Mets survive another starter scratch as ownership rumors swirl

The Mets found out on Tuesday afternoon that David Peterson wouldn’t make his scheduled start in Miami. Instead, he went on the injured list with shoulder fatigue and Corey Oswalt took the mound against the Marlins. It was another tough blow for a rotation that has dealt with injuries and poor performances throughout the season. Michael Wacha is dealing with shoulder inflammation, Marcus Stroman opted out due to COVID-19 concerns, and Steven Matz has been a gas can all year.

New York continues to persevere, though, thanks to a deep lineup and bullpen. Oswalt didn’t make it out of the fifth inning last night, but that was plenty against a Marlins team that has been stretched thin by the pandemic. Justin Wilson, Jared Hughes, and Dellin Betances combined to throw three and two thirds scoreless innings before Edwin Diaz scared everyone by allowing three straight hits before striking out the side in the ninth. The Mets won 8-3 thanks to Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith, and Amed Rosario each driving in multiple runs.

Nimmo has been an on-base machine all season, but he’s stepped up his power game lately and is developing into a guy who can help in all aspects. With 22 walks, 20 strikeouts, four home runs, and two triples so far, Nimmo is a jack of all trades and a master of working deep counts.

The offense has been a consistent positive for the Mets in 2020. Even with Pete Alonso struggling to get into a groove, guys like Nimmo and Luis Guillorme have stepped up to fill the production gap. Smith is breaking out before our eyes and Cano might be in the middle of a bounce-back campaign. There’s enough depth to carry the team even if the starting pitching isn’t on point every night, which it won’t be.

The success of the team overall might come down to Luis Rojas’s ability to manage the volatile bullpen. There’s plenty of potential there, but some of it is liable to blow up at any moment. I think Rojas has done a good job with Edwin Diaz by letting him get some work in to build up his confidence while giving the most important innings to Seth Lugo.

Even if Diaz and Jeurys Familia falter, Rojas can promote guys like Wilson and Brad Brach to bigger roles. With few starters around who can be trusted to pitch past the fifth inning, there should be plenty of relief work to go around.

Meanwhile, the Mets are on the verge of being sold by Fred Wilpon and company. The highest bidder will probably be hedge fund mogul Steve Cohen, but shady dealings in his past might make MLB more likely to accept a bid by Alex Rodriguez’s group.

“I have talked to three owners who say they won’t approve Cohen,” this source said. “They should be worried.” Another source speculated the Mets are keeping him in the running just to drive up the price, but that MLB won’t approve him. Other reports have suggested owners are wary of Cohen free-spending on payroll, though this seems an odd worry, as a vibrant second team in New York City would surely help sell the sport.

The Athletic

Boy, it would be a shame for an owner or two to disapprove of Cohen because they’re afraid of him spending too much on players, wouldn’t it? Despite the morality issues, I’m on Team Cohen because of the incredible wealth he would bring to the table. If Rodriguez and his wife Jennifer Lopez get control, who knows if we’ll see the Mets change from their small-market ways. If there are any concerns about the finances of the Rodriguez group being enough to support the franchise, Cohen has to be the answer.

This entry was posted in Major League Baseball, National League East, New York Mets. Bookmark the permalink.

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