Although there were some bright spots with the Mets in 2021, there were a fair share of misfortunes as well. Injuries plagued the team and dugout issues led to a tumultuous season.
- Lack of Production from Jeff McNeil – After a promising 2019 campaign and being named an All-Star, McNeil continues to digress. Over the last four seasons, McNeil’s batting average plummeted from .329 to .249. In 2019, his OPS stood at .916 and decreased to .674, while his OPS+ went from 143 to 86. McNeil also spent time on the designated list (DL) due to a hamstring injury which prevented him from finding his footing in 2021. With the chance for the Mets to make a big signing after acquiring Javier Báez earlier this season, McNeil may have played his last game for the blue and orange.
- Injuries to Jacob deGrom and more – Four-time All-Star and two-time NL CY Young award winner deGrom was riddled with minor injuries all season. He suffered minor injuries which landed him on the 10-day DL multiple times. deGrom missed games starting July 7 due to right elbow inflammation. The 33-year-old righty was officially shut down for the season at the end of September.
Michael Conforto, who was selected to the 2017 All-Star team, missed five weeks due to a right hamstring injury. Before and after the injury, Conforto did not play to the caliber he was expected to, especially on a contract year. The decision remains for Steve Cohen and the Mets organization whether the homegrown player is back next year.
McNeil spent a lot of time on the 10-day DL after sustaining a hamstring strain on May 17. Though he was not having the best season prior to the injury, the Mets certainly missed his absence. He did not return to the lineup until mid-June.
Francisco Lindor, who added a spark to the Mets dugout and clubhouse missed 36 games after an awkward swing resulted in a strained oblique.
Newly acquired pitcher Carlos Carrasco did not make his first start with the Mets until July due to a preseason tear to his hamstring. After suffering setbacks while recovering from the spring training injury, he also dealt with a thumb issue.
- Issues Between Players and Fans – Distractions proved to bring morale down in the dugout, clubhouse, and with the fans. After underperforming for several weeks, Mets fans began booing players when they struck out or made a bad play. Players heard the fans loud and clear, so after succeeding on certain plays, several players, including Lindor and Báez, gestured with thumbs down motions at the fans. The ordeal sparked controversy and ownership and the organization deemed the altercation unacceptable, and Lindor and Báez apologized for their actions.
Still, the Mets faithful will be repping the blue and orange next season with a newfound hope.
Photo: AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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