It’s a long season and there’s no use overreacting to things.
Now with that out of the way, there isn’t a good reason why the Mets can’t simply react to the goings on this week. After an 11-0 drubbing which completed not only a Braves sweep at Citi Field but a message that the team in Atlanta has accelerated their development and is read to compete for the playoffs one year earlier than expected, That’s bad news for the Mets who now all of a sudden are faced with the task of getting this team back on the right track.
Make no mistake, this is on Sandy Alderson, and only Sandy Alderson. For the first time in his tenure, he got to hire his own manager. Now he needs to make sure Mickey Callaway has a chance to succeed. When this window closes for the Mets, it could be a long time before they have a chance to open another one, if this Braves team is truly for real. (And I don’t mean to overreact to the Braves after five weeks, but with all those young players at the top of the lineup, all that young pitching, and lots of money next season to sign a big free agent who will be at the very least intrigued in what the Braves are building, that’s enough for anybody to at least say “uh-oh”.)
Now some of this has to do with things that are out of Alderson’s control. With all of the candidates that could have stepped up to be that solid third starter the Mets sorely need to compete in the division, nobody has done it. Part of it might be that Alderson signed the wrong vet in Jason Vargas, who was hammered yesterday, but I’m not willing to give up after two starts. (Three or four, maybe.) Steven Matz, who has been a huge disappointment, hasn’t done it. Neither has Zack Wheeler, who may just be who he is rather than the ace we all expected him to be, or Matt Harvey who is just physically (and probably mentally) finished. Perhaps it’s time to hold more people to account and give Seth Lugo a chance to be that third starter.
The other way to pry that window open? Well the way I see it, there are at least two dead spots on this roster. Harvey is one, and Jose Reyes is the other. Adrian Gonzalez, who is hitting .196 since April 13th, might very well be a third. With the Mets as a whole on an offensive slide after a series in which they scored two runs, the Mets can’t afford to have two dead spots and a guy who can get on base to never play. It might be time to give Gonzalez the Mike Marshall treatment and let him loose, let Jay Bruce play first base and put Brandon Nimmo in center field. (That Nimmo has an OPS of 1.008 and can’t find at-bats is incredible.) Reyes’ isn’t bringing anything to the team at this point, and the Mets signing the unspectacular Cody Asche to a minor league deal might at least be a sign that they are looking at other options.
As for Harvey, maybe he has a little something left. If so, it sure is taking a long time to show it. If anybody is the sacrificial lamb for the Mets, it might be Harvey. I don’t know if this is the type of roster that would be frightened into playing well by straight out DFA’ing somebody. Perhaps in Harvey’s case, getting rid of him would even lighten the mood around the clubhouse. I’m not one for sending messages but I’d rather send a message now than in August when the team is eight games back and it doesn’t matter anymore. Maybe the message is that we’re here to fight and not here to be a country club or to be a buddy system. If Reyes is DFA’d and Amed Rosario is sad, well then maybe this would be the perfect opportunity for Todd Frazier to do something else with his time besides whine about the umpires.
This isn’t the time for overreaction. But a reaction would be a novel treat.
Today’s Hate List
- Mike Hampton
- Nick Markakis
- Ozzie Albies
- Dansby Swanson
- David Bell