Syndergaard, Cespedes, Matz, Lugo, Familia, Wright, Cabrera, d’Arnaud. Name any team in baseball, not one could absorb significant injuries to its best pitcher, best hitter, and that much of its supporting cast without taking a serious hit in the standings.
The question now is where the Mets go from here. With the oldest group of position players in the NL, they likely won’t find much upside sticking with the status quo—not this year, and especially not in the future.
That’s why the kids might start arriving soon. Twenty-one-year-old shortstop Amed Rosario’s hitting a cool .359/.386/.529 in Triple-A. Those are the kinds of numbers that earn a prospect a promotion. The Mets have resisted calling Rosario up thus far, even when starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera hit the DL. Likewise, 21-year-old top first-base prospect Dominic Smith would seem a logical callup candidate, as he sits on a .324/.384/.480 line at Triple-A.
Expect a little longer wait. For one thing, we’ve seen countless players rake in Las Vegas, so the Mets will likely look at more granular factors such as swing efficiency and plate discipline rather than just raw numbers as they assess their two high-level hitting prospects. They’ll also need to contemplate the future of some key veterans, including Cabrera and Lucas Duda, the two players blocking Rosario and Smith. Finally, they’ll consider Super 2 eligibility: Keep two of their top prospects in the minors for just a few more weeks, and they’ll likely save millions of dollars down the road, due to the way MLB’s arcane arbitration and free agency rules work.
So for now, the key word is patience. It’s the last thing frustrated Mets fans will want to hear in this ugly season. But it’s also the most logical course of action in what will likely be a reloading year.