I had thought about doing this before Baseball Reference, Chris, and staticoverdub started doing their own sims; even Out of the Park is running one now. I was going to set up a little blog for detailed posts, but since I'm now the 5th+ wheel on this wagon, I thought I'd just add a fan post as I play out a season for the Metsies on OOTP21. I'll probably post updates every (virtual) week as I go along, no promises on timing but I'll do what I can. [Also, for some reason images are a continuing problem for me, I've never had so much trouble getting them scaled. if you're seeing a grey box instead of an image or it's giant or tiny, it isn't you, it's SBN].
Here's how your Old New York Mets kick off the 2020 Season...
v RHP: Nimmo CF, McNeil 3B, Alonso 1B, Conforto RF, JD Davis LF, 2B Cano, C Kelly, SS Rosariio, P
[defensive subs: Marisnick CF, Nimmo LF]
[every 4th game v. RHP: D Smith LF, McNeil 2B, JD Davis 3B, Lopez C]
v LHP: Rosario SS, McNeil 2B, Alonso 1B, Conforto RF, JD Davis 3B, Kelly C, Nimmo LF, Marisnick CF
[every 5th game v LHP: JD Davis LF, Guillorme 3B; Every 7th game v LHP: Smith LF]
[defensive sub: Guillorme 2B, McNeil 3B]
Reserves: D Smith, Jarrett Parker, Raffy Lopez, Luis Guillorme
Starting Pitchers: De Grom, Syndergaard, Stroman, Matz, Porcello. Emergency SP: Wacha
Relief: Betances CL, Diaz, Lugo; Setup, Familia, Brach, Wilson, Watson; Mop Up/Long: Wacha
Notes on Opening Day Roster: The ONY Mets were active on the free agent market, signing any youngsters they could find to fill out the ranks in the minors and find some players with option years left. As the year goes on, the AAA roster will get upgraded at every opportunity. In that vein, the Orioles were willing to give Anthony Santander for Jacob Rhame and another guy; he may not be much of an upgrade over Jarrett Parker, who breaks camp with the team, but he is in an option year and has a little more defensive flexibility. And he's 25, so hopefully he can fill in a spot on the bench long term.
Another scrapheap guy that may show up in Payson Field sometime this year is 28 year old Oswaldo Arcia who slugged over .500 in Mexico last year. I'll be looking for a true CF with options who can be a real pinch-runner, but there aren't great candidates for that at the moment. I'm not totally ignoring the future, but the time still seems to be now for this team.
The other position player move was adding free agent AAAA catcher Raffy Lopez, who is a defensive downgrade from Rene Rivera but bats lefty and (crucially) allowed Rene Rivera to go in a package with Jed "Ghost" Lowrie to LA for Andrew Toles, who will sit on the Mets' restricted list for the next year and make less than Lowrie (who the game thinks will only be out a couple of weeks). The same day an extension offer was made to Syndergaard, so overall it's hopefully an upgrade although a panic trade for a real catcher may prove necessary if the new everyday C (see below) goes down.
On Opening Day eve, another young filler signed on, 23 year old Marcos Yordan Almonte, now nicknamed "Eduardo Nunez Jr." for his wide collection of iron gloves enabling him to make errors all over the field. He's actually not so bad at second, and if needed is a better option than his rusting namesake. And he slugged .338 as a Rockland Boulder! I doubt I'd call him up over Giminez, but still, lowered injury settings or not this is still the Mets.
And when I thought all that was done, I scanned the trading block one more time to see who teams were still trying to move. Wilson Ramos' defense is horrible, and I am bearish on his ability to repeat last year's production, so I spent a long time comparing him with Jason Castro, whom the Angels were trying to dump. Moving Ramos' contract would free up some salary space too, and once I had a trade put together I decided to see what other teams might do for Ramos. On a lark I stuck Carson Kelly in the trade box, and got the notice that Ramos' salary put them like $7M in the red so the trade couldn't be evaluated at all. Checking to see what they had in the nature of dead money, way at the top of the list was Yasmany Tomas' $17M. Unfortunately for Mr. Tomas, he has 3 options left and not enough service time to refuse Summer in Syracuse, so Kelly is heading to Queens just in time for opening day and the Mets will dispatch an armored car full of Wilpondollar$ to SYR once a month. He's rated as a "Captain"; intangibles like that are important in OOTP both in terms of performance and "team chemistry", keeping hotheads and goof-offs in line. And although I'm playing for this year and not next year, locking up a real catcher for the foreseeable future is a real change of pace for the club.
Pitching-wise, unlike Chris I can't figure out how to get Gsellman onto the major league roster at the moment, so until Wacha and/or Porcello pitch themselves into Lancaster Barnstormer uniforms he'll be twirling it in SYR (as a starter, OOTP doesn't care about stretching out between levels). Daniel Zamora also got sacrificed when Tony Watson showed up on the trading block as virtual Farhan goes scorched-earth, taking Chasen Shreve and Joey Terdoslavich just to get rid of Watson. Shoulda traded him last year like I told you! I suspect Zamora will be back in the majors before long.
On Settings: The major change I make when I play OOTP is turning the injury setting way down, I hate watching AAAA filler in the majors in real life so I really don't want to see virtual stars go down. I also bump pitcher stamina up one notch, and turn infield shifts off. Trades are set to "hard/favor prospects", with AI trades set to very low, because they're often dumb and in particular because the AI bombards with bad trade offers. I make a few other tweaks to settings, if anyone is actually interested let me know and I'll share those.
Tune in again for the first week's results!