The New York Mets had a disappointing season in 2023: the team had a high ceiling going into the season, but they failed to even make the playoffs For a team with World Series expectations, aspirations, and a record payroll, there's no doubt this was underwhelming.
Now, as other MLB teams get their postseason underway, the Mets start to turn their attention to 2024. It started with firing manager Buck Showalter and appointing David Stearns as the President of Baseball Operations on Monday. There will be some huge changes for New York by Opening Day next year and fans need to buckle up for the offseason.
Moreover, the Mets need to take a step forward in 2024. With the talent on the roster, a 75-87 record was unacceptable. In 2024, the team will aim to take a step forward. This might not mean a World Series, but making the postseason and playing meaningful baseball needs to be the floor.
In order to have success in 2024, there are a few major things that need to happen for the Mets. If these three things all come to fruition, look for a much more successful and fun season come next year.
The Mets need better pitching behind Kodai Senga
One of the most positive developments for New York in 2023 was Kodai Senga, who established himself as an ace for the Mets. Senga finished the season with a 12-7 record, 2.98 record and 202 strikeouts; he also became the second Mets rookie pitcher ever to have 200+ strikeouts, Dwight Gooden being the other.
But, as the Mets learned this season, one pitcher cannot get it done. This is why New York faltered throughout the season. Whether it was Max Scherzer or Justin Verlander before they were both shipped to Texas and Houston, David Peterson, Carlos Carrasco, Tylor Megill, or someone else, consistency was an issue for the Mets pitching staff.
The hope is Senga can put up a similar year next season - he emerged as one of the top pitchers in the MLB during his rookie year and this is a strong foundation to build on - but the Mets need better pitching behind him. Whether this comes from a combination of Peterson, Megill and others or new pitchers brought in during the offseason, the Mets need a strong staff.
In many of their successful years, such as 2015 and 2016, the Mets built their team around a strong staff, which included Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom (before he was a Cy Young winner), Steven Matz and more. All were able to be reliable as the Mets made it to the postseason. This is the same with 2022, where Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Taijuan Walker and Carrasco made up a great staff before getting Cy Young deGrom back. This was one of the best staffs in baseball in 2022.
The message is clear: not only the Mets, but any team, needs good pitching to have successful seasons. For New York, it starts with bolstering the staff behind Senga.