Well as many Mets fans know, optimism at the start of the season doesn’t always work out. This April would be considered a colossal failure. We all had the World Series in mind back on opening day. What a difference a month makes. At 10 -14 it’s not too late to look for answers and more importantly, look for solutions.
There is plenty that can go around:
Jose Reyes got off to a slow start to say the least. Fans and bloggers were looking for solutions three weeks into the season. He seems to have gotten passed his offensive struggles, now let’s hope he stays hot and improves his defense.
The Defense, I think everyone knew the defense wouldn’t be great but it has been especially disappointing. Two plays stick out to me, the Reyes drop of a pop fly. This cost the Mets a game and I also wasn’t impressed with d’arnaud just standing watching Reyes drop the ball. It would have been nicer if he was in position for a possible reaction to Reyes drop. (I know its nit picking, but I’ve seen plenty of plays where a popup was dropped and then caught by the teammate standing nearby). The other play that sticks out to me was Cabrera letting a sure double play ball go under his glove, it let the flood gates open up when the Mets could have gotten out of an inning. Last word on the defense is a glaring one, when we don’t have Lagares in centerfield, our outfield defense is compromised.
Neil Walker – $17 million for this? He seems to have gotten a free pass from the fans so far but he hit .197 with 2 home runs in April. Sandy has some explaining to do on this one. Murphy’s gone but 3 years at $36 million looks like a better investment so far than the 2 years and $28 million we’re paying Walker. How do you offer arbitration to a guy coming off back surgery? I like Walker and hopes he turns it around but a hot Walker in April would have helped for sure.
Curtis Granderson – $16 million for this? Sure he has a history of a slow start and is a great clubhouse guy but .128 with 1 homerun? How long do you wait to pull the plug and go with Lagares/Conforto in Center?
Terry Collins – he’s the manager, so he is naturally the guy to blame. A lot of times the manager gets the blame when he doesn’t deserve it but in this case I think he’s earned it! He burned out his bullpen again just like he did last year. The Mets brought up and sent down Gilmartin like 3 times in April and didn’t use him. For example, they brought him up a day after 16 inning game with the Marlins. Terry indicated he would use him if they went to extra innings the next day. Instead he pitched Montero/Blevins/Edgin all of whom pitched the night before. I’m not boasting about Gilmartin being a great pitcher but if you don’t have confidence in him to pitch to give guys rest don’t call him up in case of an emergency.
The manger has some responsibility to protect the players from themselves, Terry clearly lets the players dictate how and when he uses them when it comes to injuries. Cespedes came back too early and Terry used him when he said he was ready to go regardless of the weather conditions. Syndergaard had no business starting on Sunday, you could argue the Mets should have forced him to have an MRI but Terry let him pitch, how about using some discretion as a manger? Terry doesn’t seem to look at the big picture and gets caught up in “must win” games in April. I know April game count, but Terry seems to have put a lot of emphasis on winning in April the last couple of years and has gotten players hurt in the process. Remember Jim Henderson’s 17 pitch at bat last year, when he brought him in the next day and he went from throwing 95 mph to 88mph and then to the DL. He’s out of baseball now.
As far as I’m concerned Terry’s on the clock, I don’t expect the Mets to pull the trigger anytime soon but I’d be looking for his replacement if I had Sandy’s job.
Not all has been Bad this year
The Mets have their challenges after their April start but not is all lost. They got off to a slow start last year and still managed to make the playoff and they certainly can do it again. A lot of players have excelled and they will need to continue to if the Mets have a chance to go to the playoffs for the third year in a row.
Jay Bruce – has quickly made fans forget about his failures after he arrived last August. Honestly, if he continues to produce, The Mets could consider to cut the cord on Granderson. And we all should be thankful the Mets couldn’t trade him after signing Cespedes.
Jacob Degrom – He found his velocity and has pitch the way we all expected him to. With Syndergaard out for months, the Mets will need him and Harvey to continue to pitch the way they have been.
Michael Conforto – His comeback after a very tough year has been refreshing to Met fans for sure. I hope he continues to produce and not repeat what happened last year. Last year he hit .365 with 4 HR’s so His .321 and 6 HR’s this year have me hopeful but cautiously optimistic. Of course hitting his 7th homerun last night helps.
Travis d’arnaud – His average may be low but he equaled his home run production in April from all of last year.
Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith – if the Mets continue to slump through May and Early June, these guys may be our only option to save the year. Rosario is batting .409 and Smith is at .343 in Vegas. I would not be surprised if Smith is at first with Rosario at short by the end of June. Terry then can use Walker/Flores/Cabrera/Reyes in some combination at second and short and then roll the dice.