1. Mets Catchers Are Now Good?
Since Kevin Plawecki was called up to the majors on August 19th, both he and Travis d’Arnaud have been raking. In 23 games, Plawecki is hitting .294/.377/.485 with four doubles, three homers, and nine RBI. Not to be outdone, d’Arnaud is hitting .309/.367/.617 with seven doubles, six homers, and 17 RBI in 27 games.
Combined, they are unstoppable. Since August 19th, Mets catchers lead the National League in batting average (.321), slugging (.600), OPS (.985), hits (45), doubles (12), homers, (9), and wRC+ (157).
Now, there is something to be said for their production happening in September, and the old adage is don’t trust what you see in baseball in September. However, it should also be pointed out the last time d’Arnaud produced this way was in 2015 when both catchers were on the roster.
Possibly, d’Arnaud and Plawecki are pushing each other and getting the most out of one another. If true, the Mets have a solution at catcher for the 2018 season. That’s important considering the poor performance they’ve received from the position over the past two years and the lack of options at the position in free agency.
2. Mets Left-Handed Relievers
One of the few bright spots this season has been Jerry Blevins, and the reliever is finishing the season strong. Since August 1st, Blevins is 1-0 recording seven holds while posting a 2.81 ERA and striking out 13.5 batters per nine innings. If it wasn’t already a foregone conclusion, Blevins has reaffirmed that his option needs to be picked up this offseason.
Blevins is not the only left-handed reliever who is finishing the season strong.
Despite having reverse splits throughout his entire career, the Mets have continued to force-feed left-handed batters to Josh Smoker. As a result, he has struggled as a result. However, lately, his slider has become an ever increasing and reliable weapon against left-handed batters. Really, he’s been effective against everyone.
Since August 9th, Smoker has made 20 appearances pitching to a 1.35 ERA, 1.500 WHIP, and a 12.2 K/9. In the month of September, left-handed batters are only hitting .233/.241/.357 off of him, which is a massive improvement over his career numbers of .297/.380/.507.
It may be too late to fully rely upon Smoker being a significant member of the 2018 bullpen, but it’s not too late to allow him a chance to earn a spot out of Spring Training.
3. Taijeron Walk-Off
Due to the multitude of injuries suffered by Mets outfielders, Travis Taijeron finally got his chance to get called up to the majors at the age of 28. For the most part, he has struggled hitting just .188. None of that mattered on Tuesday when Taijeron delivered a walk-off single.
It’s likely Taijeron will be removed from the 40-man roster this offseason. It’s anyone’s guess whether he will have another chance to play again in the majors. No matter what the future holds, he will forever have this moment.
1. Not Honoring Collins
There are certainly mixed opinions about the Terry Collins Era. Certainly, his strengths and weaknesses have been well chronicled. How could they not? He’s been the longest tenured manager in Mets history.
No matter your opinions of him as a manager, he’s been good to the fans. He’s celebrated with them after postseason series. He’s offered condolences to a grieving widow. He’s stopped practice in Spring Training to have the team meet a boy who just had a heart transplant. Certainly, Collins as a man deserves to be honored by the fans.
But the Mets haven’t truly given that opportunity. They won’t officially announce the team is looking in a different direction leaking names to the press. They removed his image from the Piano Man scoreboard montage.
Collins has been a part of the Mets organization since 2010 and the manager since the 2011 season. He’s earned the right to be treated better than this. Once again, the Mets have acted without class, which sadly comes without surprise.
2. Another 90 Loss Season
With the Mets losing the front end of the doubleheader on Monday, the team clinched yet another 90 loss season. This 90 loss season came as quite a shock due to the preseason expectations, but considering the Mets history perhaps this shouldn’t have been.
Since the team’s inaugural 1962 season, the Mets have had 20 90 loss seasons. That’s the most in the majors. For those that believe this was a thing of horrendous 1960s teams and the Grant’s Tomb’s teams, you would be mistaken. Since Citi Field opened, the Mets have had two 90 loss seasons, which also lead the majors.
Overall, this has been a disaster of a season, and the team has a number of holes to fill. If the Mets do not fill those holes, they may very well add another 90 loss season to their record.
3. Smith Finishing the Season Poorly
Since Dominic Smith has been called-up to the majors, he has mostly struggled. In 45 games, he has a -1.7 WAR, 63 wRC+, and a -5 DRS. In sum, it’s been a struggle, and things have gotten worse for him. Smith fell into a 3-35 funk with no extra base hits, no RBI, and just two walks drawn.
Time and again, we have seen young players struggle when first called-up only to be driven in the offseason, make adjustments, and be better ballplayers for it.
To that end, Smith’s last at-bat at Citi Field this season was a long pinch hit three run homer. Hopefully, this sparks him for the final three games of the year, and it propels him to a big 2018 season.