1. Wheeler Is An Ace
In his start against the Nationals, Zack Wheeler pitched seven scoreless innings to improve his record to 9-6. Those nine wins lead the Mets this season.
In the second half Wheeler has been on fire, going 6-0 with a 1.17 ERA, 0.913 WHIP, and a 4.40 K/BB.
This is further indication that Wheeler is a much better pitcher and that he’s continuing to improve as a pitcher. All told, Wheeler is pitching like an ace right now.
2. Plawecki Maximizing Chances
Plawecki has so far seized that opportunity, going 3-for-6 with a double in the series against the Nationals. He was also threw out one of the two Nationals who attempted a stolen base when he was behind the plate.
Overall, over the course of the past month, Plawecki is hitting .245/.351/.405 in his 50 games behind the plate.
3. Young Bullpen Pieces Emerging
One thing Mickey Callaway has done a much better job of late is giving the young relievers a chance to prove themselves. So far, two relievers stand out and are making a real case they should be in next year’s Opening Day roster.
In 13 appearances, Drew Smith is 0-0 with a 1.84 ERA and a 1.159 WHIP.
In five scoreless appearances, Daniel Zamora has struck out 10.8 batters per nine.
With their performances, Smith and Zamora are proving they belong, and better yet, are showing they should be in the 2019 Mets bullpen.
1. Bruce, 1B
At the beginning of the season, Brandon Nimmo was the most potent bat in the Mets lineup, Juan Lagares‘ offense was a pleasant surprise, Michael Conforto was rushed back from his shoulder injury, and Adrian Gonzalez hit .227/.312/.394 in April.
At that time, it made all the sense in the world to move Jay Bruce to first base to allow the Mets to get Nimmo’s and/or Lagares’ bat in the lineup. It made even more sense considering Bruce’s lingering plantar fasciitis amongst other injuries. Instead, the Mets stubbornly stuck with Gonzalez at first and Bruce in right.
Now, the Mets have gotten good play from Wilmer Flores. In fact, since he took over the everyday first base job in mid-June, he has a 113 wRC+. There’s also Peter Alonso, who only has 32 homers and 109 RBI. By the way, the Mets also have Dominic Smith, who was once regarded as a Top 100 prospect in all of baseball. That was before the Mets messed with his playing time and development.
Of course, now, when the Mets should be giving a chance to Flores, Alonso, or even Smith, the Mets think this is the time for the team to not only give a look at Bruce at first base, but to also intimate Bruce will be the team’s first baseman next year.
This is all completely backwards, which sadly, shouldn’t surprise anyone.
2. McNeil Hurt
One of the reasons Jeff McNeil was not a big name you heard about before this season was his lengthy injury history. That lengthy injury history led Mickey Callaway and his staff to be very cautious in giving McNeil playing time early in his MLB career.
You could understand the Mets caution and wanting to keep McNeil healthy because he’s proven himself to be a potent bat. In 32 games, he’s hitting .342/.402/.481 with a 1.1 WAR.
With the way he has played, he has been one of the bright spots of the Mets season, and he gives fans a reason to watch a team which is 14 games under .500.
That was until McNeil came out of yesterday’s game with a tight quad. While he doesn’t expect to miss much time, with his injury history and the Mets history of dealing with injuries, you are left holding your breath waiting for the bad news.
3. Out to Sewald
Believe it or not, Paul Sewald is a feel-good story. The 2012 10th round draft pick pitched well at each minor league stop, and at age 27, he finally forced his way onto the Major League roster. He pitched well enough last year and during Spring Training to earn his way onto this year’s Opening Day roster.
In April, it looked like he was going to be a key cog in the bullpen as he had a 1.98 ERA while limiting batters to a .191/.235/.255 batting line. After April, he has been a much different pitcher leading to multiple demotions to Triple-A.
While things had been much better in August with him pitching to a 2.25 ERA, Sewald blew up yesterday allowing five earned on three hits and two walks in just one-third of an inning.
With this disastrous outing, Sewald now has a 5.54 ERA. Sadly, this leaves his future not with the Mets but also as a Major League pitcher teetering.