May 14, 2021

Breaking down key issues Mets face as spring training nears (New York Post)

The atrocious local football season is in the rear-view mirror. The Knicks remain a wasteland. So with only a month to go before pitchers and catchers report for spring training, here are five thoughts about the Mets before life begins anew in Port St. Lucie:

— If you look at one issue that torpedoed the 2019 Mets, it was the collapse of the bullpen, led by Edwin Diaz and Jeurys Familia. There are many ways to measure bullpen destruction — blown saves is the easiest, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Diaz blew seven saves, Seth Lugo blew five, Familia and Robert Gsellman four apiece and Tyler Bashlor three. But it was much more than blown saves that told the story of this horrid bullpen.

Mets relievers never were in command, no matter who was on the mound or who held the title of pitching coach. This group will get a new pitching coach in former Met Jeremy Hefner, and he is off to a good start. He already has visited Diaz in Puerto Rico to work on the closer’s head and mechanics. Diaz surrendered 15 home runs, and each one seemed to be more crushing than the last.

This bullpen must gain the confidence of the starters and do all this with a first-year manager,…

Read “Breaking down key issues Mets face as spring training nears” at New York Post