Robinson Cano had a couple incidents of not running out ground balls this past weekend against the Miami Marlins. Let’s face it, that’s the least of the Mets’ concerns.
The New York Mets are fading fast in the NL East and things are not looking good for their playoff chances.
General manager Brodie Van Wagenen built this team with the intention of competing for a division title and given the talent he brought in during the winter that shouldn’t have been a problem.
If you were a Mets fans and was told that during the offseason your favorite team would acquire Robinson Cano, Edwin Diaz, Jed Lowrie and would disregard any service time debacles and start Pete Alonso on Opening Day then you’d have high hopes for them.
Fast forward to the middle of May and Robinson Cano is slashing .250/.297/.384 with a .681 OPS and didn’t start on Monday night because he didn’t run out a few ground balls while the team was getting swept by the Miami Marlins.
Jed Lowrie has yet to see the field due to injury and a recent setback has his return date up in the air, and at the moment manager Mickey Callaway refuses to use Diaz in any other situation but the ninth inning.
Entering Monday night Diaz had thrown a grand total of 10 pitches in the last eight days. Think about it for a second. An elite closer who led baseball with 57 saves last season is barely being used even though he’s 11-for-11 in save opportunities this season.
A general thought process would lead someone to believe that things need to be simplified in New York, and just go with what’s logical and makes sense.
That’s evidently become too difficult, because on Saturday Callaway said he would not pair reigning Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom with backup catcher Tomas Nido regularly. Adding that things weren’t going well enough for anybody to demand their own catcher.
To say that your ace, and one of baseball’s three best pitchers can’t “demand” his own catcher is just not a winning formula. It looks even worse when the numbers clearly show that deGrom pitches better with Nido as his catcher than Wilson Ramos.
DeGrom’s ERA is 5.33 with Ramos catching in five starts compared to a 0.33 ERA with Nido catching.
As questions started piling up on the Mets brass about the future of Callaway, Van Wagenen said that Callaway is the teams manager going forward.
That statement will back the media off for a short time, but one man’s “going forward” is not the same as the next’s. If things continue on this downward spiral then “going forward” could get here quicker than you might expect.
The easiest fix for everything is for the team to start winning. In order to do that guys have to start performing. DeGrom will be fine (so long as Nido is his catcher) and so will Noah Syndergaard because his advanced numbers suggest that luck just hasn’t been on his side.
Guys like Cano, Brandon Nimmo, Todd Frazier, Michael Conforto and others have to be better plain and simple. There’s no more hoping that a Yoenis Cespedes return can give the lineup a shot in the arm after he fractured his ankle at his ranch in Florida.
I would say anybody can get replaced, but the Mets have no one in their farm system that is ready to actually do the replacing so they have to ride this one out.
A manager who is overthinking the easy stuff, a first time GM who is continuously having to put out fires and a team full of under performing talent is not what the Mets had in mind for 2019. The worst part is, is that it’s highly doubtful this is actually rock bottom for the franchise.
At least Pete Alonso is still raking.