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NEW YORK METS MANIA

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The Mets’ season has been very up and down. From an 11-game winning streak (still don’t know how they did it) and first place to disastrous road trips that led to a trip below the .500 mark. A late surge before the break brought them back to contending status, riding the success of the young pitching staff. The team has been a virtual bore except for the tuning in to see what the pitchers will do next – even up at the plate.

MetsReportCardattheBreakSo here are the Mets grades at the break:

 

CATCHERS – In general, the Mets catchers have been great defensively. But offensively, it reminds more of the disappointment of Josh Thole than the days of Mike Piazza or Gary Carter.

Travis d’Arnaud (Inc) d’Arnaud was actually proving to be the Mets’ best clutch hitter. But his history of getting injured caught up with him, again, and he has spent most of the season on the DL. Hopefully he will be as good as he has shown for an extensive period of time.

Kevin Plawecki (C) Plawecki has proven to be a real good handler of pitchers and excellent at “framing” pitches. But other than a little flurry early on, he has been overmatched in the big leagues. It is not his fault as he was targeted for a full year at Triple A. But his numbers are not what they should be given his talent.

Anthony Recker (D) Recker has been a worthy back-up that seems to hit home runs in big spots, but he was just awful and sent down because he had options.

Johnny Monell (D) Monell? Who IS this guy and why is here?

INFIELDERS – The infield as a whole…has been dreadful. The loss of David Wright has thrown everything out of whack. Daniel Murphy spent a significant period of time on the DL and has shifted between second base and third base. Lucas Duda started off like he was going to have an MVP season and has just hit the skids. Wilmer Flores…the poor guy…if the Mets were winning…he would still be at shortstop. He did an admirable job. But now play musical chairs…and stick Ruben Tejada…bad attitude and all…back at short and…well…no offense…and…sorry pitching staff…lousy defense.

Lucas Duda (D) This guy went from an easy A to a D. I love his power and his grit…but he has no help, no protection in the lineup…and he was just done for.

Daniel Murphy (B) Horrible start, major hot streak to literally carry the team, gets hurt, and is just average after coming back.

Wilmer Flores (B+) Did an admirable job at shortstop…he was no Rey Ordonez but definitely no Kevin Mitchell either. For a while he was hitting better than any shortstop in the bigs…but hit a bump in the road just like everyone else. The poor guy got so over-analyzed. If he were playing in the American League, he would probably be an All-Star shortstop.

David Wright (Inc) This poor soul has done everything he could to be the face of the franchise. He has put up great numbers over the years no matter what people might say. He just can’t keep himself healthy now. Regardless, he has been a model citizen, a great teammate, and everything a team could ask for. Hopefully he can come back and finish out his career in style.

Ruben Tejada (C) He has come up big in a few situations, but his attitude just makes it difficult to like him. He is just average and really doesn’t bring much to the table.

Dilson Herrera (D) The spark proved to be a dud. Ugh!

Eric Campbell (D) He did a fine job for a short time and just hit the skids. He is versatile but just can’t hit enough.

Danny Muno (D) Gotta like the guy’s character…but he has done absolutely nothing.

OUTFIELDERS – The outfield production, other than a few spurts, has been awful. It has been that way for years. The last TRUE productive outfield as a whole…you have to go back to the outfield of McReynolds, Dykstra/Wilson, and Strawberry. After that, you had a few sprinkles of nice individual seasons (Bernard Gilkey and Lance Johnson), but the Mets have traditionally brought in a bunch of has-beens or just plain old busts.

Michael Cuddyer (D) Great expectations, but a huge bust. Gotta love his hard-nosed play and his all-out hustle. But he has just not been able to produce. He is just another spare part brought in who really is out of his league when called upon to carry a team.

Juan Lagares (C) I still believe he is the best fielding centerfielder I have ever seen since Andruw Jones. But something definitely is wrong. He is not getting to balls he got to easily and his arm is not what it was last year…and apparently other teams are noticing it too. Ever since he got hurt he has not been the same. His hitting has taken a step backward too. Knowing the Mets, a report will come out after the season revealing some sort of injury that Lagares has played with.

Curtis Granderson (C+) He has always been one of my favorite players since he first came up with the Tigers. There is nothing you can’t like about this guy. He is simply being asked to play a role that is just too overwhelming and he has absolutely no protection. He has been super streaky but he is always hustling and NEVER gets down no matter had poor things are going. He is just a great guy to have on a team. Hopefully his production will pick up.

John Mayberry, Jr. (D) He was brought in to be a right-handed hitting specialist to take on the left-handed pitching specialists. He has just not done the damage FOR the Mets that he traditionally did AGAINST the Mets. Hopefully things will turn around because he has some nice power and he is a great guy to have around.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis (D) This guy gets a D but it is almost not fair. He has all the tools and is a gritty player that will run through a wall for his team. It just seems that he has not been used properly and put in situations that are just a recipe for failure. In a bizarre series of events, he gets waived and then traded to the Angels…only to get waived by the Angels and brought back to the organization and sent down to Las Vegas. He gets brought back to New York and hits three home runs in a single game. Only with the Mets!

Darrel Ceciliani (C) He started to look like he might be the answer for the bench…but just like the rest, he failed to produce as needed.

PITCHERS – The pitching staff has been the only bright spot on this boring team. It is fun to watch the young arms work to outdo each other…even on the hitting side! Other than a few hiccups, the starters have been superb and the back end of the bullpen has been great. The middle relief corps has been the one weak link. But the starters have done such a good job at pitching deep into games. This group could be fun to watch for years. Heck, they seem to all have had surgery at one time or another already so the risk of losing any of them can’t be all that bad.

Jacob DeGrom (A+) He was the sleeper in all the hype surrounding the staff…and he has proven to be the most reliable.

Matt Harvey (A-) He has done so much more than anyone could have expected after surgery. He is not the Harvey we all know, but he has shown enough glimpses of it.

Noah Syndergaard (A-) This guy is as good as advertised. He reminds of a young Nolan Ryan. Is there another Jim Fregosi out there? Better not be!

Steven Matz (Inc) How could this guy be so good while injured? This guy has the “Wow!” factor. The Incomplete grade should really be an A+!

Jonathan Niese (B+) Everybody wants to get rid of him but he is still a valuable left handed pitcher that, when he’s on, can be almost as good as some of the younger gems. In fact, it seems like their presence has forced him to work to keep up with them. Niese could very well be trade bait, and Collins hates him, but he has been a workhorse for a few years now and any team would love to have him.

Bartolo Colon (B) The old man of the team has been a great elder statesman. He has proven to have great work habits and ethics and the kids love him and have learned a lot from him. But he even though he doesn’t walk anyone, he is way too hittable at times. He would be great to keep around another year for his clubhouse presence, but he could be on his way out if the team is out of contention.

Dillon Gee (F) There is something that happened that is not public here. He is treated horribly…sent packing…and had his uniform number immediately assigned to a rookie. He was rumored to be traded all winter, got back into good favor when Zack Wheeler went down, and he was tossed around like an old pillow. He has hit some bumps in the road, but he is probably one who would prosper with a change of scenery. He is not as good as he pitched that game against the Yankees two years ago, but he is definitely NOT as bad as he has pitched this year either.

Carlos Torres (D) He was Mr. Reliable last year, and just the opposite this year. Definitely evidence of misuse and/or overuse by Collins last year.

Alex Torres (C) This Torres was either very good…or simply awful. Just not very reliable.

Bobby Parnell (A) Coming back from surgery and he has been perfect so far in a short period of time. If he can keep it up, the back end of the bullpen will be the best in the majors.

Jeurys Familia (A+) He grabbed the opportunity and really ran with it. He has been super good and his stuff is just tantalizing. Hopefully he won’t come up with a bum arm. Whoops…did I just say that. Not to jinx anything, but it seem too good to be true. I mean, didn’t Harvey, well…

Sean Gilmartin (B+) Gilmartin has been streaky but, for the most part, has been somewhat reliable in his role…just not reliable enough.

Hansel Robles (C) This guy has a live arm. He hiccupped a few times but has really stymied some opposing hitters while learning on the job. He could be a keeper.

Jack Leathersich (B+) His cup of coffee in the majors gave a glimpse of some nice things from another young lefty. He could be a valuable asset down the road.

Erik Goeddel (B+) Another one with a cup of coffee and a nice showing from the other side of the mound…and another young stud ready for the show sometime down the road.

Logan Verrett (A) The third member of the coffee klatch, he was great while with the big club, but he gets a demerit for wearing No. 35 while he was here. Although it wasn’t his fault.

Buddy Carlyle (Inc) Injured and sorely missed.

Bill Blevins (Inc) Injured and even more sorely missed.

Rafeal Montero (Inc) Montero was awful at the start and he got injured early on and was not sorely missed.

Jenrry Mejia (Inc) Jenrry who?

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About New York Mets Mania

Alan Karmin is an award-winning journalist and author. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and spent most of his life growing up in the New Jersey suburbs. Alan's family were avid Brooklyn Dodgers fans and when the Dodgers moved west, the Mets became the team to root for. The Mets have always been a true focal point, Alan even wrote a term paper in high school to analyze what was wrong with the Mets. While at the University of Miami, Alan honed his craft covering the, gulp, Yankees during spring trainings in Fort Lauderdale for a local NBC affiliate, as well as the Associated Press and UPI. He broadcasted baseball games for the University of Miami, and spring training games for the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos. New York Mets Mania is a forum for Alan to write about his favorite team and for baseball fans to chime in and provide their thoughts and ideas about New York's Amazin' Mets.