Mets Thoughts 6/8
*So the Mets are coming off a 2-4 week, which included an embarrassing sweep by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
*The Mets ended up giving up a five run lead to the Pirates to start the sweep. There was one play that was especially questionable in my mind. With the Mets up 5-3, David Wright got on base. Up next and batting sixth was Jeremy Reed. Reed has a sweet line drive swing. He does not have power, but he hits line drives, as was evident in his two doubles in the game already. Instead of going with the hot hand, Reed was assigned to bunt.
First off, Reed bunted horribly with the play resulting in a fielders choice.
Secondly, Reed was the hot hand in the game and he was the best hitter in the lineup for six batters. I do not understand sacrificing an out and leaving the play up to a career 31-year old minor league shortstop and a catcher who could not hit enough for the Nationals.
*Amidst all the injuries the Mets have on their roster, the one that intrigues me is Billy Wagner. He was just recently transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. I wonder what the thought behind the transfer at this moment NOW. It was clear that Wagner would be out until August from the beginning of the season. The difference between the 2 disabled lists is rather significant. For each player on the 60-Day DL, the team gets an opening on its 40-man expanded roster, while a team only gets an opening on its 25-man active roster for each player on the 15-Day DL.
*What happens if another outfielder on the Mets gets injured? The team has already used NINE different players in the outfield this year (and this does not include Marlon Anderson who played some outfield for the team last year).
Opening Day Starters
1. Carlos Beltran
2. Ryan Church
3. Daniel Murphy
Opening Day Reserves
4. Fernando Tatis
5. Jeremy Reed
In Season Call-Ups/Free Agents/Trades
6. Gary Sheffield
7. Angel Pagan
8. Fernando Martinez
9. Emil Brown
* Actually, except for David Wright at third base, the team has been pretty unstable for each position. Here is the number of different players to play at each position (and keep in mind, it is only the second week in June):
First base: 4
Second base: 4
Third base: 2
Left field: 6
Center field: 3
Right field: 7
*Kudos to Omar Minaya on doing an excellent job finding a fifth starter this offseason. He did everything exactly right by not signing one guy. Instead he signed many veterans that had proven themselves or let a bunch of rookies looking for a chance (Livan Hernandez, Tim Redding, Freddy Garcia, Jon Niese, Fernando Nieve…just to name a few). This not only has helped the pitching depth of the team, which was needed with Oliver Perez’ inadequacy/injury, but he was bound to find lightning in a bottle for one of these pitchers…
*…And that lightning has come from Livan Hernandez. He is EXACTLY the kind of pitcher the Mets needed. Regardless of his impressive 5-1 record, a 3.88 ERA, and his highest strikeout rate since 2005, Hernandez best attribute his ability to keep the Mets in the game and keep himself in the game. Hernandez is second on the team in IP, behind only the Great Johann, which is one of the reasons why the bullpen looks so much better this year.
*When is a .345 batting average, .448 OBP, and a .948 OPS not enough? When you are David Wright playing for the current New York Mets. What Wright has done has been impressive, but the Mets really need more out of their third baseman.
Why you ask? He only has THREE homeruns this season. Under most circumstances, I would not care how many homeruns he had if he was hitting .345. This time is different because of how diluted the Mets lineup is currently. Except for Sheffield, Beltran, and Wright, the Mets have been playing (and winning) with replacement level players. That means there is more pressure on those three to produce runs. It does not matter how many times David Wright can get on base, when he is batting fifth in the order, there is no one that the team can count on to drive him in. Usually the lineup after Wright consists of a sixth string outfielder, a fourth string shortstop, and Brian Schneider. Wright has to start driving the ball more and try to create his own runs rather than counting on the others behind him to drive him in.
*Considering the state of the Mets injury-wise, a series win against Philadelphia would be HUGE this week.
…and that is what I am thinking.