Sunday proved that you have to force Terry Collins’ hand if you expect to win ballgames. After Jeurys Familia’s uncharacteristic implosion on Friday night, he was back to his shaky ways on Sunday. Surely after the first batter got on you might have wanted to get someone up just in case. After the second batter was on that reliever prepping for possible entry into the game would be working up a sweat. By the time the bases were loaded, even a blind man could see it was not Familia’s night, but not Terry. No, he kept him out there to lose the game on the Adrian Gonzalez hit.
I’m not going to dwell on this incident nor countless others we’ve witnessed during the Collins era. However, we should understand the pattern. He will do nothing unless his hand is forced. Even then, he will go to the familiar rather than try anything new. Consequently, Sandy Alderson needs to play to these tendencies when shaping the roster in light of the rash of injuries the team is facing.
With Travis d’Arnaud out the Mets brought up a defensive specialist rather than the offensive option in Johnny Monell. Hey, if Rene Rivera is the reason Matt Harvey finally put together a great start, I’m not going to criticize the roster move. However, I will ponder why it took the field manager such a long time to try something new while giving away 7 games.
With Lucas Duda out we had another representation of just what Terry Collins does when faced with decision making. He went to Eric “.159” Campbell, a man who, like Kirk Nieuwenhuis before him, could show brief flashes of competency in very limited use, but then exposed for the AAAA player he is when given a steady amount of playing time. At least Alejandro De Aza has had some major league success and would replace the left handed bat the team lost when Duda went on the DL. However, Collins knows Campbell and therefore he must be the better option (at least in Collins’ book).
Now Wilmer Flores’ injury couldn’t have come at a worse time as it did put Terry into the position of having to use the likes of Campbell and Ty Kelly. Still, even with the slow start Flores had this year in very limited playing time, his extended trial last year showed 16 HRs and 65 RBIs. I’d take that in a heartbeat over Soup-boy.
David Wright’s prognosis is, surprise, surprise, up in the air as they say it’s a herniated disc. So instead of disabling the man to give him time to heal, they play shorthanded while awaiting yet another shipment of magic snake oil to rub on the captain’s neck. In case you need a scorecard, that’s d’Arnaud, Duda and Wright all missing from the starting lineup. No combination of James Loney, T.J. Rivera (if ever given the chance), Ty Kelly and Eric Campbell is going to produce the run production missing from the lineup. Loney’s a ho-hum move to provide singles hitting at 1B. No one should dismiss a .285 career hitter, but where are the 65 home runs coming from that would be provided by the missing triumvirate?
It is time for Sandy Alderson to do something bold. He does have some chips to use, too. Rumor has it Ryan Braun is on the block. There are other sluggers that could be had for the price of pitching. Zack Wheeler is not that far away so it may be time to consider the structure if not the same bodies of last year’s ill-fated Carlos Gomez trade.
Duda is out for the long term (though the Mets still have him on the 15 day DL). David Wright is a crap-shoot at best. Travis d’Arnaud is making people think DL stands for d’Arnaud Lost. You’re not going to win by pinning your hopes on 27 year old career minor leaguers or singles-hitting has-beens. Even if the Mets rotation throws to a sub-3.00 ERA, I’m not confident that the lineup they’re putting on the field can produce 4 runs to win. Let’s give Terry Collins the horses he needs to be competitive in this division lest he keep trotting out the same glue-factory steeds again and again and again.