It’s time for a mid-year report card and it’s one you want to hide from your parents (or at least fold creatively so that only the pitching side of the ledger is initially visible):
Lucas Duda – C-
A year ago Lucas finished at .253/30/92. It seemed a breakthrough for him and he was going to be a solid middle-of-the-order cornerstone on whom you’d build for the future. Extrapolating his current production he would finish with .242/20/68 – a major regression. Frankly lately it’s been much worse than that.
Wilmer Flores – C+
Most in the organization didn’t question whether or not the man could hit. They were more concerned about where on the field he’d do the least damage. For now, they’ve settled upon 2nd base after the shortstop experiment ended and he does appear more comfortable there. His bat is probably a tick below where you expected it to be but he’s on pace to finish with .252/20/76. Considering he plays a middle infield position and was starting without a significant ML track record, that output is fairly positive.
Ruben Tejada – D
When a man’s best offensive attribute occurs when he doesn’t swing the bat and draws a walk, it could be a positive thing if he had the speed to take advantage of getting on base. Unfortunately Ruben does not. He’s on pace to finish with about .236/1/35. If he fielded like Rey Ordoñez maybe that output would be acceptable. As it is, he’s a bench player for a bad team thrust into a starting role.
Daniel Murphy – B
If the man could stay healthy then he’d have been easier to trade to another club. Of course, missing David Wright means that his modest offensive contributions might be too valuable to sacrifice in the half-hearted attempt to contend for the post-season. Consequently he’s pace to deliver about .278/9/72 – slightly down from his norms.
Michael Cuddyer – F
What is it about players who come to Queens and then forget how to hit once they arrive? While there’s no telling how long he’s been battling knee problems and to what extent it’s affected his performance, the fact remains he has the worst OPS of any left fielder in the game. He’s on pace to deliver a Jason Bay-like .240/12/56 for the entire year. Jason Bay actually drove in runs at a higher rate.
Juan Lagares – D+
The man with the golden arm has turned to tin. It’s obvious to everyone except perhaps the Mets medical staff that he is injured but they keep trotting him out there every day to make matters worse. There’s no telling how much it’s affecting his offense, but a pace to deliver 6/50/.257 with 10 SBs is not helping that much when he’s not the defensive force he was in the past.
Curtis Granderson – B-
It’s a testament to just how bad the Mets offense has been that people are pointing to Curtis Granderson’s output as the exception to the rule. He’s on track to deliver .247/26/58. His career norm for a 162 games is .256/28/80, so you can see he’s not even producing an average Curtis Granderson season yet he’s being hailed as an offensive force for the Mets.
Kevin Plawecki -- Incomplete
This one is a bit harder to project because he was thrust prematurely into a starting role due to the multiple stints on the DL by starting catcher Travis d’Arnaud. Of late he’s gotten his average up to the .240 range but it’s hard to project where he’ll finish and even how much he’ll play if/when d’Arnaud returns.
The Bench -- F
It’s been a rotating cast of characters there all year and none have distinguished themselves in any way. Darrell Ceciliani led the way with a .206 average and was replaced recently by the .093 hitting Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Dilson Herrera, John Mayberry, Danny Muno, Johnny Monell, Eric Campbell and Anthony Recker have all been sub-Mendoza line hitters off the bench this year.
Bartolo Colon – C
There have been ups and downs to the big man’s season, but overall he has a league average 4.46 ERA with a 9-7 record. He’s been hittable this year to the tune of a .278 BAA but his control has been impeccable with just 11 walks issued in 105 IP.
Jon Niese – B
After that one rough patch in May, Jon Niese has been outstanding this year with Pitcher-of-the-Month type of numbers for the last 6 starts. Overall he’s at 3.58 with a rather high WHIP and a losing 4-8 record. Still, the numbers are slightly better than his career norms.
Matt Harvey – A-
The man who would be king has been dethroned by teammates Jacob de Grom and the all-too-brief career of Steve Matz. He’s grumbled openly about the 6-man rotation and been the usual lightning rod for social media outrage, but his overall performance is a commendable 7-6, 3.11 and a miniscule 1.03 WHIP.
Jacob de Grom – A+
The stellar performance of the man with the Lincecum hairdo has some people pondering if he should be the new number one pitcher in town and Harvey packaged to get a much-needed bat. de Grom has been remarkable and earned his first All-Star berth on the strength of his 9-6 record, 2.14 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP.
Noah Syndergaard – B+
His 10 start audition in the major leagues has shown he has some growing to do but the talent appears to be very real indeed. His overall numbers are 3-4, 3.38 ERA, a K per IP and a 1.16 WHIP. His BAA is .248.
Jeurys Familia – A+
Although deserving of an All Star spot, the emergency closer has been nothing short of phenomenal in his inaugural year handling 9th inning duties. He is 24/26 in save opportunities, batters are hitting just .171 against him, he’s got a 0.89 WHIP and his ERA is a sparkling Bob Gibson-like 1.12. Wow!
Bobby Parnell – Incomplete
It’s too soon to give a firm grade to the man who rejoined the team in June, but thus far the results are highly encouraging. In 9 games he’s 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA. His velocity is a bit down as are his strikeouts, but he’s seemingly adapting.
Alex Torres – C
He started off looking like a coup for Sandy Alderson but lately he’s been fairly brutal with just awful control throughout this 2015 season. He’s sporting just a 3.18 ERA and has 30 Ks in 28 IP, but he’s issued 21 BBs in that time as well.
Carlos Torres – C-
It may be that, like Scott Rice before him, the manager simply pitched Torres until he had nothing left. His numbers are worse than his previous years playing for the Mets, but much of that damage this year came in a few awful appearances that have tainted the overall statistics. Overall he sits at 4.36, 2-4, 26 Ks in 33 IPs and a .272 BAA.
Sean Gilmartin – A-
The Reigning Rule V Find, Gilmartin took to his LOOGY role with aplomb, delivering the kind of numbers expected of the mending Jerry Blevins. He’s 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA, a tidy 1.14 WHIP and a tiny .204 BAA.
Hansel Robles – B
He’s another guy who had a few bad outings that impacted his statistics but he’s getting into more and more pressure situations and surviving them. He’s doing it with 19 Ks in 22 IPs, a .214 BAA and a nice 1.19 WHIP despite 9 BBs. His ERA remains high at 4.37 but it’s been coming down steadily.
Jenrry Mejia – Incomplete
He hasn’t pitched yet upon his return from both injury and PED suspension.
Terry Collins – C-
Somehow he reminds me of the story of the little Dutch boy and the leak in the dyke. Every time he tries to cover up one hole, another one springs a leak. Skipper Sisyphus has been asked to cope with the losses of David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Josh Edgin, Jerry Blevins, Zack Wheeler, Vic Black, Steven Matz, Erik Goedel, Rafael Montero and Buddy Carlyle, yet he’s still got the team over .500 as they approach the All-Star break. For that I give him props. However, he’s still too slow to make changes when things aren’t working, he overworks is bullpen, he favors veterans over rookies even when it’s clear the veterans have lost it, and he hasn’t helped a single offensive player improve consistently in a Mets uniform except Marlon Byrd. It’s hard to imagine any other team lining up to hire him after the Mets and Collins part company, but my grade to him is a recognition for his talent in 2015 for thus far successfully rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Sandy Alderson – D-
There’s a lot of debate about how hamstrung Alderson is by virtue of the Wilpons’ financial situation. The fact remains, however, that he’s done precious to address the issues facing the team. He’s constantly gone after reclamation project outside acquisitions rather than the best available talents, he’s risk averse, avoiding the bevy of international free agents from Cuba and Asia, and he’s trade-averse, too. As a result the Mets are last or 2nd-to-last in every offensive category. Yes, he’s built a pitching staff of Omar Minaya scouting into one that’s envied by pretty much every GM outside of Washington, DC, but his blatant failures in roster construction, his fearfulness in promoting prospects, his timidity in free agency and his reluctance to consummate trades have resulted in a team whose offense is a laughingstock. What’s clear to everyone is what needs to be done yet year after year nothing significant happens. It’s gotten so bad that he’s turned his manager into a sympathetic figure. Yes, costs are down. Yes, theoretically the Mets are competitive. Yes, they’ve kept the pitching future intact. However, you can’t go on losing 1-0 and 2-1 games because your offense can’t generate 3 or more runs on a consistent basis.