Pennants aren’t usually won in April, but can be lost, which is the prospect facing the Mets. After being swept by the Nationals – losing 6-3 to Max Scherzer – they are 5.5 games behind with a week remaining in the month.
There’s a lot of time remaining, but in addition to their myriad of injuries, the Mets aren’t hitting. They are in a deep and lengthy slump with few breakout signs and don’t have many options as to how they can turn it around.
There’s a 10-day disabled list now, so why aren’t the Mets using it with Yoenis Cespedes? They are using it with Lucas Duda (elbow) and Wilmer Flores (knee), but heading down the same road with Cespedes’ hamstring as they did last year with his quad, when a few games turned into weeks.
When they finally made the move, GM Sandy Alderson conceded they waited too long. However, the rules were 15 days then but a more manageable ten now.
Cespedes didn’t start tonight, which the Mets anticipated. However, if he’s not ready to go Tuesday against the Braves, then it could be time to make a retroactive move. However, they should guard against being foolish enough to use him in a pinch-hit role and risk starting the clock over. The game ended with him on the on-deck circle, which was reckless.
Admittedly, the Mets aren’t deep in the minors but have prospects Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario. They don’t want to bring up either now because they don’t want the arbitration clock to start ticking. Of the two, there should be serious thought to replacing Jose Reyes with Rosario.
Money also factored into why Michael Conforto started the season on the bench behind Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce, and, while we’re at it, in light of Daniel Murphy’s first-inning grand slam off Zack Wheeler, why he’s with the Nationals. Wheeler, by the way, put it together after the first.
The Mets’ mentality that favors bucks over baseball underscores an underlying cheapness that has been always disturbing. It isn’t the approach of a championship caliber organization.
Quite simply, Conforto needs to play, and with the offense on a hiatus, I don’t see why that’s even a question. He had three more hits tonight.
Another aspect of the Mets’ approach that is lacking regards injuries. When Alderson was hired, Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon vowed an overhaul of their handling of injuries, which hasn’t happened.
It is well documented four of their starters are coming off various arm surgeries. Fate or coincidence?
Collins made a point of referring to Cespedes being tightly muscled in regards to being cautious. Considering his problems last season, I wonder how serious they thought about that before re-signing him.
It’s an oversimplification to think all injuries are a product of fate or are even avoidable. Both Cespedes and Asdrubal Cabrera have hamstring issues. Are they doing enough stretching? It’s a legitimate question, especially in the cold.
Whatever the answer, it won’t have an immediate impact on the Mets. What will have an impact is when they’ll start hitting.