The New York Mets were plagued by injuries throught the 2003 season and finished in last place for the 2nd season in a row. In Art Howe's first year at the helm, the New York Mets led the NL with 506 games started by rookies. One of the bright spots of the year was the play of rookie Ty Wigginton who set New York Mets rookie records in doubles (36), hits (146), extra base hits (53), and at-bats (573).
A revamped group of New York Mets, highlighted by the additions of Kaz Matsui and Mike Cameron, began the season strong under Art Howe, fighting for first place in the National League East through the middle of July despite Jose Reyes missing nearly three months with a hamstring problem. Tom Glavine and Al Leiter were the Major League ERA leaders for much of the first half and it appeared as if New York Mets was going to give the Braves a run for the divisional crown. But injuries to Reyes, Matsui, Glavine, Mike Piazza and Cliff Floyd derailed the New York Mets' run in the second half, eventually costing Howe his job.