The Downfall of the New York Mets in 2023

5 mins read

After winning 101 games last season, the New York Mets were seen as legitimate contenders to win this year’s World Series despite the loss against the San Diego Padres in the Wild Card Series a year ago. Despite high expectations, the Mets eventually fell far enough to where they are now fighting to stay out of last in the NL East. 

Before the 2023 season, things were looking up, as the Mets acquired 2022 American League (AL) Cy Young winner Justin Verlander and Japanese phenom Kodai Senga. With perennial All-Star Max Scherzer already on the mound and a largely unchanged roster, the Mets were very hopeful for the upcoming season. However, that hope soon turned into disappointment. 

Most of that disappointment sparked from injuries. The first major injury was from the reigning Reliever of the Year, Edwin Díaz, who had 118 strikeouts and a 1.31 ERA last season. Díaz was representing Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic back in March and, after a win, suffered a right knee injury that would force him to sit for the 2023 MLB season. This affected the Mets tremendously as they lost the arguable best closer in the league and were left with a struggling bullpen. 

However, it wasn’t just the bullpen that saw injuries. The Mets suffered from a terrible pitching rotation at the start of the season, with three of the Mets pitchers in the starting rotation being placed on the injured list before Opening Day. Justin Verlander suffered from a shoulder strain, Carlos Carrasco battled with an elbow injury, and José Quintana sustained a rib injury. The Mets started the season with two of their original starting pitchers and proceeded from there. 

Another cause of the disappointment were two of the aforementioned veteran pitchers. Scherzer and Verlander were considered two of the best pitchers in the MLB, but their age was a constant concern during the season. Both pitchers were able to pitch games, however it wasn’t enough to win games against some of the Mets’ rival teams such as the surging Atlanta Braves. It was obvious they were missing the gas in their arms from their younger years where they won a combined six Cy Young Awards.

Along with the pitchers, two other crucial members of the team suffered injuries. 2022 All-Star outfielder Starling Marte suffered from multiple injuries this season, being on and off the injured list, causing the Mets to make constant changes to the lineup. Infielder Luis Guillorme suffered a calf injury in July and hasn’t returned since. Both these players are crucial to the lineup and led to the Mets calling up some of their younger players from their developmental leagues such as Brett Baty, Francisco Álvarez, Mark Vientos and Ronny Mauricio. These young players have incredible talent and have proven themselves up in the big leagues. However, they are still very young and aren’t the best options if you are trying to win now. 

The Mets ended April with a record of 14-11, May with a record of 14-15, June with a record of 7-19, July with a record of 14-9, and August with a record of 11-18. With each month passing by, the Mets found themselves at or near the bottom of the NL East with playoffs pretty much always out of the realm of possibility. 

This disappointing season led to the Mets organization to start to rebuild for next year and the future. The Mets cut their losses after spending a lot of money on top players, and made multiple trades at the trade deadline back in August. The Mets traded Eduardo Escobar, David Robertson, Scherzer, Verlander, Mark Canha, and Tommy Pham. They received top prospects such as Luisangel Acuña, Ryan Clifford, and Drew Gilbert. With these new prospects the Mets are now looking toward the future, even if the rebuilding will be towards beyond the upcoming season.

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