Mets 2017 midseason report card

In a season that has been completely been derailed by injury, the Mets find themselves at 39-47 at the unofficial mid-point of the season. Prior to the season, they were thought to be contenders for a spot in the wild card game. They now find themselves 10.5 games out of a spot in that game, and 12 games out of the division race.

When assessing the players and how they have performed thus far, I took a few things into consideration. I valued preseason expectations highly, but also how the player has performed in basic metrics this season.

Jerry Blevins– Blevins has been the most effective pitcher out if the pen for the Mets this season. His devastating hook drops hitters like flies, and his eighth inning specialist role fits him perfectly. He was brought in to wreck lefties, and has done that.

Grade: A

Jay Bruce– Known as a low average hitter that is a one-man run producing factory, Bruce has lived up to his hype. His 23 home runs and 59 RBI are exemplary of that.

Grade: A

Asdrubal Cabrera– Expected to be the fill the void until Amed Rosario’s major league arrival, Cabrera has been underwhelming this season. He also appears to come up ginger at least once a game, forcing Mets fans to constantly question when he will be sidelined again. Need a stronger OBP from your second batter in the line up.

Grade: C

Yoenis Cespedes: Prior to the season, Cespedes was making claims of becoming MVP. Instead, he has only played 41 games and has not been the same slugger since returning from that extended stint on the DL. However, when healthy, he is the best hitter on the team.

Water Retention Skills: F

Grade: C

Michael Conforto– As the lone representative for the Mets at the All-Star game, it could be said that he had the best first half of Mets position players. After a scintillating first couple of months, he slowed down a bit though. Going from last man on the roster to All-Star isn’t half bad though.

Grade: A-

Jacob deGrom– Without a doubt, he is the ace of the Mets staff. His 9-3 record is dazzling, and his 130 strikeouts is easy on the eyes. While his ERA may be higher than what we are accustomed to, he has made up for it by being a leader amongst the rotation.

Grade: A-

Addison Reed– Thought to only be needed as a closer in the beginning of the season, Reed instead was thrusted into the role after Jeruys Familia suffered a blood clot. Although not elite, he has been effective when he is not pushed to his limit.

Grade: B

Jose Reyes– After starting the season off horrendously slow, Reyes picked up his game slowly and steadily as the first half drew to a close. Reyes is a source of speed for the Mets, and he leads the team in steals with 10.

Grade: C-

Lucas Duda: Duda is a streaky hitter, and there is no way around it. When he is hot, he can carry the offense on his back. When cold though, he often times puts the lineup in a deadlock. He has improved his defense this season though, and has actually been solid at first base.

Grade: C+

Travis d’Arnaud: d’Arnaud has been relatively healthy this season compared to his previous seasons. It is hard to maintain health at the catcher position, though. d’Arnaud has had another lackluster season at the plate, although his nine home runs show some improvement on power. His defense has slowly gotten better over the course of the season, and if that continues that would be a pleasant sight to see.

Grade: C

Wilmer Flores– Used mostly as an offensive player without a defensive home this season, Flores flourishes against lefties. He has been scattered all over the infield, and the batting order. He is very useful to plug in the lineup when the manager needs to give one of his veterans rest.

Grade: B-

Robert Gsellman– After a solid debut last season, Gsellman earned the fifth spot in the rotation. This season he has not been what he was last season, his inconsistencies have shown to be his weakness. To add insult to injury, he injured himself in a pinch running appearance. Ouch.

Grade: D

Matt Harvey: Looking to bounce back from surgery to recover from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Harvey looked to become adjusted to throwing differently. He had flashes were he looked good, but suffered from a stress fracture in his scapula. It is not known whether Harvey will return to his once dominant form, but he has taken a step back so far this season.

Juan Lagares– Right as Lagares started to pick it up on the offensive end of the spectrum, he broke his thumb diving for a ball. If you aren’t used to this narrative by now for Lagares, I don’t know what to tell you. Spectacular fielder when healthy, but is off the field more often than not.

Grade: C

Steven Matz– Although he has only been with the Mets for a little while this season, Matz has helped to improve the rotation. His streak of 17 scoreless innings may have been the most impressive run of any Mets player this season. In his last start, he was roughed up. Consistency will be key for Matz in the second half for Matz.

Grade: B

Rafael Montero– Just when you think he is taking the next step, he takes five backwards. This season, Montero has shown that he simply can’t be a successful major league player. His 5.77 ERA and 1-5 record evidence that perfectly.

Grade: F

Neil Ramirez– Picked up on May 16, Ramirez usually eats innings when the Mets are down in a game. Nothing about him stands out, which often leads to him being ineffective out of the pen. If there was more depth in the bullpen, he would most likely be the odd man out.

Grade: F

Rene Rivera: Rivera has proven to be a solid backup and sometimes starter. He is a favorite amongst the starting pitchers. He has added some offense to his game, hitting .259 with six home runs. This is nice to see out of a backup catcher.

Grade: B-

T.J. Rivera: Always an underdog, the undrafted infielder from the Bronx has showed that he belongs. He is always hustling on the field, and has shown that he can hit for average at the plate. Whenever he is in the lineup, he is usually good for a hit, and his .299 average supports that.

Grade: B+

Hansel Robles: Although it appears he has the stuff to one day be successful in the league, he still has not figured it out completely. He was sent down due to a terrible stretch in May, where he allowed 12 earned runs over 2.0 innings.

Grade: F

Fernando Salas– Another Mets relief pitcher that is effective when used correctly. Salas often gets pushed too hard for his ability, which leads to blown leads and collapsed leads. His 6.44 ERA is uncharacteristic to Salas, whose career ERA is 3.88.

Grade: D+

Noah Syndergaard: He entered this season as the elite pitcher of the team, and acted accordingly. So much so that his off the field actions often distracted us from his actual pitching. Disrespecting Jay Horowitz and refusing an MRI hurt his image, as did tearing his bicep soon after. It is not known if we will see Thor drop his hammer again this season. Of course, when pitching he is a dominant force, and his 32 strike outs in 27.1 innings pitched this season show that.

Grade: C-

Neil Walker: Before he got hurt, Walker was a consistent hitter for the Mets this season. His .270 average with 33 RBIs was solid for the Mets, as was his fielding at second base.

Grade: B

Zack Wheeler: In his return from Tommy John surgery, Wheeler has shown little glimpses of what he used to be. He has also shown that the road back isn’t always smooth. He has been inconsistent this season, going 3-6, but 70 strikeouts over 76 innings isn’t the worst thing in the world though.

*****

Sandy Alderson: Most gripes about Alderson this season have been focused around the fact that Amed Rosario is not starting at shortstop yet. It will be interesting to see what he does in the second half of the season, where the Mets should look to sell.

Grade: C+

Terry Collins: Collins has been focused on playing some of the veterans on the team. While this may have made sense when they were still in the postseason race, now it seems a little redundant. At times he has made misuse of his bullpen, over using certain relievers until they are ineffective. On the other hand, he has made the best of a lineup that suffers a new injury seemingly every week. That deserves some recognition.

Grade: C-

29 comments for “Mets 2017 midseason report card

  1. John Fox
    July 11, 2017 at 10:58 am

    Jose Reyes at a C-? I’d mark him lower than that, poor hitting and poor fielding.

  2. Eric
    July 11, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Dalton, I’ve been thinking about how this season is playing out and my major takeaway is pitching and injuries. The loss of Familia has exposed a lack of depth in the bullpen. Easy to say that some guys have been misused but that was more out of necessity because of the failure of the starters Between Salas, Edgin and Smoker, they’ve all been highly eratic.
    There is almost never a perfect time to use a guy, you need him when you need him.
    Also, I’m beginning to believe Alderson is way too conservative in how he promotes and uses his top hitting prospects. I don’t understand how other teams can promote with good results (i.e. Red Sox and Yankees) while the Mets are so reluctant to do the same thing. Not sure why that is.

    • Jimmy P
      July 11, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      In my view, the pen was short one high-quality arm before the season started.

      Then they lost Familia.

      Sandy never made a move to replace them.

      It hurt, a lot.

      Others things went wrong. Many issues. But that was one of them. Short-handed and lacking in quality to begin with.

    • Dalton Allison
      July 11, 2017 at 9:09 pm

      That is a valid point. They can’t help that they are being misused, but they have still widely underperformed. It is also very frustrating to see stars like Cody Bellinger being promoted and contributing to their major league clubs, while the Mets have Rosario just stewing in Las Vegas.

  3. July 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    I could see giving Blevins an A in early June but he’s given up a ton of runs here lately. I think Reed should get the higher grade of the two.

    • Jimmy P
      July 11, 2017 at 2:19 pm

      That’s because TC started exposing him to right-hand batters . . . as so many here wanted him to do.

      • IDRAFT
        July 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm

        Wow, I just looked up those splits and immediately thought of Scott Schoenweiss, 2008. The numbers are comparable.

      • July 11, 2017 at 2:58 pm

        LHB are hitting over .300 against him since June 7, so let’s not pretend that he’s killing it versus lefties in this current bad streak. They were hitting .087 against him through games of June 6.

        All relievers go through bad stretches. You are right that Blevins has been much worse since TC started using him as more than just a situational reliever. It could be 100% of the cause of his struggles. Or it could be nothing more than a coincidence.

        • Jimmy P
          July 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm

          Once again, Brian, you are willfully misusing stats in an attempt to make a point. Surely you understand the problems with sample size — and yet you persist.

          In 2017, here Blevins splits:

          RH: .343/.489/.686
          LH: .167/.221/.181

          Career:

          RH: .248/.340/.401
          LH: .209/.262/.308

          Why cherry pick an arbitrary June 6 date? Look at the player, look at the body of work. Just coincidence? Really?

          I know you have routinely mocked TC for “playing matchup,” so it might be hard to admit that in this case you are wrong, but there’s no reason to mangle stats to build that weak case. It only undercuts your credibility.

          • July 12, 2017 at 4:53 pm

            If you really felt that way, you’d want the largest sample possible. Blevins’ career marks versus RHB are better than what he’s done in 2017 by a significant margin – so why don’t you use them?

            Blevins was very effective this year until early June, which is why I used that date. He started pitching longer outings at the end of May. I don’t think it’s as neat as you make it out to be – that he fell apart just because he started facing more RHB.

            You’re smart enough to know that every reliever goes through rough patches and that it’s possible that Blevins’ performance meltdown the last month has as much to do with the normal up and down of relievers as it is his facing more RHB. A point that’s reinforced by the fact that he’s no longer dominating LHB. If Blevins was getting pounded by righties and still dominating lefties – that would be one thing. But that’s not what we’ve seen.

            Hey, I admit the possibility that you’re right with regards to Blevins not being good enough to face righties on a regular basis. I just think you’re declaring victory prematurely. Does five outings in his last 13 define Blevins as a pitcher? Forgive me if I believe he’s earned more rope than that, both with what he’s done this year and what he’s done throughout his career.

  4. Chris F
    July 11, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    Blevins = B
    Reed = B+
    Flores = D

    • July 11, 2017 at 3:01 pm

      Flores=D? Why?

      • Metsense
        July 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm

        Because Flores has a 96 OPS+, is a poor baserunner and a poor defensive player, especially as a third baseman where he has played the majority of his games. He had an opportunity and has not risen to it. A D is appropriate. Flores is an adequate bench player but is is not starter material.

      • Chris F
        July 11, 2017 at 4:06 pm

        The moment that Flores became an every day player his offensive number have fallen off a cliff. Its convenient and misguided to believe he is a resoundingly lefty masher. Its not true. As Mestese mentioned, his OPS+, which is a nice one number “quick-view” stat is below MLB average. The other side of the ball is horrific. He is simply one of the worst defenders in baseball. So hes below league average hitting, and waaaaaaaay below on defense. Exactly what is there to give this guy a B for?

        His best days are clearly when he is a bat coming off the bench. As I have mentioned many times, he is a 0.5 tool player. He would be a superstar as a DH in a league that only permitted left-handed pitchers.

        • Dalton Allison
          July 11, 2017 at 9:15 pm

          While Flores may not be an everyday player, I still like to see him in the lineup taking a start for Reyes every now and then.

  5. Alex
    July 11, 2017 at 3:04 pm

    Gotta cut the deadwood, Reyes, Ramirez,Salas’s,Montero

  6. Eraff
    July 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    This season had a built in 2018 Re-Load, but the Keeper List is Pretty Much Conforto, Cespedes and Rosario from the entire 40 man Roster. Shocking…. I don’t even want to slap a grade on it

    • Chris F
      July 11, 2017 at 6:11 pm

      yeah, its not a re-load, but its time to rebuild, again…

      and sadly, the players with the most value are the young kids we want to stay around. I can only hope Bruce and Blevins and Reed can bring something good in return. If not, look at the situation.

      1. We have no idea what the starters will bring. Next season is little different that this. And the rotation depth? The cupboards are bare. Unless you like the notion of Montero chucking the ball every 5th day.

      2. The infield is in disarray. How nice it will be to have Smith at 1B and Rosario at short. Neither have played a day in the Show. We all have high hopes…but hopes they remain. What part of Flores, TJ, Droobs, and Walker do you really want out there next year? All may be able to play 2B, but none can play 3B.

      3. Travis d’Arnaud is still not gonna be hitting or calling good games or throwing runners out.

      4. Ahh, that bull pen. Will Familia recover?

      • Dalton Allison
        July 11, 2017 at 9:25 pm

        1. Once again, our team will be relying on a rotation that is extremely fragile. That of course is very dangerous, and we can’t count on them any longer.

        2. Yes, concern will lie at third base. Bringing up Rosario and Smith would help them prepare for next season.

        3. I agree that an upgrade is needed at the catcher position.

        4. We hope that he will recover from the blood clot. If he can be dominant again, that certainly would help.

  7. Metsense
    July 11, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Duda has a 127 OPS+ and is average fielding his position and you grade him a C and Flores who is an inferior player a B-.
    Syndergaard is hurt and you buried him.
    Reed, who is their most reliable relief pitcher, was graded below Blevins.

    • Name
      July 11, 2017 at 7:36 pm

      “I valued preseason expectations highly, but also how the player has performed in basic metrics this season”

      Let’s take a look shall we…

      The Duda grade doesn’t make sense if we look back at Dalton’s projections. I see a projection of .259/.350/.490.
      Duda is currently hitting .238/.351/.524 and is essentially matching what he was projecting.
      Yet he gives Reyes the same grade as Duda, although he was projecting a .697 OPS for Reyes while Reyes has a .655 OPS currently (and it was in the 500s for 90% of the season)

      Dalton was the most bearish on Flores projecting a .673 OPS and he’s surpassed that with a .753 so a B- makes sense assuming he was also projecting horrific defense.

      Bruce shouldn’t deserve an A because he was projecting an .842 OPS and Bruce is besting it with .872 but not knocking it out of the ballpark.
      On the flip side Travis was projected for a .640 OPS and he is beating that by a wide margin with .728 – yet only a C.
      Gsellman has been a legitimate contender for 2nd worst starer in MLB this year(no one can be more pathetic than Fatty), yet somehow he avoids an F.

      • Dalton Allison
        July 11, 2017 at 9:39 pm

        Just because Duda is near his projected stats, does not mean that he is producing at a level where he deserves a higher grade. He has been inconsistent this season, much like Reyes who has also been inconsistent. Bruce has been the only player in the lineup to consistently show the ability to hit for power and drive in runs, therefore he is deserving of the grade he received.

        • Name
          July 12, 2017 at 12:04 am

          Those projections i mentioned are yours… and you “claimed” to value those preseason expectations highly.

          I’m not trying to call you out and you can use whatever criteria you wish to evaluate, but clearly you’re not using your preseason expectations, or rather, you aren’t applying it consistently or maybe you’ve just forgotten what you thought 4 months ago.

    • Dalton Allison
      July 11, 2017 at 9:28 pm

      I graded Syndergaard lower due to his issues, not his injuries.

  8. Eraff
    July 11, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    this is all spilled milk

    • Chris F
      July 11, 2017 at 6:02 pm

      yes, but is Flores crying?

  9. Chris F
    July 11, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Chatting under Matz v Lynn for all star game

  10. MattyMets
    July 11, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I disagree about the lack of depth in the bullpen. Even with the injury to Familia, this bullpen wouldn’t be half as bad if Robles and Salas weren’t both having the worst seasons of their career. All the 4 and 5 innings starts from Harvey, Wheeler, Montero and other fill-ins has really contributed to their overuse. Collins’ constant matchup games hasn’t helped either.

    • Chris F
      July 11, 2017 at 11:00 pm

      Matt, Robles and Salas are having terrible years. There is no conditional aspect to this that may be applied. I mean we could say If Harvey, gsellman, Lugo, and Wheeler werent having bad years then the rotation would be great. the fact is they arent having good years, and neither are many of the pen arms. This pen has been abused by TC because the starters are bad, but make no mistake, it is crap, one of the worst in the game. And Collins aint helping much.

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