We debut a new feature, which we’ll do as regularly as we can throughout the rest of the season. ESPN senior baseball editor Matt Meyers and ESPN NY blogger Mark Simon will take a look at some questions in Metsville and make predictions for the coming week. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.
Where will David Wright’s 2012 rank among the best seasons in Mets history?
Matt Meyers: Nothing will top Dwight Gooden’s 1985 season. For position players, Carlos Beltran’s 2006 season will be tough to beat, as it’s rare to get that kind of combination of power, OBP, speed and defense, and I think Wright will come up short of that season in the power department.
However, I can easily see this being the best season of Wright’s career, and as good as any other offensive season in Mets history. His BABIP is bound to drop, but he seems to have solved the contact problems that plagued him from 2009 to 2011.
Mark Simon: If Wright hits .317 the rest of the way and finishes with 600 at-bats, he’ll get to 200 hits and a .333 batting average. That feels doable, given the start, and the manner by which he’s spraying line drives all over the field.
That batting average, with 25 homers, 40 doubles, and 100 RBIs-- I’ll mark it down as a top-5 offensive season in club history.
Wright’s season could be historic in one regard: The Mets have never had a player lead the NL in on-base percentage. He could very well be the first.
What should the Mets do about the closer situation?
Meyers: Don’t you mean “bullpen situation?” Moving Francisco out of his ninth-inning role won’t make him more effective, and he can be just as dangerous in close games in the seventh and eighth innings. Besides, it’s not like the Mets have a lot of other reliable relievers, which is the real problem. Everyone was raving about the pen the first two weeks of the season, so I think you just stay the course and hope things turn around.
Simon: Francisco’s start to the season is exactly why it seemed odd that the Mets gave him a two-year deal instead of one year. Ideally, you give him his next chance with a comfortable lead, and have Bobby Parnell ready behind him if at all possible.
Name something that the Mets are doing well that they are not getting enough credit for.
Meyers: I’ll give a hat tip to Eric Simon of Amazin' Avenue, who made a great point on Twitter about Wright’s throwing accuracy. All the attention has gone to his improved offensive game, but his throwing had become an adventure, and he has really been much more reliable on throws this year.
Simon: Mike Baxter’s early-season pinch-hitting success has been extremely valuable. Even when he doesn’t get a hit, it feels like he’s giving a good at-bat. It feels like it has been forever since the Mets had a reliable late-game option off the bench, but Baxter may turn out to be the Mets' best pinch-hitter since Matt Franco, or at least Marlon Anderson.
Prediction for the Week?
Meyers: I think Lucas Duda will hit at least two home runs this week, and his power will start to come around. He’s been pretty much a singles hitter the last couple of weeks, but he’s hitting the ball hard, and with such homer-prone righties as Yovani Gallardo, Mike Leake and Brandon Morrow on the schedule, I think Duda will have a big week.
Simon: This has the feel of 2-2 in the next four games. It will be tough for the Mets to get wins against Gallardo and Zack Greinke back-to-back, and the Reds are a better team.
For an individual pick, how about this?
The Mets bust Aroldis Chapman’s scoreless streak courtesy of a Scott Hairston home run. He’s the one guy on the team that I’d feel good about timing Chapman’s 100 mile-per-hour fastball.