Mets eliminated from Postseason contention

Posted: September 21, 2014 in Hot Stove, News, Opinion
Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Steven Inmanimages

The title of this article is a sentence Mets fans have become too familiar with over the past eight seasons… The Mets have been eliminated from playoff contention. The Mets are 74-80 this season after winning 74 games the previous two seasons. While the record isn’t much bfametter, the team has made a number of improvements with key players while learning that other won’t be part of the solutions.

2015 Pieces

Lucas Duda: The Mets best (and only) real power threat in the lineup in 2014 was the emergence of Lucas Duda. It has always been a confidence issue for the 28-year old but he has begun to fix that. The move to first base, his natural position certainly helped his offense and Duda should be a big part of the Mets offense in 2015.Duda’s power hasn’t really increased he is just getting his first real opportunity to play every day all season. The team may need to find a backup first basemen in the winter who crushes lefties. A player like Danny Valencia could fit in very well at first base. Valencia hit .324 this season against left-handers with an.813 OPS.

Jeurys Familia: Familia was flat out dominant in 2014. He neutralized even the greatest of right-handed batters and went from not being able to throw strikes in 2013 to being “effectively wild” in 2014. Whether he becomes the closer or stays as the set-up man Familia should be effective in the Mets bullpen in 2015 while making the league minimum, should he stay healthy.

Travis d’Arnaud: The 2014 season started as a disaster for the 25-year old d’Arnaud. Travis was batting .180 on June 4th when the Mets made the wise decision to send him down. They called him back up around three weeks later. Since his recall the rookie backstop is hitting .273/.320/.482 with ten homers and 32 RBI. He has become one of the Mets better hitters and is now batting third. D’Arnaud has looked very comfortable in the #3 spot. The Mets have a very good problem with d’Arnaud’s offensive growth at the major league level and Kevin Plawecki’s impressive minor league season. The one issue with d’Arnaud is he has a hitch in his throws to second and has become very easy to run on. Keith Hernandez on the SNY broadcasts noted that it will be very difficult to get that hitch out over the winter and in Spring Training.

Other notable players are Juan Lagares and Jacob deGrom who should be a part of the Mets future for years to come. I’m going to have a separate post on both of these future award winners once the season ends.

Players that took a step back in 2015

Ruben Tejada: Tejada came to major league camp with something to prove. He instead proved that the Mets wasted another year hoping he could be the answer at shortstop for some reason. Tejada will likely be a non-tender guy and will join another team as a backup middle infielder, a role that he should be much better in.

Dillon Gee: Gee looked like he was on his way to another strong season before a lat injury took out a few months for the right-hander. Since Gee has returned he has struggled to the point that he could be on his way out of town. Gee will surely get a hefty raise on his $3.6 million 2014 salary through arbitration. With all the Mets pitching now up or near the major league level the Mets might find Gee’s increasing salary to be better used elsewhere. The Mets will shop around Gee along with Jonathan Niese this winter.

Bobby Parnell: To no fault of his own, Bobby Parnell threw in one game for the Mets before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Parnell’s velocity was down a lot in spring training but the Mets publicly said they were not concerned. Parnell will make at least $3.7 million next season in his final year of salary arbitration. Again with the Mets hamstrung for cash, it makes little sense to pay a reliever that kind of money coming off Tommy John. The Mets also have Jenrry Mejia and Familia to be the back end of the bullpen. It is far from a guarantee that Parnell will be ready to pitch in a big league game by April. The Mets would be much better off non-tendering their former closer and try to bring him back on an incentive laden contract.

Curtis Granderson: The Mets are hamstrung on Granderson’s huge back loaded contract. He hit even worse than he did when he broke his hand twice last season with the Yankees while the Mets thought he would hit much better. While the Mets would surely like a redo on this deal to get that money back to put into a corner outfielder on the upswing, no team will take on this 33-year olds deal when he has 3-years and 47 million left on his deal after this season with a slash line of .221/.322/.376. The Grandy Man’s 19 homers this season should go up a little when the Mets likely move the right-field fence in.

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