Both Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan were in the top ten for hardest to double up. Jose Reyes was the hardest man to strike out in the National League. (14.3 AB between strikeouts. That’s like twice a week)
Jason Bay was tied, with 2, for the most Grand Slams in the NL.
The Mets were second, .264, in AVG in the NL, and second in OBP, .335.
They left 59 more players on base, 1257, than the Marlins who had the second most at 1198. Mets opponents left 1230 on base.
No Met has made an error, hit a home run, or struck out looking in over a week. With a week of the offseason under my belt to let the highs and lows of emotion mellow out with time, it’s time to take a closer look at what transpired in 2011 and what hope there is for 2012.
The team played harder than was expected. They didn’t give in, whether because of a tough loss, a rough week, or a poor start to a game. They’d battle back late in games, and bounce back from a tough loss with a solid win. There were plenty of times late in the season where they did seem to be going through the motions a little bit, but they seemed to bounce back from that as well. Hopefully 2012 avoids any long periods of being out of it and prevents the team from getting complacent.
The bullpen, while successful for some stretches of times, was mostly a failure. Part of this was the trade of Francisco Rodriguez, part of it was the depression of Taylor Buchholz. Part had to do with the starters rarely giving length, as was the main problem in April. The Mets are aware of this problem, and with some good scouting and analysis, there are relievers out there that you can get for reasonable prices. I would expect at least 2-3 new faces in the pen to compliment the ones that stay. The Mets lost a lot of games late last year, and strengthening the pen will go a long way in 2012.
The starting rotation is what’s going to be the big deal in 2012. This is what’s going to make or break the team as a contender. Niese and Dickey are locks. Mike Pelfrey is also pretty much a lock, although he does become a trade candidate as well. I wouldn’t be against keeping Capuano, but I suspect he’s priced himself out of what the Mets want to pay him. Johan Santana is supposed to be ready to go as normal during Spring Training, but I’d put the certainty of that at somewhere around 75%, and that may be optimistic. Right now he’s penciled in, and it won’t be until February before we know if he’ll be able to progress normally towards an Opening Day start. Therefore the Mets need a backup plan. Adding Santana would certainly help, but it’s likely the Mets need to upgrade further. Finding another quality starter and reassigning Dillon Gee to be depth for Santana could be the way to go. However, Dillon Gee may have earned a major league job. If the Mets can get to the regular season with a healthy Santana, and everyone else, having to send Gee to the minors to start the season would be a nice problem to have. From there they could reexplore trading Mike Pelfrey. Other teams will deal with injuries, and many teams could make good use of a guy that will throw 200 innings of slightly above league average value pretty consistently.
Then there is the offense. The offense was very good last year, despite few home runs and a lot of injuries. 2012’s hinges on Reyes staying, but if he does the Mets offense again looks to be very potent. The biggest concern would be if Pagan can shake off the bad defensive year, and if Duda can take a step forward out in RF. Thole needs to improve as well, and there’s something to be said for having a veteran right-handed catcher to work with him. The Mets are discussing moving the walls in a bit in right and left, which will probably help the home run numbers, although they may shrink the gaps a little bit. It looks like the Mets should still have a top-flight offense next year, capable of dealing damage to opposing pitchers.
The Mets could be competitive next year. A lot hinges on Reyes re-signing and Johan turning up healthy. The Mets do need to revamp the bullpen, sign another starter, and address the bench, but those are all reasonable expectations. It’ll be an interesting offseason, and hopefully it will be a launching pad for a good season to come.
There are only two Mets games left on the season. Tune in and watch or listen to them. There are only two and we’ll be missing the Mets before you know it. The DVR’d episode of How I Met Your Mother will wait.
Watch Jose Reyes compete for a batting title. See some of the young guys make a case for inclusion on the 2012 team. Nick Evans looks like he’s got a better than fair shot at making the team next year. Jason Pridie is finish strong, perhaps making a case as the 4th outfielder.
It’s not a given that Reyes returns. This could be his last two games. Last night could’ve been the last time David Wright will have driven in Jose Reyes. If you make it out to Citi Field, make sure to give him a big hand.
It’s a long way to April 5th. There will be a lot of unpleasant stories. A lot of “The Mets can’t do that” and “The Mets can’t afford that” type stories. They’re starting already, but at least we have two games left to enjoy before all the rumor and speculation.
The Mets lost last night, ticking their losses total to 82 and cliched a third straight losing season. Darn.
Never mind about the spoilers. Phillies and Yankees are already in, so I say let the other chips fall where they may.
I had high hopes for this team, and I thought a .500 finish was pretty close to the floor. Of course injuries are the ultimate wild card, which the New York Giants are finding out as well this year.
Which brings me to Lucas Duda. I severely hope he doesn’t have a concussion. Concussions are one of those things that doctors don’t fully understand, and that often have lingering effects months and years down the line that no one’s even sure about. Duda said after the game he was told he didn’t have a concussion, and hopefully that’s the case.
Which brings me to my number one hope for the last seven games of the season; No More Injuries!
The local football teams played Sunday night, marking the beginning of the end of baseball. With the Mets eliminated from the NL East and almost eliminated from the Wild Card race, Mets related traffic and discussion has slowed to a crawl outside of the die-hard in Metsopotamia.
But we’re going to miss them when they’re gone. The New York Mets now have as many games remaining as the New York Giants; another sign of the end. Time is ticking down, the Mets are playing poor, sloppy and uninspired baseball and even Reyes isn’t hitting like he was for most of the rest of the season.
As much as it’s not much fun to watch lately, I’m going to watch. You never know when something crazy will happen, and this team probably still has a couple of fun wins in them. I’m going out to Citi Field tonight for Star Wars night, which should be interesting at least.
Much thanks to the Mets for including Optimistic Mets Fan in the final issue of Mets Magazine. It’s very cool to see this blog in the Mets program. If you happen to buy the final issue of the season, flip over to page 153 and check it out. Then turn to page 154 for Faith and Fear in Flushing‘s entry. I love that there is a Spanish translation as well, although anyone that needs it isn’t going to find the site too readable. Maybe I need a ‘translate to Spanish’ widget for Fanáticos Optimista de los Mets?
The Mets have been in a free fall, plummeting towards worthlessness and erasing all the good will they achieved this season. It’s not totally their fault; They’ve been struck with a lot of injuries, and Sandy Alderson traded two expendable, but useful, parts for prospects once it was obvious the Mets weren’t going to make a real run at the playoffs. Still, despite the occasional fight they show, they’ve also showed a fair amount of looking flat too. They misplay balls, take bad approaches at the plate, and make bad decisions.
Take last night’s game. The Mets got guys on bases with plenty of opportunity, and turned around and let Worley off the hook. They refused to swing the bat and struck out five times looking, all with runners in scoring position. They worked Worley, but as soon as they gave up the lead they made 12 consecutive outs letting Worley go deeper in the game than he probably should’ve. They misplayed balls in the outfield and made bad throws.
This isn’t to say the Mets have quit. They look more depressed than disinterested. They press and make desperation plays or throws, or look almost fearful at the plate. The word I would use is lost. They look like they don’t know what to do, and have lost some of the routine and instinct that guides most baseball play in an effort to try to do too much.
You can see the effects already. People talk about the Mets as if they’re a horrible disaster of a team, despite playing competitively for a good chunk of the year. The stories about financial disaster are back, false rumors about not being able to spend money and sign players. They’re writing off 2012 without having any idea what will happen with the prospects or free agents this offseason.
Just like the Mets bounced back from 5-13 early, they’ll bounce back from this as well. They won’t play this badly the rest of the way, and that last month will set a tone and provide a lot of info about the off-season direction they need to take. But they have erased much of the goodwill they got for playing hard and being resilient during the midseason. Some may write a positive story overall about the season, but most will dismiss the Mets as anything worth thinking about no matter how this season ends.
Faith and Fear in Flushing also has a post today, as probably many Mets bloggers do, about free falling and not being able to get up. Great minds thinking alike and all that.
Just last week I suggested the Mets bring up Fernando Martinez to get some playing time at the major league level. This week he’s returned to the DL. Maybe the guy will eventually stay healthy, but right now he’s not an option.
Terry Collins mentioned getting Lucas Duda some playing time in right field, and now seems like the time. One of the Mets other almost ready prospects, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, is also on the Dl rendering another RF option unavailable. These are two of the probable candidates for Duda to compete with in Spring Training for a job in 2012 ,and right now it looks like he’s got the leg up having been successful at the major league level, and having stayed healthy.
I don’t really care to see a ton of Scott Hairston, Jason Pridie or Mike Baxter. Nick Evans is another guy that seems like he’d like to compete for that 2012 RF job but probably won’t be a real candidate. Evans can play first at least, and I’d rather Evans get those AB than the other bench guys, but the Mets might as well give Duda an extra month or reps in the outfield with an eye on 2012. He’s definitely starting to look like a solid hitter that will need a position for the future.
The Mets are on the west coast to play the San Diego Padres and tonight and tomorrow the game doesn’t start until after 10. I’m not usually one to complain about this; normally I like the quiet nights when everything else has been done for the day and there is nothing left to do but sacrifice sleep to the Mets.
But this Mets team is out of the playoffs. The Padres are out of the playoffs. These games have almost no meaning and the Mets are missing some of their most watchable stars to injuries. Additionally it’s early enough that I don’t feel the panic of “Pretty soon there will be no more baseball games, so I better savor every one” that comes mid-September. There are still over a month worth of games to watch and they’ll happen at much better hours of the day and the Mets aren’t even playing well right now.
So while baseball, particularly Mets baseball, is always worth watching, if there was a game or series to skip and get other things done, it’s this one.
Of all the players that have been on the major league roster this year for the Mets, only four of the opening 25 guys have missed no time with the Mets.
All four of those are starting pitchers.
Update 8/24: Looks like Niese makes it three.
Hairston, Byrdak, Thole, and Harris only missed a couple of days due to bereavement, paternity or foul balls.
And three more got a late start, but have been here since mid-April
Isringhausen – Delayed until 4/11
Gee – First Start April 17th
Turner – Up since the 19th of April
The Mets actually traded two of their healthier players.
Beltran – excepting brief bout of flu
Of particular note here is the position players. Two of the bench guys, Hairston and Harris, have stayed healthy all season and Thole is the only regular. Justin Turner, despite playing through some bruised thumbs, was added to the roster quickly and has remained on the field throughout. Everyone else has gone to or from the minors or disabled list, or to another team.
I’d say that’s probably a big factor in why the Mets have only around a .500 record on the season.