Mets power rankings of despair: 5 biggest causes of grief in 2023

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

When looking at the New York Mets season, its harder to narrow down what has gone wrong to a few bullet points, considering not much as gone right at all. Regardless, these five points stand out above the rest as key reasons the Mets continue to find themselves in the loss column.

5. Francisco Lindor has been in a season long slump for the Mets

After appearing to start to regain his old form in 2022, Francisco Lindor has regressed once again. Hitting a career low .216 with 62 strikeouts, Lindor has been the subject of much criticism from Mets fans. With eight more seasons remaining in his $341 million contract, Lindor and his salary might become a negative asset sooner than expected.

Lindor is lower on this list due to his clutch factor; he is second on the team in RBI's despite his lack of success otherwise. Regardless, this team needs more from their star, and the lack of success so far can be directly tied to the Mets struggles.

4. The Mets bullpen has been overworked and underperforming

With a 4.32 ERA that ranks amongst some of the worst in baseball, the Mets bullpen has been responsible for many of the losses they've incurred this season. Outside of David Robertson, nobody has stepped up and been a reliable option for a team that desperately needs one. This was on full display in the Braves series as the team blew several leads over the sweep.

Not all of these poor performances are solely on the bullpen; Mets starters have had a lack of success going deep into games all season, so the bullpen has been seeing constant action. Still, if the Mets don't upgrade their bullpen via trade, it will be a major reason for their lack of success.

3. The Mets $40 million pitchers have yet to perform anywhere close to their contracts

When the Mets signed Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander for $43 million each a season, the risks were obvious. However, their regression this season has been far worse than anticipated, and they're a major reason why the Mets remain below .500.

Thus far Scherzer and Verlander are a combined 7-5 with a 4.40 ERA. The former Cy Young winners have been a shell of their former selves, which is heartbreaking given how Verlander won the award last season. With both pitchers having underperforming against the Braves as well, they are running out of chances to live up to those exuberant salaries.

2. Buck Showalter's lineup decisions (and Daniel Vogelbach) have hurt the Mets

The biggest thing we've learned this season is how much Buck Showalter is against the "Baby Mets" movement. It took an injury and poor performances for the team to play Francisco Alvarez and Brett Baty, and both have hit better than their counterparts. The team took far too long to make those decisions while the losses continued to mount.

The biggest lineup issue still remaining is Showalter's need to continue to play Daniel Vogelbach. A DH with no power, Vogelbach is hitting just .203 and over 31% of his at bats have been a strikeout. Meanwhile, Mark Vientos continues ride the bench, wasting opportunities for development despite the offense needing a spark. Vogelbach's role must be reduced (or removed) if the Mets want any hope of saving their season.

1. This Mets team plays with no urgency or accountability from top to bottom

Simply put, the Mets have yet to show much heart this season. The team appears unmotivated and lacks that spark needed to make a serious push as a contender. This starts from the top down, with Buck Showalter refusing to hold his team accountable despite the losses piling up, including this comment yesterday about how proud he was of the team despite the sweep.

A 162 game season is a marathon, and every team needs to be emotionally invested if they want to be a World Series contender. So far, the Mets players and managers have yet to show that level of intensity that is needed for a team with such high hopes, and as a result the team has gotten off to its horrible start.