So here we are, in the worst time of the baseball season — the All-Star break, when there is no Mets baseball. So with time to kill, it’s a good time to look at the surprises and disappointments over the first half of the season.
When his pal Jenrry Mejia was lost for the first half because of a PED suspension, Familia was thrust into the closer role. All he did was respond with 27 saves, tied for second in the National League, and a miniscule 1.25 ERA. He only missed out on being an All-Star because of a numbers game. Not bad for a guy who probably entered Spring Training fourth on the closer depth chart (behind Mejia, Bobby Parnell and Vic Black).
Well, not really a surprise because we all knew it would be good. But did we think Jacob deGrom would already be an All-Star and a Cy Young contender in his first full season? Did we expect Noah Syndergaard to have such dominant starts and average more than a strikeout an inning? Who thought Steven Matz would have two incredible starts (and he can hit, to boot)? Matt Harvey has had some bumps in the road, but his recovery from Tommy John surgery is going well. Even Jonathon Niese and Bartolo Colon are giving the kids a run for their money in many of their starts.
The Rule-5 guy has a 1.71 ERA.
Flores has 10 home runs and 38 RBIs, the latter tied for the team lead. He is on pace for 20 homers, which no Mets shortstop has ever done (yes, I know he is playing second now, but that could change).
Man, he is a terrible shortstop.
David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud, Steven Matz
Injuries have kept Wright and d’Arnaud off the field for most of the season. Hopefully Matz will be able to come back before the season ends.
He was supposed to be the bat that put the Mets over the top. Instead, he has seven home runs and is batting .244. And it feels like his health is hanging by a very thin string.
Yes, he leads the team with 13 home runs. But he is batting just .243 and has struck out 86 times, ninth most in the league. He should not be a batting leadoff.
Similar crummy stats as Granderson — 12 homers, .241, 91 strikeouts, sixth most in the NL.
His defense is still solid despite an achy elbow. But his hitting has regressed — he is batting .256 and has only six stolen bases. His on-base percentage is just .284. Last season it looked like he might be the leadoff hitter of the future. Now, we’re not too sure.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis (his three-homer barrage notwithstanding), John Mayberry, Eric Campbell, Darrel Ceciliani, Danny Muno, Johnny Monell — need I say more?
The Mets jerked him around, but he did not help himself with his poor performance. Now he is in the minors with zero trade value.
Even though Familia made us forget about him, any time a young budding star is exposed as a juicer, it is disappointing.
So there you have it. Basically the pitching has been excellent and the hitting has been putrid. Everyone but Sandy Alderson predicted that prior to the season. Yet they are still five games over .500 and two games out of first place. If the hitting can just improve a little bit, the Mets can be serious playoff contenders.