Second half: Five reasons NOT to watch
July, 17, 2013
By Mark Simon | ESPNNewYork.com
AP Photo/Gene J. PuskarThe 2013 Mets? They're not exactly world-beaters.Five reasons for Mets pessimism in the second half of the season:
1. They’re just not that good: Any talk of a .500 finish or delusions of a chase for the second wild card or the NL East lead is silly when you look at the overall body of work: a 41-50 record and a place in the standings closer to last place than either of the postseason targets.
Sure, the Mets may be better than the Milwaukee Brewers and able to hang with the San Francisco Giants, but a truer indicator of where they currently stand was apparent in the 3-4 homestand against the Washington Nationals and Arizona Diamondbacks.
The offense is bound to return to the struggles of April through June, and the bullpen is too inconsistent to support the team’s starting pitching efforts.
2. Ike: For the second straight season, Ike Davis' first half was a total washout.
The Mets played significantly better without Davis being the automatic out that he was while he was in Las Vegas, and the time there doesn’t appear to have changed his bad habits just yet.
Davis had three hits in his first game back in the big leagues, but is an ugly 2-for-21 (.095) with six strikeouts and two double plays since then.
If this keeps up, his value not just as an every-day player but as a trade chip will be nil.
There’s still quite a lot to fix with Davis’ approach. And the only reason for optimism you can point to is his second half in 2012.
3. Regression to the mean: For all the good that has come from the likes of Eric Young Jr., Josh Satin and Carlos Torres in the last month, the likelihood is that they won’t be able to sustain this level of success.
Before joining the Mets, Young was a .211/.290/.286 slashline away from Coors Field. Satin’s major league equivalencies don’t suggest he’ll be as good as he’s been. Torres had a 5.97 ERA and 1.62 WHIP in the first 95 innings of his career.
As much as we’d like to believe all three have turned a corner in their careers, the likelihood is that the luster will wear off.
4. Financial questions: The Mets say they will be active in the player acquisition market this offseason, but no one is going to believe that until their actions speak louder than words.
There are questions as to what the payroll will be in 2014 and beyond (as writer Howard Megdal has pointed out, ownership has to make good on some accumulated debts).
The Mets have clear needs that may be even greater if Davis and Ruben Tejada don’t show themselves to be worth something in these next few months. There will be a clamoring to fill those needs with the likes of a Carlos Gonzalez, Shin-Soo Choo or Jacoby Ellsbury, but there are doubts they will step up and make such a move.
5. They’re so Mets! The post-2006 Mets have always found a way to build you up and then let you down. First came the collapses of 2007 and 2008. Then disappointments like Oliver Perez and Jason Bay. The team’s backward thinking resulted in a ballpark that no hitter wanted to go near. And Bernie Madoff robbed the team of the ability to spend its way out of trouble.
There seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel with the likes of Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler here, and Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud on the way.
But as a fan, I’m sure you’re sitting there thinking: What’s the next shoe to drop in the Mets' mess?