Posted by Reese Kaplan at 8:00 AM
First, Jay Bruce is what he is – another all or nothing type of hitter. Granted, without Yoenis Cespedes they desperately need that kind of “All” but until Thursday night we got nothing. Hopefully when the Duffer finally gets healthy and in the lineup together it will make the team somewhat more formidable, particular with the news now (no surprise really) that Duda is likely done for the year.
Wilmer Flores had an absolutely brutal game on Wednesday. After a prolonged streak of offensive explosiveness he fell apart on both sides of his game when asked to man shortstop against a right handed pitcher. I’m beginning to think he’s got something in his head the way Lucas Duda did when asked to play the outfield. He stresses so much about the defensive side of his game that his offensive game falls apart. However, when he’s asked to play 2B or 3B where he’s more comfortable then he’s a more effective hitter. There’s not enough data at 1B to see how he responds there, but with Loney providing lots of singles we’re not likely going to find out.
A few days off seemed to do wonders for Neil Walker who has seemed to come alive of late with some multi-hit games and a better overall approach at the plate. I’d suggested awhile ago that it might have been smart to consider dealing him prior to the deadline and promote Dilson Herrera, but that ship has sailed. An astute reader suggested it was Asdrubal Cabrera who might be the better bet to trade, but he’s also now on the shelf for most of if not all of the rest of the year.
The team seemed to have gone into a tailspin coinciding with Jose Reyes’ injury. It’s not evident why exactly as he was not exactly igniting the offense based upon the counting stats. Perhaps it was his presence in the lineup, the constant threat to steal or take the extra base, the pressure it puts on the pitcher…is that the missing element right now that’s making the team appear so lackluster, or is it the combination of the bench players like Matt Reynolds and Kelly Johnson becoming semi-regulars?
Perhaps the rumored deal to land Jonathan Lucroy was the kick in the pants Travis d’Arnaud needed. He’s been more solid at the plate and looked more confident up there since that trade fell through. I’m not off the d’Arnaud bandwagon but I was beginning to feel like I might have been betting on a losing horse.
Michael Conforto also looks as if he is coming back to life. The trick now is motivating the Skipper to actually insert him in the lineup. When other hitters were hot they were shown the bench, but when Alejandro De Aza started to heat up he suddenly became irreplaceable in the outfield.
Curtis Granderson is the very definition of ice cold yet he’s penciled into the lineup without fail no matter what. I’m sick of veteran status and paycheck size dictating playing time. Granted, with Cespedes and Juan Lagares both on the shelf, the pickings are mighty slim between Brandon Nimmo, Ty Kelly and Kelly Johnson as alternatives (assuming a sane person would consider Conforto a regular).
Josh Edgin did not deliver in his first appearance for his once and future Skipper, so he will be relegated to last guy in the pen status. Jonathon Niese also demonstrated why they wanted him out of Pittsburgh but he’s a veteran so that will be forgiven.
The Mets have had more than their fair share of injuries this year but instead of deluding themselves into thinking they’re going to the post season the team really should be auditioning people for 2017 to see who they want, who they might trade and who is better off finding another line of work. What is to be gained by benching players who might have a future and playing the ones who don’t?