It's Opening Day! What to expect from the Mets in 2022
A look at the Mets roster moves ahead of Opening Day. Plus, the Just Mets round table makes their predictions for the season.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The start time of New York’s first game of the season was moved back to 7:05 PM EST tonight
RHP Tylor Megill was named as the team’s Opening Day starter, per manager Buck Showalter
OF Travis Jankowski and LHP Chasen Shreve officially made the club’s Opening Day roster
RHP Jordan Yamamoto and 2B Travis Blankenhorn have been designated for assignment
Brandon Nimmo (neck stiffness) took batting practice and shagged fly balls during the club’s workout at Nationals Park on Wednesday and is optimistic he will be available for opening day
Nimmo told reporters the Mets did not engage his agents regarding a contract extension during spring training
RHP Max Scherzer threw a normal side session during the club’s workout at Nationals Park on Wednesday
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets at Nationals
Where: Nationals Park — Washington, D.C.
Starters: Tylor Megill vs. Patrick Corbin
When: 7:05 PM EST
Where to Watch: SNY
Just Mets Round Table: 2022 Season Expectations 📝
Michael Baron — 88-74, Wild Card
The Mets have unquestionably positioned their roster to score more runs than they did in 2021. They have a new look, that of more athleticism and speed and procured personalities which should help their culture and cohesiveness through the ebbs and flows of the long season.
But their fate will lie on the mound. Of course, the injury to Jacob deGrom will serve as an immediate hit, but their long-term chances will be determined by his ability to return and stay on the mound as well. In addition, while they’ve checked the boxes with two left-handers in the bullpen by procuring Joely Rodríguez and awarding Chasen Shreve a roster spot, it remains to be seen how effective they are at neutralizing the big left-handed hitters in the NL East, namely Juan Soto on the now rebuilding Nationals, a team the Mets must own if they’re going to win the division.
Also, I’ll take, “Don’t ever stop worrying about Edwin Díaz’s ability to close a big game” for $1000, Alex.
Overall, as constructed, this should be a playoff team, especially with the expanded field and the DH to help boost their offense. But at the moment, they’re a notch below the Braves who have a more complete pitching staff with fewer questions from innings 1-9.
Rich MacLeod — 92-70, NL East Champions
Okay, if you were to ask me if I feel good about this prediction, I’d probably tell you I wouldn’t. As with many seasons that came before it, this Mets campaign could come down to quite a few number of “ifs” — none greater than the return or non-return of Jacob deGrom. It is obvious how important he is to this club’s success, and you don’t have to look any further than that the club was 17 games under .500 last year after he made his final start of the season in early July.
There are quite a few other “ifs” for this team, as well, like will Francisco Lindor bounce-back in his second season in New York? How much does Carlos Carrasco have left in the tank? Are Brandon Nimmo and Taijuan Walker healthy? Can Max Scherzer go all-out as he’s done is years past at age 37? And there’s no telling what other teams in the division, specifically the Braves, will look like after making additions of their own this offseason.
But what is different about this club is their makeup and the people running the show. This is a team that is being led by a veteran manager with an unbelievable wealth of experience both in this town and in the postseason. They cleaned out the locker room, bringing in not only proven clubhouse leaders but also players that bring big-time production along with them in Scherzer, Chris Bassitt, Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha. And it should no longer be in doubt that if this team has a hole they need to fill midseason, they will be aggressive and act by the trade deadline.
For those reasons, things feel different about this Mets team — even if the final week of spring injuries gives us all PTSD about the cursed teams of yore. Right now, this just feels like a different team that is ready to win maybe win big. And while things could go oh-so-wrong as they did last season, perhaps this is the year when things go right. They’ve certainly got the pieces, the money and the ammo to make it happen.
Justin Mears — 91-71, NL East Champions
I’ve been extremely bullish on this Mets team since the lockout was lifted, and even though the starting pitching drama of the past week should temper some of that enthusiasm, it honestly hasn’t.
As Mike alluded to above, the Mets are going to score more runs and score them more consistently than they did a year ago. Starling Marte in particular adds a speed dimension New York just hasn’t had since José Reyes’ heyday. Francisco Lindor is almost certainly going to be better in year two in Queens, and Pete Alonso is as dangerous a power threat as there is in the game today. A supporting offensive cast of Brandon Nimmo, Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, Dominic Smith and others should combine to gave the Mets a plenty dangerous everyday line-up.
That said, the Mets are going to win or lose the NL East on the mound. Jacob deGrom’s injury has sapped a lot of the excitement away from opening day, but let’s try our best to not be so dramatic. The reason New York was viewed as a viable World Series threat just a couple of weeks ago was the fact that deGrom, Max Scherzer, and Chris Bassitt are as good a 1-3 as there is in the game today. As much as it sucks that deGrom is going to miss the first two months, if the Mets have their big trio healthy and firing on all cylinders down the stretch, they’re going to be in good shape.
The back end of the rotation does give me a little bit of anxiety — I need to see Carlos Carrasco pitch for New York the way he did for Cleveland, and Taijuan Walker’s second half last year was understandably concerning. I’m going to make a bold prediction that the Mets fortify their staff with a midseason trade for a starter — Oakland’s Frankie Montas comes to mind — and are able to narrowly edge out Atlanta in September to win the division. Don’t worry Mike, Edwin Díaz punches out Matt Olson with the tying run on base to clinch the division crown in that final weekend series in Atlanta.
Linda Surovich — 83-79, Wild Card
This team definitely saw the shortcomings of the 2021 season and attempted to address them in the offseason. The big additions of Eduardo Escobar, Mark Canha, Starling Marte, and of course Max Scherzer were all positive additions that should make the team better on paper. Unfortunately so did the rest of the division.
The Braves are the reigning champs, and even though the let Freddie Freeman walk, they now have Matt Olson who, at worst, is Freeman-lite. The Phillies’ defense might be hilarious but with the additions of Kyle Schwarber and Nick Castellanos, the Philadelphia offense has the potential to be lethal. The Nationals will probably be bad and the Marlins will still be their usual pesky Marlins selves so the Mets will be in a dogfight for the division.
In the offseason the Mets could’ve added more offensive firepower in Kris Bryant but they passed. They signed the best centerfielder on the market and then proceeded to move him to right field, and now they are counting on bounceback seasons from basically the entire team. What are the odds of an entire team underperforming well below their career norms yet again? Probably slim but the foundation to the Mets season relies on hope.
The additions of Adam Ottavino and Joely Rodríguez are again solid moves but they take a good bullpen and keep it good but they don’t elevate it to a great bullpen, especially if Seth Lugo and Edwin Díaz continue to struggle.
Unfortunately the biggest buzz around the team was their starting rotation and that has already evaporated. Jacob deGrom is out for the foreseeable future, Max Scherzer has a hamstring issue, and Taijuan Walker said his knee started bothering him in his last tune up. Scherzer and Walker’s injuries could end up being nothing but it is not how one would ideally like to start the season especially after losing the ace of all aces. You can’t win the division in the first two months of the year but you can certainly lose it and this team needs to make sure things don’t spiral quickly on them.
Overall this is a good team that will most likely make the playoffs but probably won’t be able to compete with the likes of Dodgers out west come October. Prove me wrong Mets.
Around the League 🚩
The Guardians and 3B José Ramírez agreed to a five-year, $124 million contract extension (Passan)
3B Rafael Devers turned down a contract extension from the Red Sox during Spring Training (Z101)
The Padres have discussed trading RHP Chris Paddack to the Twins in exchange for LHP Taylor Rogers (San Diego Union-Tribune)
The Brewers officially acquired C Víctor Caratini from the Padres in exchange for C Brett Sullivan and OF Korry Howell
Cardinals RHP Jordan Hicks, a career reliever, has been named as the team’s fifth starter (MLB.com)
Tigers 1B/3B Spencer Torkelson (Detroit No. 1 ranked prospect) has made the team’s Opening Day roster
The Padres are reportedly signing former Mets OF Jake Marisnick (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
Former Mets LHP Oliver Pérez officially made the Dbacks Opening Day roster