With only 10 regular season games remaining, and despite a slew of injuries, the New York Mets have somehow managed to stay in this National League Wild Card race.
As a lifelong Mets fan I will admit I did not think we would be in this position six weeks ago, but we are and I couldn’t be happier. I honestly thought that the Mets were in big trouble when they lost David Wright and Matt Harvey for the season but the the team has managed to keep it together and make a playoff push. This just goes to show you how strong the Mets organization has become over the past six seasons under the guidance of Sandy Alderson and Terry Collins.
Collins and Alderson have built a culture where players are comfortable jumping to the big leagues and contributing at a steady clip. Whether it be top prospects in the farm system or journeymen, the Mets' attitude has made for a clubhouse that has allowed players to grow into their roles and execute on a regular basis. Thus, the Mets are continuing to turn heads when people look at the Wild Card standings and see them at the top. It is puzzling.
Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Yoenis Cespedes, Michael Conforto and Travis d’Arnaud are arguably the Mets' best players who are currently not on the DL and they have all struggled for a good part of the second half of the season. All of these guys have also been on the DL themselves at some point after the All-Star break and it has opened up opportunities for the Mets' reinforcements to step in and show their worth. They have done just that and more.
Rene Rivera, T.J. Rivera, Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman, and Matt Reynolds have all had their moments and are a big part of why the Mets are the in the position they are right now. We can say that they got lucky, but when it comes down to it Terry Collins and the Mets veterans have made these kids comfortable and it has allowed them to not just flourish but carry the team toward the postseason.
Now, it remains to be seen if these kids can keep it up, and they will definitely be tested in October if they get there. Wright and Harvey will not see the field again in 2016 and that means that the youngsters will need to be counted on down the stretch. With what we have seen from these players it looks as though they are ready to take on the challenge just as Harvey, Syndergaard and Matz had done in their first postseason appearances. They are showing they have the confidence and the veterans on the Mets are doing a fantastic job teaching what they need to know about playing in the big leagues.
If everything comes together at the end of the 2016 season, the Mets will be looking at a roster filled with young players who have experience adversity and the postseason. With that combination moving forward, the future for the Mets is even brighter than we may have thought.