New York Mets: Much of 2019 season will rely on Mickey Callaway’s ability to manage

New York Mets. Mickey Callaway (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
New York Mets. Mickey Callaway (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

The New York Mets’ roster is much better than it was last year for first year Manager Mickey Callaway, but that just means he is going to have to be even better himself. Much of 2019 rides on his ability to manage.

The New York Mets are flexing their muscles this season and seem to think they are going for it in 2019 but, they aren’t getting anywhere without Mickey Callaway calling the correct shots.

The Mets’ roster has seen significant turnover this offseason. Out are some aging players with horrible contracts and in are new players out to prove themselves on rookie or short-term deals.

However, with all the Mets’ moves this offseason, and we have covered each and every one of them, there is one direct correlation to most of them.

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They can play multiple positions.

Jed Lowrie, J.D. Davis, Robinson Cano, Keon Broxton, all of them. All of those player are capable of playing multiple different positions and most of them will be doing so.

Then, the Mets also brought in new players in the bullpen. They re-signed Jeurys Familia, brought in lefty specialist Justin Wilson, and traded for Edwin Diaz.

They already have starters turned bullpen arms in Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo.

Familia can be a closer and set up man. Same with Diaz. The rest will need to be used properly based on situational needs.

Heck, even the catchers can be missed with. If for some odd reason the Mets want both Travis d’Arnaud and new addition Wilson Ramos in the lineup at the same time, d’Arnaud has played the infield before.

Somewhere lurking are still players like Dominic Smith, T.J. Rivera, and at some point Peter Alonso.

Then, the biggest player addition of the offseason is Cano, so you would imagine he will need some days off in his age 36 season.

Same will go with Todd Frazier who is entering his age 33 season and his first year being injury riddled.

Then, there is the Amed Rosario dilemma where he was right on the cusp of a breakout as last season ended, you don’t want to halt his progress.

Jed Lowrie is the poster free-agent signing from this offseason he is not going to spend a lot of time coming in off the bench.

The outfield is not going to be overstuffed, per se, but will be filled with Juan Lagares, Brandon Nimmo, Michael Conforto, and Keon Broxton. All of them could play any position in the outfield.

You following? There are so many options I probably forgot some.

Yeah, there are a lot, almost endless possibilities for the Mets lineup this season. Whatever it is in April will likely not be the same it is by September.

This early projection and roles I am assigning does not even include what can be done at the trade deadline, who comes out of spring training, and the injury bug.

And how could we forget the rotation. Mickey Callaway’s specialty is pitching. He has one of the best four man starters in the game.

Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, and Steven Matz. Jason Vargas is looming in there too, but struggled more than he succeeded in 2018 and comes with a lot of question marks.

The Mets should still be in the running for another starting pitcher, but could revery back to Lugo or Gsellman.

So, to get back to the namesake of this article, that is why a lot of this season rides on the mind of Mickey Callaway.

“He is in the fast lane to manager of the year now. There are not a lot of teams that have the depth the Mets have. Callaway has the choice of what to do with it.”

He is going to be able to put players basically any where he wants on any given at bat. Lefty vs lefty, righty vs righty, righty vs lefty. Infield in infield out. Shift no shift.

Lowrie at third, second or short. Rosario at short or second. Frazier at first or third. Conforto at center or left. Nimmo at left right or center. J.D. Davis anywhere.

Diaz as closer or based on matchup or night with Familia as closer.

Swap Lugo for Vargas for the last rotation spot.

Cano will be at second but if he needs a night off he can come off the bench or even be the DH in the American League parks.

Now, Mickey Callaway will not be out there playing in the actual baseball games. It will be on the players to go out an execute and do their jobs. However, he has a mangers dream. There are really no situations he does not have.

With all these options comes even more pressure. There is no room for complacency. If something is not working in the lineup, he needs to shuffle it around.

He cannot afford to have him or his people have lapses in judgement that we saw last year like batting out of order.

Every great team needs a great leader. While Callaway does not pull all the final strings in Flushing Meadows, he can control what he does with the talent given to him.

It is his job to execute each and every move and situation perfectly. It his job to set his players up to succeed and put them in the game or lineup where he will max out their potential.

I am not saying the Mets have the most talented roster in baseball. Every great manager knows how to let star players succeed and be stars, like Alex Cora in Boston who did an outstanding job.

But, what Callaway has been given is plenty of opportunity to get things right. He is in the fast lane to manager of the year now. There are not a lot of teams that have the depth the Mets have. Callaway has the choice of what to do with it.

The Mets might be a good team in 2019 in spite of the payroll issues and in spite of what the Phillies or other division rivals decide to do with their money and free agency.

However, the Mets will not be a contending team like they claim if they cannot get out of their own way.

Not being in their own way includes Mickey Callaway and his ability to manage every situation and play small ball perfectly with the pieces he has in place.

If Callaway makes the wrong decisions, the Mets could find themselves out of it early. Let’s just hope he knows right to do all season long.

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