Posted by Mack Ade at 12:00 PM
On the topic of what is really going wrong thus far in 2017
It seems that there may be a few issues at stake here altering the outcome of this season's games. I'll try to highlight the most urgent ones now.
1. A team cannot expect a different outcome from a player personnel roster that always seems to repeat key injuries from season to season. i.e here, players like most of our starting rotation. Players in the field like Lucas Duda with the chronic back symptom. What would be a constructive alternative course? Absolutely going to the six-man rotation where and when possible to save arms. You have got to take into full account here that you have a very young starting rotation and they all pitch exceedingly hard with fastballs as their reliant out-pitch. This obviously creates more opportunity for injury. And this team has got to wake-up to this most apparent (season to season) reality. In the field, how long can Travis d'Arnaud hold up remains to be seen. But that injury will most likely happen by the All Star Break, because he simply is injury prone. What compounds this matter is that the Mets Manager Terry Collins barely ever rests his starting field player. He manages the regular season games as if they were the seventh game of the World Series. So what happens is that key players tend to get hurt in-season more often than most teams. And it hurts the Mets chances down the final stretch run when they begin to look tired. The other issue here is that Manager Collins makes too many relief pitcher moves inter-game. This can work at times, but often it tends to over-use the bullpen so that game becomes perhaps compromised away from having fresh relievers available to call upon. The final issue here is that the NY Mets never seem to be able to side with caution when a NY Mets player becomes injured. In other words here, their diagnosis is more often incorrectly made (often relying it seems solely upon that injured players' own assessment of the injury) and that injured player is then put back out their without a proper diagnosis and check being conducted by competent medical staff. This only further worsens the injury resulting in a longer stay on the disabled list than would have otherwise been the case.
2. This team appears to rely too much on bringing in outside mid-level talented players when it is in a pinch. Pitcher Ramirez recently being the most obvious move to illustrate this, when the Mets did have Kevin McGowan doing well at Vegas.
3. This NY Mets organization (to me) has too long relied upon starting players they have based pretty much solely on the balance sheet. In other words here (and to some extent I do understand the reasoning for this) the Mets will almost always go with the most expensive player to start any position, over the guy who may have outplayed that player in Spring Training or at the end of the season just prior. i.e here, TJ Rivera and Michael Conforto. Neither player broke Spring Training (I do not believe anyway) on the Mets 25-man roster, although Conforto may have, I am not certain. But right now, these two players lead the team batting wise and have won starting positions on this team, while both hitting over .300 BA. My honest take here with TJ is that he should have made this team two seasons ago. It's hard to argue and many will use the Wilmer Flores reason for this. But has Wilmer ever become a consistent starting hitter here? Don't get me wrong, Flores can be sensational in shorter spurts, we have all seen that. But overall speaking, I do believe that TJ is considerably more of a starting MLB player than Wilmer is. Bottom-line here is that a team has got to play its hottest players, the players that give the team the very best opportunity to win ball games. If it means older players making the most money sit, then so be it.
4.To me, this team is lacking one more missing of the order homerun type batter. How I might suggest addressing this... When a MLB team is clearly struggling, a team has got to be willing to try things that ordinarily they may not want to do in a better season where that team is above .500%. This team is floundering. The arm injuries of its starting rotation (repeated again) is killing this team's chances for more victories. Obviously. At AAA Vegas, the cupboard is for the most part bare at the starting pitcher slot. Only pitcher McGowan appears worthy of a call-up. They Mets lefty starters at AAA are all probably tweeners and not true MLB starters. As such, they cannot provide the level and quality of MLB starting needed right here right now with the Met starter injuries being sustained.
Possible player personnel promotions that I might like to see now...
AAA 1B Dominic Smith (.329 BA), Amed Rosario (.361 BA), OF/PH Travis Taijeron (.281 BA) Reasoning: Smith and Taijeron have some power batting and can hit for a decent enough batting average. While with Cabrera out hurt at current (he looked to me hurt most of this early season I thought, maybe WBC sustained but not sure) this should be a more ideal time to take a look at Rosario here, even if just for a quick look while Cabrera is out hurt. Why not?
AA 2B/SS Luis Gillorme, SP PJ Conlon (may be another Glavine type lefty), SP Kyle Regnault (also a lefty)
So what's the over-riding issues with this 2017 NY Mets team in summary...
A. Repeat injuries to key players.
B. Cannot keep running this parent club off the balance sheet.
C. The Mets need to possibly be more willing to make callups from especially AAA Vegas to bolster things here.
D. The team has players it can trade from. But they need possibly one more top-end starter and then someone also to add homerun power to the middle of the batting order to maximize opportunity here. Now if that batter were a catcher (for instance) then bingo.If you add Smith into the starting lineup, he too would benefit this ball club power wise.
Personally speaking, I think Matt Harvey needs to sort of "re-invent himself" as a MLB starter. By this, I mean that he needs to develop one more out-pitch that he can add to his arsenal and feel confident with because his fastball now compared to his rookie campaign is no longer the same pitch it once was. This is what really intelligent pitchers can do, modify their arsenal to where they actually are in their respective careers. The question will then become, can Matt do this? With Harvey more effective and staying healthy all season, it eliminates much of the concern everyone is having right now with this starting rotation. The other thing that may be important here would be getting (lefty) PJ Conlon ready for the bigs, as soon as humanly possible.
E. They need much more accurate player injury assessments being made right when a player first gets hurt.
F. Giving deserving kid players down a AAA Vegas a chance to get into games here at the parent level.
Trade possibilities are possible with this 2017 team, which is good. The NY Mets will need to direct their attention towards (again) a quality starter, a homerun hitting catcher for the middle of the batting lineup, and then potentially strengthening the NY Mets minor league rosters some.
The team is at a place (right now) where they need to be more willing to take larger risk to resolving the above issues. It isn't all about...the balance sheet.