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Mets July 2016 Report Card

The Mets entered June six back of the Nationals and a half a game ahead of the Marlins for the second Wild Card.  After a 13-13 month, which was their first month at or above .500 since April, the Mets find themselves 6.5 games back in the NL East race behind both the Nationals and the Marlins.  They not only trail the Marlins in the NL East race, but they are 2.5 games behind them for the last Wild Card spot.  The Mets have also fallen behind the Cardinals in the Wild Card race as well.

Bear in mind, these grades are on a curve. If a bench player gets an A and a position player gets a B, it doesn’t mean the bench player is having a better year. Rather, it means the bench player is performing better in his role.

Position Players

Travis d’Arnaud (D). It has been more of the same for d’Arnaud in July, and as such, the Mets were forced to inquire on Jonathan Lucroy at the trade deadline.  On the bright side, he began to hit for some power hitting two home runs.

Kevin Plawecki (F). Plawecki was sent down to AAA, and he began hitting like everyone else in the Pacific Coast League.  The jury is still out on him.

Rene Rivera (B+).  While his defense has dipped a bit, Rivera has been absolutely raking.  He has clearly benefitted from facing left-hand pitching.  Still, he’s here to be the defensive backup, and he hasn’t been as great as he has been in year’s past.

Lucas Duda (Inc). He missed the entire month with his back injuries, and no one knows when or if he will be able to return in 2016.

James Loney (B). Loney has continued to hit, but his power numbers have regressed to the mean.  He still can’t hit lefties a lick.  Furthermore, his defense hasn’t been great.  His error in the Rockies game helped lead to a loss.

Neil Walker (C).  He was actually hitting worse in June than he had been in May and June, which is saying something.  He was even briefly benched by Terry Collins.  Then he woke up in the Rockies series, and yesterday he hit a home run that just might turn his and the Mets season around.

David Wright (Inc.).  Wright is not going to play again in 2016 due to the neck surgery.

Asdrubal Cabrera (C). Cabrera started out hot to start the month, but he cooled off.  As a result, he put up similar numbers that he did in May and June.  On the bright side, he did break his 0-32 streak with runners in scoring position.  He had a nasty injury yesterday that threatens to end his season early.

Wilmer Flores (B+).  Flores has continued to rake putting up numbers at an unprecedented.  This month he hit seven homers.  He has benefited greatly by mostly facing left-handed pitchers.  The Mets will need his versatility all the more as injuries mounted during the month.

Eric Campbell (Inc.) Campbell did not play in a game during the month, and the Mets are not likely to call him up again until rosters expand in September.

Matt Reynolds (Inc).  Reynolds only played in one game during the month before getting sent down to AAA.

Ty Kelly (Inc).  Kelly did not play in the majors during the month of July, and his 40 man roster spot appears tenuous.  If the Mets make a move for a position player, he will likely be the first to be removed from the roster.

Michael Conforto (C+)  After an initial hot streak when he came back up, he has cooled off, possibly in part to Terry Collins giving him inconsistent playing time again, and possibly in part to him having to learn center field and right field on the fly given Cespedes’ and Lagares’ injuries.  For what it’s worth, he has handled both defensive positions well.

Yoenis Cespedes (B+). While his power numbers have decreased with his injured quad, he has become more patient at the plate putting up a season high .392 OBP in July.  His power is still there with a .530 SLG; it’s just that those balls are doubles now instead of homers.  His injury has hurt the team as he can no longer play center.

Curtis Granderson (C-). Granderson had his second worst month of the season hitting .235/.337/.410, and he is not playing right field at the Gold Glove level he played it last year.

Juan Lagares (D). It turns out Lagares just couldn’t play through the torn ligament in his left thumb hitting .160/.263/.300.  He has shut it down, and he is going to get surgery to repair the problem.

Alejandro De Aza (A+). De Aza had an amazing month of July .300/.500/.531. As you can plainly see, he’s hitting everything including lefties.  It speaks a lot about both him and the Mets that he was their best offensive player during the month.

Brandon Nimmo (B-).  In 13 games, Nimmo was showed signs he could be a major league player in the near future in his two stints with the Mets.  Overall, he hit .229/.325/.314 with one huge home run.  For some reason, even with the gap in center field, Collins still refuses to let him play there.

Jose Reyes (C)  Reyes quickly acclimated to third defensively as he appeared to have been a very good defender at the position for years.  At the plate, he had some uncharacteristically good power numbers while struggling to get on base with a .239/.278/.493 batting line.  He has been unable to hit righties doing most of his damage against lefties.  He is currently on the disabled list with an intercostal strain, and it is unknown when he can return.

Justin Ruggiano (Inc). The Texas Rangers AAA castoff has played in only two games for the Mets going 1-4.

Pitchers

Matt Harvey (Inc).  Harvey only made one start in July before the Mets finally discovered he has thoracic outlet syndrome which may explain the struggles he has had all year.  Harvey had season ending surgery, and he will hopefully return in 2017.

Jacob deGrom (B+).  In a month where the Mets needed someone to step up, degrom heeded the call posting a 3-1 record with a 2.27 ERA including his first shutout.  However, he did have a clunker against the Marlins who are now ahead of the Mets in the Wild Card standings.

Noah Syndergaard (B). Syndergaard has lost some velocity and movement on his pitches since it was discovered he is dealing with a bone spur in his pitching elbow.  For the month, he was a respectable 1-2 with a 2.45 ERA.  The main cause for concern is his walks have gone up.

Steven Matz (C-). Matz has been clearly bothered by the bone spurs, but he is starting to learn how to pitch effectively with him.  He rebounded from a terrible June to post a 1-4 record with a 3.19 ERA.

Bartolo Colon (D-). Aside from one good start in the second end of the double header against the Cardinals, Colon has had a miserable month with a 5.51 ERA and a 1.347 WHIP.

Logan Verrett (B-). Verrett was thrust into the starting rotation with the Harvey season ending injury.  He has performed well enough as a starter going 0-1 with a 4.32 ERA and 1.240 WHIP that the Mets did not feel compelled to go out and get a starter during the trade deadline or call up a pitcher like Gabriel Ynoa to take his place in the rotation.

Jeurys Familia (C-) Familia was walking a tightrope for a while with his struggling command, and he finally blew two saves in back-to-back appearances that were just devastating.

Addison Reed (A+).  In 13 innings, only five people reached base against him, and none of them scored.

Jim Henderson (Inc).  Henderson is still on the disabled list, and he suffered a leg injury during his rehab stint.  There is no telling when or if he will be able to return.

Hansel Robles (A+). When the Mets were looking for a veteran seventh inning reliever, Robles just went out there and took the job.  In 10 appearances he was 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA.

Jerry Blevins (A).  Aside from his last game when he had a minor hiccup, Blevins had a terrific July allowing just two hits and one earned run in 13 appearances.

Antonio Bastardo (F). Bastardo seemed to be slowly turning things around in non-pressure situtations.  However, as we saw Carlos Gonzalez launch one near the Shea Bridge, Bastardo cannot be relied upon in any game that is remotely close.

Rafael Montero (Inc.) Didn’t pitch in the majors in June as he’s been demoted to AA.

Sean Gilmartin (Inc.)  Gilmartin is on the seven day disabled list with a shoulder injury.  There is no timetable for his return.

Erik Goeddel (F).  Goeddel really struggled in the month of July posting a 6.10 ERA in 11 appearances.

Seth Lugo (B) He was electric in this first three appearances even making Anthony Rizzo look silly by striking him out with a curveball that hit Rizzo’s foot.  He has been solid since then, but he has come back to earth a bit.  For the month, he has a 2.60 ERA and a 0.968 WHIP.  He would be helped by getting regular work.

Terry Collins (F). While it could be argued he has been dealing with an injury plagued roster (he has), Collins still does not make sound decisions on a day-in and day-out basis.  For the man who said, the Mets couldn’t be in a position to both win-now and develop players like Conforto, he has managed to do neither.  He also seemingly alienated his players at the All Start Game.

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