One of the great things about baseball is that the season is six months long.  There are peaks and valleys every year.  No team is out of it after the first series of the year.  In 2005, the Mets went 0-5 to start the season.  It felt like they were playing uphill the whole rest of the year.

We can make a few judgments about the Mets based on what we’ve seen so far.  It’s not good.  They don’t build rallies and they don’t score without hitting the ball over the wall.  Their starting pitching is spotty – but their bullpen is impressive.

It looks like the fans have a new Chase Utley to hate.  Rhys Hoskins was always easy to root against.  But his cleats high slide into second base – nearly repeating Reuben Tejada’s broken leg on Jeff McNeil – puts Hoskins in Bryce Harper territory as far as fan hatred goes.  He deserves it.  It was a dirty play.  He didn’t start the slide until he was on top of the bag.  McNeil was justified in his anger.  Still, Yohan Ramirez should not have thrown at him in the sixth inning the next day.  Luis Severino should have done it much earlier in the game.  Right in the ribs.  I’m really tired of the Mets leading the league in getting hit by pitches.

Francisco Alvarez is off to a really encouraging start.  He’s hitting .500 with a 1.445 OPS.  The numbers demonstrate that he’s hitting the ball hard.  He’s been solid behind the plate as well – his throwing has improved immeasurably since he came up last year.  A challenge for new Manager Carlos Mendoza as the season progresses will be getting Alvarez enough rest to keep him fresh for the later part of the year.  If Alvarez is the only consistent bat in the lineup, benching him will be very difficult.

Omar Narvaez won’t hit his weight this year.  Which is unfortunate for Tomas Nido – who is toiling in the minors waiting for another chance.

Nimmo looks good in left field – but he’s hitting into hard luck.

Bader is a hole in the lineup.  If he continues his light hitting, it won’t be long before we see a new Center Fielder from the minor leagues.

Starling Marte is getting off to an uncharacteristically strong start.  His home run on opening day was all the offense the Mets could muster.  He scalded a double on Sunday – not that it mattered.

It was great to see Edwin Diaz come into the game on Saturday – trumpets and all.

Is it just me, or does Jeff McNeil look like he’s pushing 40?

Brett Baty’s home run on Saturday was a nice moment, but it was cringey watching the celebration in the dugout.  Yes, they pulled closer, but they were still down two runs.

Much to his credit, Pete Alonso is just being himself.  He gives max effort in the field and he mashes at the plate.  Given his off-the-field distractions, he could easily have pressed.  He hasn’t so far – staying within himself and playing his game.

Yohan Ramirez pitched three innings – knowing that he’s probably sitting out the next three days for his “just-a-bit-inside” pitch to Rhys Hoskins.  The bullpen David Stearns has put together is really good.  Drew Smith – now the Mets longest tenured pitcher – threw some really nice breaking balls.  Brooks Raley picked up where he left off last year.

Francisco Lindor did not have a good series against the Brewers.  One hit in twelve at-bats in the middle of the lineup spells disaster.

We all saw D.J. Stewart’s magical run late last year, but there is a reason he was a reclamation project.  I don’t expect him to last to the All-Star Break – you might see Drew Gilbert before long.

I don’t think J.D. Martinez is going to save this team.  It’s clear now that Mark Vientos wasn’t going to be a difference maker either.

Late word post-game: Tylor Megill is having an MRI on his right shoulder.  It’s a “precautionary” test – which in Metspeak means his arm is about to fall off.  Too bad really.  He pitched well – two unearned runs marred an otherwise good outing.

Severino pitched better than the results of his game – there’s still a lot of talent in his arm.

So did Jose Quintana.  It’s tough to overcome a game where your team gets one-hit.

The Brewers look like the team David Stearns is trying to create in New York.  They are on the small side.  They are quick.  They play great defense.  They bunt.  They steal bases.  They pitch well.  And no one gets paid $300M.

9 comments on “Early Mets thoughts after three games

  • BoomBoom

    Agree with all of your observations except Lindor – he also hit into a couple of bad luck outs where he smoked the ball. And 2 swings that were just a bit early which were launched but foul. He’s not far.

  • Jimmy P

    Good post.

  • juan

    Agree with your assessment, (especially about making a statement early on the Hoskins-McNeil incident; I expect a lot more from the staff in the future). Would love to see the youngsters given a chance, really amazed at the Red Sox young pitching in their opening series, I hope we can summon our young guns up here soon. LGM!

  • Denis Engel

    UPDATE: Megill lands on 15 day IL. My guess is it’ll be 45-60 days before he pitches again in the majors. Jose Butto most likely gets the starts in Megill’s place. No drop off at all.

    • BoomBoom

      I was surprised to learn that any optioned pitcher on the 40 man roster cannot be recalled until April 12th unless someone else gets injured (and they already called up Reed Garrett for the bullpen to take McGill’s spot). Hence the online talk about re-engaging with Julio Tehran who opted out of his Baltimore contract. If someone else gets injured they can then bring up Luchessi or Butto to take the rotation turn prior to the 12th.

  • NYM6986

    Nicely stated. We need timely hits and runs. Agree that Vientos should have gotten the DH spot while we wait for Martinez, and have made that comment in this forum more than a few times. Alonso did not look great in the field diving for a few balls but not coming up with them. Thought they were trading Narvaez so they could bring up the equally crappy hitting Nido. Bring on the undefeated Tigers so we can get our first win tonight.

  • Metstabolism

    I think the DH issue is being overstated here. We can’t just arbitrarily assume that Vientos would be hitting if he were here, either.
    And there is no new CF coming from the minors any time soon. Gilbert is simply not the generational superstar who jumps from AA to the majors, let alone a starting job, in only two months. No one anywhere has said that about him. The Mets’ press has simple cherry picked and overstated the accolades that Gilbert has received.
    In fact, at least three of the seven scouting/evaluation pundit sites rate him as a 4th OF in the majors, not a starter. And the ones that see him as a starter see him as a corner, not a CF. I’m not saying they’re right. I think there is some reason to believe that he can exceed the projections. But we do need to keep our expectations more in line with realities, and not hopes, and to tap the brakes on any talk of him coming up before mid-season, if that early.

    • TexasGusCC

      Interesting assessment of Gilbert. Do you know many 4th outfielder types that are top 100 MLB prospects, and in some cases too 50?

      Gilbert may not be ready for prime time, but I feel Taylor deserves some regular playing time, if Bader is in fact benched, to show himself better. Too, we can always put the guy that gets $21MM a year to play there and put McNeil in LF…

  • Metsense

    Poor hitting, 25th in MLB in wRC+. Below average starting pitching, 23rd in ERA mainly because of Severino. Impressive relief pitching , tied 7th in ERA but they can’t a lead in a game to utilize it.
    It seems that Morte isn’t toast. McNeil is worrisome. But it’s only 3 games.

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