We have a two game series with the Mets in New York, so I sent off some questions for Chris McShane manager of Amazin’ Avenue, SB Nation’s New York Mets site. He was kind enough to send back some answers.
I guess I should start by asking about a couple of old friends. How is Noah Syndergaard doing? I don’t suppose we could get him back for an overrated 40ish year old pitcher. And what is the story with Travis d’Arnaud. Will he be back this year? He’s coming up on 30, any chance he gets a few good full seasons yet?
For starters, R.A. Dickey has never been overrated (I beg to differ). If anything, he’d probably still be able to help the Mets’ rotation right now. But Noah Syndergaard has been a treat to have on this team, and it seems like he somehow flies a little bit under the radar—given his talent, hair, height, and performance in the big leagues. He’s pitched well this year but not quite “Cy Young contender” well just yet. That absolutely seems possible, though.
As for d’Arnaud, Tommy John surgery ended his season. I will be shocked if he ever plays a fully healthy season, never mind a few. And I’d been one of the last holdouts who thought he might be able to pull that off before finally giving up on the notion sometime last year.
You have another old friend, Jose Reyes, but he’s not hitting at all. What’s going on with him? How much rope does he have left?
The Mets will probably give him a ton of rope. Like a huge chunk of last year, he just looks washed up at the plate. He’s objectively been one of the worst hitters in all of baseball.
Can you give us a reader’s digest version of the Matt Harvey story? Were injuries his down fall or lifestyle or what?
I wrote a piece on Amazin’ Avenue, sarcastically entitled a thorough analysis of his struggles, and it was one sentence: He had surgery for Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He overcame Tommy John just fine in 2015, but he hasn’t been nearly the same since the TOS symptoms showed up and he had that surgery. The off-the-field stuff has always been covered in an overly dramatic fashion, but it probably had very little, if anything, to do with his struggles on the field.
I was kind of surprised to see Adrian Gonzalez on the Mets. How did that happen? How is he doing?
The Mets don’t like spending money on players, and Gonzalez was available on the cheap. Plus, first base prospect Dominic Smith didn’t exactly tear things up in his major league debut last year. Gonzalez has been surprisingly adequate, as he’s sporting a 105 wRC+ at the moment. A first baseman should be hitting better than that, but the expectations coming into the season were that he’d be struggling much more. Still, he’s not exactly an exciting presence in the everyday lineup.
Can we have a short scouting report on the pitchers the Jays are likely to see?
Syndergaard still throws gas, strikes out a ton of guys, and barely walks anyone. I’m sure it won’t sting at all if he throws a gem against the Jays. As for Zack Wheeler, he’s had his ups and downs so far this year. I’d suggest that he has looked better than his 5.03 ERA, and perhaps his 4.18 FIP is indicative of better things to come.
Are Mets’ fans hopeful about playoffs this year? How do you see the season turning out?
Mets fans are rarely hopeful. But I think the team can remain in the mix for a spot in the playoffs for most of the season. They’ll have to overcome major rotation issues to do that, though.
Who is your favorite Met to watch?
For me, it’s Yoenis Cespedes. He’s a great hitter, capable of changing games on his own, and has a unique personality that should be celebrated.