It’s tough to get a read on a team that is as inconsistent as the New York Mets have been this season. That said, it’s important to stop and evaluate what has been good and what has been bad.
This is a department where the Mets have struggled in recent years and this year is not an exception. The team leader is Lucas Duda with 8 home runs. While he is on pace for around 20 many people around the league would expect more from a team leader. This becomes more obvious when you consider that Nelson Cruz is already over 20 home runs on the season. The two big power acquisitions, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, have combined for only ten home runs. While it was expected that Granderson’s numbers would slip at the more pitcher-friendly Citi Field, being on pace for only 18 would be more than 50% dip from 2012 and 2011. Young was brought in solely because of his raw power but his struggles to get on base and has not been the fielder he once was. Even David Wright, who has been consistently hitting 20 home runs even at Citi Field only has four, which is considered a down year for him. In short, the powers numbers still leave more to be desired.
In terms of getting on base and general hitting for average has been another inconsistent aspect for this team Daniel Murphy leads all everyday hitters with an average of almost .300. David Wright, despite his low power numbers, has still been a consistent hitter at .285. However other than those two, many of the average leaders have been part time players. For example, Eric Campbell, Juan Lagares, Wilmer Flores and Bobby Abreu are the other four players batting above .250. The Mets would like to see more contributions from Chris Young and Travis d’Arnaud who are both hitting under .200 as well as Curtis Granderson who only recently elevated his average to .217. While there have been some decent performers, there are more who have gone through lengthy cold streaks.
The Mets’ success in the future is going to depend on their hitting and until they can get the big hit consistently, they cannot be taken seriously as a contender. There are a few bright spots in certain areas at certain times but the contributions need to come from everyone and more often.
This is the brightest spot for the near future of the Mets. Most notable of these bright spots are Jon Niese and Dillon Gee. Combined they are 6-4 with an ERA around 2.70 in 19 starts. After a slow start Zack Wheeler has turned it around and dropped his ERA under 4.00. Jacob deGrom has been a pleasant surprise, with the exception of his last outing, despite remaining winless. Bartolo Colon leads the team in wins as well as decisions with a 5-5 record. Mets fans also got a glimpse of the future with four starts from Rafael Montero. Certainly this is a staff that could have earned a few more wins but the lack of run support or a faltering bullpen have occasionally cost them victories. The future is only going to be better in this department with the return of Matt Harvey and the permanent arrivals of Montero and Noah Syndergaard.
This is an area that has been both inconsistent and misused at times. There are very few pitchers who have been with the team all season. Carlos Torres and Scott Rice are the main two but Jeurys Familia also has made almost 30 appearances. Torres has been very solid, just as he was last year, with an ERA of 2.29. Rice, however, has struggled this season compared to last year with an ERA above 5. Familia has even somewhat in the middle. His ERA is a solid 2.79 but he has struggled with command and allowing inherited runners to score. In his last two games he allowed a runner to score with a wild pitch. Elsewhere the bullpen has been a rotation. Jenrry Mejia started the season as a starter and is now the closer, Daisuke Matsuzaka is a reliever who has also made a few starts. Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth have been released, Bobby Parnell and Gonzalez Germen are injured. Meanwhile Vic Black, Josh Edgin, Buddy Carlyle and Dana Eveland have all been called up and John Lannan has been sent down. In short there has not been much consistency either in the members of the bullpen or their effectiveness. This may be the most important fix that needs to be made for the Mets to compete in the near future.
There has been too much of a lack of consistency from both aspects of the pitching staff. Additionally, it seems when the starting pitching is good, the bullpen falters and vice versa. The Mets have struggled at times to string together wins. However there are enough solid performers to salvage the grade and I will give benefits of the doubt as a result of mismanagement of the bullpen as well as the rotating cast of characters.
It’s been basically an OK year for the Mets. Nothing to write home about but not wallowing in the cellar either. Certainly there is room for improvement going forward but the National League East has not been as strong as many have expected and the Mets are certainly still alive with 2/3 of the season to go.