Mets can help alleviate those concerns, this will be a tremendous bullpen in 2024.