2016 New York Mets
2016 New York Mets / Franchise: New York Mets / BR Team Page
Clinched Wild Card: October 1, 2016, At Philadelphia Phillies
Managed by Terry Collins
History, Comments, Contributions
The 2016 New York Mets were coming off an appearance in the 2015 World Series and were poised for more. They were counting on an outstanding young starting rotation comprising Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz, complemented by ageless Bartolo Colon, to return to the postseason. However, things did not go as planned, as the team was completely racked by injuries, but they still managed to reach the postseason.
The first piece of bad news came in the off-season, as former closer Jenrry Mejia became the first player to be permanently banned form the majors for failing a third PED test. Still, it was not a huge blow, given that Jeurys Familia had stepped in ably when Mejia was first suspended, and Mejia was scheduled to sit out the season anyway because of a relapse. However, when the starting pitchers began to fall like flies, things became harder, Harvey appeared out of sorts all season and went down permanently in July. Matz was on and off the disabled list, while de Grom was shut down in September. Another young pitcher, Zack Wheeler, whi was expected to come back from Tommy John surgery during the season, never made it back. Only Syndergaard was healthy ... as was Colon, who had another excellent season, even becoming the oldest major leaguer to homer for the first time. So, by the time the Mets were closing in on a postseason slot, the starters included pitchers like raw rookies Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo playing key roles.
The position players were not much more healthy. 3B David Wright was limited to 37 games and 1B Lucas Duda went down in May, not returning until September. C Travis d'Arnaud also visited the DL, 2B Neil Walker, who was having his best season with the bat after joining the Mets in the off-season, saw his season end in August. OF Michael Conforto, one of the heroes of the Mets' run to the World Series as a rookie the previous year, found the going a lot tougher as a sophomore and found himself back in the minors for a stretch in mid-season. OF Yoennis Cespedes was also banged up, also he did not miss long stretches. But the Mets were always able to find players who could step in for the wounded. They signed 1B James Loney off the scrap heap, and he contributed ably; they signed disgraced former Met Jose Reyes and installed him at shortstop. Rene Rivera was able to give the team decent production as a substitute for d'Arnaud. And the players who were healthy all seemed to turn into homer fiends. Cespedes and Curtis Granderson both hit over 30 homers, while Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera topped the 20 mark. Back-up IF Wilmer Flores and Conforto both ended up in double figures as well.
Still, the Mets seemed to have been eliminated from the postseason by August 20th, when they were 60-62. However, they began playing well from that point on, and as observers pointed out, they had the chance of having an historically easy schedule in September, hardly playing any teams that finished .500 or better. But they still had to win those supposedly easier game, and that they did. On October 1st, with one day left to play in the season, witha 5-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies, they not only clinched a postseason spot, but also home field advantage in the National League Wild Card Game.
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Yoenis Cespedes, Bartolo Colon, Jeurys Familia and Noah Syndergaard
- NL Silver Slugger Award: Yoenis Cespedes (OF)
- 2022 New York Mets Media Guide, pg. 382
- Ted Berg: "Organizational report: Mets in position to contend again", USA Today Sports, February 26, 2016. 
- Anthony DiComo: "Sting of WC loss eclipses strength of final push", mlb.com, October 6, 2016. 
- Matt Ehalt: "Mets' playoff fight will come down to the wire", USA Today Sports, September 12, 2016. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Mets avoiding 'woe is me' talk as they tread water", USA Today Sports, July 20, 2016. 
- Bob Nightengale: "Mets try to salvage challenging season, but know changes are inevitable", USA Today Sports, August 24, 2016.