5/21/16

Reese Kaplan -- 2016, A Season of Surprises

15 comments
This season has been a bit tougher on Mets fans than they expected.  There have been some scorching hot streaks and some frigid slumps as well.  Many players are doing pretty much what was expected of them, including Lucas Duda, Michael Conforto, Jacob de Grom and Jeurys Familia.  Others, however, have been somewhat surprising in good (or bad) ways.

One nominee for most surprising (though the peripherals were there a year ago ) is Noah Syndergaard.  After a very solid rookie campaign that saw him post a winning 9-7 record with a nice 3.24 ERA and a 10K per 9 IP average, everyone expected another solid season.  However, Thor has upped the ante considerably, raising the K rate to 11 per 9 IP, offering up an unheard of 7.2:1 strikeout to walk ratio, and lowering his ERA more than a full run to 2.19.  Everyone expected good things from this young man but what he’s done is Goodenesque. 

On the flip side, perhaps the biggest shock is the performance thus far of Matt Harvey.  Whether it’s still related to the bladder issue that sidelined him late in the spring, a change in his delivery or, as some Page 6 type pundits have volunteered, that he loves the night life a bit too much, the fact is that he’s been pretty bad since the season began.  Including Thursday night’s lowlight of the season, Harvey now stands at 3-6 with a Pelfreyesque 5.77 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP.  Strikeouts are down.  Walks are up.  Opposing batters are hitting a robust .325 against him with an All Star level OPS of .862.  Another 2-3 starts like the ones he’s been having and they may have to consider getting him out of the rotation temporarily. 

Bartolo Colon has had some terrific moments on the mound but also turned in a few clinkers lately, too.  Overall he’s not bad at 33 and 3.75 – about what you’d accept for a 5th starter.  His big shocker remains the career-first dinger which overshadowed his stellar pitching performance that night during which he provided 8 innings of shutout ball with 7 Ks and no walks.  One can never tire of watching his offensive heroics, however.

The new middle infield combo of Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera cost the team about $9 million given that Jon Niese’s $9 million salary departed to Pittsburgh in the Walker trade.  For that they’ve gotten Walker’s best home run production of his career and a .280 batting average out of the shortstop position from Cabrera who, until Thursday night’s debacle against the Nationals, had been rock solid fielding his position.  It’s not often that first year players coming to the Mets meet or exceed expectations but the DP combo is doing just that.

Speaking of players who hit the ground running, the 2015 sprint to the pennant by Yoenis Cespedes seemed unsustainable.  After all, who could keep up that pace of hitting for an extended period of time?  Well, it turns out that the avid car collector can.  He’s been at or near the top of the home run charts since the season began and is on pace to deliver more than 120 RBIs while hitting nearly .290.  They’re getting what they’ve paid for and then some.  The fact he’s delivering at this same level is somewhat surprising.  The bigger surprise will be if he remains with the Mets after this year when other clubs may want to pony up to lure him away. 

I think David Wright is doing about what you could reasonably expect given his health.  Travis d’Arnaud on the DL is nothing new.  Curtis Granderson is off to a slow start but not playing at a level where benching him seems like a viable option. 

So who has surprised you the most thus far?  

15 comments:

Thomas Brennan said...

d"Arnaud's health issues are a Travis-ty at this point. Harvey needs to forget his bladder and get pissed. Pitch like an old timer and force hitters off the plate. Duda's "as expected" is not nearly enough - I want Murphy at 1B - whoops, too late. TJ Rivera in AAA (.367/.400/.561, 39 RBIs) is saying "I can eat Eric Campbell's soup any day." A hot bat that could help a cold team.

Wow - Giancarlo Stanton is hitting a mere ,214 with 55 Ks in 39 games. Somewhere, the healthy Mets Travis, Travis Taijeron (.296/.394/.548, with 45 Ks in 38 games), is saying, hey I can do better than that. Trade them straight up - look at all the money the Marlins would save. We can throw in Nimmo and Cecchini if they insist :)

Thomas Brennan said...

Gomer Pyle's Sergeant Carter took Matz deep last night. Shazaaam. Saw the replay - his and Conforto's homers were long outs in 2009 Citifield. Yes, I am a broken record. It says to Mets management (assuming someone reads this stuff) that is is good to fix mistakes. Keep fixing them.

Mack Ade said...

The only surprise I have this season is this meh stretch.

This team has enough talent to win it this year. I do hope they do.

Metsiac said...

The Marlins are NOT trading their centerpiece, and if they were they'd demand a LOT more than that package. Maybe Conforto+Thor+prospects might do it, but I'm satisfied with our current OF.

As for my biggest surprise, it has to be Verrett. He was supposed to be the "long man" in the pen, with an occasional spot start, and it was reasonable to expect "fair" performance out of him. But if two 6 IP starts when we were struggling in April, and a 3.38 ERA overall, aren't surprising enough, consider that without the outlier of 7 ER in 2.2 IP in the Colorado game he's given up THREE ER IN 24 IP!!! That's a rate of 1 per 8 IP, as good as anyone in MLB.

Yet I've seen posts advocating that he be sent to Vegas after that one bad outing.

Who could be more surprising than he?

Reese Kaplan said...

That Gilmartin him yet is in Vegas?

Reese Kaplan said...

That Gilmartin him yet is in Vegas?

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi Metsiac my post on Stanton was tongue in cheek but also to show the mighty can turn, at least temporarily, into Ike Davis.

Thomas Brennan said...

Hi Metsiac my post on Stanton was tongue in cheek but also to show the mighty can turn, at least temporarily, into Ike Davis.

Hobie said...

I'm surprised Campbell & Reynolds are in Queens and not TJR. (yeah, 40-man stuff) His 3/5 last night, HR (5) & 3 RBI's (39) yield a .367/.400/.561/.961 slash. Only the SLG is LV inflated, just what do you have to do?

Thomas Brennan said...

I think he has done enough. His time may be close. I think the team doesn't want it to seem too much like a revolving door. But TJ should be close.Leading PCL in RBI.

Thomas Brennan said...

I think he has done enough. His time may be close. I think the team doesn't want it to seem too much like a revolving door. But TJ should be close.Leading PCL in RBI.

Metsiac said...

I get you now, Tom (about Stanton). And I agree with you about TJ. I'd like to see him get a shot, but with Wilmer due back soon and Campbell playing great D, I don't see messing with the 40 unless there's a trade brewing.

Right now, de Aza is our only LH bench bat, and he's been working out at 1B because of Dude's back problems.

Our need is a LH bench bat, preferably for the IF. I'd like Reed Johnson or a clone of him. He and Uribe were underrated last year, but made a major contribution to our pennant surge.

Metsiac said...

I get you now, Tom (about Stanton). And I agree with you about TJ. I'd like to see him get a shot, but with Wilmer due back soon and Campbell playing great D, I don't see messing with the 40 unless there's a trade brewing.

Right now, de Aza is our only LH bench bat, and he's been working out at 1B because of Dude's back problems.

Our need is a LH bench bat, preferably for the IF. I'd like Reed Johnson or a clone of him. He and Uribe were underrated last year, but made a major contribution to our pennant surge.

Hobie said...

Wilmer comes back from the DL and I assume Reynolds goes back to AAA. The only way TJR gets a shot at even the 40 man trade or DW goes on the 60-day. Sad. I can't see anyone claiming Campbell if DFA'd, but who knows.

Metsiac said...

I'm opposed to any prospect getting splinters instead of playing every day. Bumping someone from the 40 so TJ can sit at Citi is contrary to my ideal. If an IFer were to go on the 60, creating an everyday opening, that might be a spot for TJ to compete for. But that's not the case. Let him keep playing for Wally until a need aris s for change.

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