Tom Brennan – THE SUBS ARE SUB-PAR
As anyone who's read my missives knows by now, I was an unabashed supporter of our offensive subs as soon as spring training started. I wanted them to get their shot, strut their stuff.
Be difference makers.
The subs promptly made me look good, proceeding to tear up spring training, and most then ended up in Vegas, where they tore it up some more. For instance, Johnny Monell was terrific all spring and even more terrific in Vegas.
Bring them up, I wrote, implying that the answer to Met offensive woes would be found in these frustrated fellas, who only needed a chance to show how awesome they are. And we needed quick answers, what with David Wright playing in 8 of the first 51 games, and d’Arnaud only 11 of 51.
Well, it became clearer over the first two months how valuable truly talented starting position layers are, and what a “Great Divide” can exist in terms of performance for those wannabes.
No better way to portray the subs' futility than this:
Thor, Nurse, Matz, deGrom and Colon are 16 for 70 on the season. Nice at .229.
Mayberry, Niewenhuis, Muno, Ceciliani, and Monell? After Sunday's game, 14 for 134, a robust .104. Not a typo, folks. Pitchers' average is more than twice as high.
And of course, the bleeding does not stop there. Soup Campbell? In free fall at .179 after 84 at bats And Kevin Plawecki has filled in capably during d'Arnaud's absence, but he sits at .213 after at 94 bats. He’ll hit better later, but he is what he is now.
And of course let's not forget Sub-Mendoza Recker, hitting .176, and .196 career.
The lot of them (eight guys, which is a whole lot) are 55 for 346, an unbelievably retched .158 with a terrible 107 K's. Without Plawecki, they are .138.
Reading all that, one wonders how the team is 4 games over.500. Miraculous.
Boy if they could have only kept den Dekker, right? The one we had to give up when we needed Jerry Blevins. Well, Matt is hitting just .230, with a .289 slug %, with the Nats' AAA affiliate. What would that translate into on the big league level? Not much.
Part of this may go back to a character issue. Mets emphasize character (see Recker) over performance, and hope the performance will follow.
Two examples. The Mets could have kept Justin Turner, but someone did not like him, more than likely because they did not care for his liveliness, so off he went. Annoying guy who is a decent hitter – let’s opt to dump him, right? Well, in 387 at bats with the Dodgers since he left the Mets, he is hitting an incredible .331, with a .501 slug %. How would the Mets be doing with that kind of professional bat?
What about Nelson Cruz, whom they passed on due to steroids, some character issues, not all around enough. So the Mets passed on him when they could have had him “cheap” in 2014. Well, all Nelson Cruz has done in the past year and a third is hit 58 homers (plus 42 other extra base hits), knock in 146 runs, and hit .286. “But Cruz does not fit the Mets mold, so we’ll take a pass. After all, we have Kirk Nieuwenhuis in our system, so why, when no one else wants him as the 2014 season approaches, would we want to sully ourselves to snap up this bargain?”
We coulda had ourselves a Cruz ship, we settled for a fleet of sinking subs.
The Mets are nearly a third of the way through this season. The real Wright may be the historical one now; we may never see the real David again. The Mets need offensive help. Until Herrera comes back, there is none in sight, and Dilson is so young, there is no guarantee he'll help much when he returns. He may have growing pains, too.
Answer? Well, I'd keep Matz and Thor, period.
Both are exciting. Both can hit, too.
I’d trade Gee and Niese to the team that can give us the best bats. Thirteen teams have ERAs over 4.00, somebody ought to need these guys, and some have to have some decent surplus hitters. Sweeten it with guys like Reynolds to get a better player. You may not get much, but 14 for 134 is not only putrid, it is bound to derail this team if it continues.
Get a few guys acquainted with .250.
Unless, of course, Colon, Thor and Jake keep getting big hits at the plate!
So, what would you do to fix this “Sub Par Sub” mess?