New York Mets: Five lessons learned in the first half of 2019

Manager Mickey Callaway, New York Mets. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Manager Mickey Callaway, New York Mets. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets
Keon Broxton, New York Mets. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images) /

4. Depth Quality vs Depth Quantity

One of Van Wagenen’s changes in organizational philosophy was to fill the Mets AAA roster at Syracuse with major league ready veterans trying to make it back to the show. It worked up to a point. When injuries struck early in the year, players such as Adeiny Hechavarria, Rajai Davis, and Carlos Gomez came up to New York to fill the vacant spots.

On the whole, these guys didn’t make much of a dent. Hechavarria had some clutch hits early on, but he’s got the second-lowest season batting average of his eight-year Major League career at .223. He’s still on the roster, because of his defense at the middle infield positions. Otherwise, the retreads haven’t fared near as well.

J.D. Davis has filled in at several different positions and proved he belongs, and Dominic Smith has been a pleasant surprise at the plate. Again, maybe a healthy Jed Lowrie would have made a difference. Then again, it’s hard to see how one man could change the entire depth of a team.

Championship teams generally don’t have the caliber of players such as Luis Guillorme, Walker Lockett, Paul Sewald, and Chris Flexen. As mentioned previously, quality depth in the bullpen is as important as a good bench.

5. The “IT” factor or lack thereof

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Whatever “it” is, the New York Mets don’t possess. There is nothing about this team, that screams we have “it.” Seriously, look at teams like the one in the Bronx. Those guys have plenty of “it.” There is a swagger there that hasn’t been seen in Flushing for years. As mentioned earlier, they had injuries, just like the Mets did. Unlike the Mets, they never lost their swagger.

Looking at the boys in orange and blue, where is their “it.” Pete Alonso, Jacob deGrom, Dom Smith, and Jeff McNeil have shown their fair share of “it” individually. As a team, however, the New York Mets fall flat just about everywhere. Total pitching (the pen in particular), total hitting, clutch hitting, and pitching through tight situations are all fails.

This is an area where Van Wagenen must step up. He’s got to not only find more players who have “it,” but can also incorporate their “it” within the team. When this season started, the Mets seemed to have some “mojo,” but that was short-lived. To his credit, I think BVW sees this team is lacking and the adjustments he’ll make in the upcoming offseason, this time around will be a bit different.

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