Mets Are Not A Good Team

Right now, the New York Mets are 17-18. They’re under .500. As Bill Parcells has been credited with saying, “You are what your record says you are.” Well, that means the Mets are not a good team.

There are caveats we can throw out there, and to be fair, they should be noted.

We saw José Quintana and Justin Verlander start the year on the IL. Carlos Carrasco is on the IL. Max Scherzer didn’t hit the IL, but he was having some issues before the suspension.

Losing four starters like that takes a toll on your rotation and team. Of course, that is a complication of having the oldest rotation in the majors. As oft noted this offseason, rotations this old usually do not make it to the postseason.

The bullpen was thrown a bit into chaos with the unexpected season ending injury to Edwin Díaz. To be fair, the Mets were prepared for that with the addition of David Robertson. The problem is no one outside Robertson and Drew Smith have been very good in the bullpen.

Of course, that is a function of the rotation not going deep into games. That is going to tax the bullpen. However, it is also a function of Billy Eppler not building a complete bullpen over the winter. The bullpen needed 1-2 more arms, and he never got them. He also never replaced Trevor Williams as the long man, which only exacerbates the starting pitching being unable to go deep into games.

Maybe the Mets could weather this storm with more offense, but the offense was left unaddressed in the offseason. The world knew the Mets needed more power in the lineup, and their only attempt was the failed Carlos Correa signing. As a result, the Mets went right back to the lineup which failed against the Atlanta Braves in September and then failed again in the NL Wild Card Series.

The Mets did call up Brett Baty, and he has been good. Francisco Álvarez was put on ice after the Omar Narváez injury, and he has started hitting pretty well. Over the past 13 games, he is hitting .286/.342/.429. These are competent bats right now that are not yet lighting the world on fire.

Of course, that also means they’re some of the Mets more productive bats. You wouldn’t know that because Buck Showalter thinks they belong in the bottom half to bottom third of the lineup. Starling Marte and his 68 wRC+ is permanently entrenched in the second spot in the lineup (the most important spot in the lineup) because he’s fast and a veteran.

Mark Canha has a 91 wRC+, and he mostly bats fifth or sixth because, well, he’s a veteran. Therein lies the problem. Showalter is making decisions based upon 1980s decision making and deference to veterans. It’s not about what best suits the team now.

Sure, not all that ails the Mets is going to be solved by lineup construction. However, when your pitching is struggling this much, and there are so many unproductive bats, you need to get as much of a competitive advantage as you possibly can.

Right now, the Mets aren’t. As a result, they’re an under .500 team. They’re just not a good team, and the manager isn’t really doing what is needed to be done to get some wins right now.

Sure, the Mets can turn things around and still make the postseason. That said, they’re seven games behind the Atlanta Braves and tied with the Miami Marlins for second in the division. The more they don’t do anything the more the division is out of reach leaving them back in that dreaded best-of-three series.

Now is the time for the Mets to focus on their productive players. Let the young players play and thrive. If not, the Mets could be in serious trouble.

One Reply to “Mets Are Not A Good Team”

  1. royhobbs7 says:

    What is clear, MD, is that Billy Eppler is a clone of Brian Cashman and that’s NOT a good thing! Eppler continues to flounder in making poor talent assessments on players (trading Colin Holderman for Vogelbach; trading JD Davis for Darrin Ruf – had these two trades alone had not been made at last year’s deadline, the Mets would have likely won the East).

    Besides the number of poor trades (at least 3) in his short tenure, he has been abysmal in his signing of FAs (other than the ones that Uncle Stevie has trumpeted). Quintana, Pham, Escobar, Narvaez (not his fault he went on the IL), and as you mentioned, not re-upping Trevor Williams have been just plain bad moves.

    Moreover, this is an OLD team that is getting older by the day. Questions as to Scherzer’s future efficacy, Verlander’s endurance, Escobar, Carrasco (IL) and Marte getting older, each day, right before our eyes does not bode confidence for our Mets even ascending to the playoffs this year. And if we don’t, Uncle Stevie is going to have a lot of questions to answer given all the lettuce expended to construct the present team’s underperforming roster..

    However, there are replacements with some potential upside and quality just a call away in Syracuse. Whether Epp is going to make that call sooner or later is the question. Do the Mets needs to fall a dozen games behind Atlanta before that call is made? That would be foolish. Atlanta’s GM (Alex Anthopolous) had a similar quandry last year with an underperforming lineup. He didn’t hesitate to pluck young potential stars (i.e., Spencer Strider, Michael Harris & Vaughn Grissom) who became significant catalysts in helping the Braves to leapfrog over the Mets in September.

    Will Eppler come through? Probably, but not until the Mets descend into 4th place in the division. If we do not ascend to at least a W/C this year, Eppler better do whatever he can to convince Ohtani (given their previous relationship) during the offseason (or convince the Angels in trade by August) to come to Citifield. Otherwise, we’re likely going to hear some NY baseball writers squawk to Uncle Stevie about sending Eppler some walking papers!

Comments are closed.