Top 13 Things We’ve Learned So Far About the 2014 New York Mets

Jimmy & Mike:

* Oh, maybe now Terry Collins will start to realize why it only took Colin McHugh to get Eric Young.

collin mchugh

 

 

 

 

 

* The first base position will never, ever be resolved by a “competition.” We’ll only witness small sample sizes, meaningless hot streaks and cold streaks. Management must make a decision; it’s that simple.

* If strikeouts bother you, this might not be your team.

curtis-granderson strikes out

* The bullpen is not quite a finished product.

* Bobby Parnell, sadly, reminds us again how dangerous it can be to rely on nothing but pitching.

* When Bartolo Colon pitches, the outfield is going to be kept busy.

* The current Mets infield defense is the old Mets outfield defense. To win at Citi Field, it must be fixed. Defense matters.

Daniel Murphy error

 

 

 

 

 

* Jose Valverde just might turn out to be a fun guy to watch. It’s exciting to see a guy who competes. Fingers crossed he can keep it rolling until at least late June.

jose valverde

* The struggles of Travis d’Arnaud only reinforce the reality that rookies struggle, that it’s rarely easy in the beginning, and that it’s foolish to expect prospects to experience instant success at the MLB level. It takes time.

* Dillon Gee, maturing in front of us, proves the same point. Wilmer Flores, in a different way, too.

* Things that make you go “Hmmm.” Terry Collins apparently does not believe in separating the lefties in the lineup.

things-that-make-you-go-hmmm-00111

 

 

 

 

 

* We don’t know if there’s a stat for it — oh, who are we kidding, there’s probably a stat for it — but the New York Mets must lead baseball in lowest % of balls put into play per pitch. In other words, nothing happens the most when you watch the Mets. Deep counts and strikeouts, it’s like working the clock in basketball. Might be effective, but it can be dull.

* And we’ll resurrect a theme from last season: You never know. Maybe this team figures out a way to win 90 games after all. We can hear Al Michaels now, “Do you believe in unlikelihoods?!

90 wins_thumb

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13 comments

  1. I wonder what other observations our readers have?

  2. Eric says:

    * I hope Wheeler pans out, but I don’t enjoy his outings. Where are the put away pitches?

    • Michael Geus says:

      I think Zack has a fastball that can put away a hitter, and he did have six K’s again last night. So far what he hasn’t shown is that he can keep hitters honest with anything else, and it leads to a lot of long at bats, high pitch counts, and shorter outings.

      Right now he reminds me a lot of John Maine, who had an excellent fastball but most games could not control, or trust, anything else.

      • Patrick Boegel says:

        Right now he reminds me a touch more of a right handed Al Leiter. Maine’s big problem post 2007, was his excessive reliance on the high fastball, he became so predictable and it was constantly fouled off. Wheeler does not locate his fastball consistently well yet and he also does not read hitters very well yet. Can’t live down with Jason Heyward, that is his strength.

        On the location aspect he at least is trying for down away, down in, up away, not comfortable at all with up in yet, whereas Maine was just up away to lefties up in to righties until he walked them or hung a fat pitch.

        Leiter would just keep coming with the cutter until he won.

        • Maine is a good comp, I think. With Zack — and I’m a fan, btw — there’s a strange cognitive dissonance. You watch him struggle to put away batters, then look at the numbers and he is, in fact, striking guys out. For one, he goes deep in counts. He’s exactly the type of pitcher for whom the Mets “approach” makes sense.

          Two things need to happen for Zack: He needs to be almost automatic with the first-pitch fastball strike. And he needs to be able to throw the off-speed pitches for strikes early in the count.

          These days everyone calls this “command,” but that’s just a new word for “control.” We will see games when he’s on, and when that happens, he will be utterly great. The three-hit, twelve-strikeout performances. It’s a work in progress. At some point, I expect to see him get on a roll. Just as I expect those Pelfrey-esque performances, where the numbers are rough and every pitch seems to result from a deep, internal struggle.

  3. Reese Kaplan says:

    Hey, we did get a long look at Duda — two whole games. It’s like last year’s Cowgill proclamation that he would be the starter and it lasted — wait for it — two games. Terry Collins can’t help setting himself up for criticism.

    It must gall him no end that Lagares is hitting while his man-crush in LF has an OBP (not batting average, mind you) of just .257. How’s he going to justify benching Lagares for E. Young when C. Young returns?

  4. Patrick Boegel says:

    I have a 14th thing, we have now learned that Terry Collins does not know how to tactically manage a game in nearly any capacity unless it falls in his lap.

    Last night, in the 8th inning, down 4-0 with one and NOBODY on base, who does he send up to pinch hit? Ike Davis.

    Then with a dominant closer and the game on the line his options to pinch hit for Ruben Tejada (who has actually played well thus far) are Anthony Recker and Omar Quintinalla.

    Stratego 101, don’t surround your Flag with Bombs, it is obvious when you never move them.

  5. Eraff says:

    Patrick…. we’re only seeing a bit of the CAPTIVITY to bad Roster Structure.

    Q has value when you need a Mid Infilield Glove for SEVERAL days…he has no in-game value as a bench player.

  6. IB says:

    Since you asked: I’ve noticed that expectations regarding Tejada are so piss poor he’s actually reaping praise by many for his performance thus far. I haven’t watched a game where he hasn’t botched a double play ball, got a poor read on a grounder, screwed up a base covering assignment or just plain showed lousy range. These things cost games and mess with your pitcher’s head.

    Seeing Tejada’s play as a pleasant surprise is called “conditioning”. Maybe “resignation”. “Capitulation”. Not me, not yet!

  7. I know I’m probably just projecting, but David Wright looks kind of bored and uninspired out there. Kind of like, yeah, I know I have to put the best face on this debacle, but I’d rather be mowing my lawn.

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