May 30

They Are The Mets, So Things Can Always Get Worse

They are the Mets, so when it comes to injuries, of course, things can get worse. Expect it. The team that began the season boasting about its pitching depth is now scrounging for healthy arms. Forget productive arms for now, the Mets just need somebody to get the ball across the plate.

Strikes would be nice, but manager Mickey Callaway will take what he can get for now.

MATZ: Will he go on the DL? (AP)

MATZ: Will he go on the DL? (AP)

On Tuesday, Noah Syndergaard went on the disabled list with a strained ligament in his right index finger. Later that day, Steven Matz left at the start of the fourth inning with a bone bruise to his left middle finger.

This came after he doubled in the top of the inning.

X-Rays were negative, but an MRI today could determine if he joins Syndergaard on the DL.

“When I was standing on second base [the finger] was starting to throb a little bit out there,’’ Matz said after the Mets lost 7-6 loss in Atlanta. “I threw a couple of [warmup] pitches and felt it.”

Matz said the pain in the knuckle.

Jason Vargas will start in place of Syndergaard tonight, and Seth Lugo will get the start Thursday against the Cubs at Citi Field.

Currently, Jacob deGrom, Zack Wheeler and Vargas are the only projected starters still in the rotation. Vargas, who will start on three-days rest, is pitching as if he were injured with a 1-3 record and 10.62 ERA in five starts.

“He won’t be that limited,” Callaway said. “We will really just have to see how he does and gets through the game fatigue-wise.”

Injuries helped derail the Mets last season, and are threatening to do so again this year. The Mets were fortunate to have deGrom miss only one start because of a hyperextended elbow. Not so lucky are Yoenis Cespedes, Todd Frazier, Wilmer Flores, Anthony Swarzak, Juan Lagares, AJ Ramos, Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud.

Asdrubal Cabrera is also playing with a sore knee.

May 27

Pitching Lets Down Mets In Lost Weekend

Pitching was supposed to carry the Mets as far as they’d go this season. Right now, after a blistering start, it has taken them one game over .500 as they head into Atlanta for the start of a four-game series against the no-fluke Braves.

The Mets’ pitching was horrible in losing three of four over the weekend in Milwaukee, with both the starters and bullpen combining to give up 29 games in the series.

The highlight of the weekend was Steven Matz giving up no runs in six innings, but threw 94 pitches in that span. Noah Syndergaard, again, showed he can’t hold runners on base as two of the stolen bases against him scored. Jason Vargas encored a solid start with a sinker Saturday, and Zack Wheeler was so-so today.

The bullpen was awful giving up 17 runs.

Making matters worse heading south is AJ Ramos (shoulder tightness) could land on the disabled list and Wilmer Flores returned to New York to have his sore back examined.

I hate to say it, but if the Mets leave Atlanta less than .500, then never get there again this year.

 

 

May 23

Mets Blow DeGrom’s Stellar Start

Rule Number One: The Mets can’t afford to blow stellar starts from Jacob deGrom. DeGrom, quite simply is the best the Mets have to offer, and when he gives up four hits in seven shutout innings, they have to win the game.

It doesn’t get more fundamental than needing to win with your best, especially against the last-place Marlins. They lost because of another blown save from Jeurys Familia, but more importantly, the continued lack of production from their listless offense. Just six hits won’t get it done.

Neither does going 0-for-5 with RISP and stranding seven.

Wednesday’s 2-1 loss was the Mets’ 16th out of 21 in which they scored two or fewer runs.

After sweeping Arizona over the weekend, the Mets scored just four runs in the three games against the Marlins.

Dykstra Arrested: Will Lenny Dykstra will ever learn? Dykstra was arrested Wednesday in New Jersey after he allegedly threatened to kill his Uber driver while carrying drugs.

The driver fled his car and told officers he picked up Dykstra in Linden, and when the former Met wanted to change the destination, the driver refused and Dykstra allegedly put a gun to his head and threatened to kill him.

Police couldn’t locate a weapon, but recovered cocaine, MDMA and marijuana.

Since his career ended, Dykstra has had a myriad of problems, including being sentenced to three years in prison for grand theft auto in 2012. He also declared bankruptcy and admitted to using steroids.

May 22

Adding Bautista Could Mean End For Reyes

If there’s an indictment of the Mets’ cupboard farm system, it is this: They’ve agreed to terms with former six-time All-Star Jose Bautista, who was cast off by the Braves two days ago.

With Juan Lagares (toe injury and out for the season) and Yoenis Cespedes (strained right hip flexor), and an outfield full of lefty hitters, the Mets will be taking a flier of Bautista, who was hitting .143 with two homers and 12 games for the Braves.

BAUTISTA: Another bat added. (AP)

BAUTISTA: Another bat added. (AP)

Over his 15-year career, Bautista is a career .249 hitter, but with 333 homers and 923 RBI. He’s best known, however, for flipping his bat in the playoffs and his brawl with Rangers infielder Rougned Odur (he was cold-cocked in the brawl).

Although signed to as an outfielder, Bautista was playing third base for Atlanta. The signing could mean the end of Jose Reyes second tenure with the Mets. Reyes was in the Mets’ lineup for tonight’s game against Miami, but his playing time has been limited lately.

Reyes, who enters tonight’s game in a 2-for-22 slump, hears the whispers he could be DFA’s soon.

“The only thing I can control is to continue to work,’’ Reyes said. “Last year, I went through a similar situation, but it was a little bit different because last year I had the opportunity to play a little bit more. I can just do my work and routine and try to put my swing together. … It’s not a surprise to because I haven’t been playing too much. That’s nothing new. Whatever happens, happens.’’

Recently-promoted Infield prospect Luis Guillorme started at third base Monday. With the Mets opting to carry 13 pitchers and four role players, Guillorme could be sent down the Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista.

However, if the Mets continue to carry 13 pitchers it stands to reason they could swap out Bautista for Reyes.

 

May 19

Don’t Look For Tebow Anytime Soon In Queens

Juan Lagares wasn’t on the disabled list for an hour old when I got a text from a friend: Is Tim Tebow coming up to the Mets?

Well, it won’t be anytime soon.

I was surprised he started the season at Double-A Binghamton. My first reaction when the Mets signed the former quarterback was, “If they are doing this as a publicity gimmick, well good for them. That’s their business.’’

It still is.

It’s an indictment of the Mets’ farm system under GM Sandy Alderson that Tebow would even be considered. Actually, it’s also an indictment that former franchise prospect Matt den Decker, who washed out and is back again, is the best option for them to bring up now.

Tebow isn’t exactly tearing it up for the Rumble Ponies as he’s hitting .226 with a .314 on-base percentage with one homer and 31 strikeouts in 70 plate appearances during April. In May, in 60 appearances he’s hitting .273 with three homers and another 25 strikeouts. That 56 strikeouts in 130 plate appearances.

He only has nine walks.

On the bright side, his fractured ankle – initially diagnosed as a sprain – has healed.

“It was worse than we thought,’’ said Tebow. “Where that’s frustrating is hitting is so rhythmic and timing and fluid. … Taking that time off was frustrating.’’

What would be even more frustrating is if they brought him out and hit the skids in Flushing.