Pitchers and Catchers report date released! And the Mets could have an internal right-handed bat to consider
Mark Vientos could profile as their right-handed power solution, and a
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets finalized their 2023 coaching staff on Thursday (Official Release)
Danny Barnes: Assistant Major League Coach
Jeremy Barnes: Hitting Coach
Eric Chavez: Bench Coach
Dom Chiti: Bullpen Coach
Joey Cora: Infield and Third Base Coach
Jeremy Hefner: Pitching Coach
Eric Hinske: Assistant Hitting Coach
Wayne Kirby: Outfield and First Base Coach
Glenn Sherlock: Catching and Strategy Coach
Mets Pitchers and catchers participating in the World Baseball Classic will report to Port St. Lucie on February 13 - the first pitchers and catchers workout for the Mets in Port St. Lucie is February 15, their first full squad workout is February 20 (Official Release)
Earlier this winter, there were some internal Mets people interested in signing Trea Turner to be their centerfielder (New York Post)
Where does Mark Vientos fit in 2023? ✍🏻
The Mets need for an additional bat in their everyday lineup has been discussed ad nauseam by fans, media, and even owner Steve Cohen himself when he first talked about signing Carlos Correa three weeks ago.
When Correa’s situation finally resolved itself without landing the star infielder in Queens earlier this week, immediately the question turned to this:
How will the Mets pivot?
And the answer to that is not exactly black and white.
To put it lightly, there is not another Correa like bat available on the open market. Sure, veteran bats like Adam Duvall, Andrew McCutchen and Trey Mancini are out there. And New York very well might bring one of them in. But they’ve all missed significant time to injury in recent years, they’re flawed to begin with, and any of those three would be a role player whom the team would hope could mash left handed pitching out of the designated hitter spot in the lineup.
None of them would bring the potential offensive ceiling that the Mets’ top prospects Francisco Alvarez or Brett Baty could conceivably add to the starting lineup.
And while Alvarez and Baty are without question the top two prospects in the organization, another young player is on my mind at the moment.
In 101 Triple-A games last season 23-year-old Mark Vientos slashed .280/.358/.519 with 24 homers and 72 RBI. His indoctrination to a small sample of big league pitching did not go well in September, but the team’s second round pick from the 2017 draft was without a doubt an offensive force in the minors.
Which is why I’m curious why he’s being overlooked so thoroughly this winter.
Obviously, had the Mets and Correa finalized their agreement things would be different. But are we actually convinced one of the veteran bats mentioned above—not to mention Darin Ruf, who is somehow still here—is a night and day better option than Vientos?
New York could definitely have traded Vientos for help in other areas at the trade deadline last summer or this off-season, so by proxy we can assume the organization believes in his Major League ability.
This may sound overly optimistic, but the way I see the Mets offense, they should score plenty of runs and again be among the best teams in the National League already. I’d certainly expect them to be able to at minimum survive until the deadline when bigger potential fish could be available.
Until then, why not give Vientos the opportunity they’re reportedly looking at outside hitters to fill? If he fails, New York has proven to be plenty adept at pivoting and changing plans on the fly. And while I wouldn’t be upset if they added someone like, say, McCutchen, I’m just presenting an alternative strategy. If they already have someone who is potentially capable of delivering comparable production, why sign another 30+ year old injury prone veteran?
Just a thought…
Hot Stove 🔥
The Marlins and Twins have discussed a trade centering around Pablo Lopez and Max Kepler (NY Post)
The Dodgers officially released embattled right hander Trevor Bauer (Official Release)
Matt Holliday resigned as the Cardinals bench coach and St. Louis hired former Met Joe McEwing to replace him (MLB.com)
Seattle signed outfielder A.J. Pollock (Official Release)