1) Will Jake win dCy Young?
DeGrom has been the best pitcher in baseball up to this point in the season. He should have started for the NL All Star team, but the moment understandably went to Nationals ace Max Scherzer with the game being played in DC's Nationals Park.
That said, as is, deGrom beats Scherzer and Aaron Nola for hardware.
The only way a qualified voter would choose Nola or Scherzer over deGrom is if they're a dinosaur and still think wins play a role in defining talent and performance.
The Cy Young Award has never gone to a pitcher with fewer than 13 wins. DeGrom is currently on pace to win just 9 with a team likely to lose 90.
Short of wins, deGrom is the man, though...
He currently tops his competition in ERA, FIP and xFIP. Equally important, in a league flush with power, deGrom has allowed just seven home runs, while walking only 30 batters and striking out 149.
Scherzer won the award last season when having the most WAR, but the fourth-most wins. In 2016, when Noah Syndergaard had a better overall season, Scherzer won with the third-most WAR, but the most wins. In other words, if deGrom doesn't win over Nola and Scherzer this season, it'll mean he either fell apart, injured himself or voters punished him for the ineptitude of his team's offense. There will be no other explanations...
By the way, if WAR is your preferred method of determining a vote, you should also consider deGrom for the MVP because he's also been the most productive overall player in the entire National League.
3) What do the Mets have in Conforto, Nimmo and Rosario?
Brandon Nimmo, who should have been an All Star, is having a breakout season. He's currently on pace to finish 2018 hitting .250 with a .380 OBP, 20 home runs, 20 doubles, 10 triples and 4-5 WAR.
The above line will land him among the most productive outfielders in the National League and better this season than Cody Bellinger, Christian Yelich, Kyle Schwarber and other notable hitters.
Is this the real Nimmo, though? Sandy Alderson joked this past winter that he didn't need to sign free-agent J.D. Martinez because he had Nimmo, who he also reportedly refused to trade to the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen and Josh Harrison.
Nimmo, who could not play baseball in high school, has never in his life played more than 130 games in a season. He's on pace to play in a career-high 146 this season, so it's quite possible he begins to get tired, needs days off and sees his performance slightly dip.
However, knowing whether or not Nimmo is able to play close to 150 games and sustain success will be a huge piece of information when making decisions about next year's outfield and leadoff spot.
Similarly, is Michael Conforto the pure-hitting, close-to-30-HR All Star we watched in 2017. Or, is he the guy on pace to hit under .220 with less home runs and close to 150 strike outs. If he's the latter, is it because of his surgically-repaired shoulder, which he's still technically rehabbing? Or, is it a sign that he has holes in his swing that he can't fix when exploited?
Lastly, who is Amed Rosario? Is he the next Francisco Lindor, which is how scouts treated him when still in the minor leagues last summer? Or, do the Mets need to consider acquiring a shortstop because Rosario is just a sporadic, back-of-the-pack shortstop, which is what he's basically been through the first 500 at bats of his career?
The next two months will help clue us in on each answer...
3) Will we see the return of Wright?
The team's captain, David Wright, has not played for the Mets during the past two years, mostly due to a variety of issues and surgeries related to his spine. He's under contract through 2020 and still working hard to get back on field. He last played for the Mets roughly 26 months ago.
In early July, Wright took BP at Citi Field and told reporters he is also throwing and running. He stated his desire to play again, but continued downplaying his chance of a full return this season.
Wright purposefully front-loaded his current contract, taking less money these next and final two years, to avoid being hated by fans and media if unproductive and overpaid. Sadly, because of his spine, even at a discounted salary, he's still overpaid because he's totally unproductive. This means the push from fans and media for him to retire and remove his salary from the team's books is only going to get louder.
This is the last thing Wright wanted for the end of his career. He also doesn't want to push his attempt at a comeback to a point where it threatens his long term health. He has a beautiful wife, a growing family, terrific parents and brothers, plenty of money in the bank and a still-in-tact legacy and relationship with fans in the greatest city in the world.
In other words, though he's moved his goal posts before, I expect this is David's final push. I hope he's able to take the field, play at least one final game and salute his fans like Mike Piazza was able to do in 2005. Wright has earned the opportunity to make this happen. However, as is always the case with David, whatever he chooses to do, I know he'll do it with class and respect for everyone involved...
4) What's the future of the team's management?
In June, Sandy Alderson took a leave of absence and is not expected to return in 2019. In his absence, his top assistant John Ricco and his top advisors Omar Minaya and JP Ricciardi have been operating as co-GMs, which is something that cannot continue beyond this season.
Like the Knicks, Giants and Jets did recently, I've heard the Wilpons intend to hire an outside consulting firm to advise on an overall team strategy and vet GM candidates.
I still think it's possible Minaya or someone else is put in position to direct the front office, while a younger executive is named the day-to-day GM. This is trendy and similar to hierarchies currently in place for the A's, Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, Astros and other successful franchises.
Similarly, with all due respect to reports that new manager Mickey Callaway will be back next season because he signed a three-year deal, I'll believe it when I see it.
This is not to say he'll be let go, it's just that any new front office is going to keep all options on the table. It's also foolish to sell out Callaway now if there's a chance he's back, which is why I expect current management to sing his praises until they don't.
The buzz in baseball is that former Yankees manager and current MLB Network analyst Joe Girardi is likely to talk with teams interested in him as manager, specifically the Cardinals. It's hard to imagine a new GM and President of Baseball Operations in Queens would not want to at least talk in private with Girardi before remaining married to Callaway.
Otherwise, despite his odd choices, recent lack of awareness and quiet and soft style, it's more likely a new regime would stick with Callaway through at least one more spring before making a more concrete decision next summer.
5) Can these guys be the new Miracle Mets?
The Mets need to win 30 of their next 40 games to be a tick over .500 and within striking distance of a playoff spot on September 1. They'd then need be go 20-8 to get to 88 wins, which is usually what is needed to win the final Wild Card spot.
To do this, the team's trio of General Managers will need to become buyers not sellers before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline. Also, they'll need to get elite performances out of more or less everyone on the current roster, all of whom will also need to remain healthy.
It would also help if the young Phillies and Braves could hit a wall and lose more than they win.
The above equates to an improbably 49-19 between now and the end of the season. I'm not saying it can't happen, but it's highly improbable. If it does, though, the 2018 Mets would end up rivaling the 1951 New York Giants as the most amazing, most dominant comeback in MLB history.
Matthew Cerrone (Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Contact) is lead writer of MetsBlog.com, which he created in 2003. He also hosts the MetsBlog Podcast, which you can subscribe to here. His new book, The New York Mets Fans' Bucket List, details 44 things every Mets fan should experience during their lifetime. To check it out, click here!