Here’s the Mets’ lineup tonight against San Francisco:
Curtis Granderson – RF
Juan Lagares – CF
Lucas Duda – 1B
Michael Cuddyer – LF
Wilmer Flores – SS
Travis d’Arnaud – C
Dilson Herrera – 2B
Eric Campbell – 3B
Jonathon Niese – LHP
As it is with most drafts, everything is a crapshoot and such is the case with the Mets’ first selection, center fielder Desmond Lindsay from Bradenton, Fla., with the 53rd overall pick. The Mets forfeited their first-round selection as compensation for signing free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer, which goes to show there’s really no such thing as a “free’’ agent.
Now, I’m not saying Lindsay won’t become a star. He could very well turn out to be an All-Star. Who knows? This all falls under the category of “I’ll believe it when I see it.’’ I’m setting my alarm for 2019.
In the meantime, just don’t blow a lot of smoke at us, as Mets amateur scouting director Tommy Tanous did when he told ESPN Lindsay was an “offensive machine.’’
Really? How does he know? Lindsay is only 18, he’s coming out of high school, and wasn’t even ranked in the top 100 because of a recurring hamstring injury. Don’t you think “offensive machines” would crack the top 100, even with a hamstring injury?
Not only that, but there’s a chance he might attend the University of North Carolina. If he’s so top drawer, maybe Matt Harvey might convince him to sign with the Mets and take on-line courses in the off-season. I’m not even paying attention to the fact he’s a center fielder. In three years, Juan Lagares could be referred of in in the past tense.
Tanous did say Lindsay’s grandmother is a “huge Mets fan,’’ I so guess they have that going for them.
Could Lindsay become a star? Sure, but we also must consider that since David Wright, what position player drafted by the Mets has become a star?
Honestly, had to you told me heading into the season the Mets would be five games over .500 and a half-game out of first place on June 1, I would have signed up for it in a heartbeat.
So would you.
However, after an 11-game winning streak in April, one would think they would be better than they are at the start of their first West Coast trip of the season. The Mets face a myriad of questions following a sluggish 13-15 May:
1. Can they win on the road?
A: They are 7-15 this year away from Citi Field and have 15 games on the road in June.
2. Can they win outside the division?
A: To date the Mets are 4-10 outside the NL East with only six games – all against the Braves – within the division during June.
3. Will the six-man rotation work?
A: Manager Terry Collins said he’s committed to it until August. With only two off days this month, they’ll need to make this work, especially with an innings watch on Matt Harvey and Jacob deGrom. This move was made primarily to protect Harvey, but no starter is really on board with this. This move was also necessary because the Mets had no definitive plan for Harvey entering the season.
4. What’s wrong with Harvey?
A: He hasn’t won in five starts, but pitched well enough to win three of them. And, the bullpen twice coughed up to 1-0 leads in the late innings. He’s been throwing consistently in the mid-90s and the belief is something is amiss with his mechanics. He will next pitch Thursday in Arizona.
5. Is this the beginning of the end for Jon Niese?
A: Niese says he’s healthy, but he’s been hammered and has lost five of his last six decisions. He hasn’t made it past the sixth inning in his last four starts.
6. Can Bartolo Colon keep this run going?
A: Take away Colon and the Mets are in third place in the NL East and possibly not even a .500 team. But, he’s 41 and this can’t last forever. The six-man rotation is as important to Colon as it is Harvey.
7. What can Dillon Gee give the Mets?
A: The Mets are hell bent on trading Gee, and their best chance to get something back is for him to pitch well and create interest heading into July.
8. Can they get something from their catchers?
A: Travis d’Arnaud, on the disabled list with a fractured finger, had a setback. His replacement, Kevin Plawecki, hasn’t shown enough to stay up here when d’Arnaud returns.
9. When will David Wright return?
A: Your guess is as good as anybody’s. He’s had several setbacks since going on the disabled list. His replacement Eric Campbell didn’t pan out and now Ruben Tejada is getting the chance to win the third base job.
10. Will Juan Lagares hit?
A: Lagares hit in April, but not May. He got the contract because of his glove and the promise he would eventually hit. There’s nobody else who can play center for the Mets, so they’ll have to stick with Lagares.
11. Will Curtis Granderson supply any power?
A: Granderson is on pace for 19 homers and 50 RBI, which might be decent numbers for a leadoff hitter. Of course, at the start of spring training he was supposed to supply middle-of-the-order power.
12. Will they ever get off Wilmer Flores’ back?
A: Probably not. Flores has ten errors, but leads the team with eight homers. Of course, there will always be Troy Tulowitzki rumors, but as you can see the Mets have more pressing issues.
13. Will the bullpen stabilize?
A: It was good in April, but a lot of things were good in April. Jeurys Familia should be an All-Star, but there’s been little else that’s consistent with the bullpen.
14. Will Lucas Duda go on a power tear?
A: He has stiffness in his knee after getting hit by a pitch over the weekend. Duda homered 30 times last year and is on pace to hit 29 this season. However, he’s on pace to drive in only 79 runs season.
15. Will the Mets add anybody to their dismal offense?
A: They keep saying when Wright returns that will act as a trade, but that’s simply a cliché for a team that’s not likely to do anything. They aren’t going to get Tulowitzki, and I’m not betting on Martin Prado, either. It takes a proactive team that will make a deal in June, and frankly, I don’t see the Mets being such a team.