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20/20 Hindsight: Mets Look Like The Arnold Schwarzenegger Twin

The Mets had a two game set against the Twins as they continued their nine game road trip where they hoped to possibly bring themselves back into the Wild Card race:

1. Amed Rosario is playing the best baseball of his MLB career. Not only has he been red hot in July, but he has also played to a 2 DRS at short since the All Star Break. It’s a small sample size for sure, but it’s all a very encouraging sign.

2. Another good sign from the middle infield is Robinson Cano hitting again. His July numbers are reminiscent of the Cano of old, and like we saw on Tuesday, even when he’s not hitting, he can still drive in a run with an out.

3. Michael Conforto seems to have shaken off the effects of his concussion earlier in the year. In addition to his hitting like Conforto again, he made a terrific play in center field to rob Nelson Cruz of an extra base hit.

4. People calling Conforto overrated or a bust absolutely know nothing about baseball. It should be noted before his concussion, Conforto was hitting ..271/.406/.521 and in the 39 games after leading into the break he hit .217/.309/.420. We should be highlighting with Jason Bay and Ryan Church the Mets have a putrid history of dealing with players with concussions and not how a player struggles after suffering one.

5. Steven Matz‘s final line looked much better than how he pitched. He was hit hard by the Twins, and he was really lucky to allow just two earned over four. Still, it’s a positive step from where he was a month ago, so the hope is he can build off of it. Note, the use of the word hope and not expect.

6. Like Matz, Edwin Diaz has been hit really hard of late, and he is escaping trouble. While he converted that save on Tuesday, that was far too much of a high wire act, and it’s questionable how long the Mets can hang with these 20+ pitch innings and his walking the tightrope.

7. Even with Diaz allowing lasers, the bullpen has been MUCH better of late. After a 7.53 bullpen ERA in June, the team has a 3.78 July bullpen ERA which is tied for 10th best in the majors. This is partially the result of the Mets leaning on Seth Lugo perhaps more than they should and the return of Justin Wilson from the IL.

8. It looks like Ricky Bones helped fixed Jeurys Familia. He had two big and important appearances. We also saw him throwing that 99 MPH sinker again. Maybe this was all just mechanical with him, and that may or may not have been attributable to the shoulder issues. In any event, Familia finally looks like he is back on track.

9. We only get small snapshots of teams in Interleague Play, especially in two game sets, but it’s surprising to see this Twins team being atop the AL Central. Is this the result of the AL depth being that bad, or was this just a bad series? In any event, you take a two game sweep against a good team.

10. That six run inning against the Twins was huge. It took what could have been a tightrope walk with a bullpen leaned on heavily a bit of late, and it allowed the Mets to go to Chris Mazza to eat up two innings. That is a huge development which cannot be undersold.

11. While Dominic Smith hit the go-ahead pinch hit three run homer, it was Pete Alonso‘s 474 foot blast anyone could talk about. Certainly, that’s all Steve Gelbs wanted to talk about with Smith in the postgame. That and his striking out against a position player. To that end, why does everyone find Gelbs so charming? I don’t get it.

12. Gary Discarcina not sending Rosario to go try to get that inside-the-park homer was no fun at all.

13. It is really surprising the Mets would catch Wilson Ramos in a day game after a night game given his injury history and the fact the Mets were about to get on a flight to go to San Francisco after the game. You have to wonder how much the wear and tear here will linger.

14. Mets need to watch their usage of Lugo. As the pressure has ratcheted up a bit, they keep going to the whip there. When they did that with Robert Gsellman earlier in the year, they lost him. Really, at some point, the Mets need to learn this lesson before they lose a key piece.

15. Right now, you should feel good about the Mets. Whether we should feel good a week from now will depend on how they play.

16. With a 0.2 WAR, Wilmer Font was the best performing player Brodie Van Wagenen obtained via trade, and he was designated for assignment and traded to the Blue Jays for cash considerations. This is both hilarious and a fine example of how completely inept Van Wagenen has been as the Mets General Manager.

17. Mets fans seem to want to defend the team on designating Travis d’Arnaud for assignment much like how they defend the team’s decisions on Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner, Hansel Robles, Collin McHugh, and others. Really, at what point do fans stop defending the team and just start asking why the Jeff Wilpon led team continues to make poor assessments and decisions like these?

18. Zack Wheeler getting hurt pretty much means the Mets need to hold onto him and offer him a qualifying offer because it’s doubtful the Mets are going to get a return commensurate with the comp pick they would receive if Wheeler rejected the offer and signed elsewhere.

19. People need to stop making luxury tax threshold excuses for the Mets for their building a team in 2020. Remember, that includes $15 million of David Wright‘s contract which is covered by insurance and has been settled by the Mets. Another $29.5 million is from Yoenis Cespedes who has part of his contract covered by insurance. Finally, $12 million of Jacob deGrom‘s $25 million is deferred. The Mets can and should go over the luxury tax threshold next year if they really want to compete.

20. Now that this series is over, the Mets play 20 straight games against teams with a losing record. After that, they have three against the Phillies, who currently hold the second Wild Card spot. If you have hopes the Mets can make a run, there it is.

8 thoughts on “20/20 Hindsight: Mets Look Like The Arnold Schwarzenegger Twin”

  1. Luis Venitucci says:

    Cano is done and cannot hit a fastball any longer..Not sending Rosario was the correct move, unless you want to run the risk of his getting hurt in a blowout..Matz’ good fortune in all the missiles hit off of him cant last, especially with this defense. Conforto strikes out waaayy too much. He is good, and that is all, not very good, just a slightly above average ML player. I worry about the use of Lugo, but it was nice to see Familia throw better,,,now to see if he can sustain it.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      I don’t see how sending Rosario would get him hurt. This isn’t baseball of the 70s where plays at the plate were like gladiator battles.

      Either the throw would be there, or it wouldn’t.

    2. LongTimeFan1 says:

      Luis Venitucci
      It’s far too early to claim Cano’s done.

      He’s been hot of late, has better sync in his mechanics which also appears to have improved bat speed and restored some of the vintage Cano pretty swing. He said he’s been using his hands better.

      However, for sustained contribution, as players age they also need to make adjustments. Those adjustments can include, mechanics, stance, plate approach.

      As of a few days ago, Cano says he’s sticking with the same everything at the plate he’s used for his career. I find that rather short-sided. Unfortunately, It takes some longer than others to recognize they need to – and ought to – change. It hasn’t yet registered with Cano he’s one who should.

  2. LongTimeFan1 says:

    About Conforto,

    He is indeed hitting like Michael Conforto.

    His 2019 triple slash is nearly identical to that off his career, he’s had his perennial, predictable slump and may perhaps have another which wouldn’t be unusual.

    He sustained a concussion on May 16, 2019..

    He returned May 26, three days after a 7-Day Concussion IL stint.

    He got the needed rest and gradual ramp up of activity as medically prescribed and monitored.

    He passed MLB post-concussion standards and said he felt fine. There’s nothing here to blame on the Mets except to exploit a head injury to promote a Mets bashing agenda.

    On April 23, 2019, Conforto was batting . ..302/.419/.593/1.012

    By May 16, 2019, when he left with concussion, it dropped to .271/.406/.521/.926

    After Four Games Back::

    .266/.407/.525/.932

    A correlation between concussion and poor performance is not the same as cause and effect in a player with perennial history of major slumps who owns a career .251 batting average which matches his .MLB lifetime .250

    He’s also having a Michael Conforto-like season in other ways. OBP, SLG, OPS, OPS+

    2019: .361/.471/.832 123

    Career: .351/.475/.826 124.

    His 2019 K, BB, HR, XBH percentages are also extremely similar to career norms.

    https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/c/confomi01-bat.shtml

    You’re just doing what you always do, MetsDaddy… exploit and cherry pick situations to promote an agenda.

    That agenda with Conforto involves claims he should legitimately be in MVP conversation and is bona fide candidate this season and others.

    1. metsdaddy says:

      There is a significant line between clearing concussions tests and being ready to return.

      It’s also important to note the career stats for Conforto are skewed downward when he played with an injured wrist for most of 2016 and was rushed back from his shoulder injury last year.

      Really, if we’re talking true talent level for him, it’s the .279/.384/.555 he had in 2017. Notably, pre-concussion, that’s where he was hitting .271/.406/.521.

      1. LongtimeFan1 says:

        Unfortunately, injuries are part of the game. Bad injuries and nagging ones. Not every injury merits excuse.

        The only injury I thought he came back prematurely was to open his to 2018 after major shoulder surgery.

        Regarding concussion. I thought Conforto should have gotten a few more days off but he said he felt fine, and had for days. He also looked, ran and moved fine when he returned.

        Looking at game logs, and looking at him, there’s really no evidence of concussion aftereffect.

        Thats differ from Jason Bay and Ryan Church who were indeed impacted. You could tell neither was the same.

        As far as Conforto overall, he has decent sample size – 1,988 plate appearances – and is lifetime .250 hitter to this point.

        His MLB Pipeline pre-draft profile stated he could hit for 25+ homer power but there were questions about his hit tool. Thus far that profile is accurate.

        Part of being bona fide, perenial MVP candidate is staying healthy, highly productive and consistent enough to put up MVP caliber numbers by season’s end and have enough plate appearances to be eligible for official stat rankings and compete against others MVP candidates.

        Michael Conforto is talented and has very pretty swing when right but he would really have to elevate his game to be in legit MVP conversation. He could, but thus far hasn’t. There are too many candidates who hit for more power, have better OBP and especially Batting Average, an area in which he struggles.

        I think he’s excessive K’s hurt him, as does his tendency to pull despite ability to use whole field which is key for him.

        He also at times struggles with his stance and mechanics, slight changes that lead to big struggle and being uncomfortable in the box for extended periods which includes poor approach.

        Is he capable of hitting 40 homers, batting .300, reducing K’s, having 1.000+ OPS, and avoiding extended slumps?

        Could he improve his defense, particularly in faster, cleaner, quicker transition to throwing after fielding flys or charging grounder, releasing ball with optimum athleticism with good mechanics and follow-through to make the most of his arm and lower body? I think he needs to clean that up….there’s more in there to unlock.

        1. metsdaddy says:

          How can you say he had no ill effects from the concussion? After it he hit like Rey Ordonez in a slump.

          That’s not Conforto.

  3. LongTimeFan1 says:

    Correction on Conforto:

    I Wrote:

    who owns a career .251 batting average which matches his .MLB lifetime .250 ”

    I Meant:

    2019: .250 Batting Average

    Career – ..251.

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