The Mets are well above .500 and sitting just behind the Nationals going into the All-Star break. Ordinarily, Mets fans would be elated with these results -but off a World Series appearance in 2015, a little more is expected. Here is Metro’s mid-season report card for the Mets.
Starting Pitchers: A
When Matt Harvey is the biggest problem in your rotation, you’re bound to have one of the best in the league. Harvey was 4-10 with a 4.86 ERA before opting for season-ending shoulder surgery, while teammates Jacob deGrom (5-4, 2.61 ERA), Noah Syndergaard (9-4, 2.56 ERA), Steven Matz (7-4, 3.34 ERA) and even Bartolo Colon (7-4, 3.28 ERA) have been fantastic. The rotation that carried the Mets to the postseason in 2015 is leading the way once again.
Relief Pitchers: A+
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From top to bottom, the Mets have had a rock-solid bullpen behind their excellent starters.They rank fifth in the league in ERA. Jeurys Familia has converted his first 30 save opportunities, and Addison Reed has been an incredible eighth-inning man. Hansel Robles has held down the fort in middle relief, and has even given the Mets some extended work as their emergency long-man.
Despite David Wright and Lucas Duda missing extended periods of time, the Mets' infield has held up well. Wilmer Flores has thrived as the full-time third baseman, hitting .289 in the month of June, and has been even hotter in July (.379). Asdrubal Cabrera and Neil Walker have been a great double play duo up the middle, and each of them has smacked double-digit home runs. James Loney has also done surprisingly well filling in for Duda at first base (.277).
Yoenis Cespedes has been far and away the Mets' best player, batting .302 with 21 homers and 52 RBI. His slugging percentage (.583) is by far the best mark on the team. Curtis Granderson had a sluggish May that dipped his average below .200, but a strong June and early July enabled him to boost it to .241 going into Sunday, and his 15 homers are second-best on the team. Michael Conforto was manning left field before a cold streak forced the Mets to demote him. But Brandon Nimmo has gotten off to a quick start in his stead, and Juan Lagares has been solid off the bench when healthy.
The Mets’ search to replace Mike Piazza is still ongoing. Travis d’Arnaud hasn’t hit for power in limited at-bats this season, and Kevin Plawecki has proved to be an inadequate substitute. Rene Rivera has been a defensive stalwart behind the plate, but his bat is similar to that of former Met Anthony Recker.
Terry Collins has made some puzzling lineup decisions this year. Jose Reyes was immediately thrust into the leadoff role despite Granderson’s high OBP (.339), Travis D’Arnaud can’t get out of the eight-hole, and Juan Lagares can’t buy an at-bat against a right-handed pitcher. But Collins is managing his pitchers well. Antonio Bastardo, whom the Mets paid big bucks in the offseason, might’ve been playing more if Collins was as stubborn as he was just a couple of years ago. But his struggles (4.91 ERA) have rightfully earned him mop-up duties.
General Manager: C
Sandy Alderson hasn’t done enough to give the Mets their best shot so far. Loney was a savvy pickup, while Reyes remains a work in progress. However, Alejandro De Aza has been awful and should’ve been cut weeks ago, yet he remains on the team. And Eric Campbell seeing extended playing time in April and May was terrible. Logan Verrett has posted results ranging from mediocre to bad, yet he has preference over Sean Gilmartin, who’s been excellent in brief stints this year after a solid 2015. Alderson can atone at the deadline for these mistakes by picking up another good bat and/or another arm for the bullpen.