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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.