New York Mets Must Remain Realistic with Curtis Granderson

Michael MandelkernContributor IIIApril 9, 2014

Curtis Granderson at the plate.
Curtis Granderson at the plate.Associated Press

Curtis Granderson began his New York Mets career on Opening Day with one strikeout short of a golden sombrero. He has not been stellar going into his second week either. Even though it is too early to panic, some fans are understandably worried.

The former New York Yankee signed a four-year, $60 million contract this past offseason. He has to produce. But a lot of whiffs and groans should be expected with the slugger.

Granderson is batting .154 with a .241 on-base percentage and has hit one home run with three runs batted in and three walks. He has just four hits in his first 26 at-bats of the season, but they are all for extra bases: three doubles and the long ball.

The Mets cleanup man barely made contact in his first two games and did not get on base until his third game, when he broke out with two doubles.

Since then, he has just one hit (the homer) over his past four games. His outs have been more convincing lately, but the results are still meager on paper. Even if he has a power surge, a batting average well below .200 is not acceptable.

Somewhere between .200 and. 240, however, would not be surprising. He hit .232 in 2012 and .229 in 2013 with the Yankees. But Granderson more than compensated in 2012 with 43 home runs (a career high) and 106 runs batted in.

His 2013 season was shortened by injury, but he only hit seven long balls and 15 RBI in 61 games.

The strikeouts have also been piling up over the past few years. He has more strikeouts than games played every season since 2011 and so far has eight strikeouts in seven games.

It is certainly too early in the season for Mets fans to panic. Once he demonstrates his might, the slow start will be forgotten.

Perhaps Granderson is still readjusting, since he missed 101 games last season. Since he has played 136 games or more every year from 2006 to 2012, his durability is not a concern.

The spotlight of New York City is not a factor since he spent four seasons with the Yankees.

John Sterling, a longtime Yankees radio announcer, called Granderson the “Grandy Man,” a jingle inspired by Sammy Davis Jr.’s 1972 hit “The Candy Man.” Sterling said that “the Grandy man can” after he hit home runs.

Granderson broke the all-time Yankees record of home runs hit in a season in 2012 with his 43rd and the team’s 245th blast of the season. An elated Sterling sang the Davs Jr.-inspired tune.

Production from Granderson could inspire a new home run call in Queens if the "Grand Man" can deliver.