Mets 2013: The Good and the Bad so Far
The baseball season is a long one. Early statistics are often misleading and do not generally reflect what will be at the end of the campaign. Players that get off to a slow start, often heat up. While those that come out of the gate putting up big numbers usually level off as the season progresses.
For example; Torii Hunter has begun the season batting .413. Meanwhile Matt Kemp's average is a lowly 182. Both are fine players, but their current numbers are almost definitely not an indication of what each player's final statistics will be.
The 2013 season is just two weeks old and the Mets have gotten off to a decent start. There have already been some highlights and impressive performances. Of course with the Mets being the Mets, there have also been a number of lowlights.
Here's a look at five good early signs for the Mets and five less than impressive initial statistics.
The Good: Matt Harvey
Matt Harvey has arrived. The Mets' 2010 first round draft pick has pitched like a veteran in his first three starts. In addition to throwing lights out stuff, Harvey has been poised and confident.
Harvey is 3-0 and was recently named the National League's Player of the Week. In that week, Harvey took a no-hitter into the 8th inning at frigid Target Field.
Adam Rubin reported for ESPN New York that according to the Elias Sports Bureau, Harvey is the first pitcher since 1900 to win each of his first three starts of the season while posting 25-plus strikeouts and allowing six hits or fewer.
In 22 innings, Harvey has allowed only two earned runs, six hits and one home run. He has walked just six while striking out 25 batters. His current ERA is an impressive 0.82.
The Bad: Dillon Gee
The Mets are counting on Dillon Gee to be a solid part of their starting rotation. If Gee continues to struggle as he has so far, the Mets will be in big trouble.
In each of his past two starts, Gee has allowed seven runs and been removed early from the game. His 0-3 record is accompanied by an ugly 8.36 ERA.
In 14 innings, Gee has allowed 13 earned runs, 20 base hits and four homers. He has walked five and hit two batters while recording eight strikeouts.
The Good: John Buck
John Buck has been one of the early surprises of the season. Buck came to the Mets as part of the trade that sent R.A. Dickey to Toronto. While future catcher Travis d'Arnaud was the show piece of the deal, Buck has been invaluable.
With six home runs and 19 RBI in just 13 games, Buck has provided some much needed power for the Mets.
Of course it's early and Buck is a lifetime .237 hitter. Despite that he's already provided more power than the Mets got all of last year from Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas combined.
The Bad: Ruben Tejada
The Mets' decision to allow Jose Reyes to walk away from New York is coming back to haunt the organization. Reyes' replacement has not made fans forget the exciting and speedy player.
Ruben Tejada has already made a Major League leading six errors in the first 13 games of the season.
He has also gotten off to a slow start with the bat. His .250 average has improved over the last week, however, the Mets are going to need more production from the shortstop.
Tejada made 12 total errors last season and hit a respectable .289. Still only 23, the Mets are relying on Tejada to get back on track.
The Good: Daniel Murphy
Daniel Murphy's ability to hit has never been in question. What had raised concerns were his defensive liabilities.
So far in this young season, Murphy has looked solid and more confident in the field. He has yet to make an error and has successfully turned ten double plays.
Another early positive, has been Murphy's apparent increase in power. With six doubles, one triple and two homers, Murphy is proving to be more than just a singles hitter.
His current average is a robust .352.
The Bad: Ike Davis
Ike Davis is off to a terrible start for the second season in a row. While it's still early, Davis' lack of production is a major worry to a team depending upon his power.
Davis finished 2012 with a measly .227 average, but he picked it up in the second half of the season. He ended up with 32 homers and 90 RBI's.
After injury in 2011 and valley fever in 2012, Davis is hoping to have a solid and healthy season. Thus far, it hasn't been working out.
He's presently hitting just .146 with more strikeouts (13) than hits (7) in his first 48 at bats.
The Good: Team Power
Despite Ike Davis' slow start, the Mets have shown a surprising amount of early season power. The club is currently tied for ninth with 17 home runs. Additionally, the team's healthy .443 slugging percentage is the sixth highest in baseball.
John Buck has already contributed six long balls. Lucas Duda has three homers and Colin Cowgill, Daniel Murphy and David Wright have each hit two.
If Duda and Wright can improve on last season's power numbers and Davis can get going, the Mets may score a lot of runs.
The early signs are good.
The Bad: The Bullpen
The Mets bullpen was off to a bad start even before playing the Rockies. In the series' final game, four Mets relievers gave up eight runs on eight hits in two innings of work. It looked like pre-game batting practice.
Newcomers Scott Rice and Brandon Lyon have been solid in limited outings. Bobby Parnell has not had too many save opportunities, but he has looked good in his 4.2 innings of work.
Every other player out of the pen has performed terribly.
If the pen doesn't improve, things could get really scary for Mets fans.
The Good: Team Average
It's early, but believe it or not, the Mets currently have the fourth best team batting average in baseball at .269. They are also fifth in on-base percentage at .344.
The Mets offense is producing thus far. If the bullpen was capable of holding a lead, the Mets would be looking very good.
Jordany Valdespin, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, John Buck and Justin Turner all have averages over .300.
Lucas Duda has learned to work the count and has already been walked 11 times. Along with his hits, Duda has a very impressive .469 on-base percentage.
The Bad: Schedule
The folks at Major League Baseball need to reevaluate their schedule making ability.
The Mets 2013 schedule featured a three-game series in Minnesota for the first time in nine years. It also had the club visiting Coors Field for just one series. Being that the Mets were only traveling to these cities one time all season, why would MLB schedule these games for April?
In the past week, the Mets have had to endure three cancellations due to snow and a doubleheader played in frigid conditions. Additionally, they spent an entire week on the road in sub zero weather.
Due to the weather-related cancellations, the Mets will now have to travel back to Denver and Minneapolis for make up games on days that were meant to be off days.
This has definitely been a disadvantage for the Mets.