Many Questions Loom For Mets In Second Half

Although the New York Mets closed the first half on an up-note, it’s too soon to say they have turned things around. The wildcard would take a near historic run, but .500 is not out of the question.

On this date in 1973, a year they went to the World Series, they were 40-50, so there is precedence. No, I have not forgotten that team had Tom Seaver and Jerry Koosman, but the rest of the team weren’t all shining lights, either.

It can be done. To finish .500 they have to be at least three games over each month, and they are already 8-5 in July. When it is broken down into little pieces it’s much easier to grasp.

Even so, for it to happen the following questions must be answered in the positive:

Q: Will the Mets keep the status quo and not blow up this team?

A: GM Sandy Alderson said the plan is to maintain the present team and not be sellers. Then again, he’s changed his mind before. The first ten games of the second half are key. If the Mets unravel in that span, there are no guarantees.

Q: Can Matt Harvey continue his run?

A: Harvey had a great first half highlighted by starting the All-Star Game. He also had ten no-decisions. He’s going to need more offensive and bullpen help, but there are times he’ll have to bear down even more as great pitchers find a way. But, that might be difficult if they are cutting his innings.

Q: What can they get out of Zack Wheeler?

A: He has pitched well at times since his promotion, but not as good as his 3-1 record would indicate. Wheeler needs to focus more on fastball command. That’s the first step.

Q: Can Jeremy Hefner and Dillon Gee continue to pitch well?

A: Arguably, they might be two of the biggest factors to the Mets showing turnaround signs. Remember, each started slowly but something clicked. Also, remember neither have pitched well for a complete season.

Q: Can Bobby Parnell keep grasping the brass ring?

A: Parnell is finally taking to the closer role. But, there are two halves. If they don’t trade him, and management said they won’t, he has to keep mixing in that fastball with his knuckle-curve.

Q: Can they stay healthy, especially in the rotation?

A: Gone are Johan Santana, Jon Niese and Shaun Marcum, three-fifths of the projected rotation entering spring training. Niese is expected back by mid-August, but the others will never play for the Mets again.

Q: What do we make of the bullpen?

A: It has been good at times, bad at times and atrocious at times. It’s been good over the past three weeks, but there’s still not an overwhelming feeling of comfort. Also, they must avoid burning out Scott Rice?

Q: Can Terry Collins avoid not driving John Buck into the ground?

A: Anthony Recker has been getting more playing time and coming up with the long ball. After a fast start Buck tailed because he was getting worn out. Tired catchers aren’t a plus. And, let’s forget about Travis d’Arnaud. This is a lost season for him.

Q: Can All-Star David Wright sustain?

A: On the field and in the clubhouse, Wright has lived up to his captain status. He is a good reason to keep watching. He might not be spectacular, but he’s more than solid. Looking at .300, 25 and 90 from him, minimum.

Q: Omar Quintanilla and Eric Young were positive surprises. Can they keep it up?

A: Quintanilla and Young replaced Ruben Tejada and Lucas Duda, respectively, and frankly, neither are missed. Collins said Tejada must win back his job and Young is playing so well, Duda isn’t an option at all anymore. They’ll keep him around in the chance they lose Ike Davis.

Q: Speaking of Davis, does he have a strong second half in him?

A: It sure doesn’t look that way. They won’t get anything for Davis in a trade, and Alderson said the team is running out of patience. With a poor second half, don’t expect the Mets to tender him a contract.

Q: Who plays center field?

A: Both Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Juan Lagares have shown glimpses, but nothing sustainable. Nieuwenhuis is getting most of the time now.

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

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “Many Questions Loom For Mets In Second Half

  1. Team

    Blow up the team? Exactly what team are we talking about?
    We have 5 players: Wright, Dan, Bobby, Harvey, Byrd.

    That is pretty much it. The rest are completely replaceable.
    What is there to blow up? Let the team prove they belong in
    the majors.

    Harvey

    Yes. I believe in him. He has 4 pitches and the right attitude.

    Wheeler

    I am interested in watching him. His last game ( which I missed )
    he had a good game. He needs to find his control.

    Hefner/Gee

    Yes. I believe in them. They pitched well last year. I expect
    that they will do what they have done this year for the next few
    years. Mind you, they are not top of the rotation talent. They are
    not to be confused with Harvey or Wheeler. But they are good 4/5 type
    pitchers who frequently pitch as #3.

    Parnell

    I think he gets it.. finally.

    Healthy

    This team? So far they haven’t.

    Pen

    The same thing we have gotten for 6 years. In fact not even. They
    started out bad and just don’t have the talent.

    TC/Buck

    Buck has come back down to eartch and TC will be gone.

    Wright

    Yes. He may wear down. but i am happy with him

    Q/Young

    I have been very happy with them. I think as with all players they
    will revert to their mean.

    Center

    Lagares. No question. He plays better D and his bat is starting to
    look like it may buy a clue.

    • dave: By blow up I was meaning Byrd, Parnell and Hefner. I think there’s cause for optimism. I don’t believe things are that bleak, but I’ve been proven wrong before. If they continue as they closed the first half, Collins will be coming back. That’s probably unavoidable. … Young and Quintanilla can cool, that’s definitely possible. But, if they don’t, that’s a plus.-JD

      • John,

        I hope you are right but they have 50 losses. Right on target for a 100 loss season.

        Past Mets teams with more talent collapsed.

  2. I think of all the unanswered questions the Mets have to find a definitive answer to in this second half is what to do with Ike Davis. They must find out is he part of their future or is he one more piece that needs to be upgraded. So far, from what I’ve seen, he’s back to the same old mistakes he’s made the entire first half. The Mets cannot continue to wait until July every year to see if their first baseman will show up and contribute. If you’ve seen him field you can tell he is back to handling grounders off to his side instead of getting in front of the ball and at least knock it down so he can at least get an out on the play. Playing balls off to the side is dangerous and not the best way to play a major league first base. Until he gets his entire act together this is the important question that needs to be resolved in the next few weeks. Does he stay and contribute like he did before or is it time to try his tired half season act someplace else. Stay tuned …..!

    • He is not part of the future. When he sucked he should have been sent down. They finally did. As soon as they did they were talking about him coming back. Exactly what is he to learn when the team says you are fine. Come back and hit 100, strike out 300 times and generally suck wind.

      We have this young guy Satin who is so much better than you and deserves to play but we won’t give him the time of day cause you are our guy. It doesn’t matter that you are part of the problem. It doesn’t matter that you are a major reason the team can’t hit. In fact we love you so much we will put your sucky bat as cleanup because we love to give the pitcher a break and rather let them face a dangerous hitter in the middle of the lineup we will put you there. This way they can face you and you will strike out and kill a rally or an inning.

      Great job!

  3. Buck is already driven into the ground. And not because of Collins, it is because Buck stinks. April was a mirage, small sample size. Anyone who thought that was sustainable had ignored his last few seasons. The only reason they took him in the trade was as a stopgap hoping that d’Arnaud would be able to come up midway through the season. The best laid plans of mice and men…

    I’m thinking this offseason will see a trade or two to help round out the outfield, and perhaps for a first baseman. Ike is not the answer, and Satin is not either (I have visions of Mike Jacobs).

    Oh, and while I am at it, I remember saying that bashing the Mets for not signing Liriano was dumb, since he had stunk the last few years, and was coming off another injury. I cooked the crow and served it to myself with a nice chianti :). He is having a very nice season, good for him, I liked him early in his career with the Twins.