We start a four game, home and home series with the Mets, tonight at Citi Field.
The Mets are, surprisingly, sitting in first place at in the NL East, with a 34-30 record. They have some troubles scoring runs, they average 3.76 runs per game, 3rd worst in the NL, but they make up for that with good pitching, allowing 3.79 runs per game, 4th best in the NL. Yeah, they have a negitive run differential and a winning record. The universe isn't always fair.
I sent off some questions to Steven Schreiber editor at Amazin' Avenue SB's New York Mets blog.
The R.A. Dickey trade hasn't worked out the way Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos had hope, Dickey hasn't been the Ace he was needed. How have the people he sent to the Mets being doing, in particular, Travis d'Arnaud , Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra? I don't suppose you'd like to give us them back for RA?
Mets fans really appreciate the Blue Jays' generosity because as awesome as R.A. Dickey was for the Mets, the return has been incredible so far. Travis d'Arnaud missed a month and a half with a broken pinky finger suffered on a HBP but he's looked like the Mets' second best hitter after Lucas Duda. After he was demoted to AAA last June, d'Arnaud has been a completely different hitter and his defense has looked improved, along with his strong pitch framing skills.
Syndergaard made his big league debut last month and has shown off his electric stuff. He looked pretty great early, although his last two starts have been a bit shaky. He's got all the tools to be an impact starter and he can even hit a little (I'm assuming you all caught his bomb to dead center a few weeks ago).
Becerra isn't close to big league ready yet but he's off to an impressive start in low-A Savannah with 16 doubles, 3 triples, and 8 homers. From all I've heard, the plate discipline is still developing but he's 20 and hitting for power in a league (and ballpark, specifically) noted for stifling power.
So yeah, this thing has worked out pretty well for us. Sorry, guys! *insert shrug guy emoji here*
The Mets are battling the Nationals for top spot in the NL East....Are Mets' fans confident that they can stay in contention, or are they more looking towards the future?
I wouldn't say we're confident because the Nationals are pretty clearly a more talented team on paper but the Nationals' struggles have certainly given us hope. Assuming the Nats eventually heat up, a wild card berth still seems like the more likely path to the playoffs for this team but hey, we're in first in the middle of June! Sweet!
Can you tell us about David Wright's injury? Is he ever again going to be the player he was just a few short years ago? Who takes his place at third?
Excuse me if I cry a little. David Wright was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which if you Google it sounds really bad. It's probably only sort of bad since David has the "better" type (stenosis in the neck is much worse than in the lower back, which is what David has) but we're not particularly sure when we'll see him back. Essentially he's going to have to manage back pain, likely for the rest of his career and life, at least until he decides to have surgery later in his life. Doctors have advised him not to have surgery, as it'd assuredly end his career (it's usually not done on 32 year old guys). Honestly, I'll just be happy to see him playing again. He's hoping it'll be soon-ish but there's no specific timetable.
Right now, 3rd base is a hodgepodge of Eric Campbell and Danny Muno, which has been pretty close to atrocious all around. The job likely goes to Daniel Murphy when he gets off the DL in the next week with Dilson Herrera playing 2nd. They could certainly look into trade possibilities, too.
Can you give us a scouting report on manager Terry Collins? Strengths and weaknesses?
Ask most Mets fans and they'll tell you he's the worst manager in the history of the world. In the messed reality of big league managers, he's probably about average. He really doesn't sacrifice bunt with position players except once in a while in the late innings of close games, which is kind of annoying. He has a habit of over extending his starters and seemingly being oblivious to when they're noticeably tired. Like most managers, he looooooooves lefty platoon matchups, despite the fact that Mets lefties Alex Torres and Jack Leathersich are actually better against righties than lefties.
But yeah, there's worse. Jerry Manuel managed the Mets for two plus years.
The Mets are near the bottom of the NL in runs scored, do you expect improvement? Where should the improvement come from?
Travis d'Arnaud should help, replacing the vortex of suck that was Kevin Plawecki and Anthony Recker. Getting Murphy back will eliminate a lot of Campbell/Muno at bats and should David Wright return, he's likely better just by default. With the possibility of a trade along with improved health, the offense probably improves a little. Not to thelevel of a juggernaut or anything but a little would go a long way.
Can we have a quick scouting report on the starting pitchers the Jays are likely to see over the 4 games?
Noah Syndergaard and Matt Harvey both throw fire, basically. Both have lethal curveballs when they're on. Harvey has struggled with his command a bit of late, which isn't shocking off of Tommy John surgery.
Jon Niese is a lefty who throws mostly upper 80's with his fastball these days. He throws a big curveball and a cutter. He used to be more low 90's with the fastball but a number of shoulder injuries have brought the stuff down a bit.
Bartolo Colón is pretty fun to watch, especially in context to what he used to be. He used to have a fastball like Syndergaard and Harvey in his prime but now it ranges from basically mid-80's to about 93 when he needs it. Colon throws predominantly fastballs all at different speeds in between that range. He relies mostly on impeccable fastball command and control. When he has an off day with his command, it's basically batting practice but when he's on, it's really fun to watch him.
Who is your favorite Met to watch?
Juan Lagares is a wizard in center field. He's not a burner speedwise but he gets great jumps and has excellent closing speed in center. Mets announcer Gary Cohen calls center field "the place where extra base hits go to die", which is pretty accurate with Juan out there.
There's also a lot of fun on the pitching side. Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Noah Syndergaard are great to watch when they're carving up opposing lineups, closer Jeurys Familia throws 97-99 MPH sinkers (yes sinkers) with a wicked slider. And of course, everyone loves Barolo Colon, for his pitching and his batting exploits. He had a 3 game hitting streak snapped on Friday! Career high!
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