With the arrival of 2022, Major League Baseball remains embroiled in a lockout as both sides attempt to negotiate and agree to a new collective bargaining agreement. Meanwhile, the New York Mets are waiting for an agreement to be ratified before they could resume their free agency spending, which has been massive thus far.
Given the current standstill when it comes to free agency, this extended time off provides us an opportunity to evaluate the Mets players who are returning to the team in 2022, and what they can improve on once the season starts.
For this list, I decided to examine five of the Mets starting pitchers (Jacob deGrom, Carlos Carrasco, Taijuan Walker, David Peterson, and Tylor Megill) and discuss what they can improve on in order to get the Mets back to the postseason in 2022.
2022 Resolution: Stay healthy
Would you have expected something else here?
deGrom’s health is going to be the big X-factor for the Mets this season. Although the signing of ace Max Scherzer certainly helps and provides deGrom with much needed support behind him, the fact remains that deGrom is the team’s best player, and they will only go as far as deGrom takes them.
Even with the addition of Max Scherzer, Jacob deGrom remains the team's ace, but he needs to stay on the mound and avoid stints on the IL.
deGrom’s absence to the Mets last year was destabilizing in multiple ways. First, it threw the starting rotation into disarray. Although Marcus Stroman pitched well last season for the Mets and stayed healthy, he wasn’t the number one ace that deGrom was. The other Mets pitchers, including Walker, Carrasco, Megill, and Peterson, were not able to rise to the occasion to pick up the slack as they dealt with injuries, maladies, and performance struggles of their own.
Second, deGrom’s prolonged absence impacted the team mentally. When he went down, a general perception permeated that a Mets team without deGrom would not be able to be a threat in the National League East. Based on how the offense performed during deGrom’s starts and after he went down, the Mets played like a deflated team.
For the Mets to get into the postseason in 2022, deGrom needs to remain healthy and dominant atop the team’s rotation.