Black, d’Arnaud and Parnell back for key stretch

Scratch LogoReinforcements are on the way, and just in time. June is a critical month in a baseball season. With the exception of the three or four best and worst teams – categories the Mets do not fit into – most teams are hovering too close to .500 to determine if they’ll be contenders or pretenders, buyers or sellers. By the end of June, it usually all shakes out.

Last year the Mets were 26-29 heading into June. A strong month could have put them over .500 and in contention. However, their dismal 11-17 June quickly diminished team confidence and eroded fan faith. Heading into a very winnable series at home against the struggling Marlins, this year the Mets should go into June at 29-22 (assuming 2 of 3 this weekend) with at least a solid hold on second place.

The June schedule includes 27 games, beginning with a 7-game West Coast trip against the underachieving Padres and pretty lousy Diamondbacks. Following an off day, the Mets return home for three each against the surging Giants and the surprisingly decent Braves. Then they have four games against the struggling Blue Jays in a home and away series, followed by three more against the Braves in Atlanta. Hopefully Freddie Freeman can be held to 10 hits or fewer in the two Braves’ series. Following a Monday off, the Mets conclude their road trip with three against the terrible Brewers. This might be a good chance for the GMs to share a drink at the bar and discuss available players as the Brew crew are sure to be sellers in July.  The Mets finish out the month at Citi Field with a three-game series against the Reds, another Monday off and the first of three games against the Cubs.

Catcher Travis d’Arnaud was our hottest hitter before he got injured. Vic Black was one of our best set up men last year and Bobby Parnell is a year removed from being an effective closer. All three appear close to rejoining the team and should provide a big boost for this important upcoming stretch of games.  d’Arnaud’s bat will bring a welcome boost to this struggling lineup and while the bullpen has miraculously held its own in spite of all the injuries, it can certainly make way for two veteran flame throwers.

If the Mets can go 16-11 in June, they will be sitting at about 45-33. That might not be enough to catch the surging Nationals, but twelve games over .500 should be enough to convince Sandy Alderson and ownership that we should go for it and make a run for a wild card. Even without Zach Wheeler, this team has eight quality starting. A six-man rotation with two ready top prospects languishing in triple A is not sustainable. Maybe we package a veteran with a player (Dillon Gee and Daniel Murphy) to land helpful bat or maybe we reluctantly part with one of the young guns find the missing piece to put us over the top. What that piece is might not be as apparent now as it will be by the end of June. Again, it’s a critical month.

14 comments for “Black, d’Arnaud and Parnell back for key stretch

  1. Scott
    May 29, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    Oh,boy, it’s going to be fun!

  2. Chris F
    May 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Ive seen not reason at all to believe that Parnell, who was only beginning to show promise as a closer before his surgery, is somehow any cure to the bull pen. So far he has flat out been terrible against minor league hitting. What would make anyone believe he has anything serious to offer besides some middle inning filler in desperate situations.

  3. Steve S.
    May 29, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I like what I’ve seen of Goeddel so far, and would like to see him stay. Black should be an improvement for Leathersich. d’Arnaud will help the lineup a lot.

  4. Metsense
    May 29, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    I also like looking ahead on the schedule and setting expectations. I see 15-12 as very do-able and 10 games over as we turn to July.
    TdA will be another bat to assist the surging Murphy, Cuddyer and Duda.
    Black should take Leathersich’s spot and move back into his set up role.
    Parnell has not pitched in 22 months, and is only 14 months removed from TJ so I am not expecting him until his velocity gets up into the high nineties. I am not expecting him back in until late June.
    A wild card spot would be nice but the real goal should be a division title and a guarantee of more than one playoff game. The trades should be made with that goal in mind.

  5. Matt Netter
    May 29, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Parnell has looked a lot better his last two outings. His velocity is back to mid 90s. As I recall, he was good but not great as a closer, lousy as an 8th inning guy but quite effective as a 7th inning guy. He and Black are sort of redundant, but as we approach the trade deadline, a few extra arms can’t hurt.

    • May 29, 2015 at 3:38 pm

      I think you need to check your memory. Parnell was better as a closer in 2013 than Mejia was in 2014

  6. Matt Netter
    May 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    If d’Arnaud picks up where he left off, he’ll give this lineup a really nice boost.

  7. Matt Netter
    May 29, 2015 at 3:57 pm

    I rate both Parnell’s 2013 and Mejia’s 2014 as good, but not great. I think they were comparable efforts. Neither were on par with Familia’s 2015.

    • Name
      May 29, 2015 at 5:35 pm

      Thru their first 23 games in their respective seasons.

      Parnell: 23.1 IP, 1.93 ERA (5 ER), 0.9 WHIP, 8/10 in saves
      Mejia: 23.2 IP, 2.28 ERA (6 ER), 1.1 WHIP, 8/9 in saves
      Familia: 23.1 IP, 1.54 ERA (4 ER), 0.771 WHIP, 14/15 in saves

      Familia does have the best numbers out of the three, but Parnell and Mejia are pretty close and on par in my opinion.

      And it shows you that the closer is the most overrated position in baseball.

    • May 29, 2015 at 6:49 pm

      I don’t care the labels that you attach to it – “Good” “Great” or whatever. But I just don’t think these two lines are equivalent

      Pitcher A — 50.0 IP, 2.16 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 3.67 K/BB
      Pitcher B — 56.1 IP, 2.72 ERA, 1.420 WHIP, 2.86 K/BB

      You pick Pitcher A 100 times out of 100. He was better in the years in question and it’s likely that Pitcher B was lucky for it to be as close as it was.

  8. Peter Hyatt
    May 29, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Conforto promoted to AA.

  9. BK
    May 30, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    d’Arnaud is the key. He has potential to add offense this team desperately needs. I agree catching the Nationals may be tough. But building on what they’ve done so far, a wild card race with San Francisco and Chicago should be fun.

  10. Patrick Albanesius
    May 31, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    Doesn’t seem like any of these guys will be back before late-June maybe, with TDA’s setback. Hopefully I’m wrong. What about Montero and Herrera. Those guys coming back and performing well could make our trade options blossom in a huge way.

  11. Matt Netter
    May 31, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Last i heard was July for Montero and Herrera.

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