The New York Mets are currently sending four players to the 2022 All-Star game next week: the most for the team since 2016.
But while the four Met standouts should be celebrated, there are many others who were not named to the 2022 team that were snubbed from the final list.
While the rosters are not official and there can be multiple changes over the next couple of weeks, the fact that these Mets players will not be joining the four is very surprising.
Nimmo’s late run not enough
Brandon Nimmo is one of the more important players on a Mets roster that is 20 games over .500 right now. The league leader in triples and with a highlight display that has shown his defensive improvements, it was a surprise that Nimmo was left off the 2022 All-Star team.
In his last seven games Nimmo has hit three home-runs and drove in eight while continuing to be a thorn in opposing pitchers’ sides with his aggressive offensive approach.
One common question that is always asked with snubs is who should the person replace. In Nimmo’s case, there are really two options.
Juan Soto, while one of the best young players in the game today, is having a tremendously bad season. The first of his career really. Soto’s average in 2022 is 50 points lower than his career average, he has less doubles, and is not the same force he was last season.
Then there is Ian Happ, who has the same amount of home-runs as Nimmo, less triples, and more strikeouts. His WAR is also .3 less than Brandon Nimmo’s as well.
There are stats that show both Happ and Soto are worthy of an all-star nomination, but Nimmo being one of the most important pieces on a play-off caliber roster is far more worthy than the Nationals and Cubs openly being two of the worst teams in baseball.
Mets stunned with Taijuan Walker’s absence
When your starting pitcher goes toe-to-toe with the soon-to-be NL Cy Young, you know he’s having a special season.
After throwing seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts, Walker improved his already excellent numbers even more so.
Walker is 7-2 in 2022 with a 2.63 ERA and a 1.097 WHIP while coaxing 70% of the opposition to make either soft or medium contact against him. Per Fangraphs, 50% of batted balls against Walker this season are grounders.
Walker has been the most consistent starting pitcher the Mets have had this season with Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt and Jacob Degrom all having been on the IL at some point this season.
Who should Walker replace? Well there are many starting pitchers who do not have the same numbers as Walker does. Luis Castillo, on a bad Reds team, has a 2.92 ERA. While impressive, he hasn’t been as dominant as Walker has been.
Castillo is a good pitcher, but has he been better or more important to his team than Taijuan Walker?
The case for Lindor
I’ll go on the record saying that Trae Turner and Dansby Swanson are the right picks for the NL when it comes to shortstops.
However, I do think that Francisco Lindor has more than enough credentials to be on the 2022 All-Star team as well.
He leads both players in home-runs and RBI. While his average and WAR is less than the two players going, his importance to the Mets is arguably more so than the Dodgers with Turner or even the Braves and Swanson.
Turner plays behind MVP’s in Los Angeles. There’s more protection there than any other lineup in baseball. Swanson, on the other hand, is on a team that leads the league in slugging.
Is he a big part of the reason? Sure, but if you take Swanson out of this lineup, or Turner out of the Dodgers, those teams are still winning games and in the playoffs.
Is a Lindor-less Mets team making the playoffs? Above .500? No way.
As good as Turner and Swanson are, a big reason for that is because of the lineup they play with. The Mets bottom of the lineup has forced the top of the order to have to jump on pitchers right away and it causes more pressure for guys like Lindor. The fact that he has answered with a good season is more than enough reason to.
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