Legends On Deck

Mets Offense Continues To Sputter

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Photo by Gabe Rodriguez

Since the beginning of July, the Mets have scored more than four runs in a game just twice, an 8-0 victory over the Dodgers on July 5th and a 5-3 victory against the Diamondbacks on July 12th.  But even though they are 8-7 so far in the month, the offense is just not getting it done.

I have been a Mets fans for as long as I can remember, and I have seen seasons where the offense is just not clicking, and most of the years that could be racked up to poor talent, but this season, its more than just that, it’s also their manager Terry Collins and his decisions with the line-up.

The writing is on the wall what needs to be done, but it seems as if a stubborn skipper that has never won anything significant, just keeps writing up bad line-ups each night.

I tried to give the Mets the benefit of doubt up to this point, but I as a fan, just can’t take it any longer.

I will plead my case and share where I feel changes need to be made.  I am usually never negative in my posts, but I have lost my patience with how this team is being managed. Now can I do better some may ask, and I will answer that with, I am not the one getting paid to run this team, but as a fan of the game, I feel that I know enough about the players to make suggestive opinions.

When looking at the line-up, it is obvious that without David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud the offense is standing still with some out bursts at times but lately not many.

Lets take Monday’s line-up against the Nationals, in a game that the Mets had Matt Harvey pitching, and yes he was roughed up early, but once again the Mets offense just refused to show up in the 7-2 loss.

I do not agree with Curtis Granderson leading off, especially with the fact that in May and June combined he has 12 home runs, but only 22 RBI’s. In the last 30 days, he has five home runs but only nine RBI’s, 15 walks but 22 strike outs.  Plain and simple he is not the teams lead off hitter.  His offense, which is better than most on the team is being wasted with no one on.

Why is Ruben Tejada batting second.  He is not a number two hitter, just leave him in the number eight hole and stop moving him up. In games where Tejada has a good game in the bottom of the order, Collins decides to move him into the two hole the next game. There isn’t a need for that, there is a reason why most guys hit better in different parts of the line-up, and Tejada should not bat second.

Daniel Murphy is fine at number three, but at times Collins feels the need to put him as a clean-up hitter, but ideally that is not a place that he should be hitting.  Murphy is more the one that can move the lead-off or even number two hitter into scoring positions, than the guy that should be driving in the runs, leave that to the power bats like Granderson or even Lucas Duda. Murphy will get his RBI’s but he shouldn’t be counted on as the main guy.

In the four hole on Monday, Collins put Wilmer Flores, and one would think that Flores would do well in that position, but I feel he is still trying to get comfortable and putting him in a pressure position more suitable for as I stated Granderson or Duda, is just wasting him.

I will only say this once even though I have repeated it over and over again to my Mets buddies, but John Mayberry Jr. should not be in the five hole, nor in the four hole as Collins has decided to do at times. Sorry it just reminds me of last seasons signing of Chris Young, just another player that is taking up a spot for maybe a minor leaguer that could give more than a Mayberry’s .175 batting average, with just three home runs. Even Noah Syndergaard (.217), Jacob deGrom (.205) and Jon Niese (.182) have better batting averages, which does say a lot.

Rounding out the line-up, Eric Campbell is mostly a utility ball player and unfortunately on this team and with the injuries, he has been thrusted into an everyday role, but that is when management needs to find bats, especially with how well the pitching staff has performed on most days.

My pet peeve is how Colloins has dealt with Juan Lagares.  Just a year ago, he batted .281 with 24 doubles and even though his OBP was just .321, he was still a better option leading off especially with his speed. Now this season he has struggled hitting in the top of the order, but he has only had six at bats leading off and 132 batting second.  Lagares has hit well in the seventh hole batting .386 and .289 batting ninth but why wouldn’t a team want their fastest guy leading off, that I do not understand.

Lucas Duda was not in the line-up on Monday, but it is plainly obvious that he is not having the same caliber season as in 2014.  He is batting just .238, with 12 home runs, 38 RBI’s and a whopping 96 strike outs in 90 games played. He still has a chance to turn around his season and end it strong, which is something that will benefit this line-up.

Michael Cuddyer was having a better year at the plate compared to where he ended up last season, but he is now facing a possible stint on the DL with a bad left knee that he has dealt with for most of July. As of Monday, he is day-to-day. Would be another blow to the Mets line-up.

Well if I had the chance to write-up a line-up for the Mets it would look like this:

1. Juan Lagares – CF

2. Wilmer Flores – 2B

3. Daniel Murphy – 3B

4. Lucas Duda – 1B

5. Curtis Granderson – RF

6. Kevin Plawecki – C

7. Kirk Nieuwenhuis – LF

8. Ruben Tejada – SS

The Mets also have a few guys that are tearing it up in Triple-A Vegas, like outfielders Alex Castellanos, .314, 32 Doubles, 16 HR, 56 RBI, and Travis Taijeron, .282, 15 HR, 46 RBI, and infielder T.J. Rivera, .315/.358/.451 and 17 multi-hit games, with eight 3-hit games in 46 games with Vegas so far. All three are not on the 40-man roster, but why not just give them a shot to do something special, all you gain is maybe a player or two that should be on the team.

In Double-A Binghamton, the Mets have Michael Conforto , .325, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 21 BB, in 42 games, after starting the season with Class-Advanced St. Lucie and batted .283, 7 HR, 28 RBI, 17 BB, in 46 games.

I understand that baseball is a business and the Mets want to protect their investments rather than rush up a prospect, but at the end of the day they need to put a winning team on the field especially with their rotation that has done well so far with Syndergaard, deGrom, Harvey, and Niese leading the charge. Also how much more will a healthy Steven Matz bring to the rotation for the second half stretch.

Right now the rest of the NL East teams aside from the Nats are faltering, so this may be the season to finally make the playoffs, but offense is needed and quick, before we watch another wasted year down the drain.

I hardly ever write a rant post, but I felt if I was going to do my first, now was the best time.

I still believe in my team, but changes are needed before this team can finally take off. Who knows maybe a great trade is in the works before the trade deadline, can we also swap managers. I won’t hold my breath.

David Conde

David Conde

Co-Founder/Executive Editor at Legends On Deck®
David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®. He was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com. David along with John Ginder created Legends on Deck to be the site where passionate fans of the game have a place to read about their favorite baseball teams. The site was also created for people who had a talent to write or even take photographs and have the platform to share. The passion of following the Minor Leagues can be seen all over the site as the players journey's are what what drives the LOD team to share their content. David's passion is making available a site that people can have fun sharing and reading.

You can also reach out to David at daconde@legendsondeck.com
David Conde