As I watched our New York Mets lose their second straight game to the lowly Milwaukee Brewers, who looked toothless without injured All-Star Ryan Braun, I wallowed for a bit in some self pity. How could this be happening to my team – a team I predicted would win the NL East with 95 or more wins? Even with our best hitter Yoenis Cespedes still ailing on the sidelines, how could we let a pitcher like Zach Davies off the hook time and time again?
It was kind of a depressing watching Robert Gsellman struggle as he did with his command and diminished velocity because I had such high expectations for the young right-hander. He now looks like a wounded animal that needs to be put out of his misery. It’s time to either send him down to Triple-A Las Vegas or perhaps shift him to the bullpen and see if he can be effective in some non critical relief role.
It’s sad really, to see Gsellman and Matt Harvey listed among the worst qualified starting pitchers in the National League. I didn’t see it coming. Even though I didn’t expect smooth sailing for Harvey, I never expected he would be the worst starting pitcher in the major leagues. You could pick one of 70-something MLB starters and any of them would be an upgrade over the former Dark Knight.
Here we are halfway through the month of May and our pitching ranks 30th in MLB with a 4.89 ERA. Our .269 Batting Average Against ranks 29th behind the Brewers (.271 BAA). Opposing offenses have a .340 on-base percentage against the Mets – also last. I never saw this coming. The worst? Really?
Offensively, it’s not as bleak as our OPS ranks 15th and we’re scoring runs and hitting with runners in scoring position again. The team has no speed to speak of and we’ve stolen only 10 bases all year, one swipe more than the Colorado Rockies who rank 30th with nine stolen bases.
At this point I don’t know what to make of the situation. It’s far too early to think about making a trade for an established arm for the rotation or even our bullpen. And I’m already hearing the cries that the team should be sellers at the deadline and just try to load up on top prospects by dangling Jay Bruce, Neil Walker and Addison Reed.
The alternative would be trading our own top prospects to make a last ditch stand that may ultimately prove to be a futile endeavor.
The calls for Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith are getting louder and louder, and you can add me to that growing chorus. Honestly, my favorite part of this season so far has been watching Michael Conforto and T.J. Rivera play their hearts out.
Adding Rosario and Smith to that mix could give the Mets an exciting core-four on offense that would serve a few purposes. For one, the two of them could ignite the team and spark an exciting postseason run. It certainly would get more fans to the ballpark – fans who have been thirsting for their arrival for weeks now.
But maybe the best part would be getting all four of them acclimated in playing together and at this level, while readying themselves for a huge Mets season in 2018 with a healthier and hopefully better starting rotation led by Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.
There will be time at the end of the season to take a good hard look at whether it was a wise decision by Sandy Alderson to bring back essentially the same exact team that struggled there way to a wild card spot in 2016 with virtually no changes. Many were critical of that strategy heading into the new season.
But right now there is still a lot of season left to play and the Mets may have to decide within the next 3-4 weeks whether they are buyers or sellers or if they just sit on their hands in a holding pattern. It’s not an easy decision because no team ever wants to toss in the towel – especially in this town. The New York Mets truly find themselves between a rock and hard place. I’m kind of glad that it’s not my decision to make and that I can just chill out and watch how this ultimately unfolds.