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View From the Other Side: Mets Questions for Chris McShane of Amazin’ Avenue

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MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets aren’t having a good season. It started well. On May 1st they were 17-10 and in first place in the NL East. Then they had a bad May, going 10-18 and a worse June, going 5-21. Now they are 4th in the NL East, a game up on the Marlins for last.

They are 3rd from the bottom of the NL in runs scored per game at 3.94. And 4th from the bottom in runs allowed per game at 4.65.

I sent off some questions for Chris McShane of Amazin’ Avenue and he sent back these answers.

First, you have my favorite former player ever, Jose Bautista, what do you think of him (understand if you don’t like him we really can’t be friends)?

Bautista has been surprisingly good at the plate for the Mets since they picked him up shortly after the Braves released him. He’s not the hitter he once was, of course, but he’s drawing a ton of walks and showing a little pop. If things were going really well for the Mets, he might not have been on the team at all, but if they were even just hanging around the Wild Card race, he’d be considered a nice pickup right now.

Speaking of old friends, how is Jose Reyes still on the roster?

The Mets seem to be bad at evaluating baseball players, or someone in the org just really wants Reyes to be on the team forever. Or maybe it’s both.

You guys have a couple of other old friends who are both on the DL. What’s the story on Travis d’Arnaud and Noah Syndergaard? Are you hopeful that d’Arnaud will ever be able to play a full season?

d’Arnaud had Tommy John surgery and won’t be back until next year. He will never play a full season at this point, and I was one of the few holdouts thinking he might actually be able to pull it off as recently as a year-and-a-half ago. As for Syndergaard, he’s apparently closer to returning from the disabled list with a not-too-serious ligament issue, but with the Mets, it’s always “I’ll believe it when I see it” when it comes to injuries—especially with pitchers.

Can you give us a quick scouting report on the starting pitchers the Jays are going to face?

Zack Wheeler has looked much better than his ERA, more so over the past bunch of weeks. He’s been a pleasant surprise in that regard, and he’s throwing as hard as he ever has in his major league career, which has been beneficial to the results on the mound. Corey Oswalt might make a career for himself as a major league starter someday, but his first big league start went very poorly, and between that and one relief appearance earlier in the year, he has a 9.82 ERA and 8.29 FIP.

Which Mets do you figure to be gone by the trade deadline?

Asdrubal Cabrera should be appealing to a contender and is on an expiring contract. Jose Bautista might be appealing, too, even if he merely maintains the production he’s had thus far as a Met. And if he stays healthy enough, Jeurys Familia might make for a pretty good addition to a contending team’s bullpen.

This year is a mess for the Mets, but do you have hopes for the future, when do you expect to compete again?

I’d rank myself in the 90-something-th percentile when it comes to Mets optimism, and even I have no clue when they’ll compete again. Given the state of the farm system, ownership will have to show commitment to spending serious money in free agency, which hasn’t been the case in a long time. It doesn’t help that the trio of Jay Bruce, Jason Vargas, and Anthony Swarzak will probably make roughly the same amount of money in 2019 as Manny Machado.

Who is your favorite Met to watch?

It’s Jacob deGrom, without question. He might just be the best pitcher in baseball right now, and that’s a hard thing to do with some of the other guys who are really good at the moment. He’s looked slightly human in a couple of his recent starts, but he’s just so damn great at pitching.

I like to ask NL bloggers, do you really prefer the NL game with pitchers batting or would you rather watch the AL game?

NL forever, DH never.

Thanks Chris.