Anybody that follows baseball knows that the New York Mets have one of the best rotations in baseball, even without ace Matt Harvey. Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom, and Steven Matz still make an imposing threesome on par with any rotation in the league. Then there’s cult favorite Bartolo Colon, who is turning in another solid season at the age of 43. But even with all this pitching the Mets still sit third in the National League East, and third in the Wild Card race. The problem that the Mets have faced this season is a lack of offense, and without it, they’re going to have a hard time getting back to October, let alone to the World Series.
According to FanGraphs, the New York Mets currently rank 20th based on their OFF stat. Consider that this is behind teams like the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Angels, and even the Minnesota Twins. That’s almost embarrassing. As a team they’re currently slashing .238/.309/.408, and they’re not exactly good at running the bases.
Things started off well for the Mets though, when youngster Michael Conforto opened the season on fire. Unfortunately, he quickly cooled and found himself back in AAA only to be called back up on July 18. If he can produce at even half the rate he did at the beginning of the season, it would be a huge boost.
Curtis Granderson has also disappointed at the plate this season. He’s currently slashing .236/.329/.436. He does have 16 home runs, but when you’re striking out at a rate of 21.1%, that becomes less important, especially from your lead off hitter.
Neil Walker is another key player that’s failed to produce. Traded from the Pirates in the offseason he’s only hitting .253 with an OPS of .740. It’s not horrible, but not good enough for a team lacking power bats.
As a whole the Mets strike out too much, and don’t walk enough. And apart from Yoenis Cespedes, they just don’t seem to hit. They may need to turn to the trade market if they want to contend. Josh Reddick would be a good option, but no interest from either side has been reported. There are, however, reports of interest in Milwaukee’s Jonathan Lucroy. Lucroy is slashing .300/.360/.484, and would certainly be an upgrade over the Mets current catchers.
Ultimately, the Mets will need more than great pitching to contend. If they don’t trade for a bat, someone is going to have to step up. They made a mistake in letting Daniel Murphy walk, and they are certainly paying for that now. But, if they somehow make it to October, no team will be happy to play a series against a team with that kind of rotation.
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs.