Opinion: Support the pitching staff with more offense

“We are where we are based on what appears to be meager offense, poor bullpen and solid starting pitching,” Sandy Alderson told reporters Monday before playing the Yankees.

Matthew Cerrone, Lead Writer

The way I understand it, Alderson’s dream team will come to fruition because of a dominant, consistent, home-grown starting rotation, a financially-flexible, strike-out bullpen and disciplined, selective hitting with above-average power.

This is not new. The Giants, Cardinals, A’s and Rays consistently win with a similar approach. Their pitching and farm systems are the backbones of their success, all while they shuffle hitters in, out and around two or three mainstays.

This year, the Mets starting pitching has been good… not great. It will be better with Matt Harvey in 2015, and whenever they add Noah Syndergaard. However, their bullpen has been totally inconsistent and, while their defense and base running have been mostly good, their hitting is a total mess…



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Alderson also acknowledged that his bullpen now lacks a definitive closer.

“It can’t be addressed externally at this point,” Alderson added. “We have to do it internally.”

Jenrry Mejia was bumped from the starting rotation and pitched in relief on Monday. Triple-A RHP Jacob deGrom will be promoted and added to the bullpen Tuesday. This is a good start, it will help. However, while the bullpen is a concern, I can see Alderson’s goal coming in to focus on the pitcher’s mound. I like where it’s going. It’s the offense that is a bigger concern, despite last night’s explosion in the hitter-friendly Yankee Stadium.

“Offensively, while the batting average has been relatively low, we’ve actually scored runs at a higher rate than you would expect,” Alderson said. “We haven’t hit for much power. We have scored runs in roughly the middle of the pack. So that gives me some optimism that if the batting average comes up somewhat, if we start to show a little power, those run-production numbers — which really are the ones that count — will also improve.”

That’s fine, Sandy. But, the last time I checked, you can’t score runs if you never get past second base.

In four seasons as GM, Alderson has only ever had a collection of light-weight bats. I give them credit for making good contact, despite often hitting behind in the count. However, the lineup is seemingly incapable of multiple extra-base hits in an inning. So, even if their hits start falling, as Alderson predicts, they’ll need two or three more singles to drive the run in. This is evident by the bus loads of people they’ve been leaving on base this past week, last night excluded.

The Mets were 16-12 and talk of 90 wins started creeping in to the story stream. Now, they’re 18-19. Personally, I never believed they were a 90-win team. I still don’t. They are better than a 74-win team, though. And, I’m desperately waiting for Alderson to do something proactive with his batting order. He’s close, things are starting to focus on this roster. It’s getting to be time seriously support the pitching and keep pushing toward the bigger goal, as opposed to more of the same, slapping singles and slipping back toward another sub-par season.




100 comments
jjstearns
jjstearns

It's the bullpen. They have to get better arms for that pen before they reel off another 6 out of 7 losses. While the numbers are mediocre to respectable to date, it just feels much worse like a ticking time bomb. Farnsworth was atrocious last night despite not seeing it in the box score. DeGrom, Mejia, Montero and Familia in no particular order hopefully can get it done from 7-9. we're stuck with this "meager" offense for a while, but the pen is reparable in the short terrm. Torres and Dice K, meh

Joe Paulson
Joe Paulson

They will stick with their current line-up and set up a deal where they play 1/2 their home games at Yankee Stadium.



George Kirchmann
George Kirchmann

How does David Wright get a pass in all this talk about the Mets' hitting? 2 home runs and 23 RBIs is terrible for the "face of the franchise." If he's supposed to be the captain, he should be leading, not swinging and missing.

Christopher Masiello
Christopher Masiello

The pitching is MORE than good enough to win a lot of games. There is absolutely NO offense.

I heard Terry say that if EYjr had a 350+ OBP that he would score 150 runs. 

Great, but just how do you get his OPB up?

Well, let's see, he doesn't start every day does he? Pinch run (NEVER PINCH HIT) him every single day that he doesn't start.

Chris Young should start a lot more often than EYjr. That guarantees Terry that he can get EYjr on base every day. Duda gets a leadoff walk - Pinch Runner. Recker gets a single - Pinch Runner. Grandy Gets walked - Pinch Runner.

Wow Terry, look at that, I just figured out how to guarantee that the best base runner in the NL gets on base every single game.

tbone1
tbone1

Really Matt, This pitching staff isn't really that great either.So you combine that with the lack of hitters and you get what you see: a bad team.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

One website is saying the Mets  will opt for  Univ of San Francisco OF Brad Zimmer  in the 2014 amateur baseball draft for their first pick  who has what scouts say is very good speed for a man 6'5 and should develop power as he matures..as right now his power grades out as average.Supposedly a cannon for an arm.

D
D

Familia for the 8th, Mejia for Closer... Mejia has that look of craving the big spot.. He was juiced up last night in relief and looks like he'd excel at slamming the door

shea
shea

why is everyone so sure it will be better in 15 with Harvey....for that matter why is everyone so sure Harvey will return to the pitcher he was......is Stephen Strasburg the same guy he was pre surgery?   How about chris medlen...ryan madson? 


How about Vizcanio..that guy was a top prospect in baseball....never heard of him....tommy john that he could never really recover from.


Everyone is soo sure about Harvey and i dont understand why?

eavdr10
eavdr10

If you can REALISTICALLY trade or acquire one player that would help turn this team around offensively, who would it be. And don't give me trades like Gee and Flores for Stanton. I'm talking realistic, moves that this team would possibly make?? I'll be honest, I really cant find a move I'd make that I think could actually happen. Teams don't give up on young players like they used too, and this FO will not pay through the nose for some vets.

dave42
dave42

How about this?

Closer - Familia

8th - Mejia

6/7 - Germen, Torres, Black

Long man - DeGrom

LOOGY - Rice


Rotation - Gee, Niese, Wheeler, Montero, Syndergaard


Out - Valverde, Farnsworth, Matsuzaka, Colon

cmetsfan
cmetsfan

This a good quote because I think Alderson is expressing that he doesn't exactly trust the results he's getting most times, and I think I can appreciate that. This is no all star team by a long shot, but why the offense can't adapt to using such a big field, while the bullpen doesn't benefit from the distant fences sounds like a tough evaluation. 

Mikey Jocks
Mikey Jocks

If this team loses 85+ games again, I'm leaving. I can't take their "woe is me" attitudes to spending money nd not winning...

nymetsrule
nymetsrule

Alderson openly say the offense sucks but he is completely unable to do anything to fix it because this >80 million payroll is already too much for the Wilpons

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

"I give them credit for making good contact, despite often hitting behind in the count."

Huh?  They've strucky out at record rates....I think that's the opposite of good contact.

amf
amf

What an annoying stupid post!!!

hashburry
hashburry

Difference from those 4 teams is Giants and Cardinals have twice as big a payroll and the A's and Rays are run by monumentally superior decision makers.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

June draft coming up Hope Mets look at college[NC STATE] SS Trea Turner who scouts say has an advanced knowledge of strike zone and has potential to steal 50 bases in the bigs..if they don't make any trades for a SS...Lefty Brandon Finnegan who has been clocked at 98 mhp who reminds some of Scott Kazmir looks good also.

ken1010
ken1010

Note that Matt said the successful formula had two or three mainstay hitters, around which others come and go.  We only have one mainstay, Wright.  We need two more people in the Wright class to have a solid core.  Granderson (past his prime), Duda and Murphy (ok major leaguers but not at that level), CY, EY etc. are the spare parts swapped in and out.  Maybe Legares can emerge here, maybe not.


Thus we need to acquire one or two more Wright-level all-star players - top 50 in baseball.  We need a lineup as good as 2006 where Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, Wright were a very solid core.   We had a chance at some top players, such as Choo or even Will Meyers, the AL Rookie of the year whom we could have had for Wheeler, but those ships have sailed.  We have good young pitching, and enough of it so we can survive the normal levels of injuries.  


But to get to the next step, we have to trade a very good pitcher for a very good hitter, or sign someone else in the offseason (or acquire them in a salary-dump trade) who is as good as Wright, and in their prime.  That person, or persons, will likely cost $15m to $20m per year, and thus the payroll will have to expand to accommodate them.  I hope that will happen.

nwmets
nwmets

Gosh, I don't know -- maybe because he has an 11-game hitting streak going? If you're concerned about Wright, you're way off base (pun intended).

Ed Renner
Ed Renner

 So true. Why are they so afraid to criticize David. He stands flat footed in the box...so an outside pitch, even one that he can reach, is hit as he is pulling away from the box. Result, no power. Why doesn't Keith talk about this?

dave42
dave42

@D Agree Mejia looks stronger.  I'd have him face the other team's 3-4-5 every night from 7th on regardless of inning, assuming the starter is done.  Familia can close when those guys aren't due up.

Albert E Lewis
Albert E Lewis

@shea Hopefully Harvey will be at least close to what he was which would be good enough for me.

I.t. Burns
I.t. Burns

@shea   I totally agree. While I hope Harvey comes on like gangbusters, next year, it is not wise to pin our hopes on him, or any one player, for that matter.

Pete Brilvitch
Pete Brilvitch

@shea   Sandy gets hammered for not signing guys like Madson and Hanrahan because everyone expects they'll be as effective as they once were too. We can apparently be optimistic about guys like this, but not Harvey.

dave42
dave42

@eavdr10 In my mind, the best AVAILABLE bat is Matt Kemp. 

Zac Tindall
Zac Tindall

I would agree except colon isn't going anywhere we are paying him too much no one will want him we will lose neise or gee but as long as it's for a bat idc

xplr
xplr

@cmetsfan  The answer is simple. It reminds me when I used to coach Little League. You can teach the kids whatever you like, but there's a limit to how much you can teach 10 year olds. Similarly, what are used supposed to do with a bunch of washed up players?

ken1010
ken1010

@Steven Matregrano  

I think we need one or two more all-star level bats, top-50 in baseball, to get over the top.  Most championship teams have a 3-4-5 in the batting order that you're scared of - Beltran-Delgago-Wright, or Hernandez-Carter-Strawberry.  Even Pedroia-Ortiz-Napoli from last year will do.

Some medium-level major leaguers aren't going to be enough.



ken1010
ken1010

@Mikey Jocks  I think the problem for the franchise is not that people are leaving, but that nobody new is joining.  It's hard to turn a kid into a Mets fan in this environment, because kids will think for themselves.

mets2891
mets2891

Exactly.  This is all a smokescreen for the fact that we have an ownership group that can't financially run a team.

mets2891
mets2891

How about signing good hitters?

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@ken1010  "Granderson (past his prime), Duda and Murphy (ok major leaguers but not at that level), CY, EY etc. are the spare parts swapped in and out."


I'm getting sick of everybody discounting how valuable Daniel Murphy is to this team.  He has arguably been our best and most consistent player this year (and maybe last year too) at a position where offense is generally scarce.  Murph is a top-3 2B in the NL, and yet the fanbase keeps lumping him in with truly average players like Duda and EY.  For a while now, Murph has been a more consistent and more reliable hitter than Wright (who still just isn't the same since Cain's fastball took him out).


The mainstay position players on this team--the "core" moving forward--should be Wright, Murph, and Lagares (and possibly TDA if he can get his act together).  Murph and Wright are already established, top-flight players, and Lagares is well on his way.  Everybody else on this team could be replaced without much difficulty (if the owners were ever willing to sign a guy from outside of the bargain bin).  But let's not equate Murphy to a replacement-level player like Duda; Murph is much more valuable to this team than that.

shea
shea

@dave42 @shea  Cerrone writes about him like its a given he will return to ace form much the same way he used to write that Josh Thole would bat .300;  at best, Harvey  will be on a strict innings limit next year so how much hope can you really put in him for '15

dave42
dave42

@eavdr10 How about Granderson, Flores, DeGrom and Bowman for Kemp and $20mil?

dave42
dave42

@Zac Tindall all we need is for Colon to put together 5-6 good starts in a row and someone who needs "veteran pitching for the playoff push" will take him off our hands.  Wouldn't expect much in return, but if it clears a spot in the rotation for Thor and gets $15mil off the payroll ($5 this year, $10 next), I'm good with that.

Zac Tindall
Zac Tindall

1 power bat would be awesome you are goin over board with 2 don't set yourself up to be let down lol

Mikey Jocks
Mikey Jocks

U also hav to build a ballpark around team strength. The only good pitcher we had going into the 2009 was Santana. Our offense was loaded with Wright, Reyes, Beltran, Delgado, Pagan, Sheffield...

They shouldn't have closed Shea. It was find the way it was

nwmets
nwmets

 @ken1010  Exactly. Unfortunately a few people don't like Murphy, so others pick up on it and repeat the same thing, with no statistical facts to back them up.


On the broadcast last night, Gary mentioned that Carlos Beltran was underappreciated as a Met. I love Gary, but what was he saying? Underappreciated by whom? Not by me... he was my favorite Met when he was here. Underappreciated by the media? By some large-ish contingent of fans? I don't understand that statement at all.


People don't like EY Jr and all he seems to do is get on base. You see the problem here?

mags328
mags328

@Will Keesee @Ed Renner  You don't really think this is a good argument, do you?


A) Nobody is asking Wright to play perfect basketball. Only you are saying that. 

B) Jeter is at the very end of his career.

heynow20
heynow20

I'm pretty sure Thole never exhibited as much talent as Harvey did last year...

stemog
stemog

@shea Well he is seemingly way ahead of schedule. A positive attitude once in a while can do a person wonders.

Zac Tindall
Zac Tindall

CY is on a TEAR, grandy is hitting bombs , Murphy and Wright are getting 2 to 3 hits a game we are one legit hitter away from a playoff birth

mrmet4mvp
mrmet4mvp

@nwmets @ken1010  There is definitely animosity amongst Mets fans toward Beltran, but I don't understand why.  He was a fantastic player for this team and contributed a ton of value while he was here.  It's like people blame him for not swinging at one of the nastiest curveballs in MLB postseason history and forget everything good he did as a Met.  Our fans can be very fickle that way.