The Mets ended the first half of the season with another dud as Max Scherzer was ineffective and Padres RHP Joe Musgrove silenced their bats. Plus, (ugly) grades for the Mets roster
Hard to argue with the evaluations in today's post. Trying to be positive... there have been significant bright spots (Alvarez, Nimmo, Senga, Robertson, Pham & Hartwig) and a few okays (Lindor, Alonso, Canha, Guillorme & Ottavino, as well as Baty, who has to hit less ground balls and more line drives). No doubt, the rest have underperformed (Vogelbach, Marte, McNeil, Carrasco, Peterson, Megill, Smith and the two Cy Youngers all struggling except for the very occasional spurt of brilliance). It is clear to this observer that the preseason injuries to Diaz and Quintana were devastating to the pitching equation. All the relievers had to move up a notch and an innings eater from he port side was out of the rotation. Offensively, the DH is paramount to making the offense impenetrable to a certain degree. But when the DH is a one-dimensional player with no speed and no defense attached to his number, he better supply power and RBI, which was clearly not the case. While McNeil is certainly playing below his norm, he still supplies defense and versatility at three positions. Marte's struggles can only be a result of his advancing age and nagging injuries. How else can we explain the lack of offense, power and even speed (albeit he has 20 SBs), as well as a significant decline in his defensive metrics? Can the Mets go 50-22 for the rest of the season? It's possible, but four things would have to happen: (1) Go to a six-man rotation (Scherzer/Verlander/Quintana/Senga/Carrasco/Peterson); (2) Trade any or all of the best trade chips (Narvaez/Pham/Vientos/Scherzer or Carrasco) for a quality DH, who actually bashes, a southpaw pen piece, and prospects; (3) Release Vogelbach and, if necessary, make Mauricio the DH; (4) Quintana and/or Diaz would have to come back big. What's the thinking here?... The six-man rotation should allow these starters to go deeper and keep the starters and relievers fresher. All have shown better results with an extra days rest from time to time. None of those trade chips are really going to factor into the future. If the Mets want a left-handed hitting catcher with a little power to catch on day games after nights, they have Perez at Syracuse who is a better defensive piece than Narvaez and not being paid as a starting backstop. Trading Pham when he is raking will deliver some prospects and Canha will replace him more than adequately. Scherzer and Carrasco, both of whom have had their moments lately, have no future whatsoever with this franchise. Trading one will not be a tragedy. If Quintana and Diaz can come back for the last two months (or so) of the season; If Marte and McNeil get off the schnide; And if some serious production from the DH spot is on the horizon—the second half Mets, no matter who they are, can win 50 games. Will it be easy? No way. However, it is quite possible. But will Billy and his Metsecutives cooperate? That is the question.
The defense this year? D to D-.