Stepen Guilbert - Injuries and the Importance of Depth


Sunday's victory over the Miami Marlins--a win that pushed the Mets current winning streak to eight games--also included two key and devastating losses for the New York Mets. Joining David Wright on the disabled list are Jerry Blevins and Travis d'Arnaud. In case you have not been following the 2015 Mets, those two players have been no small reason the Mets are 10-3 to start the year.

Despite the key losses to pivotal players, the Mets squad still looks alright. I would not plan on wins at this sort of prolific pace with this many good players out, but .500 baseball keeps the Mets contending for the next month or two when the healing happens. Here is the current Mets disabled list and how the Mets addressed the holes in the roster:

RHP Zack Wheeler - Dillon Gee (potentially Rafael Montero)
Josh Edgin - Jerry Blevins (traded Matt den Dekker to acquire Blevins)
Bobby Parnell, Jenrry Mejia and Vic Black- Alex Torres (traded Cory Mazzoni), Erik Goeddel, Rafael Montero
David Wright - Eric Campbell
Travis d'Arnaud - Kevin Plawecki
Jerry Blevins - Hansel Robles (potentially Jack Leathersich soon)

I'm not going to lie. For April 20th, that's a big list with a lot of important names on it. That's the #3 starter, LOOGY, closer, another closer, set up guy, captain/all-star third baseman, star catcher and LOOGY replacement all in the first three weeks of the season. There is no way around this--the Mets are going to hurt because of this. Any team will lose more games with this sort of M*A*S*H unit. However, the depth that Sandy Alderson and his team have accumulated over the past few years significantly lessens the blow. Rafael Montero (if he gets the job...I'm still on this, you guys, he really needs to be in there) might not be all that worse than Wheeler. Plawecki should be able to hold a candle to d'Arnaud even with d'Arnaud's hot start. Blevins might even be better than Edgin and we were able to acquire him from outfield depth. The only really huge downgrade I see here is Eric Campbell from David Wright and yes, that's significant.

Needless to say, the Mets team we will have over the coming weeks will look a bit foreign but it is not a bad team, either. Kevin Plawecki will continue to provide offense out of a position that sees very little. Hansel Robles is one of my favorite minor leaguers and I cannot wait to see him get a crack at the major leagues and if Rafael Montero can somehow, someway wrestle the 5th starter spot from Dillon Gee, this team might not be much worse overall, if any.

Depth wins. Injuries are a part of the game. Every one of the 30 major league teams will have to deal with a significant injury to an important player this year. How the team handles that adversity with the players who fill in the gaps decide the competitive teams from the bottom feeders. I honestly did not think the test would come this early for the Mets but until the end of May, the Mets have to find a way to win with the replacements.

I think they can.

P.S. Aren't you a bit glad Sandy did not trade for Tulowitzki this winter? Had he given up a package to get him, it would have included Plawecki, Syndergaard, Montero, and probably one or both of Nimmo or Smith. While shortstop would be improved, we would have no relief for Dillon Gee, no Noah Syndergaard to make a buzzing mid-season debut, and Johnny Monell would be your catcher for the next six weeks. Sometimes it pays to hold the cards you have.


Mack Ade said...

Stephen -

You have to wonder if Alderson will ever make a trade again, giving up one of his core prospects.

Oh, I don't mean like the guys that got him the two lefty relievers. I mean the #1 depth player behind the current starter.

Guys like Herrera, Cecchini, Plawecki, Nimmo, Conforto, Matz, Syndergaard.

Mack's Mets © 2012