2023 New York Mets Season Preview: 10 Big Questions

Daniel Vogelbach, New York Mets

Baseball is finally back and the New York Mets are set to build off a playoff season in 2022. The 101-win campaign came to a disappointing end with a Wild Card Series loss to the San Diego Padres but the Mets spent a ton of money this offseason to try and build a championship contender. Let’s take a look at the ten biggest questions facing the team as they enter the 2023 campaign.

1. Did The Mets Add Enough Offense?

The failure to close the Carlos Correa deal left the Mets looking like they needed another bat but GM Billy Eppler didn’t add anyone bigger than Tommy Pham in free agency. Prospects Brett Baty, Mark Vietnos and Francisco Alvarez will begin the season at AAA Syracuse, leaving the offense looking very similar to the one that ended last year in a power slump.

2. How will the Mets replace Edwin Diaz?

Diaz’s injury in the World Baseball Classic changes the outlook of the bullpen completely. David Robertson will likely get the bulk of the save chances but that will move everyone else up in the pecking order, which could leave the unit an arm short in the late innings.

3. Can the co-aces stay healthy?

The Mets are making a big bet with veteran aces in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, both of whom will be over the age of 38 at the start of the season. Both aces can be very effective when they’re healthy but expecting both to provide 200 innings may not be realistic.

4. When will the Mets give their prospects a shot?

Baty, Vientos and Alvarez could all provide a significant offensive boost when given a shot at AAA. Alvarez still has work to do defensively behind the plate but the other two could be up quickly if they get off to hot starts while veterans like Eduardo Escobar and Daniel Vogelbach don’t.

5. How will the new schedule format impact the Mets?

The Mets will play every team for at least three games this season, which means less games against the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies, which is a positive. Losing six games with the Nationals should balance out with games against mediocre American League teams so the situation should be a net positive.

6. Do the Mets have enough starting pitching depth?

That depth is already being tested with David Peterson stepping into the starting rotation in place of the injured Jose Quintana, who will miss at least three months. Tylor Megill would be the next man up if another starter is needed while Joey Lucchesi and Elieser Hernandez remain in AAA Syracuse as depth options.

7. Can Brandon Nimmo stay healthy?

Nimmo, who has had a track record of missing time throughout his career, stayed healthy in 2022 and earned an eight-year, $162 million deal with the Mets in the offseason. There are few good options to replace Nimmo atop the lineup or in center field so the Mets really need to keep him out there as often as possible.

8. What will Kodai Senga do?

The one player with a wide range of outcomes on the roster is Senga, who was brought over from Japan to replace Chris Bassitt in the starting rotation. Senga has flashed the potential to dominate in America, which could raise the upside on the Mets’ roster significantly.

9. Who is the Mets’ X-Factor in 2022?

The biggest X-factor for the 2022 Mets is Eduardo Escobar, who looked like a true power threat during his September to remember and can be a huge power threat behind Pete Alonso in the lineup. If Escobar struggles early it could force the Mets to turn to Baty earlier than they want to.

10. Will Billy Eppler be more aggressive at the trade deadline?

The Mets were very conservative at the deadline last year as Eppler emphasized hanging onto his prospects, costing them an opportunity to significantly upgrade their roster during a 101-win season. With a clear need in the bullpen and potentially another big bat being a desire, Eppler may have to take bigger swings if the Mets want to win it all in 2023.

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