5/12/15

Tom Brennan - FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE

12 comments

Tom Brennan - FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE 

Ahh, to be the Mets, sitting at 20-12 after 32 games.  2 1/2 games in front.   

Led into the fray by a large land mass known as Bartolo Colon, whose right arm is actually a precision laser. 

So mostly better, not so much worse, so far. So far, so good.

They say that past performance is no indicator of future results.  I beg to differ. This team is going places no recent Mets team has gone before, starting with clearing the .500 barrier that recent years' teams have found to be so vexing and impenetrable. 

This team has had more guys in the infirmary than a Mash Unit, but they continue to win 65% of their games without mashing baseballs all that much. They've scored just 120 runs, but allowed only 95, a result of a sparkling 2.86 ERA.  So, let's see, no Wheeler to start, and no Parnell, Black, Mejia, or Edgin to relieve, and that's the ERA?  Mind-boggling. 

Those 4 guys were thought to be key to bullpen success (by me, at least) back in February, and not an inning tossed by any of them.  Yet, the pen is 3-0, 2.51, 78 Ks in 75.1 innings. Remarkable.  No Mejia or Parnell to close, so we turn to Jeurys Familia, who is remarkable with 13 saves already. 

For starters, Bartolo Colon shows stats aren't everything, with his 3.30 ERA, worse than the team's average, but a major league best 6 wins. He knows how to win.  Over 200 times, to be precise.   

Harvey has been terrific, if not entirely dominant. At the current 5-1 pace, he'd go 25-5....hmmm, I'll take it.  Jon Niese, 1.95 ERA - nice to be healthy, huh, Jon?  DeGrom and Gee (now Thor) are just 3-6 combined.  Those last two spots will surely improve. 

Offensively, the Mets have struggled.  Wright for just 8 games, before the hammy whammy, and d'Arnaud's broken hand took two of their top run producers out of the line up, and it is felt.  Plawecki has been solid in 50 at bats backing up d'Arnaud, hitting .240, but Eric Campbell was just a .200 hitter in 16 games backing up Mr. Wright.  

The silver lining in that cloud has been the switch of Murphy to 3rd, allowing future star Dilson Herrera to be called up to play 2nd, hitting .261 in 7 contests.  After a 7 for 54 start thru April 22, Murph has hit .328 with 13 RBIs in 16 games.  Nice.

Duda, Grandy, Cuddyer, Flores and Lagares have all been hot and cold; all surely miss the beneficial effect that Wright's and d'Arnaud's bats would have had in lifting the whole line up.  Those 5 will do better. 

The bench hitting has been substandard with Nieuwenhuis, Mayberry, and Muno combining to go 7 for 58 - and yes, you're right if you were thinking that Niese, Colon, Harvey, Gee and deGrom were also 7 for 58.  

Recker is hitting .176, which is no surprise, since he is a career .196 non-hitter. Putrid hitting loses games.  We need far better from Mayberry, Anthony and Kirk.  Or from their replacements, like Mr. Monell. 

But what about the dee-fense?  Pretty good, with just 20 in those 32 games - chief fumblefingered fellers being Flores (7), Murphy (5), and Campbell (3).  Only 5 in 32 games for the rest of the squad, which is quite remarkable.
So what is in store for the next 32 games? Danged if I know.  

Hopefully, though, we see the return of Wright, Parnell, Black, and perhaps even d'Arnaud within 2 weeks. If Wright and d'Arnaud return soon and healthy, and not too rusty, the next 32 games should be as exciting as the first 32.  Maybe more exciting.  I can't wait.


12 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

In the interests of sleep, I mostly wrote this before last night's game. When I see them not scoring, it can diminish the sense of optimism a little more day by day. We need a healthy Wright and d'Arnaud back.

Bob Sugar said...

Hard to make out what's going to be with this team this year. Amazing job by the Pitching so far. However I'm weary that the bullpen can continue its good run with its current cast. They are a fun team to root for this year.

Mack Ade said...

We have to remember that, due to injuries, we are already playing with the best backups our system has.

The return of Wright and d'Arnaud would be our only .300+ hitters and represents 25% of our linep.

Reese Kaplan said...

Monell is getting the usual newcomer treatment from the Skipper. You'd think after his heroics on Sunday that he might merit a start the next time Plawecki needs a rest. Don't hold your breath. Recker has supplanted Eric Young, Jr. as Terry's non-productive man-crush.

Christopher Soto said...

@Reese

Not to burst your bubble....but Monell is probably the weakest defender at Catcher the Mets have on the MLB squad...or AAA....AA....hell even A+

He is a bat only guy.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Chris, I often wondered about Monell defensively, but I think if Plawecki were sent down, I'd still prefer Monell over Recker. If it is a stolen base issue, let him make his spot starts against teams not prone to running. If it extends more broadly (poor game calling, etc.) that makes it more murky.

But he was playing most games during the recent 14 game win streak in Vegas, so it seemed to not affect them.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hey Chris, I often wondered about Monell defensively, but I think if Plawecki were sent down, I'd still prefer Monell over Recker. If it is a stolen base issue, let him make his spot starts against teams not prone to running. If it extends more broadly (poor game calling, etc.) that makes it more murky.

But he was playing most games during the recent 14 game win streak in Vegas, so it seemed to not affect them.

Mack Ade said...

In my educated opinion, Johnny Monell is not a major league catcher.

Christopher Soto said...

@Tom

To be more specific, Monell possesses a poor arm that would be hard pressed to throw out any more than 20% of potential basestealers.

While his receiving skills are about average his pitching framing skills are practically now existent to the point where he can potentially COST pitchers strikes rather than steal them.

Lastly, he has trouble with blocking balls in the dirt to his left side.

Mack Ade said...

Tom -

I love you for the eternal optimist that you are, but you tend to be a dreamer about many of these minor league baseball players.

Monell has a decent enough bat to come off the bench and pinch hit, but that's his total game. Even Recker is a far better defensive catcher than he is.

There would be no reason for the Monell's of the world if Kirk and Mayberry were doing their job effectively. And they will only get to play in a full game around once a week so they have to adjust their talent accordingly.

Reese Kaplan said...

That makes me wonder about the breakdown in the coaching ranks as players move up through the system. At some point you'd think someone would have said, "Johnny, you're not going to cut it as a catcher, but 20 HR power plays at 1B or 3B or RF". Either that, or the offense is good enough to carry the defense. Then again, it could explain why at 28 or 29 he's still looking for his big break.

Thomas Brennan said...

I Wondered why an American League team did not grab him when he came available to the Mets, Mack, since Monell could also DH there.

Still, he was not taken, which puzzled me. Monell has to super-impress now, while he's got the chance....or return to slug another day in Vegas with the other vegans.

Reese, I had checked OF....surprisingly, Monell never played the OF. Since versatility can help a guy make it, that puzzled me.

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