Mancuso: Difference Is Depth With Mets

Always from this perspective it has been called the “Rights Of Spring.”  And there are always setbacks in spring training with the questions to establish a 25-man roster. But with the Mets there are always questions. Injuries?

Of course. Todd Frazier became the second and early casualty Tuesday with an oblique strain. An MRI revealed the strain and the 32-year Frazier is headed back to New York for further evaluation. Jed Lowrie last week stopped his activities with a sprained left knee.

Four weeks before the first pitch of a promised and enthused season, and say it again, same old for the New York Mets. Older and a veteran infield with Robinson Cano, but the difference is depth that GM Brodie Van Wagenen delivered as the busy executive this offseason.

A major difference of the past few years, of what has been a Citi Field medical ward, is that important depth.  It does make a difference and also could open the door to secure that Pete Alonso has a roster spot and be the Opening Day player at first base.

Consider, and assuming the extent of the injuries to Lowrie and Frazier, the acquisition of Andy Hechavarria has become important. So was reuniting with Dilson Herrera, and getting J.D. Davis in a minor deal from the Astros.

Danny Espinosa, another veteran, last week was invited to spring training with a slight possibility to be a part of the 40-man roster.  There is a difference when a Mets player or two goes down and that depth does make a difference. Though there is no debating they are not younger and the Mets as a whole are not.

Before you begin to doubt, and also fault Brodie for bringing in veterans, there is no rush to panic. Besides the fact, Jeff McNeil can move from a crowded outfield if need be and it has been established that every team needs depth and the Mets have limited question marks with that need.

So there is a difference from those previous years of the Sandy Alderson regime. We know, and that is a fact, depth under the previous GM was an issue. So was signing veterans and waiting for Amed Rosario, Dominic Smith, McNeil, Alonso, to grow and develop.

The social media comments this morning, “Here we go again.”  Yes, here we go again and it’s a reputation that comes with the Mets of not staying healthy, more so with a lot of time left to assemble the best 25-man roster for Opening Day.

Do you place blame on the medical staff? Or is a crust of veterans that are prone to injuries during the rigors of camp and the early season?

Todd Frazier is in that veteran, the injury prone, a good pickup at the time for his glove. His worth, too much perhaps and in that category of that expected to be out on what is now known as an injury list.  It’s too early to determine what extent but any injury at this time means a player at his age, 33, has to start all over again.

Same with Lowrie, 34 years of age, and also prone to get injured before the first pitch is official. You can also debate that Lowrie, two-years at $20 million was too much, and Brodie Van Wagenen could have put the money towards another backend starter for the rotation.

Or, spend wisely. Every Mets fan asked to be in the Manny Machado and Bryce Harper sweepstakes but that was all talk and exploring. This new GM has been aggressive. He has filled most of the pieces and despite the veterans and early injuries, the Mets are vastly improved and have that depth that has not been seen the past few years.

So before the panic, and the questions, give it time.  

Comment: [email protected]  Twitter@Ring786 Mancuso


About the Author

Rich Mancuso

Rich Mancuso is a regular contributor at NY Sports Day, covering countless New York Mets, Yankees, and MLB teams along with some of the greatest boxing matches over the years. He is an award winning sports journalist and previously worked for The Associated Press, New York Daily News, Gannett, and, in a career that spans almost 40 years.

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