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Playing Patience or Panic on New York Mets' 3 Worst Early Slumps

Stephen SmithContributor IIIApril 9, 2014

Playing Patience or Panic on New York Mets' 3 Worst Early Slumps

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    The Mets have to be concerned with Travis d'Arnaud
    The Mets have to be concerned with Travis d'ArnaudChris Trotman/Getty Images

    The New York Mets are now into the second week of their 2014 MLB campaign and are 3-4 on the season. It's not too early to discuss whether it's time to preach patience or time to panic on three players' early-season slumps.

    Sure, we're just seven games into the new season, but negative trends are starting to be set. Bad habits can be formed.

    Here are three New York Mets players who are currently really struggling at the plate—is it time to panic or not?

    Let's take a look.

    All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com

Eric Young Jr.

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    Associated Press

    Patience or Panic?

    Verdict: Panic

    The fleet-footed outfielder/second baseman led the National League in stolen bases last season (46), but it's hard to steal bases when you can't get to first base.

    Young has had a brutal time getting to first baseor any basethis season. Heading into Tuesday's game in Atlanta, the six-year veteran was hitting a putrid .105 with a .143 OBP.

    That's not exactly ideal for a leadoff hitter.

    What's even more concerning is that Young has whiffed nine times in his first 19 at-bats in 2014.

    Considering that the switch-hitter hit only .249 last season, Young has a long way to go to even reach that mediocre mark. He needs to improve quickly, or he could lose his starting spot when Chris Young comes off the disabled list.

Curtis Granderson

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    John Minchillo

    Patience or Panic?

    Verdict: Patience

    The "Grandy Man" is off to a slow start with the Mets, hitting just .167 with one HR and three RBI. That poor start includes eight strikeouts in 24 at-bats heading into Tuesday's game against the Braves.

    Just look at Granderson's resume, though. You know that the 33-year-old outfielder is going to produce in a big way.

    In 2012 with the Yankeeshis last full season—Granderson belted 43 home runs and knocked in 106 runs. He's not expected to reach those lofty numbers playing half of his games at Citi Field, but the three-time All-Star still has a lot of pop left in his bat.

    Don't be surprised to see Granderson finish with 25-30 home runs and 85-90 RBI in 2014.

    It's just a matter of time before he really gets going.

    The Mets can't wait.

Travis d'Arnaud

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Patience or Panic?

    Verdict: Panic

    The Mets have to be worried about the 25-year-old catcher. He simply has not hit a lick since arriving in the big leagues last August.

    After hitting a feeble .202 in 99 at-bats in 2013, d'Arnaud has gotten off to a brutal start this season with zero hits in his first 15 at-bats entering Tuesday's contest. The Mets seem committed to him as their regular backstop, but he needs to start producing.

    Fast.

    Until he does, there will be legitimate doubts as to whether he can hit major league pitching.

    “I just have to be patient with my approach and keep working,” d’Arnaud told Kristie Ackert of New York Daily News. “Fortunately for me, the last at-bat I had (Saturday), I hit it hard and (Sunday) I felt like I hit the ball pretty hard.”

    Now he needs to get some positive results.

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