It’s Time for the Mets to Move on from Their Captain

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Okay. I know what you guys are thinking. Especially you, Mets fans. He’s still a solid player when he’s healthy, but that four letter word previously mentioned is the most important thing you’ll read this entire article; when. Wright has played just 38 and 37 games over the past two seasons and has played north of 112 games just once since 2013. SO, I pose this question. Should Mets move on from David Wright before he’s most remembered for his injury history when he should be praised for his play? I say yes.

It’s undeniable fact that Wright is one of the Mets greatest players in its franchise history and definitely the best over the last decade or so. Offensively, Wright is the franchise leader in hits, runs, RBI, total bases, doubles, walks, and WAR. He’s second in games played and second in home runs as well. Stats matter sometimes, and although they don’t tell you the entire story, it shows the great years Wright has put forth for a very storied franchise.

But the amount of years Wright has been in the league I briefly touched on in the paragraph above is what is coming around to bite Wright in the ass. The Captain is now 34-years old and father time is knocking on the door. Most recently, Wright has come down with another injury, this time in his shoulder. It’s hindering his throwing ability so he’ll be shut down until further notice, putting opening day in question. According to MLB.com, Doctors believe the injury has something to with the neck surgery he had last June. Yikes.

Anytime one injury directly connects with another, the status of that player going forward simply doesn’t look good and it doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t make me feel comfortable with that player moving forward, as the thought of injury will linger in the back of my mind every single time he’s involved in the game at all. As I mentioned in the intro, Wright’s played just 75 games over the past two seasons, so beginning the season on the disabled list is less than ideal for an already injury-prone player.

As for Wright’s production on the field, here are his numbers from 2014-’16;

 

  • 209 G
  • .266/.339/.396/.735 slash line
  • 20 HR
  • 94 RBI
  • 96 R

 

Those numbers are really solid for a 162 game campaign. Unfortunately for the third basemen, it’s 209 games, and it’s over a three-year span. He’s never had elite power, but what power he did have has virtually evaporated. At this point, when healthy, Wright is a glorified singles hitter with enough sauce to shoot one into the gap at times. Maybe even channel his inner Rey Ordonez and belt one out of the park like Rey did 12 times during his career.

The Mets window is closing by the day and just in 2015, they proved that they can go the distance even without their captain manning the hot corner everyday. It’s obviously different in 2017 than it was two years ago due to the team’s roster construction, but bringing in someone who will be on the field and contribute every game is key.

Wright’s production and glory years, so to speak, won’t go unnoticed if he were released, traded or waived. That being said, the Mets should consider it in my opinion. Father time catches up to everyone — except Bartolo Colon — and he’s having a chat with David Wright a lot sooner than everyone thought.

The Newest Victim of Tommy John: Zack Wheeler

Today fans of the New York Mets received unfortunate news that they are all too familiar with. Just 18 months removed from their ace, Matt Harvey falling victim to what is becoming baseballs “epidemic”, another key piece to the franchises immediate success Zack Wheeler is likely to miss all of this season. After a shaky spring thus far, Wheeler had begun dealing with elbow discomfort. This morning news surfaced that the preliminary diagnosis is a torn UCL. He is currently flying back to New York to confirm.

One of the more crucial pieces of a talented young rotation that features ace Matt Harvey, and last years rookie of the year Jake deGrom, this certainly hurts the Met’s. Wheeler’s second half last season showed a lot of promise which adds insult to injury. There is some light that shines through for Mets fans though. Their franchise has been heavily criticized for not using their surplus of pitching to acquire more offensive pieces, most notably at the shortstop position.  Since they chose not to trade their pitching assets, they now have some options who may be able to step up and help ease the pain of losing Zack Wheeler. Lets take a look.

First off the most obvious, and in my opinion likely option, and Dillon Gee. After being the Mets opening day starter last season, he finds himself in a precarious situation. He was figured to come out of the bullpen for the team, but now he makes sense as a fifth man in the rotation, due to his experience. The second option is the one that would bring the most noise, that being stud prospect, Noah Syndergaard. The highly touted prospect has been regarded as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball but the Mets have been very cautious with him, as they have been waiting for exact right time to bring him up. The third and fourth options would be the young and talented Rafael Montero and Steven Matz. Montero is more likely to see the spot than the highly touted lefty prospect Matz, who has impressed in the minors specifically due to the fact he has been called up before.

The point of the matter is Tommy John is taking over baseball. Its becoming common place and unfortunately it doesn’t look like that is going change anytime soon. The most recent victim for the New York Mets, Zack Wheeler certainly hurts the teams chances of competing this year, but thanks to their depth at pitching its not the end of the world for a promising young organization.

Early Observations on this years New York Mets

The end of the 2013 season was the same as usual for me as a Mets fan. I was looking forward to the off season to see what GM Sandy Alderson would do to improve on our 74 win season. In this article I will cover some early observation of what he did do for the squad as far as impact additions, what I believe he should have done, as well as observations made after opening day of the 2014 season.

What Happened In Free Agency

Signing of OF Chris Young (1 Year/$7.5 Million)

Signing of SP Bartolo Colon (2 Years/$20 Million)

Signing of OF Curtis Granderson (4 Years/$60 Million)

I will start with what was the cheapest signing, but could hold the most value in the long run, the signing of OF Chris Young. Chris Young has had a roller coaster of a career thus far. After being named Rookie of The Year for the DBacks in 2007 he went quiet for a few years. He broke out in 2010 and was named a National League All-Star but then went silent again. In 2013 he switch to the American League where he had another down year for the Oakland Athletics. He now comes to the Mets looking to have a fresh start with a team willing to give him an opportunity. I believe this signing could be beneficial because if he returns to that level of play he is a bargain at just over seven million. Another reason I believe this could be a steal is because one year ago the “washed up” Marlon Byrd had a career year with the Mets at age 36 before being shipped of to the Pirates at the end of the season. We will have to sit back and see what happens with the opportunity given to Chris Young.

The next addition is one that I would like to feel like is a good signing, but has me a little concerned again. This is the signing of the 40 year old ageless wonder Bartolo Colon. For a man that has won the CY Young Award, and finished in top ten voting 4 times (including once last year) this signing looks golden.  The upside is that although Colon isn’t throwing a 100 mph heater anymore, he has become an expert at locating his pitches. This is why he was able to maintain an ERA under 3 last year. My only concern is that Colon is old and that the contract might have been a reach on a career that had one final stand last season.

Finally the “biggest” signing the Mets had this off season. This of course is referring to the signing of Curtis Granderson.  Grandy provides upside, but at the same time he provides a lot of downside. First for the upside. He has raw power and its obvious. He has had seasons of 40+ homeruns as a member of the Yanks.  Another positive is that Granderson provides much need protection for the face of the Mets franchise, el capitan David Wright. Now its a little less appealing to pitch around Wright because the Mets have an offensive weapon behind him eating clean up. Now for the downside. The most obvious and painful is that while Granderson provides freakish power, he also strikes out, like alot. When Granderson left Detroit and joined the Bombers prior to the 2010 season he was more concentrated on contact. With the short porch available in right field he started swinging more for the fences. While still striking out a lot he hit a lot of homeruns, but his average dropped. This is something that will in turn have a negative affect on the Mets line up. In reality the Mets have enough “All or Nothing” offensive players, and this addition will hurt just as much if not more than it help unless something changes with Granderson’s approach at the dish.

What I Believe Should Have Happened In Free Agency

While Alderson made some additions that are obviously going to help improve the team, there are some things that should have happened in opinion. One thing that I think is the most obvious is the that the Mets have had a glaring hole at shortstop since Jose Reyes left. With that being said I believe there should have been a stronger pursuit of Johnny Peralta as well as still free agent Steven Drew.  Either of these would have been a MAJOR improvement over the mediocrity that is Ruben Tejada,  The Second thing im having a hard time coping with is that Nelson Cruz sat around free agency for an extended period of time and his asking price dropped drastically. He ended up signing a 1 year deal with the Orioles for only $8 Million. Common Sandy, the addition of Nelly would have given us consistent power in the line up. I almost might have favored this over the Granderson signing, and it may have come with a cheaper price tag. Finally the needs on the Hill. If your like me when you saw Matt Harvey go down your stomach turned, but your understanding was that Alderson would go out and find a replacement ace or two for the year, while Harvey rehabs. The addition of Colon was a good start, but while we have to wait for Harvey’s return, as well as the emergence of young guns such as Noah Syndergaard, we could have used another starter such as oh, I dont know, Ervin Santana. Instead now you have him in your division instead of on your team. Finally, possibly the weakest part of this squad is the bullpen. I know there we almost snagged former A’s closer Grant Balfour, which I would have loved, but there were plenty of other quality relievers. One that stands out to me is Addison Reed. A push for a guy like this could help a team that is very severely lacking talent in the pen.  All of these are moves I as a lifetime fan feel like would have made sense to make but oh well, that is clearly not my call.

Early Takeaways from Opening Day

  • David Wright will be David Wright. I’m guessing another season with an above .300 average, as well as another all star selection.
  • Curtis Granderson is going to strike out, a lot. I just hope he can make up for it with Power and a reduced number of strikeouts.
  • Eric Young Jr. is an outfielder, and that is that. We need to get Daniel Murphy back asap.
  • Its going to difficult not seeing Matt Harvey every 5th day
  • We don’t have a single ace in the rotation, we need consistency
  • The emergence of pitcher Noah Syndergaard can’t come soon enough.
  • This year is going to be a difficult one, just keep pushing forward to what I believe is a very bright future.