Top Ten Mets’ Questions In Second Half

The Mets are home tonight for the start of a ten-game homestand that will determine the course of what is becoming a lost season.

While there’s little hope other than mathematics that they will be able to make a playoff push, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t significant questions that must be answered that could determine the direction of this franchise for years:

ALDERSON: Facing a lot of questions. (AP)

ALDERSON: Facing a lot of questions. (AP)

  1. Will they be buyers or sellers at the deadline?

A: The Mets can’t advertise that they are giving up on the year before their longest homestand of the season. Their two most valuable commodities are closer Addison Reed and outfielder Jay Bruce, both of whom will be free agents this winter. This would make them rentals to any team dealing with the Mets.

Other assets who would command less are Curtis Granderson, Jerry Blevins, Lucas Duda, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes.

2. Will we see Amed Rosario and Dominic Smith?

A: That was one of the prevailing first-half questions. GM Sandy Alderson insists they aren’t ready, when in reality he was just waiting out the market. Rosario would mean the end of Reyes and Cabrera – assuming they aren’t dealt – and Smith would likely determine Duda’s future.

3. Will Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey pitch again this season?

A: Harvey has already begun throwing and Syndergaard is two weeks from starting, but neither have a definitive timetable to return. Syndergaard has a partially torn lat muscle and the Mets want to know what they have moving forward. Syndergaard likewise wants to know where he is physically, which would dictate his offseason conditioning and throwing program. Hopefully, this winter he won’t hit the weights too much.

As for Harvey, it could very well be his real value to the Mets is as trade bait. I have written numerous times Harvey is just biding his time before he’s a free agent after the 2018 season. He hinted as much in 2015 when his agent Scott Boras brought up Harvey’s innings ceiling. The Mets can explore trading Harvey now or they can hope he comes back strong in the second half and the first half in 2018 before shopping him next year. Either way, his time with the Mets is numbered.

4. Will Yoenis Cespedes stay healthy and become the hitter the Mets are paying all that money to?

A: He’s strong, but muscle bound, which makes him susceptible to muscle pulls. Watching Cespedes run, whether on the bases or in the outfield, and you have to think it is a matter of time before he’s hobbling again.

5. Will manager Terry Collins finally give the Mets’ All-Star, Michael Conforto enough playing time?

A: Assuming Bruce and Granderson aren’t traded, then Collins must either bench the latter or devise a playing rotation for the four.

6. Will Collins do the same for Wilmer Flores and T.J. Rivera?

A: Neither Flores nor Rivera are the physical prototypes Alderson craves, but they produce despite not having a designated position. Both can play anywhere in the infield save shortstop.

7. Speaking of infielders, what will happen with Neil Walker?

A: It wasn’t a bad gamble to give Walker a $17.2 million qualifying offer. After all, it was for only one year and the Mets believed they were competitors. Walker wants a multi-year deal, which the Mets would be foolish to give him, especially with the money owed Cespedes and David Wright.

8. Will we see Wright?

A: The Mets don’t have a timetable for Wright’s return following his back surgery. Thinking positively, if Wright could come back and play well, it could make the Mets’ offseason plans a bit smoother. If he doesn’t come back, will he retire?

9. What is Collins’ future with the Mets?

A: The major league’s oldest manager is in his last year with the Mets. He could retire, but after this season, the Mets could decide not to bring him back. There remains the question of whether he would want to return.

10. What is Alderson’s future with the Mets?

A:  He’ll be 70 this winter and you have to wonder how much longer he wants to do this, especially if the Mets opt to rebuild. The young, vaunted pitching staff has not made one uninterrupted cycle through the rotation together and there’s no guarantee it ever will. There is a multitude of other issues with the Mets and maybe Alderson doesn’t want to go the building process again.

7 thoughts on “Top Ten Mets’ Questions In Second Half

  1. 11. How many more starts from Wheeler? 12. How many starts from Matz? 13. Can Reed or Bruce bring back some decent ML talent?

  2. I’ll give some guesses.
    1- Sellers to a small degree. Might trade a piece or two that doesn’t really have much of an impact on the team (i.e. place where they have depth to replace traded guy)
    2-Yes, at least one
    6-I think at least one of them will lose playing time – can’t keep it split forever – and if Rosario comes up that’s less starts for some of the others
    7-I think they should bring him back…he’s one of the better FA available and the Mets could use the infield help, but I think they cheapen out and let him go.
    9-Steps down at end of year
    10-Returns at least for another year

    • Sandy will be back for another year while Terry is gone at seasons end. As a lame duck, Sandy won’t tear this thing down and look to start something he won’t be around to see through. The Wilpons won’t allow that anyway. He will make a few small moves u less someone offers him something he can’t refuse for a Bruce, Granderson or Duda. Walker and Cabrera won’t command much at this point and they aren’t bad to have around for next year. There is still a lot of thinking that this team still has the foundation to win next year and it wont need too much tinkering. Besides there are no real heavyweight free agents available except for a Moustakis, Lucroy and a few of the other names being bandied about. Nothing earth shattering though. Relief pitchers are key. No one has really talked about how much this club misses it’s captain? His presence in that club house is sorely missed. It would be awesome to see him come back and give us a little something to cheer for in his comeback. What a story, Wrights second half comeback and the Mets second half push to the playoffs?? Wake up, I’m dreaming, I know.

      • You have a point that if things break right we can compete.
        But we have to solve the injury mess. Your whole staff can’t be on the dl.

        Duda is not a good player. Yes he has power, but he can’t hit. He is a decent fielder though. The guy in the minors is supposed to be a real 1b but with dramatically less power. I would be open to Bruce staying. He hits, has power and plays every day. He doesn’t embarrass himself. We are weak in outfield. Granny needs to go. He is a professional and a good guy, but $15m for a player with no arm, no range is not good enough. Plus he blocks Mike who is just a better player.
        Neil is gone as he just gets hurt. He has chronic injuries. Wilmer’s bat is good, you just have to live with the poor defense. His best position is second and he is cheap.

        We need to upgrade the catcher. Travis just isn’t the guy. He is always injured and is not as good positionally as the journeyman players. We need to move on.

        David is done. If he can’t play he doesn’t matter. His body is broken. He has the heart, his body just can’t do it anymore.

        • Oh. And Jose needs to go. As a role player he is great, but he should not be starting at short or third.

          I don’t understand how we have 2 aging middle infielders that play over younger guys who can do it better. I am looking at Wilmer and amed. Those guys should be playing every day and the vets should be on the bench. Let us see if Wilmer can play second. If not get one in the offseason or put Gavin there.

          • If amed is up Jose needs to be cut. We don’t need Jose imparting his bad habits on our shortstop of the future.

  3. 1. Sellers. Our gym said so
    2. Yes to both
    3. I hope not
    4. He will never be healthy. But he is the player we are paying him to be
    5. He should. The season is over
    6. Wilmer should start at second. Tj at third
    7. Neil is gone. Too many injuries. We are starting over. Wilmer is cheaper and healthier if not a better player.
    8. Never again
    9. He might be gone, but then sandy has. I one to blame
    10. Sandy has done a good job. He cleaned up the minors, gave us the best young staff in the majors and gave us hope again. However he keeps bringing in veterans who should not play and refuses to build a competent defense. His draft is mediocre but he does know how to develop players. Bottom line he has made us competitive which is nothing to be overlooked.