3 Ways Mets Have Already Improved This Season

Shale BriskinContributor IIIMay 15, 2014

3 Ways Mets Have Already Improved This Season

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    USA TODAY Sports

    At 19-20, the Mets have played like a .500 team so far this season. In some games, they have played like a very good team, but they have struggled mightily in other games. For the most part though, the Mets have gotten good starting pitching, but their lineup and bullpen have not been as strong.

    Despite some of the Mets' inconsistencies, some areas within the team look promising and improved. Here are three ways the Mets have already improved this season.

    All statistics courtesy of MLB.com.

Eric Young Jr. Is Creating a Lot of Runs

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Despite hitting just .244, Eric Young Jr. has been a leadoff spark plug for the Mets this season.

    Young's 28 runs scored are fifth in the National League and his 15 stolen bases are second in the National League behind Dee Gordon of the Dodgers. Those are nice numbers for a .244 average and a .336 OBP.

    Young has used his speed to get steals and score runs. If his average and walks both improve later this season, it would very likely lead to even more steals and runs scored.

Dillon Gee and Jon Niese Have Both Been Showing Veteran Leadership

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    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    The Mets' strength this season has definitely been their starting pitching. And the two biggest reasons for this are due to Dillon Gee and Jon Niese both coming into their own and having very solid starts to their seasons.

    The Mets have a lot of young promising pitchers both on the major league roster and in the minor leagues. However, when there are also relatively young pitchers like Gee and Niese to provide some veteran leadership, that is certainly a plus.

    Gee (3-1, 2.73 ERA) and Niese (2-2, 2.17 ERA) have been leading the Mets' rotation, while the young Zack Wheeler (1-3, 4.53 ERA) and veteran Bartolo Colon (2-5, 5.84 ERA) have both been more inconsistent.

    Gee unfortunately was recently placed on the disabled list with a back injury, so it will be interesting to see how the Mets' rotation fares for the next two weeks, with the hope that Gee will be activated by then.

The Mets May Have Found a Future Closing Option in Jenrry Mejia

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    Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

    Jenrry Mejia began the 2014 season as the Mets' fifth starter after beating out Daisuke Matsuzaka in spring training. His season began well with three wins in his first four starts.

    Since then though, Mejia has struggled and didn't get to the fifth inning in either of his two most recent starts. In fact, Mejia did not complete seven full innings in any of his starts this season.

    With the Mets' bullpen having been rather inconsistent for the most part, it's important for the starting pitchers to eat innings and last longer so that the bullpen does not get overworked. Mejia may be a good pitcher with a lot of potential, but if he is not capable of pitching deep into games as a starter, he could be more useful as a reliever.

    Mejia has since gotten moved to the bullpen and could potentially become the new Mets closer now that Kyle Farnsworth has been released. If he does well enough, Mejia could remain the Mets' closer for the rest of the season. With all the bullpen problems they have had, the Mets could certainly use a reliable closer right now.