This is a check to see if Sandy Alderson has noticed the team is on a 2-8 slide, no longer in first place, and being pushed up on by both the Phillies and Nationals. It’s almost as though Sandy Alderson handed the team over to Mickey Callaway on March 29 and walked away. Wake up Sandy; there’s work to be done.
The New York Mets are good. How good, we don’t know yet.
One thing we do know, though, is the Atlanta Braves are looking more and more like this season’s version of the Yankees with a torrent of young talent blooming a year ahead of time. The Phillies, with the addition of Jake Arrieta, are smack in the middle of things and the Washington Nationals are showing signs of awakening from their slumber, even on days when Max Scherzer doesn’t pitch.
Heck, even the Marlins have won more games (11) than the Orioles, White Sox, Royals, and Reds. Which is why a scan of the National League East standings reveals the jump from second place where the Mets are now, down to fourth place is only a game-and-a-half.
The Mets need help, and they are not getting it from their General Manager, Sandy Alderson. Somebody by the name of Thomas Nido is their full-time catcher now with both Travis d’Arnaud out for the year and Kevin Plawecki due to miss a month with a hand injury.
And it’s not like this is new news as the weakness at the catching position was widely discussed during the entire offseason. Alderson’s delinquency puts the Mets in a situation where they have to beg other teams to make a trade with them.
Think the Marlins want to listen when Alderson calls about J.T. Realmuto? Uh-uh, that train left the station during the offseason when Derek Jeter was ripe for the taking.
Mickey Callaway is still working his way through the Mets way of doing business when it comes to player personnel, but surely at some point, given Alderson’s refusal (hope it isn’t inability) to act in finding a bonafide major league catcher who can handle most of the next 120 games, Callaway might need to make some noise to force the situation. It’s not too much to ask.
But that’s only half of it. Both Steven Matz and Jacob deGrom experienced physical problems in their last start. Both are scheduled to fall into their next start, and this raises another red flag by the team that was supposed to be cautious with injuries this year. But again, if they don’t make their regular start, who replaces them? Matt Harvey? Mmm…maybe not. Note: That train left the station last too when Harvey was DFA’d by the Mets.
This was pointed out eloquently by Kristie Ackert, writing for the New York Daily News, when she also questioned, in the wake of the second dud thrown by Jason Vargas, the judgment of the Mets in not skipping deGrom’s next start, just to be safe.
Again, the point is Sandy Alderson did his job during the offseason and handed Callaway a pretty good team to start the season, as evidenced by the Met’s breakaway beginning to 2018. But all teams break down, and things never go according to plan. Which is where the Mets find themselves now when they are in need of 2018 2.0.
It hasn’t helped that Jay Bruce has yet to find his stroke after 100 plate appearances, for which he has a measly two home runs and 12 RBI. Or that Michael Conforto is hitting only .200 with one home run in almost 100 plate appearances following his return to the lineup. Or that the Mets have not been able to find the wherewithal to score a couple of timely runs in the starts Noah Syndergaard has made.
None of these problems are insurmountable, but somebody needs to take action and take it soon. We can sit here all day and suggest, Sandy, do this or that. But the responsibility falls on the shoulders of Sandy Alderson to give Mickey Callaway what he needs to keep the Mets competitiveness alive.
Over the years, I’ve been critical of Sandy Alderson’s tenure with the Mets for appearing as old and tired, and mostly as a far cry from the dynamite GM he was with the Oakland A’s as the inventor (no, it wasn’t Billy Beane) of “Billy Ball.”
And though Alderson waited forever, he revitalized my faith in him, especially when he brought Todd Frazier in to lead the team as the un-appointed team captain in the absence of David Wright.
But that was then, and this is now. Where are the reinforcements, Sandy Alderson?