Mets prepare for first doubleheader of 2022, and a hole has already emerged in their lineup
After a rainout Monday, New York gets ready for a doubleheader vs the Giants on Tuesday afternoon. Plus, the Mets have a big hole in their lineup – even with the DH.
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾️
The Mets fell victim to their first rainout of the season on Monday night — the game has now been rescheduled as part of a single-admission doubleheader starting this afternoon
Programming note: For the first time since 2019, doubleheaders are a full nine innings once again
RHP Max Scherzer will pitch at home as a Met for the first time tonight — in 14 career starts, Scherzer is 10-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 12.1 K/9 at Citi Field
RHP Taijuan Walker will pitch in an extended spring training game this week, followed by a short major league rehab assignment before returning to the Mets rotation
Today’s Game(s)! 🗓
Match-up: Mets (7-3) vs. Giants (7-2)
Where: Citi Field — Flushing, NY
Starters: Tylor Megill (2-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Alex Cobb (1-0, 3.60 ERA)
When: 3:10 PM EST
Starters: Max Scherzer (2-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. Logan Webb (1-0, 1.29 ERA)
When: 7:10 PM EST
The DH is here, but the Mets have a new hole in their nine-spot 📝
When the National League adopted the designated hitter for good this past offseason, that was officially supposed to put an end to an automatic out in the nine-spot of the lineup.
Apparently, nobody told the Mets.
Okay, look, that’s probably a bit harsh considering that we’re just a paltry ten games into this season, so take all of these stats with a grain of salt. That being said, these are merely just more extreme versions of trends carrying over from the season that came before this one.
To start the year, Mets catchers — who have almost exclusively batted out of the nine-spot — are 5-for-32 at the plate with a .156/.222/.156 slashline, .378 OPS, zero extra-base hits and two RBI. And while both backstops have struggled, James McCann (on year two of a four-year contract) is having a particularly rough go at it with a negative 5 OPS+ to start the campaign.
And while it is extremely unlikely that the club’s two catchers will continue to hit below the interstate for the duration of the season, it’s clear this is not going to be a position of strength for this offense in 2022. And though Francisco Álvarez, one of the top prospects in all of baseball, is off to a sizzling .375/.429/1.000 start this season, there is no clear backstop bacl-up plan in sight as he is already the youngest player in Double-A and is not projected to make his major league debut this season.
This early into a season, it’s often not even worth looking at individual statistics such as these and coming to a conclusion. And while no one should expect this level of offensive ineptitude to continue long-term, this is a club that got a combined .568 OPS and 62 OPS+ from this same catching group splitting duties in 2021, so it is likely that this could ultimately morph into an area of need when the trade deadline comes around in a few months.
Until then, the Mets will need to rely on the rest of their lineup to do the far majority of the damage and hope that the defense provided by both McCann and Tomás Nido, in addition to their managing of the pitching staff, justifies their presence on a daily basis.
Around the League 🚩
1B Freddie Freeman hit a home run in his first at-bat against the Braves in the Dodgers’ 7-4 win on Monday
OF Seiya Suzuki’s 9-game hitting streak is the longest for a Cubs batter to start their MLB career since Andy Pafko in 1943
Astros DH Yordan Alvarez returned from the IL and hit two home runs while driving in four in the club’s 8-3 victory over the Angels
LHP Tony Watson officially announce his retirement after 11 seasons (The Athletic)
The Oakland A’s placed six players on the COVID-19 list, including former Mets infielder Jed Lowrie
RHP Jake Arrieta officially announced his retirement on Monday