On Wednesday September 24 the New York Mets played their final home game in Citi Field for the 2020 season. The final score was 8-5 in favor of the Tampa Bay Rays. To put a further damper on the evening with their win the Tampa Bay Rays clinched first place in the American League East Division, and then held an abbreviated celebration on the field after the final out was recorded.
The only positives for the Mets on this night were the continued play of rookie Andres Gimenez, who made a great play in the field and also clubbed his 3rd home run of the year, and the maturation of Dominic Smith, who blasted a 440 feet drive into the second deck in the right field stands and continues to impress with his overall play.
When the Mets convened in Port St Lucie early In February 2020 no one could have envisioned that the 2020 season would become like no other in the history of the game. By early March with the pandemic spreading throughout the country, the season that started out with optimism and enthusiasm quickly faded to black.
Early in March Noah Syndergaard was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow necessitating Tommy John surgery that kept him out of baseball for the entire year. This was followed by Pitcher Marcus Stroman opting out of the 2020 campaign. But Stroman wasn’t the only player to opt out as outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who the Mets hoped would return to his old form after being injured for the entire 2019 season, went AWOL early in the abbreviated season before opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season. The injury to Syndergaard along with Stroman and Cespedes opting out for the year left a gaping hole in the Mets roster that the team was never able to overcome.
Although Michael Conforto, Dominic Smith and Jeff McNeil batted over .300 during the abbreviated 2020 season, this wasn’t quite enough to keep the Mets afloat with the tattered pitching staff they had assembled. While deGrom was his usual self, the rest of the starting staff did not live up to their reputation. With their poor showing in
2020 new additions Rick Porcello and Michael Watcha along with Steven Matz certainly disappointed both the fans and the front office. Meanwhile rookie David Peterson and Seth Lugo, who had been a member of the Mets bullpen, showed glimpse of excellence giving them a chance to crack the starting rotation in 2021.
As for the Mets bullpen itself with Jeurys Familia, Edwin Díaz, Chasen Shreve, Brad Brach and Justin Wilson working out of the pen an upgrade is definitely in order if the Mets expect to compete among the elite in 2021.
But how the Mets will look in 2021 is only part of the story as the makeup of the team moving forward will now be in the hands of new owner Steve Cohen. After owning the Mets for over 30 years, the Wilpons agreed in principal to sell the team to billionaire Steve Cohen pending approval by 23 of the 30 owners. It’s the Mets fan hope that Cohen will spend big on the free agent market as well as assign a new staff to steer the Mets in a new direction in the coming years.
Already Cohen has stated that should he be approved by 23 of the 30 owners, former General Manager Sandy Anderson will be named President of the Mets, but where this leaves Current GM Brodie Van Wagenen and the rest of the Mets hierarchy is very much up in the air.
While the 2020 season is history as far as the Mets are concerned, with new ownership in place 2021 will definitely be a whole new story for the New York Mets.
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