7 things for Mets fans to look forward to in 2022

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·5 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Max Scherzer, Steve Cohen and Jacob deGrom treated image
Max Scherzer, Steve Cohen and Jacob deGrom treated image

It is February in Port St. Lucie, Fla., the first day that pitchers and catchers will work out (we’d offer a precise date, but that’s up to the spoilsports in the MLB labor battle, isn’t it?). The sun is shining, a warm breeze is pushing palm fronds around and the Mets rotation is preparing to start work.

Five starters, including perhaps the two best in the game today, saunter up bullpen mounds at Clover Park. We see Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer, both in Mets uniforms, begin to throw. If the Mets have any sense of the moment, the twin aces will be on mounds next to each other.

It’s a Spring Training staple to have rotation work together, fit for a photo op and a terrific way to get geeked for 2022. The idea that deGrom and Scherzer – or Scherzer and deGrom, whatever – will top the rotation in the upcoming season unlocks all kinds of possibilities for the Mets.

That’s why it’s No. 1 on SNY’s list of seven things for Mets fans to look forward to in the New Year. Baseball’s return, hope, the sound of a baseball slamming into a catcher’s mitt at high speed – this snapshot of two pitchers with five Cy Youngs between them has it all.

Nothing’s guaranteed, of course. But if the Mets could get 60 starts or so from that pair, the club’s recent losing will be so last year.

But the deGrom-Scherzer symbol is just one of the items on our list looking at what should be, at the very least, a fascinating 2022 for the Mets. Read on to ponder the rest, which are presented in no particular order.

All the Right Moves?

The Mets have already been active this winter and, hopefully, when the MLB lockout ends and transactions are back on, there’s more to come. Kris Bryant? Carlos Rodón? Both? The rotation and the bullpen both need attention and the trade market could come into play as the Mets look to supplement their pitching. Perhaps the Reds would part with Luis Castillo, though he’d cost a pretty prospect package. Worth noting – again – that the Mets used 19 starting pitchers last season, tied for the most in the Majors, and used 42 pitchers overall, tying an MLB record for a single season. It takes a lot of arm inventory to get through a year, which leads us to our next item.

All the Right Moves, the Sequel

With everything the Mets have done this off-season – Scherzer, Starling Marte, Mark Canha, Eduardo Escobar, plus the deals to come – it got us thinking about what could be a thrilling trade deadline. How will they address potential weaknesses or injury problems that have popped up during the season? If the Mets are in contention – they’d better be, right? – Steve Cohen and his front office should provide a fascinating run-up to July 31.

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals and the National League and Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets and the National League stand in the outfield during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 16: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals and the National League and Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets and the National League stand in the outfield during Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Nationals Park on July 16, 2018 in Washington, DC.

It’s Showalter Time

New manager Buck Showalter seems to be the right man at the right time for a win-now Mets team that could use some guidance. A 2022 highlight will be watching not only his mastery of bullpen management and in-game maneuvers, but his influence on the Mets clubhouse, too.

Got Drama?

We’re interested to see how the Mets untangle the Robinson Canó situation. He was suspended for all of 2021 after his second PED suspension, he’s 39 years old and the Mets owe him $40.5 million over the next two seasons. That’s quite a mix. The last time Canó played, he was pretty good, recording a .316/.352/.544 slash line and 10 homers in 49 games in 2020’s shortened season. Will he have anything left two years later? Could he play second base regularly? Maybe there will be moving parts that will lead to a resolution and maybe the DH will be installed in the National League, which would help the Mets. Whatever happens, it’s got a spectacle quality and fans of intrigue won’t be able to turn away.

New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) reacts after his solo home run in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park.
New York Mets second baseman Robinson Cano (24) reacts after his solo home run in the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park.

Bounceback Citi

Tons of ink and links have already been used on the possibility of seeing a better Francisco Lindor in ‘22 and, for $341 million, it had better happen. But there are other Mets looking to rebound after disappointing years, including Jeff McNeil and Dominic Smith. We are going to focus on James McCann here. He was an upgrade behind the plate and even though he didn’t reach his high standards throwing out basestealers (27%, down from his career mark of 35%), he was still above MLB average. The real boost needs to come at the plate, though. Over 2019-20, McCann had 25 homers and a .808 OPS in 149 games, establishing higher expectations on offense. In 121 games as a Met, in the first season of a four-year contract, he had a .643 OPS and 10 homers.

(Don’t) Stop, Thief!

The stolen base has not really been a big weapon in Queens in recent years. They were tied for 24th in MLB with 54 steals last year. Since 2015, they’ve averaged 55 steals per year, not counting the shortened 2020 season. Marte, the new center fielder, swiped an MLB-best 47 last year between Miami and Oakland. Here’s hoping the Mets utilize this skill. Speed is fun, and it’s not just for running down balls in the outfield. But we’re looking forward to watching Marte do that, too.

What’s Next?

We enjoy following prospects because they are basically dreams in cleats. No one knows what impact some of the Mets’ high-end farm talent will ever have on the big club, but there are some significant players to keep an eye on, whether they end up as future stars, someday-reinforcements or trade chips. Here’s a few hitters: Francisco Alvarez, Brett Baty, Ronny Mauricio and Mark Vientos. Matt Allan, who could miss part of 2022 as he rehabs from Tommy John surgery, and J.T. Ginn are pitchers who are highly-ranked, too. Set Google alerts during the minor-league season and gauge their progress.