Mets blow the Cubs away at Wrigley, and two more DH targets to consider this summer
The Mets blank the Cubs 8-0, Jacob deGrom dominates again on rehab, and new names for the Mets' DH search
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
The Mets steamrolled the Cubs 8-0 in the opener of their four game weekend series (Box)
Jacob deGrom made his third rehab start —this time with Triple-A Syracuse—and went four innings without allowing an earned run
Brandon Nimmo went 3-4, homered, and finished a triple short of the cycle
Pete Alonso crushed a two-run home run that pulled him even with David Wright for the club’s record of 74 RBI before the all-star break
Alonso homered for the sixth time in eight career games at Wrigley Field
Carlos Carrasco went six scoreless innings and earned his team high 10th win - he’s the seventh pitcher this season to reach the 10-win mark
Trevor Williams pitched three scoreless innings to close the game out, notching his first career save
Starling Marte returned to the line-up after missing four games, and registered two hits and an RBI
Patrick Mazeika started behind the plate and delivered a big two run double down the right field line in the Mets’ three run third
The Mets are now 28-19 on the road, 9-5 in July, 23-6 in series openers, 13-3 in series openers on the road, 10-4 against the National League Central, 16-1 when scoring eight or more runs, and recorded their 14th shutout win of the year
Who’s Hot 🔥
Francisco Lindor extended his hitting streak to eight games in which he’s homered three times and driven in eight runs - he is hitting .278/.297/.611 during that span
Brandon Nimmo is 5-for-his-last-9 with a double and a homer
Carlos Carrasco has allowed three earned runs in 17.1 IP over three starts in July
Roster Moves 📰
INF/OF Jeff McNeil was activated off the paternity list
OF Ender Inciarte was designated for assignment
Jacob deGrom in Syracuse 📸
Today’s Game 🗓
Match-up: Mets (56-34) @ Cubs (34-55)
Where: Wrigley Field — Chicago, Illinois
Starters: RHP Taijuan Walker (7-2, 2.63 ERA) vs RHP Marcus Stroman (2-5, 4.91 ERA)
When: 2:20 PM EDT
Where to Watch: SNY
Two more DH options for the Mets?📝
The Mets need for an impact power bat ahead of the trade deadline is far from a secret. After all, outside of Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor this team has struggled to hit the ball out of the ballpark with any regularity and their lineup imbalance has been well chronicled over the last six weeks.
They’ve been connected to virtually every potentially available power hitter the last couple of weeks. We’ve all heard the names Josh Bell, Nelson Cruz, Brandon Drury, Trey Mancini, Andrew Benintendi, etc.
But there are a couple of names which should be added to the Mets shopping list this summer, perhaps a little less obvious than the popular players in the crowd.
First off is Arizona’s Christian Walker.
The Diamondbacks first baseman has not exactly hit for average in 2022–he’s currently slashing .205/.319/.460.
But he does hit home runs.
Walker has already launched 21 home runs, which, if you’re keeping score at home is 18 more than Dom Smith and JD Davis have combined to provide.
Walker would also solve another issue that has plagued the Mets’ offense in the first half: Scoring runs against left handed pitching. The veteran right handed slugger is hitting .292 against left-handed pitching—compared to only .178 against right-handed pitching. With the Mets, he’d probably end up in a DH platoon—against righties they’d likely generally keep all of Mark Canha, Jeff McNeil, Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme in the lineup with one of them DH’ing.
Contractually, Walker is in his first year of arbitration eligibility, meaning he’d be under team control for two years after this. On a Diamondbacks team going nowhere fast, a 31-year-old low average first baseman is not exactly part of their long term future.
And from the Mets standpoint, with someone like Mark Vientos waiting in the wings to hopefully be an impact offensive player for this team at some point, they wouldn’t have to be fear being married to the Walker addition for the duration of his contract. They can always find a taker for a cost efficient 30+ home run bat.
The prospect cost for a hitter like Walker should not be as high as some of the more high profile names New York has reportedly been exploring. And for a team hoping to plug some of their roster deficiencies ahead of the trade deadline, it’s important to leave no stone unturned and pursue every available option. Walker should therefore be on Billy Eppler’s whiteboard as a fit as a Mets deadline target.
In addition, there’s José Abreu who is an ideal fit for this Mets lineup.
The 35-year-old first baseman is in the final year of his contract on a White Sox club that has meandered all year around controversy and underperformance. He has netted 35 extra base hits so far this season (24 doubles, 11 home runs) and his .301/.382/.472 line indicates a contact-like approach which would fit easily into a Mets lineup which already employs that philosophy well. He is two years removed from winning the American League MVP Award in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and while he might be falling short of the home run and RBI pace he had in 2021, he’s produced a 142 OPS+ in 87 games with the White Sox so far this season.
Now, a lot depends on what the White Sox decide to do over the next few weeks. They currently sit four games behind the Twins in the American League Central and are 44-45 on the year, just 2.5 games out of the third Wild Card spot (this is the issue for a lot of teams on the bubble of buying and selling this summer). But if the White Sox fall out of contention or decide to capitalize on a seller’s market, Abreu will be a valuable trade piece and the Mets shouldn’t be shy about procuring his services if he becomes available.
Down on the Farm 🌾
Khalil Lee (OF, No. 7 Prospect, Triple-A): 2-for-3, RBI, R
José Butto (SP, No. 12 Prospect, Double-A): (W) 6.2 IP 1 ER 7 H 0 BB 6 K 1 HR
José Peroza (3B, No. 29 Prospect, Single-A): 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI)
Around the League 🚩
Matt Olson, Dansby Swanson, and Michael Harris all homered for the Braves in their 5-4 win over the Nationals
The Reds scored six runs against the Yankees bullpen and edged the Bombers 7-6 in ten innings
Brian Anderson delivered a two run walk-off triple to lift the Marlins to a victory over Pittsburgh
Triston McKenzie shut out the Tigers over eight innings as the Guardians blanked Detroit 4-0
Despite missing 10 players because they were unvaccinated, Kansas City scrateched out a 3-1 win in Toronto
The White Sox crushed Minnesota 12-2 and got a no doubter of a grand slam from Luis Robert in the process
The Giants placed veteran lefty Jake McGee on release waivers after designating him for assignment last week
Tampa Bay shut down righty Shane Baz for four weeks because of an elbow strain