For all their latest struggles, they’re nonetheless the first-place Mets. Whether that four-game NL East lead shrinks or grows may hinge upon the solutions to those 5 questions:
What are the Mets’ wants headed to the trade deadline?
Joey Lucchesi is completed for the season after tearing his UCL, and the beginning pitching depth the Mets thought they’d is just about nonexistent — as Carlos Carrasco, Noah Syndergaard and Jordan Yamamoto aren’t near getting back from accidents. And even when Carrasco have been to return by the tip of July, ought to the Mets really feel assured sufficient that he and the opposite members of the rotation will stay wholesome?
Fortunately for the Mets, at the very least a dozen groups determine to be sellers heading to the July 30 commerce deadline. Many of them might be trying to shed contracts, which might reduce the fee in prospects for the Mets.
For luxury-tax functions, the Mets are sitting with a $200 million payroll, in line with Spotrac. That leaves them with roughly $10 million of further house earlier than penalties would kick in. Last weekend, crew proprietor Steve Cohen intimated the Mets would both keep below $210 million or blow previous it, with the third possibility — simply going over the brink by a couple of million — probably not palatable.
Could the Mets interact the Twins about Jose Berrios, who has labored beforehand with pitching coach Jeremy Hefner? On the upper finish, Hyun Jin Ryu isn’t even halfway by means of the four-year contract price $80 million he signed with the Blue Jays earlier than final season. That transfer with none others would put the Mets into the realm Cohen seems to be to keep away from, maybe only a smidge above the luxury-tax threshold.
Names resembling Matthew Boyd, Merrill Kelly and Luis Castillo may be interesting to the Mets.
The good storm is perhaps discovering a veteran who a non-contending crew is trying to unload to save cash, who additionally wouldn’t push the Mets up towards the luxury-tax threshold. One identify to observe is Wade Miley. The Reds left-hander is incomes $8 million this 12 months (he’s acquired a membership possibility for 2022) and is seventh among pitchers with a 3.4 bWAR this season.
If the Mets attempt to improve the lineup, third base would probably be the spot. J.D. Davis’ hand harm has pissed off crew officers, and there’s nonetheless the query of what he might be defensively when he returns.
The greatest pitcher on the planet hasn’t topped 85 pitches in a begin since April 28, when he threw 93 towards the Red Sox. Only as soon as this season has he reached 100 pitches.
Part of the lowered pitch load could be defined by shortened begins due to discomfort (elbow, shoulder) and warning in getting back from a facet harm. But it’s additionally clear the Mets want to protect deGrom’s bullets and have concern about his well being.
The manner deGrom has pitched, it isn’t inconceivable that supervisor Luis Rojas will quickly face the stomach-churning choice of leaving his ace within the recreation to chase a no-hitter or eradicating him within the late innings on the facet of warning.
How daunting is the upcoming schedule?
It needs to be a grind for the Mets over the subsequent two weeks, with the Phillies, Braves, Yankees and Brewers on the schedule. But heading into the All-Star break and popping out of it, the Mets get one thing of a reprieve — with 13 straight video games towards the Pirates, Reds and Blue Jays. That stretch may provide the Mets a chance to construct some fairness earlier than returning to the NL East fray.
Who bats leadoff, Brandon Nimmo or Jeff McNeil?
Just the actual fact this query could be requested needs to be a Mets trigger for celebration. McNeil returned this week from a month on the injured listing, and the expectation is Nimmo will rejoin the team during the Mets’ next road trip, that means as quickly as Monday. Over the primary month of the season, Nimmo was among the few gamers producing, with an .870 OPS. He does his greatest work from the leadoff spot, so the controversy ought to finish there.
What will turn into of the Bench Mob with the regulars returning?
The entrance workplace faces robust selections. Jose Peraza has given the crew a lift defensively and proven pop, however he’s acquired a minor league possibility remaining and basically fills the identical position as Luis Guillorme (who additionally has an possibility). Billy McKinney and Albert Almora Jr. are probably competing for one spot. McKinney, who’s out of choices, has pale after serving to carry the crew in early June. Almora Jr. (who has an possibility) is extremely regarded for his protection.