Baseball is this town is often contrasted and compared between the 2 teams in town and when you look at how the Mets and Yankees rosters were constructed all I can say is Brian Cashman could learn a whole bunch from Sandy Alderson how to properly construct a roster.
We saw it yesterday in full force as Marcus Stroman took the mound in Denver hurling 8 innings of one run ball guiding the Mets to a 2-1 win over the Rockies. The win keeps the Mets in first in NL East with only the Dodgers having a better record in the NL while the Yankees sit in Al East basement getting swept by the Rays.
You might say what does one have to do with the other? Well Stroman was available to the Yankees 2 years ago but then Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen beat the Yankees to the punch and got Stroman in a trade without trading David Peterson who by the way is also a big part of a deep Met rotation. And instead of rolling the dice on 2 injured pitchers like Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon Sandy brought in Taijuan Walker and signed Marcus Stroman to a qualifying offer bringing healthy arms to the team instead of questionable arms.
Sandy also added to the roster with position depth with guys like Jonathan Villar who has already put 2 wins on the board with clutch hits and so even though the everyday offense is struggling the Mets are 7-4 in first place while the Yanks struggling offense has no such options putting them in AL East basement.
The Mets have also shown they are far more prepared in games with Luis Rojas at the controls than the Yankees are with Aaron Boone who handle adversity much differently. Boone decided a shouting match after Friday’s game would help but I actually think it made players question their ability to win while Rojas uses communication to help slumping players like Michael Conforto who seems to be twisting out of his slump. Rojas dropped him in the lineup but communicated to Conforto it was just to take a little pressure off never putting doubt in the players mind–just supporting him in his time of need.
Another great example is Edwin Diaz–who had a brutal 2019 and rebounded a bit in 2020. But this year I see the pitcher I saw in Seattle in 2018-confident, dominating and he locks games down. This was not because of a magic spell being lifted. It was due to a solid game plan from both Rojas and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner building him back to his dominating self.
But the best example I can point to is the stop and start season the Mets have thus far endured and they have battled through it. Even on a day where Jacob deGrom approaches history but is down in the game, his team responded knowing the Met critics would jump on lack of support for deGrom. Resiliency and focus are skills that are hard to come by but this team has tons of that from every corner of the clubhouse.
As for the Yankees, they will hit but their rotation after Gerrit Cole plus an overrated bullpen and an awful defense are causes of concern. And I can not fault Aaron Boone for that–this roster was constructed poorly and contracts like Aaron Hicks and Giancarlo Stanton are huge problems. So when you all took potshots at Sandy for passing on JT Realmuto understand that in James McCann the Mets got value at a reasonable cost and we saw that value when McCann threw out a base stealer to end the game on Sunday.
That is the bottom line–Sandy gave Luis Rojas a much better roster to manage than Brian Cashman gave to Aaron Boone. The early season has illustrated that and that concept will become crystal clear as we move along in the season. And lets not forget the last pennant winning GM in this town is Sandy Alderson-not Brian Cashman. Those are the facts.