Mets Should Stay Intact And Try For Strong Second Half

Rarely does a major league roster go unchanged from Opening Day to the end of the season and the 2013 New York Mets are no exception. The roster Terry Collins will be playing with this weekend in Pittsburgh and taking into the All-Star break barely resembles that of the one that left Port St. Lucie.

WRIGHT: Not the only positive. (AP)

WRIGHT: Not the only positive. (AP)

Less than a month ago the Mets were 15 games below .500, and with a sweep of the Pirates could be five games under. Nobody expects a sweep, but nobody thought they could go 5-0-2 in their past seven road series, either.

Think about it, the Mets are playing their best ball of the season and the Pirates are cooling. It can be done. But, if not, that still leaves the Mets with two weeks before the trade deadline. Should they be buyers or sellers?

Next winter is when the Mets tell us they could be active in the free-agent market, but who wants to wait that long? History tells us the Mets came from behind in 1969 and 1973 to reach the playoffs, so why not at least be thinking along those lines now, even if the odds are long?

A Mets executive recently told me a successful season would be defined as finishing .500, which would be a 14-game improvement over 2012. That is not unrealistic and should be ownership’s commitment to its fan base. The mantra should be: There will not be a fifth straight losing season.

The Mets are where they are because:

* An All-Star first half from David Wright. Even if  he’s not hitting a lot of home runs, he’s driving the ball, getting on base, playing a strong third base and producing with runners in scoring position.

* A strong first half from Matt Harvey, who could start the All-Star Game despite ten no-decisions. With a little support, .500 would be even more realistic.

* The acquisition of Eric Young, who as the tenth option, became the leadoff hitter the Mets have sought. Young is the kind of player the Mets, if they got creative again, could add. The Giants won two of the last three World Series with mid-season acquisitions such as Cody Ross, Aubrey Huff and Angel Pagan. None were marquee players, but pushed the Giants over the top. Proof the Mets don’t have to splurge to make second-half noise.

* Marlon Byrd has become the productive outfielder the Mets have been seeking. Why trade him now? Maybe he’ll cool, who knows? But, he’s produced and there are others like him out there.

* John Buck had a monster April. After a prolonged cooling off period, Buck is hitting again. He’s also been a stabilizing influence for Harvey.

* Josh Satin gave the Mets production they lacked from Ike Davis. While Davis will get most of the playing time, the Mets can’t afford to ignore Satin. Collins said he wants to get a look at Satin at second and the outfield. He’s waffled before, but needs to see what Satin can do.

* If Ruben Tejada hadn’t been hurt, he would have been demoted to the minor leagues. Omar Quintanilla is hitting and playing the kind of shortstop the Mets hoped from Tejada, who doesn’t deserve to have his old job handed to him.

* Jeremy Hefner and Dillon Gee rebounded from slow starts to become reliable starters. Hefner, especially, has been terrific, even better than Harvey over the past month. There’s the temptation of dealing Hefner now with the thought this is a fluke, but why not ride him out and see what you have over a full year?

* When the Mets become serious contenders they will need a closer, so trading Bobby Parnell, as I suggested yesterday, would be counterproductive.

Yes, we’ve been here before, seduced by a good run from the Mets. However, this is a season we never expected much from them. They are giving us more than we could have envisioned despite adversity.

In each of the past four seasons the Mets have gone into the All-Star break thinking they would be sellers at the break, only to have them do nothing but let talent slip away during the winter.

This year has a different feel to it. After a miserable start, they have stabilized and are playing competitive, aggressive baseball. There are still holes, but this time management should reward its players and fan base and give us something to watch after the national attention goes away following the All-Star Game.

Stay intact and give us a reason to come out in the second half.

As always, your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to answer them. Please follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

4 thoughts on “Mets Should Stay Intact And Try For Strong Second Half

  1. Every year the Mets look ok about now and then collapse. The team is terrible. We just do not have the talent. What was your analysis in Spring? The talent hasn’t gotten any better,

    Satin should play every day. Ike should be in Vegas until he can prove ( like Satin ) that he needs to be in Queens. We can’t hit and we have no OF. We also have no bench. Oh and no pen. Our catchers hit 200 or so.

    I like these guys, but in reality they are not good. If we can trade to get better for the future than we do it. That means trade Byrd to get a young player who may be able to start for us next year. Trade Bobby, trade Ike. Trade everyone. If we can get even one person who can start for us this year or next that will be an improvement.

    If you objectively look at this team we have 2 legit starters. Dan and David. Both can field their positions and both can hit. That is it. Q is playing nice, but he is an old journeyman middle infielder. Young is a player his old team does not want. 2 of his 3 years in Colorado he hit 240. In a park where numbers are inflated. Lagares looks like he is starting to learn that he can hit MLB pitching. For a week we had a legit 1B. Someone who can catch the ball and hit the ball. This lasted about 10 days before the team decided that Ike Davis. He of the 200+ strikeouts, he of the 200 BA should be starting because he was striking out in AAA which earned him a spot in Queens.

    We should not be buyers, we should be sellers. This means we do not buy marginal talent to get us through the year. It means we sell marginal talent for better younger guys who are not quite ready who can help us next year or the year after that. Our minors are still weak. Name 2 OF in the minors that can help us next year. Puello is the best of the bunch He is playing in AA and is linked to Biogenesis. Can he help us next year or the year after? Maybe. But maybe he never makes it above AAA. The 3 guys drafted in the past few years are in A ball. Very far away. That is one SS and and OF and a 1B. That means maybe 3 years from now if everything breaks right.

    Our hot Catching prospect not named D’Arnoud is in A ball I think.

    Oh and we have Flores paying 2B in Vegas. We did not bring him up. Why? Our team is terrible. A player like that should be up to help with depth if nothing else. His problem is no one believes he can play 2B in the majors and they don’t trust his power. Dan is a legit MLB hitter who hits around 300 and who has learned to play a solid 2B. Flores is not going to push him. I have heard some say they did not promote him as not to expose him. Better to let him rack up numbers down there and find some sucker to trade for him ( Where is Omar ? )

    • Dave: You certainly gave me a lot to digest. Yes, I wrote I believed the team was horrible coming out of spring training, but they have overachieved. Harvey and Wheeler, not to mention Syndergaard and Moreno are reason to be optimistic. … Change of scenery can benefit a player and it has done so for Eric Young. … If the Mets got rid of Byrd and Parnell, they would just have to replace them next year. Unless you strike it rich with Parnell, I wouldn’t trade him. … I like Josh Satin, but realistically he’s had a smaller window than Ike Davis. By the way, unless Davis has a monster second half, he’s gone. … We might not see Travis d’Arnuad until September, if at all. That means John Buck will be back. … Like you, I want to see Flores. Where they will play him, I don’t know.-JD