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Mets: Questions Getting Answered

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Updated: June 17, 2013

Matt Harvey photo by slgckgc on Flickr

Now that we’re weeks away from the All-Star break it’s a fair time to review my preseason Crystal Ball on the Mets and Yankees and see if we’ve learned anything about the Mets’ open questions.

Let’s start with the good Mets news…the most positive development in NY baseball this year is the emergence of Matt Harvey. He is picking up where he left off last year, answering every question about being the real deal. He is. In fact he’d have to be considered the best emerging young pitcher in the game right now, ahead of Stephen Strasburg. His biggest sin is picking a team that can’t score for him but at least there’s some excitement every fifth day.

Now the rest of the Mets news…I had referred to this season as one of answering questions about players, mainly in the OF. I had considered the IF to have hopeful signs of being settled for a future winning club. Well scratch that. Nobody in the OF has shown any signs of development…Lucas Duda still flounders along, CF has been a rotating tryout, even Rick Ankiel had a shot. The only thing we know is that Marlon Byrd can probably be a 4th OF for a few more years. This was all pretty predictable.

Photo by Keith Allison

The bigger upset is the infield where some things we thought we knew turned out to just not be so. Ike Davis is still lost after weeks at AAA Las Vegas (hate to say it but he hit better with Valley Fever). Ruben Tejada isn’t showing a head for the game. And the catching hopeful Travis D’Arnaud once again hasn’t been able to stay on the field long enough for a call up…injuries are starting to look like the pattern and jeopardize his future. The only everyday players who have been pretty much as advertised are David Wright and Daniel Murphy.

As for the Mets rotation you’ve got Harvey answering every question. Niese has been fragile, he can be effective when healthy. Dillon Gee has just recently been pitching lights out and amazing with his strikeout rate. Zach Wheeler is coming, we’ll see if he’s ready (my gut says they’re rushing him, that he lacks Harvey’s maturity and toughness). Marcum and Hefner are what you expected…fill-ins for now. The bullpen has been a mess (at least they provide a home for LaTroy Hawkins, I thought he was unemployable), but Bobby Parnell provides hope of being a closer someday.

Poor Terry Collins. At least he still has a job. And well he should, this is not his fault. He’s had to be a crisis manager. Old Mets fans want his head, they want Wally Backman (of the ’86 Champs) in here. As if Wally is Miller Huggins and he’s going to turn Kirk Nieuwenhuis into Mike Trout. Terry deserves to get some actual major league talent in here to see if he can manage them before he gets the boot.

Photo by sportsangle.com

Meanwhile Sandy Alderson has to be getting a little twitchy by now…he’s made a point of not bringing in major league castoffs (well there WAS Ankiel) but rather wanted players here who had a chance of ultimately being part of a winning Mets franchise. And the signals to Mets fans…hang in there this year, we hope to contend in ’14 and we want to bring in another foundation piece to kick that off (sotto voce, Giancarlo Stanton?…yeah right).

Well unfortunately it seems that every roll is coming up craps. At the current pace, this developmental year will produce a lot of answers, mostly negative. And then where are we? We’ll know the Mets don’t have a major league club nor any answers in the upper minors. But they should have a good young foundation of starting pitchers which a lot of clubs don’t have. Clearly this thing is going to take longer than 2014.

When we see Rick Ankiel and LaTroy Hawkins in 2014 Spring Training it’s going to get really ugly in Metland. Mike Francesa will be skewering the Mets, fans will be alternately killing the Wilpon’s and accusing Francesa of hating the Mets. One of those train wrecks you can see coming for miles, nothing you can do about it. Only question is whether Mets fans can take their eyes off it.

 

This post was written by

Dave Graziano – who has written posts on Big Dog Sports Blog.
Short Hills, NJ USA

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