So has the Mets bench been a position of strength or a piece of sh**?
It’s a little hard to say, because at so many positions, you can’t tell where the bench ends and the starters begin.
One positive note has been Anthony Recker, who the Mets traded for to be their starting catcher. He’s done admirably as a spot starter and the Mets have a winning record when he does start. He seems to have a late key hit in him in those games, though the rest of his at bats are only so-so. The Mets may want to bring in a veteran guy to mentor Travis D’Arnaud, but they may not make it a huge priority because of Recker.
Justin Turner is a super sub and contrary to what my co-writer Joe thinks, I think he’s best that way. If the Mets retain him, he can fill the role Joe McEwing held for the Mets for years.
But middle infield depth is pretty rough for the Mets. The Corners are pretty great though. Josh Satin, Lucas Duda and Ike Davis would make a solid platoon.
The outfield was terrible for most of the year and that meant the bench guys were even worse. It was Marlon Byrd and the cast of thousands. The starting spots have been pretty settled, especially with the departure of Byrd and the Addition of Matt Den Dekker. Still, outside of Andrew Brown the position still isn’t strong off the bench.
So, in my mind, there’s not enough pluses overall to keep the bench from becoming a piece of Sh**!
It’s time for another segment of POS. Today we’re going to talk about those two guys that play up the middle behind the pitcher, 2nd base and shortstop. As of right now, the whole team is starting to sound like the “Whose on first” routine by Abbot and Costello and as we all know What plays second and I-don’t-give-a-darn plays short. But let’s look at the actual players.
We have Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, Omar Quintanilla, Wilmer Flores, and Ruben Tejada. Now I have to say this, Murphy and Turner should be the starters and 2nd and Short respectively, the other guys, ummm, I’m sorry but they just suck. This area of the in field is obviously just plain S#!T.
Murphy, I will say has had a break out year putting up the numbers he has this season. No one was expecting him to be this kind of player. I think it might have been the beard. Hell, he was a great first round pick for me in my fantasy league.
Turner is a great bat off the bench and has proven he’s a good fill-in starter, however, he should be an everyday starter. I think the Mets have underutilized Justin since. I have a funny feeling if given the chance to play a full season, he will produce numbers that will help win games and provide the defense that is needed in the SS position.
As for Omar, Wilmer and Ruben, combine all three and you barely have one all-around good player. Ruben we know was never going to be the answer to filling the void of Jose Reyes after the Mets never resigned him, but we were expecting just a little more production out him then what he gave. Omar on the other hand, has given that little boost in offence we needed in SS position. Still, just not enough produce in the bottom of the line-up where both of them have been put since the year started. Lastly, Wilmer. Yes I know we just brought him up from the minors to fill in for David Wright, but I just don’t see anything special in him that will keep him around in the big leagues long enough. Every time I watch an at-bat from him, I just don’t see any kind of drive in his eyes saying “Yes. I’m here. My time to shine.” Also, his number from just the few games he has played were quite bad.
Aside from Murphy (which I think will be at second for a little while longer) and making Turner the permanent SS, we have a huge hole behind the mound. Because if a starter goes down, we don’t have a comparable back up.
So, sorry about missing a few days there. Not only was I on vacation, but I was also sick. But that means besides evaluating whether the Mets’ corner infielders are strong or sh** will have some bonus Best of the Best coverage.
So are the corner spots positions of strength or pieces of sh**? The answer is a little complicated.
Here’s the easy part. The Mets’ best everyday player is at third base in David Wright. He’s injured now and will be another year old, but over the past two seasons Wright has put up MVP quality seasons when he wasn’t injured. I think across a full season we can expect all star quality .
It’s first base that’s pretty muddy. First off, Ike Davis. Davis had a horrible first half that got him sent down. He’s gotten on base a lot, but his power has return like last year. It’s possible he can be a 20-25 homer guy, but it’s possible he’ll be a non-tender candidate. I’m interested to see Lucas Duda at first. It’s more his speed defensively, and he enjoys playing there. The Mets also have Josh Satin and Zach Lutz as organizational depth at both positions.
Then there’s Wilmer Flores. I don’t think his future is at third, at least with the Mets. It’s his natural position, but Wright has him blocked. The list of names who can also play third or first means Flores would be best suited for second base.
Flores, Davis, Duda, Satin or Lutz could be packaged with a pitcher for a quality outfielder or first baseman, so even if some of those guys are gone, I’d say the corners are a net Position of Strength.
And here’s some bonus Mets Best of the Best!
Best Trade- Sandy Alderson does it again! He moved two pieces we weren’t going to hold onto, and made them into a possible stalwart at second base and a possible bullpen fireballer. Too bad they traded Marlon Byrd on his T-shirt day. John Buck had been expendable since May.
Best Confidence Builder- Jon Niese‘s complete game shut out. With Harvey hitting the shelf and our pitching depth taking a hit, it was good to see our opening day starter back to the form we expected from him. Niese was almost forgotten in the fervor over Harvey, Zach Wheeler, and even Dillon Gee having good years.
Ok it’s time for a new segment, the week in review. Every week I will wrapping up how the Mets have done and also give some thoughts and opinions of what went on.
First lets start with the games. I a nut shell, we bombed. Only taking two out of seven games this week and not even making a dent in showing some signs of life again. I mean yes we did just face the Braves and the Tigers, two of the best teams in the league right now but it looks like we didn’t even try to attempt to win. Especially with the Tigers. We let them score in the first inning (to my knowledge) two out of the three games. We were working out of a hole before we even had a chance to hit.
Still I have to say, even though I knew we were not going to be a playoff team this year, we are still doing better then I expected. However, the season is still not over.
Let’s also go back a few posts ago when I did my Power Rankings. I put the whole bullpen at number 2 because they were actually holding runs off the board for awhile. I now retract that ranking and take them off the list completely. This is an issue we STILL need to address in the off season.
While we are the subject of pitching, I regretfully have to mention Matt Harvey. Matt is going the way of the Johan Santana. By the looks he’s going to need Tommy Johns surgery and will miss the 2014 season. Which also brings me back to a post I have made before, bring back Santana. Here’s the reason why now. Zack Wheeler is now going to be the new ace for 2014, bring in a veteran who knows what’s going on and help the guy along in the rotation. This way when Matt comes back, you have three aces and see what happens in 2015.
Last week Joe took his shot at who would be the top 10 Mets for next year who are on a Mets roster today.
Today I’ll take my shot at the same set of ranks, starting with 10 and moving down to the top 2014 Met.
10- Marlon Byrd. He’s the second best player on the Mets roster right now, and that says a lot about Byrd’s season and too much about the Mets right now. Without David Wright, the Mets either have developing players or are mostly punchless without Byrd. However, I’ve placed Byrd so low because I think he’ll go the way of Scott Hairston. He’ll use a season he isn’t likely to repeat to get more than he’s worth next year. Sandy Alderson has a track record of paying that kind of player what he’s worth an no more. So I doubt Byrd will be back.
9- Eric Young, Jr. EY came in and was the lead off hitter we needed. Nowadays, not so much. He’s fast and a threat to steal bases or take an extra when he’s on, but all if late he’s reverted to form and been on base less than when he first put on the orange and blue. I’ve never liked his outfield defense, which relies too much on speed and not enough on good placement and routes. However, it is better than using Lucas Duda. I think Young’s time as a starter will be over next season, as the two best free agent outfielders are lead off types.
8- Ike Davis. I like Ike. But he’s been mostly bad over the last few seasons. The Mets will not tolerate a slow start next season, and if he doesn’t start hitting the long ball, you may see Lucas Duda or Josh Satin here instead.
7- Juan Lagares. It’s all part of the plan. This was the 1a for one of the outfield spots when Alderson made his roster, but it was still part of the plan. As you may have recalled from my posts on the issue at the beginning of the season, I thought Alderson was looking for 2-3 players for two of the outfield slots to come out of a group of six people auditioning in Spring Training. Then he’d hope he could land a good free agent or that they could hold pat until the farm could help. And the farm gave us Lagares, who has hit decently and played pretty good defense. He’s the outfielder least in need of upgrade.
6-Bobby Parnell. Joe put the whole bullpen, but, while it’s working well now, I don’t see many of the current names coming back. The guy we can count on coming back is Parnell. We can also now count on him to get big outs late in the game. The Mets intend to contend in 2014, and for that we need a guy who can get those outs.
5- Travis d’Arnaud. Fresh off his first major league home run today, the future looks bright for the Mets catcher. However, the future is still a bit further out there. d’Awesome still needs time to get used to major league pitcher both at the plate and behind before he can be truly successful. Had he not gotten injured, he could be at that spot and at least a spot above in this ranking.
4- Daniel Murphy. The Mets’ unsung hero. Murph has played slightly above average defense at second and hit slightly better than the average second baseman. He’s the kind of guy that needs to be in a line up to score the runs, and he has some line drive power to score them as well. Having him slot in behind a Jacoby Elsbury or a Shin Shoo Choo could be a potent 1-2 combo for the 2014 Mets.
3- Zach Wheeler. You need two aces to be a playoff team, let alone a playoff series winner. From what we’ve seen so far, Wheeler should have much of a sophomore slump, if he even has one. He may not make it to ace status next year, but he will be one of the best number two starters in the game next season.
2- David Wright. Over the last two seasons, David Wright has had MVP calibre first halves, followed by disappointing, injury shortened second halves. With more offensive weapons around him, I’d be happy if he split the difference. What we should take away is that the Captain will be an impact bat for at least a few more years.
1- Matt Harvey. It has to be Harvey. Each start is a marketing point. “It’s Harvey Day!” And for good reason, he’s been as good as anyone this season. He’s a certified ace in his second year of pitching and shows no signs of stopping. As opening day starter next season, I can think of no one better to head a list of Top 2014 New York Mets.
By Jesse Disbrow
There’s a lot of talk about the new replay possibility in baseball and hits home more recently as the Mets were on the wrong end of a bad call this last week.
The biggest gripe I hear about the system is that it will make an already long game longer. The purists also don’t mind a bit of human error on the parts of umpires, especially since it’s always been that way.
But I’ve got a plan. It takes the best parts of football and hockey’s systems and also works to keep reviews and time short.
Here’s how it’ll work. First of all, we’d adopt hockey’s central review office. This takes pressure off of umpires second guessing themselves. Umps confer, if one doesn’t have a clear view to overturn a play, they go to the central office. As for plays that can be reviewed, home run reviews will stay the same. Additionally, all scoring plays can be reviewed in the same manner. Now to borrow from football, each manager will have one dispute to cash in on a bad call. It can be used on any play that isn’t a scoring play and isn’t a ball or strike call (which includes strike outs and walks). If the manager gets the dispute right, he gets to dispute one more call. Starting in the bottom of the ninth all reviews will be called from the central office or the umpires (like football’s last two minutes.)
In this system you get one chance, so it may not even get used. Plus the system rewards good challenges with an extra, so not every little thing will be disputed. Also managers won’t have to dispute big plays that happen more often, like scoring plays.
Right now I’m leaning towards being able challenge a play before the next result is recorded. That means out, hit or walk, not next pitch. I am willing to listen to compelling arguments in the comments.
Strikes and balls will be left alone. The strike zone is one of those things that is not uniform in baseball. Umps are given guidelines, but can make their own strike zones, just like teams can make their own ballparks with different outfield depths and foul grounds. As long as umps keep a consistent strike zone in a game, they should be fine. If they can’t keep it consistent they should be sent down to the minors.
Did I miss anything? Do you in fact dispute my call? Let me know in the comments.
Hey guys, I know this post is a day late and a dollar short but I had a little technical issue so here comes what you have been waiting for, The New York Mets Positions of Strength or Piece of S#!* list. This week, as you can tell from the heading, I have the human back-stops of the game, the catchers. Let’s dive in shall we.
We have three guys to speak of; Travis d’Arnaud, Anthony Recker, and John Buck. Now compared to the 2012 catchers these guys are a strength. However, where do they fit now and where they will be next year. Let’s start with the opening day guy Mr. Buck
1) John Buck – John Buck was never going to be “the long-term answer” to the Mets but he is defiantly a great addition. The reason Buck started was because d’Arnaud was injured. John showed up big time by knocking more home-runs then all of the Mets catchers in 2012 combined. Although that wasn’t much of a task, Bucks overall performance this season has surpassed expectations. Only to be a place holder and a back up to Travis once he was finally healthy has become to prove he can still be a starter. Which brings us to Travis and to finish up on John in a bit.
2) Travis d’Arnaud – The future of Mets catching has shown when healthy, and when given the ability to play, will be a great asset to the core of the line-up. Even though he has only six games under his belt in the majors and his stats are not what they could be, doesn’t mean he won’t be later on. Travis and Matt Harvey played many games together in the minors that the two communicate very well on the field. So once Travis settles down into his role, expect great things to come.
Which now leads us to the last man of the bunch,
3) Anthony Recker – Anthony has proven to be a great back up. For the amount of games he has played, he has just as good numbers as Buck. Anthony has not proven that has can be a starter yet but his playing ability shows that is growing as player. Unfortunately, this is where things get complicated. Anthony gives great depth into the catcher position because of his numbers. So that brings us to next year.
Travis is supposed to be starter with Anthony as the back up. But with Buck putting the numbers up as he did this season, do we keep Buck as a back up and big bat off the bench for Travis, or make Buck the starter and have Travis as the back up. And will Recker develop better back down in the minors if we keep Buck or will he be the back up to Travis.
All in all, the catchers are a strength position because of the depth the Mets have without having a “big name”. The main question is who is going where.
By Jesse Disbrow
This is a tricky one for me, since I wasn’t really expecting anything out of the closer this season. For a team with what we thought would have (and still probably will have) a losing record, a closer is simply a luxury. But has the 2013 season changed my mind about this year and the future?
Welcome to another edition of the Best of the Best.
Best News This Week- Travis d’Arnaud will stay in the majors. d’Awesome was called up to keep depth at catcher when John Buck went on paternity leave, but instead of ship him back down for a few weeks, the Mets decided to leave the catcher of the future on the roster. d’Arnaud would have been one of the Mets farmhands brought up for the September 1 roster expansion, so what’s a few additional weeks. He’s past this year’s super two so he won’t cost the Mets extra.
Best Intentions, Bad Idea- David Wright wants to come back in September. I get it, and I’d love to see the captain back in uniform, but he’s got a hamstring issue. The Mets’ training staff has had a long and storied history of botching recovery from this particular issue. Wright would probably be best just to sit out the rest of the year and not chance it.
Best Eastern League Team- The B-Mets clinch the division title. The Double A Binghamton Mets won their division last night, showing that the future is bright for the Mets. In fact, just about all the Mets’ farm teams are in the playoff hunt this year. That’s a good thing in most cases, especially in the lower levels. At Triple A, a winning team would signify good organizational strength, but not necessarily future strength, as the roster could be full of former major leaguers and players who don’t fit on a major league roster.