What Mets Should Do Amid Absences Of Marte, Díaz

The New York Mets have been on a roll the last couple of weeks or so, having won eight of their last 10 games and in the mix of what appears to be a very tight National League Wild Card race. However, although last Sunday night’s game against the Chicago Cubs resulted in a Mets victory, the team was dealt two big blows that could impact them negatively. Their closer Edwin Díaz was ejected for having “sticky stuff” on his hand before he could even throw a pitch at the end of Sunday’s game, and now he is suspended 10 games. And, as if that’s not bad enough, outfielder Starling Marte has been placed on the injured list after an MRI revealed bone inflammation in his right knee. While the Mets look to continue their hot stretch, let’s talk about what they should do amid the absences of two key players.

How Mets Could Handle Missing Marte, Díaz

Utilize Ben Gamel

On Monday, June 25, 2024, the Mets called up outfielder Ben Gamel from the minor leagues to take Marte’s roster spot. It appears to be an appropriate move. Gamel, 32, has some good statistics on the field. He is hitting .314 with a .962 OPS this year in Triple-A Syracuse. Plus, he has eight years of experience in the major leagues, having played for several different teams. For a Mets team that has recently got its offense improved after a rough start to the season, Gamel could certainly be a good addition to the lineup. This doesn’t mean he’ll start every game from now on, but it’s all about the depth he provides for this team. And if he does well until Marte gets back, the team could have one of those good problems to deal with regarding figuring out what to do with Gamel. So, it’s important now for them to make sure they utilize him as much as possible.

Make sure they have a reliable backup closer

This one might be a bit easier said than done. This season the Mets have been known to blow leads late in games, especially during the ninth inning or later. They’ve already gone through this same scenario when Díaz went on the injured list about a month ago. So, they should hopefully have some idea of who can close games until Díaz returns from suspension, but if they want to completely secure wins, they have to be careful with who they send out there.

If you’re the Mets and first-year manager Carlos Mendoza, you ought to think about whether it could be Adam Ottavino or Reed Garrett who could be the next man up in the closer role. Ottavino already has some closing experience, while Garrett has simply been a solid addition to the bullpen in his second year with the team. Garrett has at times not performed at his best, especially during games in which he pitches in the ninth inning, so that’s something to think about as well. It may be a toss-up between these two guys, so we’ll see if Mendoza goes with one of them or somebody else who no one appears to have thought about.

Will the Mets be Fine Without Them?

At this point, you have every right to wonder if this team can make it through these next few weeks or so without Marte and Díaz. Think about what happened to them when they lost catcher Francisco Alvarez for a long period earlier this season. They lost a lot of games during that tough stretch. Now that he is back, they’ve won a lot of games. This situation goes to show that injuries will negatively impact a team. However, the best-case scenario for the Mets right now is to utilize Gamel repeatedly and see if either Ottavino or Garrett can be the temporary closer.

Main Image:  Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

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