What’s working and what’s not at each position

NY logoHope is slowly being restored into the ball club and the Mets’ fans as the last three of the four games were hard won. Yet the possibility of a 2011 Rays happening to the Mets is never far from reality, so the front office will have to make some tough decisions soon. Perhaps trade away some players or possibly drop dead weight and call-up promising prospects. Regardless, this is crunch time for the Metropolitans and while certain players are performing to a standard, others are continuously falling short. Let’s take a look at which players are delivering at their respective positions and which ones aren’t and if they should be cut. (Pitchers will be next week)

Catcher
Who’s Working: Travis d’Arnaud
If this were written two weeks ago, there would be no question that d’Arnaud would be the main target for humiliation due to his lack of offensive or defensive stability. However, he has completely shined upon his return. His numbers would be absolutely ridiculous if this was stretched out over a 162 game season: .286/.333/.524 slash line with 30 homers and 59 doubles. While it may be too much to ask for Todd Helton numbers, the batting average is certainly doable. If he keeps this up, Kevin Plawecki and his atrocious AAA numbers will have a run for their money.
Who’s Not: Anthony Recker
To start, Anthony Recker is one of my favorite players but he is meant to be a back-up. The simple fact is that he is meant for an occasional homerun in a start and above-average defense behind the plate– nothing else. The Mets tried too hard to use his good luck charm in every game, that’s all. Don’t even think about getting rid of him. He just needs to play a tad less.

First Base
Who’s Working: Everyone
Wow. Just wow. The position that everyone freaked out about over the offseason turns out to be the best on the team. The recent loose platoon between Lucas Duda and Eric Campbell has been nothing short of fabulous. Since May 26th, Duda has hit eight homers with an excellent .276/.392/.577 slash line. Campbell, since June 1st, has hit for a .362/.405/.449 slash line. Just incredible, keep up the fantastic work, fellas!
Who’s Not: No one

Second Base
Who’s Working: Daniel Murphy
Who else but the Murph? This guy has easily been the Mets’ best all-around hitter and trails the NL lead in hits by only three. The most impressive stat is that he has maintained an impressive .343 OBP with a solid 29 walks. It sounds nice to say, “Daniel Murphy, the all-star.”
Who’s Not: No one (Not that there are any options)

Shortstop
Who’s Working: Ruben Tejada
Before everyone jumps on this decision, get this: since May 11th Tejada has a .276 average and a .386 OBP. That would be the best on the team. Tejada has quietly performed while Wilmer Flores has sunk into Las Vegas. I’m not the biggest Tejada fan, but this is an impressive run that should be recognized. He has raked in the clutch with a .283 average and a .442 OBP with RISP. Maybe it is just the walk-off on Monday night, but he has earned his way back into the Mets, in my humble opinion.
Who’s Not/Wasn’t: Wilmer Flores
I hate to beat a dead horse, especially a horse that I am a huge fan of, but Flores completely fell flat on his face when he entered Queens. A .416 OPS at home and a meager three walks in 83 PA. There is nothing more that I’d love to see than Flores making his way to Queens and becoming the starting shortstop, but he is a ways away. Give him some time.

Third Base:
Who’s Working: No one
Who’s Not: No one
Oh, David Wright, why did you pick this year to be the year that your performance takes a hit. It remains impossible to complain because technically he performed at an above-average level, but he is hitting at .272. His career batting average has now dipped to .299 and his walk total is putrid compared to other seasons. I hope he gets it together soon because I’d love to say that he is working.

Left Field
Who’s Working: Kirk Nieuwenhuis
Captain Kirk, the man that was left for dead after a disappointing 2013, has resurfaced for an impeccable performance off the bench thus far. At this point, he is still at an age of youth, so why not? Give him a week or two of straight starting; it can’t be worse than what we have.
Who’s Not: Chris Young
Another case of not wanting to beat a dead horse, but geez. I’m not going to pull the Nelson Cruz card because there is no way that Cruz would be putting up those numbers in Flushing, but he would probably hit above the Mendoza line. Every time his back is against the wall Young delivers, but he shouldn’t need that kind of motivation. Give him until the all-star break and then cut ties.

Center Field
Who’s Working: Juan Lagares
At this point, this is just another person saying that Lagares has proved to all the doubters that he can hit. His glove is worth dying for and his bat could produce a solid .275 average when all said and done. He is truly Juanderful.
Who’s Not: No one

Right Field
Who’s Working: Curtis Granderson
What a season thus far! He started looking like a pitcher at the plate and then has exploded onto the scene with impeccable numbers. If someone had told me that 53 walks, 14 homers, and a .785 OPS was in store for the first injury-free 87 games of Granderson’s Met career, I would have given them a high-five. In my mind, he has already earned the uniform and is quickly becoming one of my favorite players.

6 comments for “What’s working and what’s not at each position

  1. Reese Kaplan
    July 8, 2014 at 11:12 pm

    You said:

    “Give him a week or two of straight starting; it can’t be worse than what we have.”

    Hmmn…might that have helped Flores without having to look over his shoulder? You see what he can do when he gets the chance to play.

  2. TexasGusCC
    July 8, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    Julian,
    Whenever Flores and Tejada were in the lineup together, Flores always hit higher in the order. Why? Also, this stat line is Tejada’s ceiling with no power, speed, or field intelligence. You’re going to squash Flores’ potential for this. Really? Who gives a f**k about walks already? Let the kid with more talent play. Only on the Mets does the inferior player start. I challenge you to find a single team that has benched a potentially superior younger player for a stiff that cannot get any better.

    • July 9, 2014 at 10:26 am

      In the majors when Andrew Brown was in the order, he hit 5th and he has a higher Triple-A OPS than Flores. Should we hand him the LF job, too?

  3. Metsense
    July 9, 2014 at 8:31 am

    It is easy to see who should be cut but it is much harder to determine who will bring the Mets to the next level. The team is 8 games below .500 and the reason they are is because many who are “working” now had failed miserably before and put the Mets in the hole. Those players are not consistent. Consistency should count for something. Offensively the Mets need an impact bat in left field, more consistent production at SS and an improvement in up the middle defense considering they are so poor at turning a double play.TdA needs to throw baserunners out.
    The Mets should be able to play .500 ball the rest of the way but let’s not settle for short term production and think Kirk or Tejada will lead us to the next level. Even though they are “working” now they are not the solution for the future.

  4. Metstheory22
    July 9, 2014 at 9:55 am

    How can you say Flores fell flat on his face when Terry Collins gave him one game before announcing that Tejada won the SS position. Flores played once a week and most were as pinch hitter. I bet if he had a straight two week window to play, you would be saying the same about Tejada.
    The problem with Flores is that he is a 3rd baseman and does not play the other position as well. If he played LF, he probably would be playing regular.

  5. Patrick Albanesius
    July 9, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    LF might be the biggest concern right now, because we have five guys who can play the position vying for playing time. At least with shortstop if Tejada falters, Flores might get consistent ABs. With LF, it’s anyone’s guess who’s going to play each day.

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