Possible Solutions for New York Mets' Early Year Problems
No shock there.
They can't hit, their starting pitching is inconsistent and their bullpen looks one day like the 1990 Cincinnati Reds bullpen and the next day like a minor league staff. That means that breaking the .500 mark for the first time in five years might be very hard to do.
With that being said, let's take a look at some possible solutions for New York's early season woes.
*All statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
Move Juan Lagares to the Leadoff Spot
The most pleasant surprise of New York's season so far has been its 25-year-old center fielder, Juan Lagares. He is easily the team's offensive MVP to date as well.
Regretfully, Lagares pulled a hamstring Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks and has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, as reported by Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. That's a tough break for a kid who was really starting to come into his own.
Lagares should win a lot of Gold Glove awards during his career. He is the best defensive center fielder in baseball right now.
What has been even more impressive has been Lagares' bat this season. Entering Wednesday's game in Arizona, he was hitting .314 with an OBP of .345. That is better than current leadoff man Eric Young Jr., who owned a .255 batting average and .339 OBP entering play Wednesday.
Once he returns from the disabled list, it's time to put Lagares into the leadoff spot and see if he can ignite a mediocre offensive attack.
It's worth a try.
Bat Curtis Granderson Ahead of David Wright in the Lineup
It's been a real rough start for the Grandy Man in a Mets uniform. Sure, it's still early, but Curtis Granderson has been striking out at an alarming rate so far—16 K's in 48 at-bats to start the season. His batting average is a meager .167. He's belted just one home run to date.
Is he overanxious? Is he trying too hard to impress his new team?
This is somewhat of a radical move so early in the season, but manager Terry Collins should move Granderson ahead of David Wright in the order (to the No. 3 hole) so he can get better pitches to hit. This could leave Wright vulnerable in the cleanup slot, no doubt, but it's essentially needed to get the 12-year veteran going.
Get some confidence. Start driving the ball with more authority.
Once Granderson has settled down and looks like his old self, he can move behind Wright again. But for now, he needs a jump-start and the protection that Wright would offer him in the lineup.
Call Up Rafael Montero from Triple-a Las Vegas
It's time to bring Rafael Montero to the majors.
The lanky right-hander looks ready to slide into the No. 5 hole in New York's rotation, replacing Jenrry Mejia. Mejia is decent as a starter, but he can be more helpful out of the bullpen. The Mets could use all the help they can get in the pen.
Now is Montero's time to shine. The 23-year-old is off to a fantastic start in Triple-A Las Vegas, going 2-0 with a 2.60 ERA in three starts and a .197 batting average against heading into Wednesday night's game at Reno. He also has 18 strikeouts in 17.1 innings pitched.
Montero has a very bright future. He authored a 5-4 ledger with a 3.05 ERA in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League in 2013. It's finally time to showcase his talent in the major leagues for the Mets.