Pete Alonso's 3-Pete bid halted, Jacob deGrom's sim game, and the calm before the storm
Pete Alonso reached the semifinals in the 2022 Home Run Derby, but failed to advance thanks to the Julio Rodriguez light show
What’s Up with the Mets? ⚾
Pete Alonso lost in the semi-final round to Mariners rookie star Julio Rodriguez in the 2022 Home Run Derby in Los Angeles 31-23 - he would have been the first player ever to win three-straight home run derby contests
With Alonso having reached the semi-final round, tickets to all Monday-Friday home games at Citi Field (minus the subway series) are 30% off (more info here)
Longtime Mets spanish radio broadcaster Juan Alicea passed away on Monday at age-85
Edwin Díaz - who will be a free agent at the end of the year - would love to stay with the Mets beyond this season (New York Post)
Former Met Michael Conforto could sign with a team this summer and serve in a hitting capacity in September (New York Post)
The Mets made eight selections during day two of the 2022 Amateur Draft - you can read more about their selections here
Injury Updates 🏥
Jacob deGrom (stress reaction in scapula) will throw a simulated game in Port St. Lucie on Tuesday - he could rejoin the Mets rotation shortly after the All-Star break
Tomás Nido was expected to receive an MRI on his left forearm soreness, although his injury isn’t considered serious
The calm before the baseball storm… 📝
This is the time of year on the baseball calendar where everyone (except those at All-Star Week) can close their eyes, take a deep breath, get a little healthier, reflect on their first half, spend time with their families and just disconnect from baseball, even for just a few days.
But in just 72 hours, the baseball calendar ramps up again with what has historically been considered the unofficial start of the pennant race in baseball.
Yes, the second “half” is upon us following a four-day break in the sport.
The Mets will begin their run to just their fourth division title since 1988, and it starts with the Padres on Friday at Citi Field who are not exactly making a lot of headway in the National League West race. Since the Mets left town in early June, the Padres have gone 17-20 and are out of the NL West race for the time being, sitting ten games behind the Dodgers.
As the schedule rolls towards August, the trade deadline will draw closer and the Mets have some work to do if they’re going to hold off the Braves, who are remain right on their tail at 2.5 games out in the National League East. They need to address their DH problems (.662 OPS), decide how they will try to get more production from their catcher (.504 OPS), figure out how to better hit left-handed pitching (.692 OPS), and strengthen their bullpen with another swing-and-miss arm.
Oh, and now there’s the Juan Soto conundrum (which really isn’t that hard to figure out, to be honest - read more about that in the link below).
The trade deadline is usually a fun time of year. And now that there’s no August trade waivers and an extra playoff spot in each league, it’s going to be interesting to see if this is truly a sellers market, who considers themselves a seller and who considers themselves a buyer or pretender, and what players actually get moved by August 2. Like last year, the final hours leading up to the deadline should be fast-paced and intense across the board, especially with Soto becoming available.
Will it be the big splash that makes a difference? Will the strategy employed the the Braves last year with smaller moves change the landscape in baseball this summer? Maybe it will be a combination of both?
There is no exact science. Sometimes, it’s about getting lucky too in this pennant race chase match.
But for now, sit back, relax, enjoy the All-Star Game tonight and the next two days of baseball silence.
Indeed, it’s the calm before the pennant race storm.
Stories to Read 📕
Juan Soto - the Hope Diamond of Baseball (Michael Baron)
The three areas the Mets must address at the trade deadline (Michael Baron)
Around the League 🚩
Should the All-Star Game be tied at the conclusion of regulation, there will be a 3-on-3 home run derby to decide the winner
RHP Stephen Strasburg (thoracic outlet syndrome) is not expected to return to the major leagues this season (New York Post)
The Angels placed OF Mike Trout on this injured list with a rib cage injury
Former Met first round selection Kumar Rocker agreed to contract terms with the Rangers - he was selected third overall in the 2022 Amateur Draft (New York Post)