Let’s explore the opening few games of this weird season, starting with the positives for the New York Mets.
It looks like Steven Matz‘s Spring Training success was not a fluke as he has started the 2020 season living up to the praise that manager Luis Rojas gave him before the start. Matz has thrown 11⅓ innings allowing just four earned runs while striking out 10. It is also interesting to see that Matz’s fastball velocity is up 1.5 mph from last year. A very promising start from the former top prospect.
[Editor’s note: A week is a long time in baseball. My failure to publish this article promptly allowed Matz to destroy his good start by allowing five earned runs before being pulled after just three innings against the Washington Nationals. Sorry.]
Ushered into the Mets starting rotation following the injury to Marcus Stroman, David Peterson has settled into the majors very nicely. In his first two Major League starts, Peterson has allowed five earned runs while striking out 11. A very pleasant start for the Mets No.10 prospect and it will be interesting to see if that continues.
[Editor’s note: It did continue. Another decent start from Peterson, this time picking up the win against the Miami Marlins]
To many, the inclusion of Andres Gimenez on the 30-player pool was a surprise, but both defensively and offensively, he has looked very comfortable, making very nice plays as a late-inning defensive replacement. He also picked up his first Major League hit and has gone 4-for-13 with a triple. It will be interesting to see whether the Mets keep him when the roster size is reduced, but for the 21-year-old, it’s been a very good start to his Major League career.
It has been the young Mets that have really impressed in these first few games, let’s look to the players who haven’t impressed to start the 2020 season.
Signed to a one year, $10 million deal in the offseason, the former CY Young winner looked to provide the Mets with a stable arm in the back end of the rotation. Unfortunately, his first start against the Braves he allowed six earned runs over just two innings, then in his following start, he allowed three earned runs in four innings. Not the start that Porcello would have wanted and we can hope that he tidies things up.
[Editor’s note: Porcello’s unpredictability continued with an excellent one-run, seven-inning start against the Washington Nationals. His ERA is now 6.92.]
It has been a rough start to the season for the rookie home run king, going just 7-for-39 with one home run and three RBI. The more concerning thing about Alonso is that in his 39 plate appearances, he has struck out 15 times. To be brutally honest, he looks lost. There are still plenty of games to go, but the Mets need his offensive production, and they need it fast.
After 16 games the Mets are 7-9, sitting third in the NL East. Something needs to happen and quickly for the Mets, otherwise it will just be another disappointing year for the boys in orange and blue.
Photo credits: Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Alex Worth is covering the New York Mets during 2020 as part of the growing team of writers at Bat Flips and Nerds. Follow him on Twitter @AlexWorth17