Greg Burke gets foffed, electric Matt Harvey and the rotten offense

It was no surprise that the Mets were going to face some decisions in regards to their roster in the very near future. A spot needed to be cleared for Zack Wheeler and also the returns of Scott Atchison and Pedro Feliciano seemed to be fast approaching. And to make matters worse, Carlos Torres, who had been pitching well in Triple-A, opted out of his contract. That forced the Mets to make a move in order to retain Torres, a 30 year old with a lifetime 5.37 ERA in the majors.

The Mets responded by designating for assignment Collin McHugh, which was fine, in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Torres. Then they sent down Greg Burke, which was moronic, to clear a spot on the major league roster for Torres.

Greg Burke has a 3.15 ERA this year, comfortably below the NL average for relievers of a 3.65 mark. And Burke has had terrific results since being recalled from the minors. In his last 14 games, Burke has a 0.71 ERA and a 1.263 WHIP. And the Mets and their infinite wisdom decide he’s the pitcher who is the most fungible.

People often wonder how future free agents will react if the Mets replace them while they are struggling. Well, Burke signed with the Mets as a free agent. So, how will future free agents act when they see the Mets demote a guy who was pitching as well as you could possibly hope?

Meanwhile, it’s not like there was not another over-qualified candidate for a demotion. Scott Rice has allowed runs in four of his last six appearances. In that span he has 5 BB and 0 Ks in 2.2 IP and opponents have a 1.480 OPS against him. But he’s a lefty and lefty relievers on the Mets are the equivalent of cows in India.

The Mets refuse to demote a lefty reliever unless they are recalling a lefty to take his place. We sat through an extended torture session with Robert Carson, until Josh Edgin was deemed fit for a recall. And now it seems evident that Rice will remain on the roster until Feliciano is ready. This is just another example in a long line of bonehead decisions made by the current brain trust in regards to the 2013 season.

LAGARES HEATS UP – Called up to the majors and thrust into the short side of a platoon role, Juan Lagares got off to a horrible start. His .430 OPS after 51 PA was worse than the .467 OPS that got Collin Cowgill demoted after 52 PA earlier in the season. But in his last six games, Lagares has eight hits. He has a .308/.308/.423 line during this mini hot streak. Of course it should be pointed out that he needed a .381 BABIP to post a .731 OPS. For the season, Lagares has a .534 OPS in 78 PA.

WHAT HAPPENED TO OUR RBI MAN? – Over the past two seasons, Justin Turner developed a knack for coming up with hits when there were ducks on the pond. But that particular piece of magic seems to have disappeared here lately. Of course, it’s not like it’s just RBI hits that have been hard to come by for Turner in the last month. In his last 22 games, he has just seven hits and a .453 OPS.

HARVEY IS STILL ELECTRIC – The one bright spot on the club is the pitching of Matt Harvey. While he is winless in his last five starts, most pitchers would love to have such a “rough” patch. In that span, Harvey has 3 Quality Starts and a 2.97 ERA. In 33.1 IP, he has allowed just 1 HR and 6 BB to go along with 34 Ks.

DO THE METS KNOW YET?Terry Collins is on record as saying that the Mets want to know if Jordany Valdespin is a starting-caliber player. There’s been nothing in his numbers to indicate that he is, yet the Mets continue to play Lucas Duda out of position so they can reach a conclusion about Valdespin that should have been evident last year. In six starts since Ike Davis was sent down, Valdespin has a 182/.182/.182 line. While that symmetry is fun to look at online, it’s disgusting to watch in real life.

METS OFFENSE CONTINUES TO STRUGGLE – Since scoring seven runs in back-to-back games to open the month of May, the Mets have proceeded to score 111 runs in their last 36 games, an average of just 3.1 runs per game. The Mets have five spots in the lineup which are performing dreadfully and it’s hard to win games when over half the lineup is performing at sub-replacement level.

The team needs creativity from the manager to try to coax runs out of this particular group of players. Instead, we get the same names in the lineup over and over, with fingers crossed for different results. And when a positive does happen, like Davis being sent down and two guys who might help in Cowgill and Josh Satin being recalled, the manager decides to see what a utility player can do starting every day.

Cowgill and Satin have combined for just three plate appearances in the past six games. Even Kirk Nieuwenhuis has 14 PA – and a .220 OPS – since his recall a day earlier and we know he can’t hit major league pitching. Cowgill has a double in his only time at bat but why find playing time for a guy who has proven he can hit in the minors? What good could that possibly do? Instead, let’s see more of Turner and Valdespin and hope that Lagares can sustain a .381 BABIP. And then wonder why the team can’t supply any offense for Harvey and the rest of the pitchers.

11 comments for “Greg Burke gets foffed, electric Matt Harvey and the rotten offense

  1. June 16, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Brian!What happened? Such sarcasm! I seem to recall you chastising me in the beginning of the year when I said this team had no outfield and the bull pen was wretched. You said to be patient and that Sandy had a plan in place. We needed to sort out who was going to be productive. Here we are 3 months later and this is the 2013 version of the Titanic. What a ride!I thought that Burke stood the best chance at staying in the bull pen. Instead? It’s depressing and frustrating. It’s embarrassing when we as fans are better judges then our own front office. I guess the plan is to alienate the rest of the fan base and try to finish behind the Marlins.So much for an earlier blog about the Mets dealing for a slugger.Management can’t even figure who is worth keeping and who is just filling up a roster spot.

    • June 16, 2013 at 9:56 am

      Former Tampa Bay Bucs coach John McKay, when asked what he thought about his team’s execution, replied: “I’m in favor of it.”

      The problem wasn’t “the plan” — the problem is the execution. We’ve found out that Duda can hit and not field — yet he’s still in the OF. We confirmed that Valdespin is a bench player — yet he plays every day. We found out that Burke is a competent reliever — so we demote him. We found out that Rice can’t throw strikes and using him every day has exposed him — so we continue to pitch him every day. We find out that Jeremy Hefner is an MLB starter — so we’re getting ready to whack him, too.

      The list goes on and on. Instead of creativity, we get stupidity.

      • Trey
        June 16, 2013 at 10:50 am

        Duds can hit? He’s as big a mess at the plate as he us in the field – not clutch at all – 11 HR and 23 RBI – dura needs to go with most if the other garbage

  2. June 16, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I used an ugly word in the beginning of the season. BOYCOTT. I lost whatever respect I had for the front office after this latest fiasco. By the time this team gets to the All-Star break there will be no one watching live or on television. What a tribute! Empty seats during the All-Star game and Met fans with brown paper bags hiding their true identity. Just like the team.

  3. Jim OMalley
    June 16, 2013 at 10:36 am

    It’s all about Wilponics. The Wilpons will look at all the non-Mets fans sitting at CitiField for the All Star events and relish in the national exposure showing what a great stadium it is….and how full the stadium looks. All the while, the team’s players and fans continue to suffer.

  4. Name
    June 16, 2013 at 11:48 am

    “People often wonder how future free agents will react if the Mets replace them while they are struggling.”

    Burke was a nobody with no track record who was just looking for a shot. Marcum was a proven pitcher whose services the team wanted.

    I’m wondering what Turner could net us right now, either solo or part of a package. We’ve got Hicks, who can fill in and do the same thing as Turner and is actually younger than him, waiting in the minor leagues.

  5. NormE
    June 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    Brian,
    Get everything off your chest–do some deep breathing–do you feel better?
    Your statements (can’t say rant because it was deserved) were right on. Whoever is calling the shots
    must have an agenda that we mortals cannot understand. What are the odds that the Mets get overtaken
    by the Marlins by the end of Sept? The Mets may have a pitching edge, but the offense is dreadful, the defense
    is mediocre and the team speed is limited.

    Oh well. Happy Father’s Day top all!

  6. June 17, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Maybe the Mets want next years number one draft pick? Good idea to stockpile those picks!

  7. Metsense
    June 17, 2013 at 8:53 am

    I thought the team philosophy was not to rush “prospects” but after 78 AAA AB’s Lagares makes the big show. Was he really ready? And he sits more than he plays. ??
    Justin Turner is statistically an average NL 2B, especially in a platoon role. It is the Met philosophy to play players out of position so that is why he is our backup (platoon) 1B and SS. ???
    It is the Met philosophy that some players take only 51 AB to find out what they have in CF (Cowgill)except 51 AB is not enough to determine what they have at 2B(JV1). So for two years you play a player out of position (Murphy) and then when it is actually working they realize it is against Met philosophy and once again play him (Murphy)out of position at 1B. ??
    It is the Met philosophy to have left handed reliievers (Edgin, Carson) on the team no matter how poorly they pitch. ????
    It is the Met philosophy to go 186 AB’s (Davis)before demoting a player, but wait, I thought it was 51 AB’s. ????? Let me research that more.
    It is the Met philosophy to play a 1B in left field (Duda) because he is playing out of position. Finally some consistancy in the plan !!!!!!

  8. June 17, 2013 at 10:20 am

    Metsense. That was excellent and not too much on the sarcasm.

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