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Meet The Replacement Mets


The New York Mets have been hit with a rash of injuries to begin the shortened 2020 season. Well before summer camp began, starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow requiring Tommy John surgery in late March. In addition, starting pitcher Marcus Stroman suffered a torn muscle in his calf before his first scheduled start of the season, sending him to the injured list.

Most recently, on August 2, the Mets placed Jed Lowrie (leg) on the 45-day IL due to laxity in the posterior cruciate ligament, effectively ending his season and tenure with the Mets. On the same day, outfielder and designated hitter Yoenis Cespedes opted out of the 2020 season in cataclysmic New York media fashion due to concerns related to COVID-19. Moreover, second baseman Robinson Cano is dealing with a groin injury, a Grade 2 left adductor strain that has placed him on the IL. Outfielder Jake Marisnick is also currently on the 10-day IL with a strained hamstring. Finally, third baseman Jeff McNeil (intercoastal strain) and shortstop Amed Rosario (quad) are currently day-to-day with minor injuries, though they did both return to action on August 7.

As a result of these various injuries and the Cespedes season opt-out, the Mets are fielding a starting lineup and starting rotation vastly different from the lineup and rotation they expected to field back in March. We now take a look at those players who are replacing the injured Mets to see what fantasy relevance, if any, they may have in redraft leagues going forward.

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Dominic Smith (1B/OF)

New York Mets first baseman/outfielder Dominic Smith looks to benefit the most from Yoenis Cespedes’ decision to opt-out of the 2020 season. Coming into 2020, it was anticipated that Smith would get a decent amount of playing time in left field or at designated hitter in order to give Cespedes rest or as part of a platoon with J.D. Davis. However, due to a quirky schedule, the Mets faced a large number of left-handed starting pitchers to begin the season. As a result, Smith was relegated to limited pinch-hitting duties. In fact, before Cespedes opted out on the morning of August 2, Smith had only started in three games. Notably, since August 2, Smith has started in four of the five games the Mets have played.

With Cespedes no longer rostered and Cano on the IL, Smith's bat will assuredly be a mainstay in the Mets lineup. Smith, better defensively in the outfield than Davis, can be inserted into left field, with Davis moving to third base and Jeff McNeil moving to second base. Additionally, Smith, a better defensive first baseman than Pete Alonso, can be played at first base when the Mets want to put Alonso at DH or give him a rest.

In 29 plate appearances so far this season, Smith is hitting an underwhelming .227, with a .345 on-base percentage and leads the Mets with eight RBI and has two home runs. That said, he does boast a 16.0% walk rate, showing great patience at the plate, along with a very impressive 22.9 overall launch angle. He is also coming off a breakout 2019 in which he hit .282/.355/.525 with 11 homers and 25 RBI in just 177 at-bats.

Verdict: Strong Buy. It cannot be emphasized enough. With more consistent at-bats in his future, Smith immediately becomes fantasy relevant in mixed and NL-only leagues. He should be hitting in the middle of the Mets lineup through the remainder of the season. With an ownership percentage of only 3%, he is criminally under-owned given his potential HR and RBI ceiling.

 

Billy Hamilton (OF)

When Yoenis Cespedes announced he was opting out of the 2020 season, the Mets traded pitching prospect Jordan Humphreys to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Billy Hamilton. The move was made to reinforce outfield depth that was also impacted by the Jake Marisnick injury.

In 2019, Hamilton posted a .218/.289/.275 line over 353 plate appearances for the Royals and Braves combined. He stole 22 bases and drove in 15 runs with, not surprisingly, no home runs. Over his career, Hamilton has amassed 300 steals, with the vast majority of those coming between 2013 and 2018 when Hamilton was a starting centerfielder for the Reds.

Despite the injury to Marisnick and Cespedes’ opt-out, the Mets still have a good amount of depth in the outfield. This includes the previously discussed Dominic Smith, as well as Michael Conforto, Brandon Nimmo, and J.D. Davis. As a result, Hamilton will likely be relegated to a bench spot on the Mets with the occasional start. Hamilton will primarily serve in the role of a late-inning defensive replacement and pinch-runner. Once Marisnick returns, Hamilton will also likely fall below him in the pecking order due to his poor hitting skill set and low on-base propensity.

Verdict: Pass. Owners can leave Hamilton on the waiver wire in all formats. He will not see much consistent playing time and therefore, will not have much fantasy relevance unless the Mets suffer another injury or two in the outfield. Those in NL-only leagues who are in desperate need of steals may want to make a low FAAB bid on Hamilton. That said, it would essentially be a dart throw by any owner to insert Hamilton into a daily lineup (on days the Mets have him starting) hoping that Hamilton can get on and subsequently steal a base.

 

Andres Gimenez (2B/3B/SS)

The 84th ranked prospect on MLB's Top-100 Prospects list and MLB Pipeline's third overall Mets prospect, has been as advertised so far in 2020. New York Mets infielder Andres Gimenez has produced an overall .276/.300/.345 line in 30 plate appearances with two stolen bases on the young season. He has also only struck out three times with a low strikeout rate of 7.7% exhibiting great patience at the plate. Over his last seven games, Gimenez is batting .320 and has shown off an amazing glove to help fortify what has been a brutal infield defense the past couple of years in Flushing. Gimenez also boasts a sprint speed in the 94th percentile in all of baseball, giving the Mets the added benefit of speed on the base paths.

With Jed Lowrie officially out of the picture, Robinson Cano on the IL, and Amed Rosario day-to-day, the door is open for Gimenez to immediately get regular playing time at second base or shortstop and run with it. Quite frankly, Gimenez has done everything right and is now making the Mets think hard about how he will fit in long-term when Cano returns. Early speculation is that Gimenez may remain at shortstop, with Cano playing second base and Amed Rosario potentially moving to the outfield.

The Mets have been in desperate need of a solid infield glove the past two years given their shoddy infield defense. This is even more of a need now with groundball pitchers Rick Porcello, Marcus Stroman and Michael Wacha on the Mets roster. Of course, a question for another day is what will happen to Rosario and Gimenez when the Mets promote top prospect, and potential five-tool shortstop Ronny Mauricio. This is a question that will not, however, need to be addressed until 2021.

Verdict: Buy. Gimenez is a solid waiver wire add in both mixed and NL leagues in this shortened season. While he may lack power, Gimenez’s position eligibility (second base, third base, and shortstop in some formats), and ability to contribute in the average, runs and steals categories make him fantasy relevant. Even with Cano’s eventual return from the IL, the Mets will likely try to keep Gimenez’s bat in the lineup. At the very least, we should see Gimenez in the lineup on those days Porcello, Wacha, and Stroman are on the mound. Gimenez should be on the radar of all owners who currently need corner or middle infield help or who need steals.

 

David Peterson (SP)

David Peterson, the Mets top draft pick in 2017 and seventh-ranked prospect, was originally scheduled to begin the season at Triple-A. However, when Noah Syndergaard suffered his season-ending elbow injury, the Mets had a hole at long relief when Michael Wacha jumped into the rotation. As a result, the Mets called on Peterson to join the major league club out of summer camp.

When Marcus Stroman subsequently went down with his leg injury in July, the Mets had a gaping hole at the back end of the rotation. Peterson was again called upon to join the rotation and, in response, has performed quite well in two starts. In those two starts for the Mets, Peterson has held his own against two potent MLB lineups in the Braves and Red Sox. Peterson is 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA, 1.29 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings pitched. His hard-hit percentage allowed is 24.2%, well below the league average of 34.7%, and his xERA is 3.21 supporting his current ERA, despite the small sample size.

In 2019 at Double-A, Peterson only went 3-6 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 24 starts. However, in 2018, over two Single-A levels, Peterson posted a solid 3.16 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 115 strikeouts over 128 IP. Furthermore, during 2020 spring training with the Mets, Peterson impressed team officials by posting a 1.50 ERA and striking out six in six innings pitched.

Peterson is making a case to remain in the Mets rotation once Stroman returns to the club. Wacha and Rick Porcello have been largely ineffective thus far. Wacha currently has a 6.43 ERA and 1.64 WHIP over 14 IP. Additionally, Porcello owns a 6.32 ERA and 1.77 WHIP over 13 IP, despite a strong start his last time out against the Nationals. Theoretically, Peterson looks to be the best option as the Mets fifth starter going forward. That said, the fact that the Mets doled out large contracts to Wacha and Porcello before the season started, makes it more likely Peterson will return to a long-relief role. That is unless the Mets suffer another SP injury and/or Wacha and Porcello continue to implode.

Verdict: Buy (NL-Only); Monitor (Mixed). Peterson has fantasy relevance in NL-only leagues, even if he is eventually relegated to the bullpen upon the return of Marcus Stroman. He can chew up league inning minimums, help with ratios and provide decent strikeouts. If, however, the Mets commit to Peterson remaining in the rotation due to Wacha or Porcello performance issues, he becomes a solid buy in all formats going forward. The pedigree is there and Peterson has already exhibited excellent mound poise, especially when he has gotten into trouble with runners on base against formidable lineups.

 

Luis Guillorme (2B/3B)

Despite the injury to Robinson Cano and the day-to-day status of Amed Rosario, infielder Luis Guillorme has seen no real increase in playing time with the Mets. Guillorme has only appeared in three games so far in 2020 and, of those three games, he has only started one of them. Guillorme is batting just .143 in seven at-bats on the season.

Guillorme is a career .222 major league hitter with just one home run and nine RBI over three part-time seasons in 151 plate appearances. Despite poor production in the majors, it should be noted that Guillorme has exhibited decent batting average and solid on-base skills during his minor league career. He boasts a .289/.368/.350 line in 2,249 at-bats over six minor league levels. Additionally, in 2019, Guillorme broke out in Triple-A to the tune of a .307 average and .412 OBP with seven HR and 32 RBI in 228 at-bats. As such, his poor numbers in 2020 and during his part-time status over the three years in the majors may not accurately reflect his true batting capabilities. Simply put, he hasn’t been afforded the chance to play every day to potentially showcase his hitting and on-base talents.

Despite his 2019 success at Triple-A, the Mets believe Guillorme’s real asset is his glove. As a result, Guillorme has been (and likely will continue to be), used as a bench player, and late-inning defensive replacement unless the Mets suffer additional injuries on the infield. With the emergence of Andres Gimenez, any possibility of Guillorme taking over the role as starting second baseman after Cano’s injury has been greatly diminished.

Verdict: Pass. There is no real road to consistent playing time for Guillorme, even with the injuries to Jed Lowrie and Robinson Cano. While Guillorme does offer the potential to provide decent average and on-base ratios, the lack of consistent playing time, especially when Cano returns, makes him irrelevant for fantasy purposes.



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Of the 1,015 hitters sampled(1) between 2015 and 2019, there were only 14 instances of hitters making more productive contact against pitches outside of the strike zone than against pitches inside of the strike zone based on xwOBAcon. Based on the same sample, the average hitter was a whopping .116 points better against pitches inside... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 23rd, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 23rd, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Lineup Order Risers and Fallers: AL West 2020 Review

It’s the offseason and there are about to be a bunch of moving parts. This allows for speculation in terms of players gaining or losing playing time, moving up or down a batting order and much more. The idea here is to highlight some lineup situations for each team and some potential winners or losers... Read More


2021 1st & 2nd Year Players with James Anderson - Benched with Bubba (Episode 317)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by James Anderson (@RealJRAnderson) on episode 317. The guys will go over 30+ first and second-year players. They will discuss their current ADP's in the 2 Early Mocks, what to expect of the players in 2021, and much more. They also go over some listener questions, compare Juan Soto to Mike... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 21st, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 21st, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 20th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 20th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 54: 2 Early Mocks APD Player Debates - Benched with Bubba (Episode 316)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They go over some of the positions and look at players with similar ADPs and debate. Going around the diamond discussing some players people are high on and some they are down on with a... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 18th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 18th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 17th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 17th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


2021 Early Mock ADP Values & Reaches: WPC+ Videocast

Pierre Camus and Nicklaus Gaut prepare for the 2021 fantasy baseball season with a look at early mock draft results from the RotoBaller Expert mock. Like and subscribe to the RotoBaller channel on Youtube to get all our latest podcasts and catch us on iTunes and BlogTalkRadio as well! Be sure to also tune into RotoBaller... Read More


Statcast Season Review: 2020 Barrel Leaders (Hitters)

The 2020 MLB season will always be one for the record books, even if everything that took place will have multiple asterisks attached to it. Evaluating Statcast numbers is a nice way to find hot and cold hitters, as well as underachievers and overachievers. Now that the regular season is over, let's reflect on the... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 16th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 16th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 15th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 15th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Daily MLB Injury Roundup for October 14th, 2020

RotoBaller has assembled a list of daily MLB injury updates to help you prepare both your seasonal and daily fantasy baseball (DFS) lineups, every day of the MLB season. Below is our updated list of injured MLB players for October 14th, 2020. Only players on teams that are scheduled to play today will appear below... Read More


Bubba and Bat Flip 53: 2 Early Mocks APD Trends & More - Benched with Bubba (Episode 315)

Bubba (@bdentrek) is joined by Bat Flip Crazy (@BatFlipCrazy) to take a deeper look at the 2 Early Mocks ADP. They dig into trends, some interesting risers/fallers, and much more. They also go over some listener questions at the end to keep the Fantasy Baseball information coming even in the offseason. Be sure to subscribe... Read More