Despite losing six of their last 10, getting shut out four times in the past week, and losing three more pitchers to the IL, the Mets somehow sit atop the NL East with a four-game lead over the surging Nationals and five over the struggling Phillies and Braves. [as of Thursday night]

The Bats Return
While half the lineup was nursing injuries, the pitching stepped up and carried the load through May and half of June, led by the top three starters who are all having terrific seasons. Now that the bats are finally returning, the Mets offense will need to flip the script and carry the weight for the next month or so; at least until we can either trade for another starter or finally get a healthy Carlos Carrasco into the rotation.

Murderer’s Row
Seeing a nearly full lineup with more than just two or three big bats is a sight for sore eyes. Prior to the season starting, MattyMets was boasting that this could be our best offense since 2006 and possibly ever. With more runners on base in front of them and more protection behind them, Francisco Lindor, Michael Conforto, and Pete Alonso should all start driving in runs in bunches.  And the Mets, suddenly with a very weak back of the rotation, will need all the run support they can get.

An Unlikely Trade Partner
As if the rotation being down four arms wasn’t enough, the bullpen is now short a few arms as well with Robert Gsellman and Jeurys Familia joining the crowded IL. In another few weeks, when the mid-summer trade market starts to materialize, the Mets would be wise to call on the Kansas City Royals, who have some quality veteran arms they may be willing to part with, like starter Danny Duffy and reliever. The lefty Duffy is having a great year and is 32 and in his walk year. Duffy was injured for a stretch but just returned to action with a pretty 1.85 ERA across eight starts.  Fellow lefty starter Mike Minor is 33 with one year remaining on a modest contract. His numbers are not as strong, but he brings versatility as a former reliever. Reliever Scott Barlow is having a great year out of the pen with a sub-2 ERA and a high strikeout rate. He’s just 28, but getting pricier in arbitration. This is clearly not the Royal’s year as they sit well below .500 with no chance of catching the White Sox and Indians in the AL Central. Perhaps the Mets could pry one or two of these arms loose.

Survive the Gauntlet
From now until the All-Star break, the Mets have 18 games in 17 days. We’ll start with four against the Phillies at home, followed by a makeup game at Washington, a three-game series in Atlanta, and another three at Yankee Stadium. Beyond that gauntlet, we’ll return home for seven games against the Brewers and Pirates. Going 12-6 is not unthinkable and it would leave the Mets in good standing heading into a much needed four-day break around the All-Star game.

First up, the Phillies. #LFGM.


5 comments on “Michael Conforto, Jeff McNeil and the big bats return

  • Metsense

    The Mets Murderers Row has 3 potential 30 home run guys and they need to produce especially when the back end of the rotation is pitching.
    The Royals would be a good fit as a trade partner. Duffy would be A Difference Maker. He would be a true rental player because he is a free agent this winter. The Royals need a third baseman. Would you trade J D Davis and his 3 1/2 years of control for Duffy and a chance for a ring? I would because the Villar is capable and Baty or Mauricio are the future.
    As for surviving the gauntlet I would be satisfied with a 10-8 record and anything more would show me that they are team to be reckoned with.

  • SiteAdmin

    Right now it’s a seller’s market so it’s hard to see the Mets making a bigger transaction than the pitching equivalent of acquiring Billy McKinney.

    I feel like the divisional lead gives the Mets the opportunity to wait out the market some. It also gives time to see how Lugo is doing and if Eickhoff, Megill or Oswalt can be serviceable. A healthy Lugo and one of those other three guys available to go 5 IP as a starter would cure a lot of ills.

  • MattyMets

    I like what I saw of Megill and Eickhoff is not far removed from being a serviceable pitcher, but I think I speak for a lot of Mets fans when I say, I’ve seen enough of Corey Oswalt.

  • TexasGusCC

    Matt, I like Corey Oswalt and felt they gave up on Chris Flexen too soon. Putting the perceived hindsight aside, is Oswalt worse that Reid-Foley or Drew Smith? I think he’s as serviceable as the other low leverage relievers the Mets have.

  • MattyMets

    Gus – I like Reid-Foley and Smith.

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