Josh Edgin and Matt Harvey lead the feel-good Mets

Not very often is an 11-game West Coast swing the cure for what ails a team but that seems to be the case with the 2012 Mets. After opening the second half with a 1-11 record, thanks to a bullpen that contributed mightily to an 0-4 mark in one-run games along with two other losses in extra innings, the Mets have gone 6-4 in their first 10 games against the NL West.

With their closer back, their one-batter LOOGY on the DL and the manager’s willingness to finally limit the PA for their LF with the fork sticking out of his back – it’s easy to fall in love with this team all over again. So, here’s a quick rundown on the 25 guys currently on the roster.

Feel Good Guys
Ike Davis – In his last 50 games has a .908 OPS despite a .264 BABIP.
Daniel Murphy – Has stayed healthy at 2B and provided a nice offensive player.
David Wright – Would be an MVP candidate if the Mets had a better bullpen in July.
Ruben Tejada – All he does is hit line drives.
Scott Hairston – Has a .937 OPS versus LHP.
Justin Turner – Has found his niche as a PH and still has the knack for driving in runs.
Ronny Cedeno – A .788 OPS from our backup MI – yes, please.
Mike Baxter – A body-sacrificing catch to save a no-hitter and a .425 OBP – double yes.
R.A. Dickey – First in Wins (14), first in Strikeouts (156), fourth in ERA (2.82)
Jonathon Niese – Perhaps this will be the year he doesn’t fall apart in August.
Chris Young – Doesn’t get enough credit for coming back from his shoulder injury.
Matt Harvey – His high heat has been a refreshing change for a Mets SP.
Jeremy Hefner – The numbers say “blah” but I like how he has pitched.
Frank Francisco – 10 Saves in his last 15 Games with a 1.20 ERA.
Josh Edgin – A lefty reliever who doesn’t piss his pants if a RHB steps to the plate.

Guys Who Could Move Up or Down
Josh Thole – Has not been the same since his concussion but perhaps all he needs is an offseason of rest.
Jordany Valdespin – While others see the excitement he offers, I just see the .289 OBP.
Rob Johnson – Maybe he should be Harvey’s personal catcher.
Ramon Ramirez – I had such high hopes for him and he’s been so … uninspiring.
Bobby Parnell – If only we could accept him for the setup man he is…
Jon Rauch – Was brutal for an extended stretch but Terry Collins wringing use out of him lately.
Manny Acosta – Earned his DFA earlier but bullpen solidified upon his return

Guys Who Need To Be Gone
Jason Bay – Seemingly one of the good guys and someone who didn’t deserve his fate.
Andres Torres – His defense and speed look only average and his hitting is offensive in the wrong sense.
Elvin Ramirez – I was promised 98 mph and instead got 92 and a 2.167 WHIP.

*****

The phasing out of Bay has already started and Elvin Ramirez will be gone when Tim Byrdak returns from the disabled list. I would like to promote Matt Den Dekker, play him every day in CF and tell him to just catch the ball and not worry about what he hits but it appears he has another year left before he needs to be added to the 40-man roster. So instead let’s get Valdespin a bunch of starts in center here down the stretch and have him try one drag bunt per game.

2010 Draft picks Edgin and Harvey – the final contributions from Omar Minaya – both performing so well since being called up has been a breath of fresh air and removed some of the bad feelings of the bullpen blowup and Sandy Alderson’s hand-sitting at the All-Star break. The hitting has been decent and the pitching seems to be coming back around.

Hopefully with a win today and two out of three against the Marlins – that would make the Mets 9-5 in their last 14 heading into a stretch of nine games against ATL, CIN and WSN. If the Mets survive that stretch, they will play 13 consecutive games against teams under .500 (COL-HOU-PHI-MIA). It’s not outlandish to think the Mets could be above .500 on September 1st.

Last year the Mets were 65-69 at the start of September and they figured to be much worse this year. In 2011, the Mets opened the season 5-13 before playing at a 92-win pace for 88 games until injuries and trades did them in. This year the Mets played at an 87-win pace for the first 86 games of the season before the disastrous 1-11 start to the second half.

The Beltran trade and Murphy’s season-ending injury within days of each other last year were blows from which the 2011 Mets never recovered. This year’s version has the chance to be a much more resilient squad. And with 15 feel-good guys on the roster, it’s easy to imagine them achieving more than they did a season ago.

6 comments for “Josh Edgin and Matt Harvey lead the feel-good Mets

  1. August 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I was at a bar last night and on/off caught the last few innings on TV. When I looked up and saw them shaking hands, my immediate thought was good, one less win to 500 and making progress towards a wild card spot. Then reality set in and I tempered my expectations.

    It’s funny what can happen with this club when they play decent ball. Ya gotta believe, right?

  2. Chris F
    August 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    Good perspective Brian. I buy into quite a bit of your picks above, which makes me think Mets fans do see redeeming qualities in the 2012 squad. I do have a couple departures that I’ll note below. Mike, That we can quickly turn on good vibes with regard to October play believe means we all feel it’s coming probably sooner. We can only “believe” if there is a genuine reason to…and there is.

    This article also prompted me to think about the trade deadline, the 2012 season, and seasons beyond. With the fever pitch all subsided and ration returned, I think Sandy played it perfect. Sure, our miracle June gave us all a lot of hope we were real contenders, but the pace was clearly above the personnel (RA gonna win 25??) and the string of call-ups to fill in the holes. Oh yeah, there is the little bull pen issue. But not to sell the 2012 team short, we have seen a string of great performances along side the stinkers. The 2012 team is not worth dismantling, and who would we give up as sellers? Furthermore the gaps are more than just needing relief help, so being buyers without raising the budget and unwilling to part with a strong and strengthening group of prospects, there was no easy buy, before or after the ASG. I see merit in making a run for a winning season, a better record at Citi, and exposing clearly the needs to be competitive. I think the winter meetings will be more important, especially in understanding whats available after resigning Wright. Our record supports it too: we are mid pack, neither contenders nor cellar dwellers. This team is worth cheering for and watching:

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10000872396390444320704577567271974752292.html?mod=WSJ_NY_Sports_LEFTTopStories

    Back to my picks. I’m In the feel good camp with JV. Sure he’s got plenty of room to improve and watching him screw into the ground on some of those swings shows his discipline issues, but he’s make some clutch hits to bring in a lot of RBIs and adds a bit of the ’86 Mets team that we are a bit short on. When he comes up in a must need RBI situation, I’m happy he’s swinging. I think it’s worth putting both Kirk and Duda on the move list. Both can be in the Show and will be. I’m not a believer in Parnell and would run him out of town on the same train as Pelfrey. He is so inconsistent, and so prone to give up a critical run, that it doesn’t make him worth it to me. But more than anything I see so many more “feel goods” than anything else on your list. And that’s a huge step and a reason to fight with the team we have for a .500 season in 2012.

    Let’s Go Mets!

  3. Name
    August 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Nice list Brian. Couple things i would change is that JV has to be in the feel good section. Cmon, how can you not feel good about this guy? Maybe he won’t turn out to be a ML regular, but 5 pinch hit home runs is impressive. I would also put Hefner in the middle section because he hasn’t shown enough good yet to cancel out all his bad.

    Since i’m bored, i’ll look at the schedule and predict how the Mets will do.
    First they have 3 vs the Marlins. I want to say Sweep because that team looks god awful after they traded away so many pieces but i’ll say they take 2 out of 3.
    Next hey have a really tough stretch. 9 vs Reds/Nats/Braves. I think they will go 3-6 here.
    Then they have 13 vs sub 500 real easy teams including the Rockies/Astros. They could really pivot themselves back into the race with a good showing here, and i think they will. 9-4 is my guess.
    Then come 9 more hard ones, Cards/Nats/Braves mid September. I say 5-4 because Mets have been good vs the Cards and they will get to play the Braves at home(where they swept them to begin the season).
    Then come 9 more easy ones in Brewers/Phils/Marlins. I think they can win all the series and go 6-3.

    They finish the season with 4 vs Pit, 3 at Atlanta(where they have absolutely sucked) and 3 at Miami(we know what they have done to us in that situation before). 6-4 is probably the most realistic here.

    That means they will finish with a 85-77 record, which is probably good for many pundits and Met fans, but probably won’t make the playoffs.
    However, i think there is still a way for them to get in. In most of my predictions, i don’t think they will play well vs the Nats and Braves, and right now i have them going about 5-10 vs those teams. If they could turn a few of those L’s into W’s, they could have 87-88 wins, which might be enough for the playoffs.
    Another way is to really beat up on the dismantled Phillies and Marlins. I have them going around 12-6, but if the Phils and/or Marlins turn out to be worse than expected, that W-L record could increase.

    So, they do have a chance, albeit a very slim chance, to make then playoffs. But they can’t afford to make any mistakes from now on.

  4. AJ
    August 6, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Matt Harvey – First outing, Seaver-ish. Second outing, Darling-like. Third outing, Trachsel-esque. This is not trending well…

    But I jest. I like Harvey and hope that he regains his footing in his next start, particularly as I’m going to be there for his Citi debut. Hopefully D. Wright will be hitting again by then.

  5. Metsense
    August 6, 2012 at 8:53 am

    The list is revealing to who the Mets are and where they need to improve in 2013. The infield, starting pitching and bench contains all the feel good guys. So many bench players are feel good and that explains why the Mets are below .500: they are not starters , nor should they be. The outfield and catcher are non represented and the bullpen has just two. Regarding the OF, there are no corners in the foreseeable future thus there is no power in the foreseeable future. With all the starting pitching that is expected to mature soon, they may only be an improved also ran team in 2013, as the bullpen and lack of quality corner OF will sabotage them.

    • Chris F
      August 6, 2012 at 9:47 am

      I completely agree. But, Im hoping that we will see some attention to this during hot stove season. Look at what 2012 taught us! I think Sandy clearly sees the issues. Duda is not gonna make it in RF. Kirk can manage the leather but needs wood work before he’s MLB ready. Bay is never gonna be the RH bopper we need and increasingly not great in the field. Thole can be a good second catcher, but unless he really improves (and he is young afterall), probably not more. I wouldnt give up on him. However this team needs a veteran catcher. Im a huge believer that a team needs to be strong up the spine (C, P, CF) to be competitive.

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