With three games left in May the Mets find themselves 12-13 heading into the weekend series vs. Miami. A sweep will give them a winning month, 2 of 3 gives them a .500 month. Either would be pretty good in my opinion based on all the injuries and some poor managing by TC at times, especially the Chicago series where Joe Maddon made TC look like a AA manager.
In a past blog (http://bit.ly/3trades) I mentioned three trades that could help the Mets both now and in the remainder of the season. After the news of Wright’s back the trades seem even more important.
The Mets have now decided to go with a 6 man rotation starting Monday in SD. Gee coming back has forced the Mets to make some unconventional decisions. I look at it a few ways: 1) It will help with the innings limit set for pretty much the entire staff, especially the young arms 2) Could this be a smoke screen to help drum up trade interest in the Mets starters? The Mets can not come out and say “Hey we have to many starters, we need to trade one”. Pushing Gee to one more start in AA last night may have bought a few more days to trade him or another starter. 3) As Noah showed in his 4 starts he is no longer a AAA pitcher. Welcome to the big leagues Noah as you will not be going anywhere. How you ever watched a team where you wake up everyday going “Man Noah, Harvey or DeGrom is pitching today, I can’t wait”. Oh and just wait till we add Matz to that list. By the end of 2016 your rotation could be – Harvey, DeGrom, Noah, Matz, Wheeler… Sick I know…
Last note, is it time to pull Grandy from the leadoff spot? The walks have stopped coming as frequent as they had come in April. Pitchers have realized Grandy is up there looking to walk and not strike. His strikeouts in May have lead the team with 26 total for the month. His May OBP is .320. I think going forward or at least when Travis comes back it is time to move Grandy down to 6th in the order and let Juan have his shot. Juan has not lit up May (.210/.264) but once moved into leadoff spot his mindset will change. He did well there last year.
Below is a list of who is hot and not for the month of May.
- Hot – Murphy .352/.398 1HR 11RBI
- Not – Lagares .210/.264 1HR 2RBI
- Hot – Duda .287/.374 6HR 11RBI
- Not – Plawecki – .211/.258 1HR 6RBI
- Hot – Cuddyer – .277/.355 3HR 11RBI
- Cool – Grandy – .241/.320 4HR 8RBI
- Cool – Flores – .238/.262 4HR 13RBI
- Hot – DeGrom – 3-1 2.16 ERA
- Not – Colon – 3-2 6.52 ERA
- Not – Neise – 1-4 5.10 ERA
- Hot – Familia – 1-0 1.42 ERA 5/6 Saves
- Hot – A. Torres – 0-0 .091 ERA
After a successful start to the season where everything played out the way we expect the Mets to play, we got the scare… Could it be that for the 2nd straight year the Mets could lose their closer on opening day?
What went right:
- Colon did what we all hoped and expected. He gave the team 6 very solid innings and the chance to win. I don’t expect him to pitch this well all year, but if he can provide solid starts and give the offense a chance to win it, it is a win.
- Duda came through when needed. Lets be honest, we can’t hit the alarm when the team gets no hit for 5 innings against one of the best pitchers in the game. Duda was put in a run producing spot and came through. Grandy batting leadoff worked (I was one of the many screaming “why” when saw the line-up) and Mets walked away with two walks and a run.
- Bullpen was solid. The plan was in place,Tores, Familia then Mejia… Well 2 out of 3 worked. A combo of Blevins and Carlye finished out the game and the bullpen was perfect for 3 innings.
- Overall the Mets blueprint for opening day wokred.
- It is now time to trade Gee for a bullpen arm. Yes it is way easier to say that then it is to do it. As we saw last week, Sandy saw a need and overproduced with two left handed relievers. If you say “Parnell and Black are coming”, just remember spring, neither is totally healthy right now. Parnell is not all the way back, he is not throwing as hard and that is his game. Black also needs to be 100% healthy in order to be effective.
- Now is the time to strike. SD didn’t sit back, Pirates, Marlins, Giants, Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, etc. all will be pushing for wildcard spots. In a 162 game season game 2 may actually matter in such a tight race this could be.
- Lets say Sandy trades Gee. Before we slot Montero into the 5th spot as we all want to do (Me included), lets pull up Noah and go from there. Do you really think Mets would skip a beat with Colon, Degrom, Harvey, Neise and Noah vs. Colon, Degrom, Harvey, Neise and Gee? I don’t think so either. Remove Mejia, add a solid BP arm via Gee trade and bring up Noah. Montero can be solid in the pen and when Parnell/Black are fully ready it will be a good problem to have.
Once again this is just a fans point of view. No sources, no insider hints, just my thoughts.
The season has started off and the Mets problems have come full circle from the off season and yet the team is 10-9 which is very respectable with the Mets early schedule. Take away the first 3 games of the season and the Mets are 10-6 over their last 16 games. Lets take a look at the issues they still need to address:
- 1B – Like it or not Lucas Duda is now the starting first baseman for your Mets. This situation should have been handled well before 12 games into the season, but ultimately the goal was met by trading Ike and naming 1 starting first baseman. I think we all will say we hope Ike does well in Pittsburgh as he handled the last 3 months with a great deal of professionalism.
- SS – We are all high on the horse right now after Ruben made two great plays in the 2-0 win against the Cardinals. But lets look deeper into the SS position and show it is still a major gap in the offense. I have been calling for Wilmer Flores to be brought up, plugged into SS and see what he can do with the bat. After yesterday’s great defense saved what could have been big innings, I still say bring up Wilmer. His offense will out weigh his defense. The Mets can not have 2 dead outs at the bottom of line-up.
- Bullpen – The bullpen has been surprising good since that throwaway series to open the year. I think TC has handled the bullpen poorly at times, but then again he is missing a lot of talent. Valverde, Farnsworth and crew will only hold up so long before something needs to be done. The Mets have arms in the minors but do not feel the need to convert their extra starters to the pen. Lets hope Sandy is planning on using those 8 legit starting pitchers the Mets have to bring in some additional offense.
Where do the Mets go from here:
- First off Ike is gone. As we said we are all going to root for Ike in Pittsburgh, but lets not compare what Ike does to what Lucas will do. Ike needed a change and so did the Mets. He has a better line-up in Pittsburgh and a better park to hit in. We wish him well….
- The Mets have 8 starting pitchers ready for MLB play, is it time to move to the bullpen or trade for a SS/bullpen arms? It will be interesting to see what Sandy does here. Mets seem determined to have Montero never pitch in a Mets uniform. If Noah is on track for a June call-up, we will have DeGrom and Montero sitting in AAA and they for sure can help in pen or help trade for bullpen/SS.
- Lets watch the progression of Juan Lagares once he comes back. He has a great start to the season and many scouts are comparing him to Carlos Gomez. If that is the case and Juan can be a productive bat he could turn into a cornerstone of the Mets future along with the pitching staff they are building.
Overall I can’t point out enough the Mets are 10-9 with the issues above. If the Mets truly have no payroll issues then it is time to show it and make a move. The Ike move showed they are not afraid to make a tough decision and this team is sticking together. I just hope Sandy has a plan not for the future, but for the next few weeks to show fans the Mets are serious and that 10-9 is just the start. Time to address the issues that still linger from spring.
LETS GO METS!