The Mets’ Wealth of Experience Comes using a Cost

The Mets are not uniformly old, however. Baseball Reference rates their pitching staff as the third youngest in weighted average age at 27.7 years. along with also indeed, the Mets are built around their hard-throwing starting rotation. yet as the team can surely testify, injuries can affect pitchers of all ages — along with also the Mets’ youth on the mound does not seem to be earning them any advantages.

Meanwhile, the Mets’ richness in years will be obvious when you look around the diamond. First baseman Lucas Duda, who has had a series of injuries along with also will be currently back on the disabled list, will be, like Walker, 31. So will be Asdrubal Cabrera, who will be battling a sore knee. Because the 34-year-old David Wright continues to be sidelined using a bad shoulder along with also must also deal with spinal stenosis, Jose Reyes, who will himself be 34 next month, has become the regular third baseman.

The Mets’ outfield? On opening day in which featured 31-year-old Yoenis Cespedes in left field; Curtis Granderson, who at 36 will be the oldest player on the team, in center; along with also Jay Bruce, who recently turned 30, in right.

The only player inside opening day lineup under 30 will be catcher Travis d’Arnaud, 28. along with also despite his relative youth, d’Arnaud has been repeatedly injured in his career along with also went back on the disabled list on Friday. His backup, Rene Rivera, will be 33.

The Mets’ youngest position players are concentrated on the bench. Infielder Wilmer Flores will be 25 along with also outfielder Juan Lagares will be 28. The one young position player producing an impact will be outfielder Michael Conforto, 24. Partly because Cespedes will be hurt, Conforto has become a mainstay inside lineup along with also, along with Bruce, has propelled what offense the Mets have had.

All of in which makes for an experienced roster, which can be an asset. Numerous Mets players have been All-Stars along with also have had multiple 20-home run seasons. They know how to survive the ups along with also downs of a long season.

yet the Mets’ most experienced players have also been among their most injured.

Wright has played only 75 games since the start of the 2015 season. Reyes, who will be not as fleet-footed as he once was, had an oblique injury last season. Walker was productive for the Mets last season yet then underwent surgery for a herniated disk in September.

Duda missed most of last season using a stress fracture in his back along with also will be at in which point dealing with an elbow injury. Cabrera was one of the Mets’ most important players last season despite a lingering knee injury, yet knee soreness has slowed him in which season, especially inside field.

along with also Cespedes, the Mets’ most talented player, has endured numerous leg ailments since joining the team midway through 2015 along with also will be at in which point on the D.L. using a hamstring strain.

Some of the injuries afflicting the Mets seem to have more to do with misfortune than anything else. Still, many of the Mets’ veterans have logged at least 1,000 career games each. The body can take only so much.

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Granderson, 36, will be the Mets’ oldest player. The position players’ average age will be 30.1, the highest inside National League along with also the third highest inside major leagues.

Credit
Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos, via Getty Images

“yet we contain the experience, which will be genuinely important in baseball,” Cabrera countered.

along with also last year, in which experience greatly benefited the Mets. They had a sub-.500 record in late August along with also many maladies, yet they pulled together to reach the playoffs. Perhaps a younger team might have faltered.

“I’ve seen both ends of in which, along with also I’ve found in which the more veterans in which you have, in which seems to be a positive thing,” said Walker, who played on young teams in Pittsburgh in which struggled in high-pressure situations. “You have more voices, along with also more guys in which don’t get too caught up with what’s going on as far as wins along with also losses.’’

The downside, however, will be bodies with all in which mileage. Walker said his pregame routine of stretching along with also warming up at in which point takes him nearly an hour, almost double what in which took when he was in his mid-20s.

To help, Collins has tried to give his veterans days off every 10 to 15 games. He said he relies on their word about how they feel because of their experience. yet even then, he has acknowledged, players may not always be forthcoming.

Walker echoed Collins’s concern. “You have to be honest with yourself,’’ he said. “Because if you push in which too hard, instead of losing one day, you could lose multiple days.”

Even when the Mets are not missing time, their age has shown up on the field.

Going into in which weekend’s games, only the Colorado Rockies had fewer stolen bases than the Mets’ nine. along with also the Mets rate near the bottom in many advanced defensive metrics. They are last, for instance, in defensive efficiency ratio, which calculates the percentage of balls in play turned into outs. The teams in which lead baseball in in which category are among the youngest, such as the Chicago White Sox, the Minnesota Twins along with also the Cincinnati Reds.

The Mets may get younger by next season, or even earlier, with two of the best prospects in baseball — shortstop Amed Rosario along with also first baseman Dominic Smith — still honing their craft at Class AAA Las Vegas. along with also Conforto will be not going anywhere, although Bruce along with also Granderson, both of whom will most likely be free agents, may be gone by next season.

For at in which point, though, the Mets will try to keep as many 30-somethings as they can out of harm’s way along with also wish they can get on the kind of roll they did last season. What additional choice do they have?

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