With only one week until Opening Day, the Mets and Yankees are making the final cuts and sorting out roster spots to begin the 2023 season. Unfortunately, the question marks have turned into legitimate concern for both teams heading into their respective first series of the season.
The Mets will be in Miami next Thursday to face the Marlins, which were 69–93 last season, in the opener of a four-game season Max Scherzer will be the starter for the Mets, which had a record of 101–61 a season ago. The ace of the pitching staff went 11–5 and posted the best ERA of his career at 2.29 in 2022.
Yet the lingering memory of Scherzer allowing seven runs against the Padres in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series will be etched in the minds of Mets fans. The Mets dropped the series to the Padres 2–1.
Scherzer, who turns 39 in July, can create positive lasting thoughts by having another strong regular season and redeeming himself in the playoffs if his team gets there. The Mets lost Jacob deGrom, one of the most dominant pitchers in the franchise’s history, in free-agency to the Texas Rangers. However, with the addition of 2022 American League Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander and three-time Nippon (Japanese) Professional League All-Star Kodai Senga to the rotation, manager Buck Showalter’s squad should still have a strong rotation.
The 40-year-old Verlander led all of MLB last season with a 1.75 ERA and was second in wins with 18.
Next Thursday in the Bronx, the Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, who was 13–8 in 2022 and topped MLB with 257 strikeouts, is scheduled to be on the mound to take on the San Francisco Giants. Who will follow Cole is a question that is likely to be answered by Yankees manager Aaron Boone in the coming days.
Lefty Nestor Cortes is gradually recovering from a hamstring strain and former Giants lefthander Carlos Rodon, who signed a $162 million deal with the team in the offseason, has been shut down with a forearm strain and will be on the injured list Opening Day.
Key injuries have piled up for both Mets and Yankees over the past few weeks, and those voids must be filled. None bigger is the void in the Mets’ bullpen after closer Edwin Diaz tore the patellar tendon in his right knee during Puerto Rico’s World Baseball Classic team’s victory over the Dominican Republic on March 15. Diaz will be out for the entire 2023 season. Last season, he was a dominant 3–1 with 32 saves and a 1.31 ERA. Diaz is in the first year of a five-year, $105 million contract.
Right now I see both NY teams reaching the playoffs and possibly their respective league championships
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