We have all talked about the trio of Mets in walk years-Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto, and Noah Syndergaard but lets not forget that Marcus Stroman is also in a walk year and he looked real sharp in a 2-0 Met win over the Houston Astros in Port St Lucie yesterday.
Stroman hurled 2 hitless innings striking out 2 but more importantly his mound presence coupled with throwing all of his pitches well gave Met fans a glimpse of what he brings to the table. He is bound and determined to have a big year and his words have exhibited confidence and positivity since he arrived in Port St Lucie.
Stroman is such a dynamic personality and also has a full arsenal of pitches that he used in the post season a few years ago and his presence combined with Jacob deGrom and Carlos Carrasco could be the first 3 starting pitchers we see when the Mets open the season in DC on April 1.
Offensively, the Mets got long balls from both Jeff McNeil and Albert Almora Jr. and also got scoreless appearances from Jordan Yamamoto, Jerry Blevins, Drew Smith and Sam McWilliams as all showed great command .
One of the things the Mets must work on here in Port St Lucie is their defense and more specifically they must curb the running game of opponents. That commands a great combination of skill between pitchers, catchers and infielders and James McCann figures to help improve that dynamic by being the defensive quarterback when this team tries tries to throw out base stealers.
“McCann has really showed leadership in so many areas”, said manager Luis Rojas,” by working hard with all of the pitchers getting to know them and framing pitches making it easier to be in a better position to throw out baserunners.”
Brandon Nimmo who served as the leadoff hitter which is a role he will likely be in for most of the season talked about the confidence Rojas and The Mets are showing him when he said, “They showed confidence in me and I know I have to work on my game but really understand getting on base is so key with all of these big hitters behind me. And I do take pitches but fully understand there are times I must take an aggressive approach because I know opposing pitchers desire to get ahead of me early in the at-bat. It is a cat and mouse game and I must adapt to the situation by being aggressive at times but also know my role is to get on base.”
I have gotten to know Nimmo the past few years and I can safely tell you he relishes a challenge and has shown a desire to prove the critics wrong. You know he heard the off-season rumors about the Mets and their hunt for a centerfielder. And he has always proven to me these challenges inspire him so I expect us to see him respond to this chance as he has done so many times in his Met career.
He has worked tirelessly in camp trying to improve his defense and his first step looks improved to me which will be a big factor in his defense as well as his ability to navigate the wall which has sometimes been an issue in his career.
Met fans got a great 2021 first look of both Marcus Stroman and Brandon Nimmo today and both of these players fully understand how important they are to this team. Both come to camp with question marks but they are a duo that possesses great talent and a will to win with an air of positivity that will be the first step towards acheiving their 2021 goals.
Both players also care far more about the name on the front of their uniform than they do about the name on the back of their uniform. And that means that fit into this clubhouse very neatly since most players on this squad live by that mentality. It is my opinion that this Met team has more players who live by that mantra than any team in baseball and that is the first step towards carving out a successful season.