In the very beginning of this 2015 season, the New York Mets are playing great, as their 14-4 record is the best in Major League Baseball. Granted their schedule has consisted of terrible teams that include the Atlanta Brave and Philadelphia Phillies, but a win is a win, and the Mets are dominating poor competition.
There have been multiple subtractions from the roster so far this season, as David Wright went on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, forcing the Mets to play Anthony Recker at catcher for the remainder of the game. Once this happened, the Mets called up Eric Campbell, a player who was on the Mets last season, and was on fire hitting in the minors. In six minor league games, Campbell hit two homers, drove in six and hit .550. The utility man is gaining starts at third base, and has gotten on base at a .400 clip, and hit his first homerun on the season against C.C. Sabathia that barely squeaked out of Yankee Stadium.
No one should be expecting vintage David Wright production from Campbell, however his ability to move the chains in the lineup has to be valued. His defense has also been solid, as he has three defensive runs saved according to baseball-reference. Good defense and a bat that provides some pop is more than enough for the Mets as the team waits for Captain America to return.
A shocking start to the season included Jenrry Mejia being suspended for 80 games since he was caught using performance-enhancing drugs. With the rule stating that players cannot play in the playoffs during the season they are suspended in, Jeurys Familia becomes much more important throughout this season.
Last season was a breakout year for Familia. With Mejia as the closer, Familia established himself as a viable setup man, posting a 2.21 ERA and striking out 73 hitters in 77 innings. This season, Familia has maintained his performance, and has improved upon it as the closer, finishing nine games while saving eight games. With Bobby Parnell, Vic Black, Josh Edgin and Jerry Blevins injured, the bullpen figured to be a huge question mark on paper, however Famlia has stepped up this season, and has been the anchor at the end of the game.
Earlier this season, we saw the emergence of Travis d’Arnaud, but as usual, the emergence of d’Arnaud came with a freak injury that was not in his control. Luckily the Mets had insurance in the minor leagues as they called up their top catching prospect in Kevin Plawecki.
Throughout his minor league career, the offensive scouting reports stated that Plawecki makes consistent, hard contact to all fields, and so far those reports have been spot on. We have seen hard hit balls past Andrelton Simmons, a homer to left field, and an RBI single to right-center-field. His line drive approach should enable Plawecki to have plenty of success offensively, and it may create a problem for the Mets once Travis d’Arnaud gets healthy.
Although it is still early in the season, all of these injuries make us wonder just how good the Mets can be in 2015? So far players who have been placed in important roles have succeeded, but how long will it last, and can the regular guys in the lineup make up for the lost production? The depth the Mets have is impressive, and it is the reason why they are off and running so far this season. A strong farm system, and a strong bench can propel the team forward in tough times, and we are seeing that from Campbell, Familia and Plawecki.