Thus begins the stretch run of cupcakes the Cleveland Indians have been unexpectedly gifted to end the 2013 season. The New York Mets come to town, a downright dreadful team to begin with that’s lost its two best players and the future of the pitching rotation. This might be the least attended series of the year, what with NFL kicking off and the Mets being, well, the Mets. Hopefully the Tribe decides to show up at least.
When the Mets played on ESPN last week against the Washington Nationals, the network used Eric Young Jr. to advertise the matchup opposite Bryce Harper. He of the .260/.331/.365 slash line, worth .6 career rWAR. Not a knock on him, he’s forged a nice little career thus far and made over a million dollars playing baseball. It’s just the Mets stink, is all. They’re 27th in baseball in OPS, 24th in homers, no thanks to their park, though they’re at least 11th in walks. Their pitching numbers are much better, but a good part of that is because of the now injured Matt Harvey. In general their starters are pretty good but the bullpen doesn’t much going for it. Closer Bobby Parnell throws hard and strikes batters out, and 40-year old LaTroy Hawkins is doing alright, but other than them, the cupboard is pretty bare.
In short, they’re a pretty bad team, enroute to 90ish losses again as the Alderson think tank works towards returning them to glory. There’s promise – catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud has arrived on the big club and though he has only eight hits in 49 at-bats, he’s walking nearly as much as he’s striking out and three of those hits are extra-base, one a homer. He should be just fine in the years to come. His biggest threat might be Mike Piazza comparisons, but that’s just life when the New York Post and Daily News live in your locker room.
Daniel Murphy might be the most accomplished hitter at this point on the Mets. He’s the only guy on the team with an OPS+ over 100 and even he’s a middling power threat. I saw him hit two homers in a game at Wrigley once though, so there’s that.
First baseman Ike Davis, despite being the progenitor of Ike Fever, seems to be terrible. He combines a lack of contact ability with an utter lack of power and not being able to stay healthy. It’s a poor blend. He’s hurt off and on again, and not long for the club, so hopefully the Indians can take advantage of it and strike him out 12 times this series.
For all their lack of offensive punch, the Harvey injury might be good for the Mets because it makes them keep Danny Wheeler and Noah Syndergaard, two beastly young pitchers. The chatter was trading one of the two for a bat, but now there’s indecision in the rotation and they’ll be able to build a contender that way. But right now, all bad.