Here are our 2016 First Half Reports Cards for the New York Mets as comprised by Joe D., Brian Greenzang and myself. We hope you enjoy.
Travis d’Arnaud – Yet again, d’Arnaud’s troubles staying on the field have been detrimental to the Mets even if he was hitting just .196/.288/.261 before he went on the disabled list with a shoulder injury. Since his return, d’Arnaud has been a much better player hitting .294/.321/.412 with two homes and eight RBI. Since his return, he has also been throwing the ball much better from behind the plate even if he is still not throwing out many base runners with the way the Mets pitchers hold on baserunners.
Rene Rivera – Rivera was thrust into duty due to d’Arnaud’s injury and he outlasted an overmatched and under-performing Plawecki for the backup catcher’s job. Rivera’s .187/.271/.320 batting line would suggest he’s not having a good year. However, he’s handled the pitching staff with aplomb and has actually become Syndergaard’s de facto personal catcher. When Rivera catches Thor he is 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.011 WHIP.
Kevin Plawecki – For the second season in a row, Plawecki struggled when he was pressed into regular playing time, appearing overmatched at the plate. After two brief tours of duty with the big league club, the 25-year old backstop owns a .210 average and a .570 OPS in 410 plate appearances.
Asdrubal Cabrera – Cabrera’s stats have been buoyed by a strong April when he hit .300/.364/.400 with one homer and seven RBI. Since then, his power numbers have gone up, but he gets on base far less often hitting .249/.305/.435 with 11 homers and 22 RBI. In the field, while he has looked good, but has had limited range with a -6 DRS and a -3.3 UZR.
Wilmer Flores – He struggled in his new role as a part time player to start the season hitting .180/.255/.280 with only one home run and two RBI. He went on the DL and returned a much better player hitting .289/.343/.512 with seven homers and 22 RBI. He played his best when the Mets signed Reyes, hitting .314/345/.627 with five homers and 13 RBI since then. He’s making every case he can to the Mets that he should be playing every day.
Kelly Johnson – Johnson joined the Mets because the Mets finally realized they needed major league players for their major league bench. In his limited time with the Mets, Johnson has hit .308/.390/.558 with three homers and five RBI.
James Loney – Loney wasn’t supposed to play in the major leagues let alone the New York Mets. However, after Duda’s injury, the Mets needed a stopgap. Loney has been better than the Mets could’ve imagined hitting .277/.336/.438 with four homers and 16 RBI in 37 games. Given his production, the Mets will not have to address first base at the trade deadline.
Jose Reyes – The Mets were hoping they’d catch lightning in a bottle by signing him.They foresaw a player that was a force on the basepaths that energized the team while learning a new position. About the only thing Reyes has done is hit homers. In the six games he’s played, Reyes is hitting .250/.308/.708 with three homers and three RBI. He has yet to steal a base, and he was picked off first base in one game.
Neil Walker – Walker burst on the scene in April hitting .307/.337/.625 with nine homers and 19 RBI. Since then he has been a much different player hitting .232/.318/.345 with six homers and 18 RBI. When the Mets needed him most due to the injuries to Duda and Wright, Walker has been mostly flat to put it mildly.
David Wright – Oh Captain, My Captain. Another lost season for David Wright who continues to get wiped out with one bad medical diagnosis after another. In a season where he was expected to play at least 140 games according to management’s expectations, he never came close, getting shutdown after only 37 games. He finishes the year batting .226, but he was able to flex some muscle with eight doubles and seven home runs in his limited play.
Grade: D for Disappointment
Lucas Duda – After back to back .830+ OPS seasons, the Mets were counting on a big year from their lumbering, hulking first baseman. But a stress fracture in his back limited him to just five weeks and there’s still no timetable for his return. And the worst part was his career low .297 OBP and rather weak and career low 93 OPS+ before going down.
Eric Campbell – Poor Soup has gotten a lot of heat from fans, much of it undeserved… Until this season where he somehow stuck around long enough to post a .159 average and .222 slugging in 74 mostly bad plate appearances.
Yoenis Cespedes – Cespedes has shown the streak he was on last August and September was no fluke as he’s having the best year of his career hitting .302/.372/.583 with 21 homers and 52 RBI. He’s kept the Mets afloat, and they’re desperate to get him back from his injury.
Alejandro De Aza – He’s hitting .176/.252/.269, and Collins has questioned his effort at times. The only things worse than his play on the field are Collins’ insistence on playing him and the fact that he’s still on the roster.
Curtis Granderson – Granderson’s tough May where he hit .190/.268/.400 has dragged down his numbers. Since June 1st, he’s been terrific hitting .276/.386/.496 with six homers and 11 RBI while mostly leading off. The Mets are going to need more of this Granderson if they are going to make a run to the postseason.
Juan Lagares – Lagares’ Gold Glove defense has returned, and he’s hitting .264/.302/.391 with two homers and six RBI. He’s done his job as a platoon bat and as a defensive replacement.
Brandon Nimmo – Nimmo was called-up due to Conforto’s struggles. Nimmo has been a spark plug with his infectious smile. He’s been holding his own at the plate hitting .250/.313/.318 with one monstrous home run. In the field, the natural center fielder has taken some curious routes to balls while playing left and right field.
Michael Conforto – After a strong April, Conforto went into a tailspin that saw him bat .169 in May and .119 in June. He’s now at Triple-A Las Vegas where the Mets are hoping he rediscovers his groove and can return and contribute in the second half.
Bartolo Colon – What a season it has been for “Big Sexy,”not just with the glove but the bat, hitting his first career homerun at the young age of 42. Colon has been one of the free agent bargains of the season, signing a one-year $7.25 million deal. He has pitched to a 7-4 record while being the team’s most durable starter, recording an ERA of 3.28 and a WHIP of 1.22. Colon earned an All-Star appearance this season, the fourth of his 19-year career.
Noah Syndergaard – Syndergaard has slowly become the ace of this pitching staff, the anchor they needed as Matt Harvey fell from grace. Syndergaard has been pure dominance through most of the season, only recently hitting some bumps in the road. He has pitched to a 9-4 record while striking out 128 batters in 105.2 innings pitched. His WHIP at a very low 1.08, Syndergaard has been absolutely filthy through the season. His only major downfall has been his inability to hold runners on base this season, allowing 28 runners to steal. He was elected to his first All-Star game but forced to sit due to needing rest to ready his arm for the second half.
Jacob deGrom – It’s been a whirlwind season for the lanky righty, deGrom though has certainly persevered and is poised for a strong second half. After dealing with complication with his newborn son and a nagging lat issue, he has regained his All-Star form after struggling early. Jake has pitched to a 5-4 record with a 2.61 ERA with a WHIP of 1.11. His velocity has slowly returned and is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA so far in the month of July.
Steven Matz – Matz has had himself quite an up and down season in 2016. After a disastrous first start of the year, he settled down quick, winning his next seven decision. He had a wonderful May, posting a 4-0 record with a 1.31 ERA. A painful bone spur began to set in in June as he struggled to an 0-2 record with a 5.74 ERA. Matz though will battle through, with surgery likely required at season’s end. He is off to a respectable July, although posting an 0-2 record, his ERA is 3.21 in the month and has gone seven innings in each of his starts. Overall on the year, Matz holds a 7-5 record with a 3.38 ERA and a WHIP of 1.23.
Logan Verrett – Verrett has been the team’s main fill in when it comes to needing a spot starter. He has had his ups and down on the season, pitching to a 3-6 record with a 4.34 ERA. His WHIP stands at 1.48 and has struggled with his command at times. The ball is currently his for the fifth spot in the rotation as the team awaits the return of Zack Wheeler.
Matt Harvey – After a strong return from Tommy John surgery in 2015, many expected an even better season in 2016, more than two years removed from the procedure. But it was anything but for Harvey who struggled through a season fraught with a loss of command, velocity and confidence. The Dark Knight was eventually diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome and was shut down for the season after surgery. We all anxiously await his return in 2017 with fingers crossed.
Jeurys Familia – La Familia has picked up right where he left off from the 2015 season. World Series aside, he has been one of the most consistent closers in the game. He currently is riding a 47 consecutive saves streak, 31 of which have come this season. Interesting at times, Familia still seems to always get the job done, he has pitched to a 2.55 ERA and has set down 41 batters by way of strike out in 42.1 innings pitched. Grade: A
Erik Goeddel – Goeddel came up from the minors in June and entered in with much success. In the month of June he pitched to a 1.08 ERA, allowing just one earned run in 8.1 innings pitched. He though has regressed in July, allowing four in just four innings. Overall on the season he has accumulated a 3.65 ERA, the sample size is still small to determine how Goeddel may fair for an entire season. Grade: B-
Jim Henderson – Henderson started off the season by looking like his vintage self, allowing just one run in the month of April. He quickly though regressed, posting a 6.00 and 5.63 ERA in the months of May and June respectively before getting injured. Henderson is currently on a rehab assignment in the minors. Grade: C+
Addison Reed – Reed has blown away expectations this year while blowing away what seems to be batter after batter with a nasty repertoire of pitches. He has pitched to a 2.16 ERA and put down 52 batters in 41.2 innings pitched this season by way of strikes. I pop my hat up to Mr. Reed for what has been a wonderful first half for the former closer. Grade: A
Hansel Robles – After a rough May where Robles just seemed to be getting smacked around by team after team, he has gone on to produce quite well over the month of June and into July thus far. He has struck out 52 batters in 42.1 innings while pitching to a 2.98 ERA and has gotten the team through some sticky situations over the course of the season. It has been a great turn around for the promising reliever. Grade: B
Antonio Bastardo – Signed to a two-year, $12 million deal this past offseason, the Mets may have believed they were getting the second coming of perpetual Pedro Feliciano. Bastardo though has been nothing but a disappointment while pitching to a 4.91 ERA. Grade: F
Jerry Blevins – Blevins is off to a great start to his 2016 campaign since coming back from injury the saw him miss relatively all of the 2015 season. He has pitched an impressive ERA of 2.13 while striking out 26 batters in 25.1 innings pitched. Grade: B+
Incomplete: Seth Lugo, Sean Gilmartin and Rafael Montero have all made some appearances this season but the sample size is too small to provide a fair grade for any. Lugo is expected to see some more time in the majors while Gilmartin and Montero currently reside in the minors.
Sandy Alderson – Give Sandy credit for opening the door when when opportunity knocked in the names of James Loney and Jose Reyes. But throw your lettuce and tomatoes at him for De Aza and Bastardo, who were very costly flops. Depending on how this season ends for the Mets, his decision to pass on Daniel Murphy could end up biting him on the…. As for banking on a healthy season from David Wright, it was another faux pas, mostly because he had no reliable backup plan and was forced to sign Jose Reyes when he was released by the Rockies for lingering domestic violence issue. Re-signing Cespedes was a coup, but if he opts out…
Terry Collins – Collins can point to the injuries for why his team is six games behind Washington all he wants. But it comes off as just another bad excuse when you consider the Nationals have been clobbered with just as many critical injuries. Collins has failed to field a lineup that can score runs consistently, and he waits too long before making obvious critical corrections along the way. If not for Cespedes, Flores and a mostly dominant bullpen saving his neck on many occasions, the picture could be a lot more bleak. Because the Mets currently share that second wild card spot with the Marlins, we’ll go easy on Terry and give him a….