For the Mets, the hits keep on coming, and we’re not talking about Gold Records. Oddly, there’s an opportunity for them to dig deeper…
The Mets are hurtin’ big time, and with three more players Taijuan Walker, Michael Conforto, and Kevin Pillar) added last night and today to the Injured List (IL), the Mets now total fifteen players on the IL.
If misery loves company, though, the Mets are in good standing as major players throughout the league are dropping like flies of late. In the last couple of days alone, Mike Trout (Angels), Madison Bumgarner (D-Backs), Jose Abreu (White Sox), Giancarlo Stanton (Yankees), Stephen Strasburg (Nationals), and Corey Seager (Dodgers) are all taking a turn on the IL.
Overall, injuries in Major League Baseball are up by 15% this year, and no one knows why or what to do about it.
While we haven’t heard much from Mets GM Zack Scott or Sandy Alderson, Luis Rojas has been working overtime waiting to see who walks in the door as replacement players for tonight’s game in Atlanta against the Braves.
Before last night’s game, a 3-1 win by the Mets, Rojas thought his biggest problem was to find a starter for tonight’s game (TBA as of this writing), only to find today the challenge to field a team has grown wider.
It’s been rumored the Mets will charter a plane to fly players in from Syracuse to Atlanta to meet the quota of 26 players (just kidding), but the real question has to do with the quality of players left on the Syracuse roster.
How, for example, would you feel about picking from this group to promote the Mets?
What Are These Mets Made Of?
There’s little or no chance for the Mets to wade through this period. They’ll either fold to sink in the sand of despair, or the team will use this as an opportunity to dig deep and to hold on to that slim but certain one-game lead in the National League East Standings.
I always liked what former Mets’ manager Terry Collins said when his team was hit with a rash of injuries. Paraphrasing, Collins would say, “Just give me 25 players (26 now), I don’t care who they are, but once they put on a major league uniform, I expect them to play like a major league player”.
More than the temps who will be getting some unexpected playing time, the real test for the Mets are the regulars who will still be in the lineup tonight and henceforth.
You can name them; they stand out like a sore thumb. Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, James McCann, and Dominic Smith are all having sub-par years with the bat. Minus McCann, all are capable of carrying the Mets for a week or two.
Suck it up, guys – it’s so easy to say.
But that’s the reality the Mets are facing because other than an impact player brought in via a trade (not likely), the Mets notoriously lack in team depth, and as in any sport, you go with what you have.
The Mets will be sending their lineup for tonight’s game within the next two to three hours to MLB, per new rules adopted this year. I’ll update accordingly when MLB makes the announcement.
Last night’s win over the Braves can be a precursor though to a winning formula, as pinch-hitter James McCann broke a scoreless tie with a seventh-inning double, and Tomás Nido had three hits for the Mets.
The bullpen was spectacular, holding off the Braves after Walker was forced to exit the game after retiring eight of the nine hitters he faced. Sean Reid-Foley contributed three scoreless innings, and Edwin Diaz scored his sixth save on nine pitches.
Get a lead, protect it with solid defense, add a run here and a run there, together with a Met’s bullpen that just might a lot better than anyone thinks – and voila – there’s a formula that can keep the Mets going.
Mets Kevin Pillar Update
Almost simultaneously, Sports Illustrated published an article that decries the rising number of hit-by-pitches this year. An excerpt follows:
“Obviously, these things happen in baseball, but players have been getting beaned far too often—at a historic pace, in fact. This season has averaged nearly one hit batsmen per game, according to Sports Illustrated‘s Tom Verducci, like the four seasons with the most hit-by-pitches since 1901 are this year (0.92 batters per game), last year (0.92), the year before that (0.84) and the year before that (0.80).”
For now, let’s put that one in the bag with the rise in injuries this year as topics for a later discussion.
In the meantime, though, the Mets have a game scheduled in a few hours, and as I write these words, there is no announcement from the Mets as to who will be their starting pitcher…
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Mike Nickerson Time for a new trainer…
Debbie Jones Kulyeshie Lindor and several others need to step up
Bill Coppola NO PROBLEM Frannie 180 will be our savior! Hey… You wanna buy a bridge in NY???
Steve Buono Absolutely. This is how a team becomes a team. All hands on deck and Rojas is the right man to mold them.
Miguel Angel Arroyo deGrom should also be back this weekend at Marlins. So help is on the way!!! Just keep fighting and scratching out W’s.