1. Plawecki Still Fighting
Since April, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ascertain which players are still fighting. That’s the case with a bad team, you can’t tell if they’ve given up or if they are just over-matched.
That’s not the case with Kevin Plawecki.
Plawecki still has some fire in him. Sure, he may be delusional when he said he thinks both he and the guys in the clubhouse can make the postseason, but it’s welcome delusion.
Plawecki has been backing up that statement with some stronger play at the plate including his first ever three run homer in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game to tie the score.
Over his last four starts, Plawecki is 7-for-18 with two doubles, a triple, a homer and five RBI.
2. Bautista Bargain
When the Mets signed Jose Bautista, he was expected to be nothing more than the Mets hoping to catch lightning in a bottle until Yoenis Cespedes returned from the disabled list — whenever that may be.
Well, Bautista has been everything the Mets could have bargained for and more.
In 30 games with the Mets, Bautista is hitting .276/.476/.517, and his 2 defensive runs saved (DRS) is tied with Michael Conforto for the best among Mets active outfielders. His 0.7 WAR is the second best among Mets position players.
3. Cabrera Re-Establishing Trade Value
From April 25, the day he sat because he suffered yet another leg injury, until the penultimate game in the Arizona series, Asdrubal Cabrera was dreadful. In that nearly two month stretch, Cabrera hit .227/.261/.407 while playing a bad second base.
Maybe his legs are feeling better, or maybe Coors Field rejuvenated him, but Cabrera has been much better of late. Over this last seven games, he is 11-for-33 with a double, two homers and seven RBI.
With the way he is playing, he is beginning to re-establish his trade value, and if Sandy Alderson plays his cards right, he may finagle a second right-handed reliever for Cabrera at the trade deadline.
1.There’s No Joy in This Team
You know things have gone bad when Brandon Nimmo, a man who can’t help but smile all the time, readily admits it’s getting increasingly more difficult to remain positive.
He then went out on Sunday, was plunked three times, with one of those pitches hitting his hand. Eventually, he would have to be removed from the game.
What is really strange is there was no retaliation from the Mets despite the bad blood between these two teams. More than anything, that should tell you just how far away 2015 is.
The despair goes beyond Nimmo.
Robert Gsellman went from revelation in the bullpen to a guy with a 4.20 ERA. Seth Lugo went from a guy dominating so much in the bullpen that fans wanted him in the rotation to a guy who is showing us why he was put in the bullpen.
Todd Frazier went from an early season leader with the “Salt and Pepper” t-shirts to a guy who is spiking helmets into his face and begging the Mets not to do a full rebuild.
Amed Rosario went from bright young shortstop to someone who needs to sit on the bench in favor of a 35-year-old who has not adequately hit or fielded since 2014.
Even Jacob deGrom, who has been lights out this season, has an umpire blow a strike call, and he allows three earned runs to help increase his season ERA to 1.69.
Overall, this team can’t have nice things.
2. Callaway Is Over-Matched
Looking at Mickey Callaway of late, you have to say game-in and game-out, he is completely over-matched. After all, he has been given a minor league first baseman in Dominic Smith to play left field, and really an entire roster of guys playing out of position.
His bench consists of Bautista and a bunch of guys who don’t belong in the majors.
The players called up are not completely prepared for the Major League level. For example, we recently learned Smith doesn’t really know how to bunt, which in the era of the shift, is inexcusable.
No one is allowed to go on the disabled list, and the team is ill-prepared to put players on the disabled list. After all, Jason Vargas has been hobbled for days, and the Mets never thought to have a player at the ready to replace him in the event he couldn’t make his start.
What’s outright mind-boggling is Sandy Alderson was unable to determine if a team under .500 were buyers or sellers. In the series immediately ensuing, the Mets featured a lineup with a LOOGY getting his first career start, Smith and Bautista in the outfield, and the former No. 1 prospect in baseball on the bench again in favor of a 35-year-old player with the worst WAR on the team. Seriously, this is what the Mets lineup was when they are trying to convince themselves they could be buyers at the deadline.
So yes, the narratives are completely correct. Callaway is over-matched. Any manager, including John McGraw would be as well with this roster and this type of support and meddling from his front office and ownership.
3. The Ever Frustrating Reyes Situation
Over the Mets last eight games, Amed Rosario has only started five times, and now the Mets seem to be looking to make this more of a thing as they want to get Rosario a bit of a break. In his stead, Jose Reyes, not Luis Guillorme, has been starting at shortstop.
The Mets are 13 games under .500. No matter what your feelings are about Reyes, the player or the person, the organization stands little to gain from playing him over Guillorme. And no, trading Reyes is not a factor as no team is going to want him, and it seems near impossible the Wilpons could ever bring themselves to part with him.
At a minimum, the Mets could find out what Guillorme is, what he could be, and really, what he needs to work on at this level to be successful. Every day he spends on the bench is a complete and utter waste.
How was this decision met in some corners of the media?
Naturally, they defended the move. Worse than that, they sought out Reyes to give him a platform to whine about his playing time and about how he hasn’t been given the best chance to succeed.
Apparently, this is the talking point, which is a completely delusional one when you consider he was signed to be a bench player. It’s plain bizarre to think there are still those who believe Reyes should have been playing more frequently despite his being just about the worst player in baseball over the past two seasons.
In the end, when you want to throw your arms up in the air and wonder just how ownership gets away with everything, remember this.
They have their own network and employ their own writers. They also get in the ears of people who cover the team everyday. So naturally, when they look for Mets coverage, it all just agrees with their viewpoint.