Reese Kaplan -- An Almost Mid Season Report Card


With 75 games under their belts already the Mets head into the 2nd game against the division leading Washington Nationals on Tuesday night in third place, trailing the somewhat surprising Florida Marlins by a half game.  Despite the lackluster results, there have been a number of good things that have happened from the Mets thus far this year:

  • Noah Syndergaard has turned it up a notch
  • Jeurys Familia has set a new club record for consecutive saves
  • Bartolo Colon has shown he’s still got the ability to get hitters out with ease
  • When healthy, the rest of the starting pitchers have turned in some brilliant performances
  • James Loney providing near .300 hitting after getting rescued from my hometown of El Paso
  • The new keystone combo have been as everything Sandy Alderson could have hoped
  • Yoenis Cespedes is on his way to an MVP type of season

Unfortunately the list of the bad is quite a bit longer:

  • David Wright’s career perhaps over
  • Lucas Duda out for months with a stress fracture in his back
  • Travis “DL” d’Arnaud having missed most of the season thus far
  • Zach Wheeler, Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard having elbow issues
  • Juan Lagares is also out with a thumb ligament injury
  • Matt Harvey pitching more like The Joker than the Dark Knight of Gotham
  • Antonio Bastardo looking like Oliver Perez
  • Alejandro De Aza making fans long for the offensive prowess of John Mayberry, Jr.
  • Michael Conforto demonstrating that skipping AAA might not have been prudent
  • Logan Verrett demonstrating why he was DFA’d by the Mets once already
  • Kevin Plawecki seemingly haven forgotten how to play this game
  • Curtis Granderson looking like the 2014 version rather than the 2015 version
  • Terry Collins now adding an inability to deal with the media to his dubious resume
  • Thus far the front office only able to get bench pieces and not a big bat
  • All or nothing offense – 5th in HRs but 13th in RBIs and 14th in AVG.  

It's beginning to look like the club is not going to hit the post-season without some major changes. Yulieski Gourriel could potentially be a help in both batting average and run production while filling in at David Wright's former home at 3B.  Since he's available for money and no scant resources which would have be sacrificed in a trade, it may very well be a risk the Mets need to take since he alone is not enough to propel them back into contention.  It may take some package of Gavin Cecchini, Dominic Smith or Wuilmer Becerra to land another quality hitter to play either 1B or one of the corner outfield positions.  Of course, making that kind of trade would require benching unproductive players (in the case of Curtis Granderson) or a productive but not run producing players like James Loney.  The Mets are not the courageous types that seem ready to do either with salary dictating Granderson's playing time and media backlash that would result from sitting a guy hitting .298.  The fact remains that the club is in dire need of another Yoenis Cespedes type of bat and pretty much anyone of the field should be prepared to sit if one can be acquired.  

My grade thus far overall for the club is C+ -- slightly above average, mostly due to pitching. 


Tom Brennan said...

I give the team C- so far. Injuries have strongly contributed. They crossed their fingers on Wright, and that imploded. Yanks will dump A Rod, similarly it is absolutely time for the fragile Wright to retire. In 2017, he will fragile - and older - an awful combo.

Long list of negatives. Isn't that the case yearly?

Gourriel or Braun - be bold.

IB said...

What do you do with Loney when Duda comes back? Or, maybe the question is, what do you do with Duda when he's ready to come back?

Tom Brennan said...

IB, if we have a Syndergaard and Matz problem, we may just fall apart and be sellers. They can trade Duda, who should be ready around July 31 I'd hope, and some others and reconstruct their offense.

Dom Smith seems iffy in terms of being major league ready by next spring. More likely next June. He is hitting just .260, but AA (Eastern League) is very low offense.

He has started popping homers and is up to 7 now, so maybe this is the start of his power resulting in long balls. I am still not 100% sold on a guy who is not tall bit is listed now at 230 pounds, though. Will he continue to get heavier? Better not.

Still, especially since neither St Lucie last year, nor Bingo this year, have had robust offensive squads, it is very positive to note that Smith has 128 RBIs in 726 at bats in 2015 and 2016, and only just turned 21. It seems like he will be a good clutch hitter.

IB said...

I can't see them keeping 2 left handed hitting 1st basemen with no other position so I have to agree someone's on the trade block. Both have some trade value. I prefer Duda's defence.

I still wonder why SD let Loney go for cash.

Reese Kaplan said...

In Duda you have someone with no trade value until he shows he's healthy. In Loney you have someone with no trade value due to his lack of ability to hit the long ball at a position customarily given to sluggers.

Loney costs major league minimum. Duda is earning $6.7 million, arbitration eligible next year and a FA in 2018. To another team he's the way bigger prize, but for the same reasons I'd be reluctant to deal him away if healthy until the end of the season when hopefully a REAL PLAN can be developed for the offense. Until then, the plan apparently is just tread water and hope for the best.

Tom Brennan said...

Good point, Reese. We always seem to be trying to boost player trade value.

Unknown said...

Look as ALWAYS it's about the pitching and you can quote me on that:) The 2015 staff that along with the YC and Conforto additions propelled us to the post season just isn't the same. Harvey has pitched better of late but 4-10 4.55 is not a number we would associate with the Dark Knight and certainly the theory about all the extra innings last year makes sense as all but the ageless one have suffered. We will certainly know alot more by the AS break as to whether or not we're buyers or sellers and as far as Sandy is concerned the construction of this club has to be taken into consideration here. The decision to not sign Murphy who would have been perfect (and that was BEFORE we knew the season he would have) for 1st base and as insurance for Wright and then see him sign with the Nats along with no true lead off hitter is glaring. Counting down the days on another under performing player seems to be as common a theme as finding a lead off hitter.

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