Sports

Mets report card: Why NL East lead isn’t bigger

The Mets arrived at the All-Star break atop the NL East for the first time since 2007, a testament to the team’s strong starting pitching and bench depth.

But opportunities to build a lead larger than the 3 ½-game edge they hold escaped them. Offensive struggles were mostly to blame — the Mets are 29th in MLB in scoring, averaging 3.76 runs per game.

Meaningful September games most likely await. A look at the midterm grades:

On track for a third Cy Young award in four years and in the MVP conversation after posting a 1.08 ERA in the first half. Durability, however, has been an issue.

Taijuan Walker: A

An offseason free-agent steal, Walker has given the Mets a top-flight No. 2 starter with a bulldog mentality. He has allowed just 63 hits in 90 innings.

Brandon Nimmo: A

The Mets have gotten just a small dose of Nimmo because of the hand injury that cost him two months, but they are clearly a better team with him atop the lineup and playing center field.

Francisco Lindor, Jacob deGrom and Michael Conforto
Francisco Lindor, Jacob deGrom and Michael Conforto
AP; N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; Corey Sipkin

Aaron Loup: A

The Mets whiffed on Brad Hand last winter, but appear to have hit the jackpot with the left-hander Loup, who has pitched to a 1.61 ERA in 31 appearances. Quietly, a good addition for the Mets.

Marcus Stroman: A –

He has rebounded from missing an entire season better than could have been anticipated. His durability has been appreciated by the team.

Seth Lugo: B +

Lugo is still the Mets’ most dependable reliever. He was missed for the first two months as he rehabbed from elbow surgery, but has helped carry the bullpen with a 2.65 ERA in 16 appearances.

Finished the first half with a bang, blasting six homers in 14 games. He’s on track to surpass 30 homers and approach 100 RBIs.

Edwin Diaz: B

He has converted 19 of 21 saves, but his numbers still haven’t played up to his stuff. Diaz’s letdown Sunday was jarring, but he was a borderline All-Star previously.

Drew Smith: B

He’s earning chances to perform in higher-leverage situations after a first half in which he pitched to a 2.92 ERA in 19 appearances. Walks are a problem.

Tylor Megill: B –

The rookie was thrust into the rotation and responded, with 26 strikeouts in four appearances. He could be a needed piece in the second half.

Luis Guillorme: B –

Guillorme has a knack for getting on base and provides the Mets with a good glove at multiple infield positions. May have been overexposed when he was playing every day.

Jose Peraza: B –

True, he owns a disappointing .680 OPS, but it seems like all 26 of his hits have come when the Mets really needed them. He’s also very smooth defensively.

Tomas Nido: B –

A strong presence behind the plate, with his pitch framing, and his offense continues to show improvement. He could handle the starting duties at catcher if needed.

Kevin Pillar: B –

The leader of the Bench Mob has struggled at the plate, with a .645 OPS, but gets the benefit of the doubt for his resiliency after getting hit in the face by a pitch in May. He helped keep the outfield intact when key players were injured.

Jonathan Villar: B –

One of the key depth pieces the Mets added in the offseason, he has stabilized third base in J.D. Davis’ absence. The team could use better defense from him, but his bat plays.

Dominic Smith: C +

Much more was expected from him than a .710 OPS after last season’s breakout. He’s crushing lefties, now he has to figure out righties.

Jeurys Familia: C +

His numbers at the All-Star break are nearly identical to his stats from last year’s 60-game season. Largely dependable, but his 16 walks in 26 ¹/₃ innings are a buzzkill.

Trevor May: C +

Billy McKinney
Billy McKinney
Corey Sipkin

The Mets certainly expected more consistency than they have gotten from the right-hander for the two-year contract worth $15.5 million he received. May has allowed six homers in 32 ²/₃ innings.

Billy McKinney: C

For a two-week stretch after he arrived following a trade with the Brewers, he helped carry the lineup. He has been quiet lately, but gives the Mets a left-handed bat off the bench and defense.

Miguel Castro: C

The right-hander was dominant early in the season, but has gotten knocked around lately. His slump could leave the Mets looking for another bullpen arm heading to July 30.

Francisco Lindor: C –

This grade would have been much worse a month ago, but the $341 million shortstop has rebounded offensively. His defense remains elite. That said, he needs to be better.

James McCann: C –

The Mets’ other big lineup addition from the winter has struggled offensively while providing mixed results behind the plate. He has a good arm, but his pitch framing has been an issue.

Jeff McNeil: C –

Did he and Lindor ever decide if it was a rat or raccoon in the tunnel by the dugout? McNeil, like Lindor, was a first-half disappointment.

David Peterson: D

The left-hander has regressed from last season, when he helped save the rotation. He owns a 5.54 ERA and 1.40 WHIP as he rehabs from an oblique strain.

Michael Conforto: F

He has been lost at the plate all season, and the hamstring injury that cost him a month only exacerbated matters. This is no way to earn a big contract.

Luis Rojas: B +

The Mets survived losing much of their lineup to injuries in May and June and arrived at the All-Star break in first place. That’s a credit to the manager.

Zack Scott: A –

The rookie acting general manager has led the charge to improve the Mets’ defense through shifting and shown proficiency finding smaller pieces that can help the roster.

Most Related Links :
Business News Governmental News Finance News

Need Your Help Today. Your $1 can change life.

[charitable_donation_form campaign_id=57167]

Source link

Back to top button