The 2023 New York Mets are a different team from the 2022 New York Mets. Every season is different from the previous season and it did not take long for fans to realize it this year. It started before we even got to Opening Day.
Injuries and less reliability in rotation makes this years Mets team more volatile
One big difference between this year's Mets team compared to last is the rash of injuries. Last year the Mets stayed relatively healthy. The only major injury they had was Jacob deGrom missing the first half of the season and even then he returned in time for the stretch run.
This year before the season even started we lost the best closer in baseball, Edwin Diaz. He is expected to miss the entire season which moves everyone in the bullpen up a notch. It means the Mets are going to have to rely on lower-quality relievers to get important outs this year.
The Mets also lost key rotation member Jose Quintana until July at the earliest. Quintana was expected to replace Taijuan Walker in the Mets rotation. His absence was not the end of the world but combined with Justin Verlander missing the start of the season it means depth options like David Peterson and Tylor Megill are needed right from the start.
There are a bunch of depth bullpen pieces out injured to start the season as well, limiting the Mets options to replace unproductive arms in the majors.
Omar Narvaez is expected to miss two months with a calf strain, forcing Francisco Alvarez up before he is ready. Alvarez being up is exciting, but from the way Buck Showalter is talking, he is up as backup and not an everyday option. This hurts his development and hurts the Mets in the short and long term.
The best part of the 2022 Mets was their reliability. The rotation was steady and mostly healthy. You knew what to expect from them as Chris Bassitt and Taijuan Walker were high-floor, low-ceiling arms. They were good for 6 innings and a quality start almost every time out. This year the Mets are relying on more unknown quantities.
Kodai Senga is a high-upside starter but is probably going to go through growing pains given all the adjustments he has to make coming over from Japan. David Peterson and Tylor Megill have good potential but are less consistent than the veterans Bassitt and Walker.
The good news is that while the Mets have less reliability this season, they have a higher upside. Senga at his best is better than Bassitt or Walker. Francisco Alvarez could turn into the high-impact bat the Mets need at the catcher position. Brett Baty, Mark Vientos, and Ronny Mauricio are at Triple-A ready to fill in if needed. The Mets are not at their best to start this season but that is a trade I will be willing to make if they are playing at their best to end the season.