Each week, ESPN senior baseball editor Matt Meyers and ESPNNY blogger Mark Simon weigh in on a variety of Mets-related topics.
When will reality set in for this team, which is currently 27-22, or is the Mets' present state their reality?
Meyers: I always thought this team was better than people gave it credit for, and it's probably about a .500 team when all is said and done. I think management realizes this and is not going to make any rash moves, a la Kazmir-for-Zambrano, in a quixotic quest to reach 90 wins. Mets fans should just enjoy this bunch for what it is and know that better times are coming.
Simon: You're talking to someone who projected the Mets to finish 68-94 at the start of the season, but there are reasons to be optimistic with the way Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey and David Wright have performed.
I think this will be a telling homestand. If this team can dig in and finish 8-3, it's a good sign. If the next couple of series are struggles, then I'll go back to fearing that a 5-20 stretch is inevitable
Is Matt Harvey an answer to the Mets' issues at the back of the rotation?
Meyers: From everything I have read and heard, Harvey’s changeup is still a work in progress, and I'd hate to see the Mets set him up to fail by promoting him too soon. I think many fans think he is a top-tier pitching prospect, and while he's good, he's not THAT good, and I feel like the Mets will be putting him in a tough spot if they call him up this summer. Also, he has a 4.22 ERA at Buffalo, so it's not like he dominating at Triple-A.
Simon: I think Harvey is a last resort and should only be considered if he puts up a run of really good starts. Despite my failed prediction last week that Jeremy Hefner would beat the Padres, I'd like to give him a few more chances before I cast judgment to cast him aside.
That said, I'm looking forward to seeing his contributions in 2013.
Make a prediction for the coming week.
Meyers: I think Daniel Murphy will finally hit his first home run of the year.
Why do I think this? Well, it has to happen at some point, right? Murphy has had a nice year at the plate in terms of average and OBP, but I sometimes wonder if he has become too defensive as a hitter. He's only slugging .371, and I'd like to see him driving the ball more.
Simon: Not to bring back bad memories, but I see a positive return to Citi Field for Carlos Beltran in the form of a home run (perhaps one off a curveball from a right-handed pitcher) and a great catch in the outfield.
I'm not saying that the Cardinals will necessary win the series, but I think Beltran will play well. He'll get a nice hand his first time up, but will be treated in the matter fitting for a rival through the remainder of the series.