PORT ST. LUCIE — The three-weeks-on-the-job manager spoke in a renovated clubhouse to pitchers, catchers and rehab players that included winter additions Dellin Betances, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha.
Yet, what’s old is new again.
The linchpin of the 2020 Mets for Luis Rojas is Edwin Diaz. Same as last year for Mickey Callaway. If the Mets had received the 2018 version of Diaz in 2019, they very well might have been the second wild card rather than the eventual champion Nationals.
The Mets are desperate for that 2018 Diaz again. Could Seth Lugo close if Diaz resembles the homer derby pitcher of last season? Sure. Lugo was one of the five best relievers in the majors last year. But that removes Lugo from his best usage, which is as an attack dog (even for multiple innings) from the sixth inning on.
If Diaz can handle the ninth, Lugo can fill that fireman role. Then the Mets are not as desperate to have both Betances and Jeurys Familia also resemble their strong 2018s. If they get even one of those guys healthy and productive, terrific. Two would give them one of the best pens in the majors, especially since Justin Wilson is also still around and so is Robert…