Mets August 2016 Report Card
The Mets entered August 6.5 games back in the NL East race behind both the Nationals and the Marlins. They also trailed the Marlins by 1.5 games for the last Wild Card spot. The Mets have also fallen behind the Cardinals in the Wild Card race as well.
By going 15-14, August turned out to be just the second winning month the Mets have had this season. They now trail the Nationals by nine games in the NL East. After what has been a crazy month, the Mets still remain 1.5 games back of the final Wild Card spot. Only now, the Mets trail the the Cardinals after having helped put the Marlins away having won the first three against them in a four game series. Given the Mets weak September schedule, it should be an interesting finish to the season.
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.
Travis d’Arnaud (C). After the Jonathon Lucroy rumors died down, d’Arnaud starting hitting again. However, he has cooled off to hit at a rate slightly better than his 2016 totals. Part of the reason may be Collins playing Rivera over him with the Mets needing to throw a lot of young pitchers out there.
Kevin Plawecki (Inc.) Plawecki spent the entire month down in AAA where he has started hitting again. He should be among the first group of players called up today. It’ll be interesting to see what, if any, impact he has over the final month of the season.
Rene Rivera (C). Rivera came crashing back to Earth offensively. However, his value has always been as a receiver, and he has done that job fairly well helping usher some of these young pitchers into the big leagues.
Lucas Duda (Inc). Duda is most likely gone for the season, and the debate will soon begin about whether he will be a Met in 2017.
James Loney (F). He didn’t hit for average or power, nor did he get on base much during the entire month. Worse yet, he has not been good in the field. The next ball he stretches for will be his first.
Neil Walker (A+). What has happened to Walker is nothing short of heart breaking. He had completely turned his season around, and he appeared to be headed for a massive payday this offseason with him standing out as one of the better options in a weak free agent class. Instead, Walker is going to have season ending back surgery to end his season.
David Wright (Inc.). It’s clear he’s done for the season, but it is nice seeing him around Citi Field and looking better.
Asdrubal Cabrera (A+). Since his return from the disabled list, Cabrera has been a blonde bombshell. He moved into the second spot in the order, and he he has combine with Reyes to form a dynamic and powerful 1-2 duo at the top of the lineup. The only concern is how much he is going to actually be able to play with that lingering knee issue.
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, and now he’s hitting righties better. 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 (D). Reynolds didn’t hit well during his 10 games with the Mets this month. Worse yet for him, he has been passed over on the team’s depth chart by Rivera.
Ty Kelly (A). During his limited August playing time, Collins was able to maximize Kelly’s abilities by making him a short-lived platoon left fielder with Cespedes dealing with his quad injury. In his nine August games, Kelly hit .381/.500/.524 with a double and a triple.
Michael Conforto (D). After a stretch in which the Mets bottomed out, Conforto was sent down as he was a young player unable to handle sporadic playing time. Since being sent down to AAA, Conforto has hit everything including lefties. He should be called up today, and most likely, never play as Collins is his manager.
Yoenis Cespedes (A). It was admirable that Cespedes played until he could play no longer (even if his golfing might’ve been part of the reason why). Since his return, Cespedes is hitting home runs again. He has had another incredible month, and he had a walkoff with a legendary bat flip to help the Mets beat the Marlins.
Curtis Granderson (D). It hasn’t been fun seeing last year’s team MVP struggle the way he has this month. He lost his job in right, moved to center, and now has become a part time player. The hope is that with the time off, he rests up, and he returns to the Granderson of old. Those hopes don’t seem that far fetched after he came off the bench the other night to hit two home runs.
Juan Lagares (Inc). Lagares didn’t play in August due to the thumb surgery. It remains questionable if he can return in September as he will most likely not be ready for rehab games until after the minor league affiliates have ended their seasons.
Alejandro De Aza (C-). De Aza followed a great July with another poor August. Mixed in there were a couple of terrific games that helped the Mets win a pivotal game against the Cardinals. Right now, what he brings more than anything is the ability to play center field.
Kelly Johnson (A+). Johnson continues to be the Mets top pinch hitter as well as a platoon option in the infield. Over the past month, he has hit for more power including a surprising five homers. His bases loaded double last night might’ve buried the Marlins.
Brandon Nimmo (Inc). He only played two games before being sent down to AAA. Given the fact that he’s one of the few healthy center fielders in the organization, he may see some real time when he gets called up with the expanded rosters.
Jose Reyes (A). You could say we’re seeing the Reyes of old, but Reyes has never been this good in his career. He has adapted extremely well to third base while playing a steady shortstop when the Mets have needed him to play over there when Cabrera has been injured or needing a day off. The one caution is he still isn’t hitting right-handed pitching that well. Still, his numbers were terrific.
T.J. Rivera (B). After all this time, Rivera finally got his chance. He made the most of it hitting .289 in 13 games while playing decently at second and third base.
Justin Ruggiano (Inc). When he plays, he hits, but he is now on his second disabled list stint already with the Mets. With him being put on the 60 day disabled list, he’s now done for the season. Seeing what we have seen with the team, there may be something in the water.
Matt Harvey (Inc). Harvey is done for the season after having had successful surgery to remove a rib. For a player who has been criticized in the past for attending Yankee games while being gone for the season, Harvey has been a fixture in the Mets dugout during games.
Jacob deGrom (D). deGrom had been pitching great until August rolled around. In back-to-back big games against the Giants and the Cardinals, he couldn’t deliver pitching two of the worst games in his career. Hopefully, the Mets skipping his last start will help get him back on track.
Noah Syndergaard (B). Syndergaard has had an uneven month, but after his last start, it appears he is dealing better with the bone spurs, and he is getting back to the pitcher who was dominant over the first half of the season.
Steven Matz (C). Just as you thought he turned things around with his flirting with a no-hitter in his last start, he goes down with a shoulder injury. At this time, it is unknown as to when or if he can return.
Bartolo Colon (A). Colon stopped his good start-bad start streak in August, and he started pitching much better during the month of August at a time when the Mets needed him the most.
Logan Verrett (F). Look, he shouldn’t have been tapped as the Mets fifth starter after Harvey went down, but with that said, he did everything he could to lose the job pitching to a 13.50 ERA in August. He eventually lost the job to Niese of all people
Addison Reed (B+). You knew he wasn’t going to keep up what he has been doing, but even with him coming back to Earth slightly, he has still be incredible.
Jim Henderson (F). After being on the disabled list for so long with yet another shoulder injury, Henderson has made his way back to the majors. Unfortunately, he’s not the same pitcher. Collins owes him an apology.
Hansel Robles (F). Robles showed how much he has been overworked this season by Collins this month. Hopefully, with some rest, he should finally be able to rebound and contribute in September and beyond like he had done for most of the season.
Jerry Blevins (B+). His 2.16 ERA was terrific, but his 1.560 WHIP gives some reason for pause. Both righties and lefties are starting to hit him, and he has been allowing inherited runners to score.
Antonio Bastardo (Inc.) Thankfully, he is gone, and it was worth it even if it meant the Mets had to take back Niese.
Rafael Montero (Inc.) He got an unexpected start due to injuries, and he fought his way through five scoreless innings. Good for him.
Sean Gilmartin (Inc.) Gilmartin has only made three appearances since being recalled, and he hasn’t pitched particularly well. Whether it was the shoulder injury or teams figuring him out, he’s not the same guy he was last season.
Erik Goeddel (F). There used to be two factions of the Mets fan base: those who thought Goeddel was a good major league pitcher, and those that didn’t. Seemingly, everyone is now in the latter camp now.
Seth Lugo (A). Lugo has been nothing short of a revelation this year. Due to injuries, he has had to go from the bullpen to the rotation. He has not only shown his stuff translates as a starter, but he also shown he could actually be more effective as a starter. He has gotten his 2014 deGrom moment, and he has taken advantage of it.
Jon Niese (F). Somehow, he was worse with the Mets than he was with the Pirates. He has failed in the bullpen and the rotation. Hopefully, for him, the reason is because of his knee injury that has required surgery.
Robert Gsellman (Inc.) It’s been a mixed bag for Gsellman. In his one relief apperance and his one start, he has given the Mets a chance to win. However, he’s a powder keg out there as it seems as if he is in trouble each and every inning. To his credit, he has gotten out of most of the jams. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes from here.
Gabriel Ynoa (Inc.) Ynao was surprisingly called up to pitch out of the bullpen. In three rough appearances, the only thing you can fairly conclude is he isn’t comfortable yet pitching out of the bullpen.
Josh Edgin (D) Edgin has gone through the long Tommy John rehab process, but he’s not quite back yet. His velocity isn’t quite there. With that in mind, he has struggles getting major league batters out.
Josh Smoker (B) After a rough start to his major league career, he has gone out there and gotten better each and every time out. He is getting his fastball in the upper 90s, and he is a strikeout machine. He could be a real factor over the next month and in the postseason
Terry Collins (D) He iced Conforto. He continues to overwork the bullpen. He makes baffling lineup decision after baffling lineup decision. He is even worse with in-game management. However, with the Mets on a stretch against some bad teams, and the Wild Card frontrunners not having run away with it, he may once again be in position to ride some good luck into the postseason.