The Non-Amazin’ Mets

Nicknamed the Amazins, the New York Mets have certainly not lived up to that nickname this year. During a recent ten game span, the Mets are just 4-6. Five of the six loses have come against the Atlanta Braves, the worst team in the National League, and the sixth lost came against the division leading Washington Nationals. Currently, June 28th, the Mets find themselves in third place in the NL East and four games out of third place.

Injury has completely plagued the Mets’ season. The list of injuries is nearly too long to list. First, David Wright was diagnosed with a herniated disk. Wright had to undergo surgery which has left him sidelined for the rest of the season. Steven Matz has recently

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The Mets’ captain, David Wright, who due to injury, will not play for the rest of the season. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

been diagnosed with a bone spur. The May 2016 Rookie of the Month, if he were to undergo surgery would not be able to perform baseball activities for at least six weeks. Noah Syndergaard has also been diagnosed with a bone spur. Syndergaard will not confirm if he does or not but club officials have made it public that he doses. Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, although third in all star voting among outfielders, also has not been able to stay clear of the injury bug. After diving into the stands at Citi Field for a foul ball, Cespedes injured his hip. More recent injuries were an injured wrist while playing against the roles, for which he received a cortisone shot, and on a slide back into first on a pick off attempt in Atlanta, Cespedes came up with a lame ankle. The Mets’ first baseman, Lucas Duda, injured his back early on in the season will remain out for a majority of the summer. Finally, outfielder Michael Conforto is the worst off out of many of the aforementioned players. Confort, who injured his wrist at the beginning of May, was given a cortisone shot and told he could play. The result, Conforto went from batting .330 in the previous month, batted sub .120 and was sent down to the minors on June 25th. Conforto may file the grievance against the Mets, for sending him to the minors due to injury.

In recent days the Mets have either made additions or moving towards making additions. When the Mets sent down Michael Conforto to Triple- A Las Vegas, outfielder Brandon Nimmo was called up to replace him. Nimmo was the Mets’ first round drat pick back in 2011. Also, the Mets have signed Jose Reyes to a minor league contract. Reyes has since played two games with Class-A Short Season Brooklyn Cyclones and has joined the Binghamton Mets. Also the Mets held a private workout for Cuban third baseman Yulieski Gourriel. Gourriel would certain fill in nicely in the third base position for the Mets and Gourriel has said he would like to play with former teammate, Yoenis Cespedes.

The Mets have ten games remaining until the all-star break. This includes, two games in Washington D.C., four games against the Cubs, three against the Marlins, and four against the Nationls, all at home. In order for the Mets to realistically stay in the playoff chase, the Mets need to beat the Nationals four out of six tries, and take two from the Marlins and Cubs. If the Mets were to fall to anything more than four games back at the break they have set themselves up for disaster. The Mets can not count on another Nationals collapse this season.

 

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Kelly Johnson Returns To New York

Kelly Johnson returns to New York after signing back with the Atlanta Braves following the 2015 season. On July 24th of last year the Braves traded Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe to the Mets for two minor league pitchers, John Grant and Rob Whalen. Today, June 8th the Mets have yet again acquired Johnson from the Braves, along with cash, for Mets’ minor league pitcher Akeel Morris.

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Johnson with the Mets in 2015.

Johnson played a pivotal role in the Mets’ 2015 season. Johnson’s statistics with the Mets were entirely flattering. He hit .250. .304 OBP, and five home runs. Johnson’s more immediate effect on the team is more of a mental change. The night after Johnson and Uribe were acquired the Mets beat the Dodgers 15-2. Most Mets experts and fans believe that trade was the turning point of the season. It was at that point where it was evident Sandy Alderson, the Mets’ GM, was all in and wanted to bring an NL East title back to New York since 2006.

Johnson now has returned to the Mets for the remainder of the 2016 season. The move most likely comes from the Mets’ need for a third baseman after losing David Wright for a majority of the season. Johnson is a versatile player who can play first, second, and third base. Johnson will most likely play third base full time. In addition, he will play second or first to give Walker and Loney days off. Johnson also has a solid bat which will hopefully pick up the struggling Mets’ lineup.

1/4 Season Review; Mets, Yankees, and More

In late August and September most teams are in a scramble to win as many games as possible, hoping to punch their own ticket into the postseason. Although the games later on in the season are quite important to win, it is the games early in the season, in April and May, that determines a team’s fate. The first two months truly dictate how many wins is needed in the late season scramble, or if you are even in the scramble.

It has been a tale of two different stories for the two New York teams. The Mets have gotten out to a decent start. After a slow start, winning just two of their first seven games, the Mets got back on track winning twelve of fourteen

Neil Walker led the Mets with nine home runs in April, tying a franchise record.

Neil Walker led the Mets with nine home runs in April, tying a franchise record.

games to close out the month of April. Currently, the Mets are on pace to win around 91 games. One more game than their National League East Championship last season. New York’s new key additions have played a vital role to the team. Neil Walker and Asdrubal Cabrera have not only secured the middle infield defense, but have been successful at the plate. Walker smacked a club tying nine home runs in the month of April and Asdrubal has given the Mets spectacular defense from the shortstop position. A key difference for the Mets between this year and last year is the Nationals. Key free agent singing, Yoenis Cespedes, currently leads Major League Baseball with fourteen home runs and is third in RBIs. Certainly these three have played a huge impacted on this Mets season.

For reference, on May 22nd of 2015 the Nationals had a 1.5 game lead on Mets. May 22nd of this year the Nationals are 2 games ahead of the Mets. This year the Nationals have a different attitude. After cleaning house in the off season, bringing in Dusty Baker as manager, and signing Strasburg to a long-term deal, the Nationals want to be in this division race. The Mets can not bank on the Nationals tanking as they did last season. Now the question is can the Mets hang on for the next four months and recapture the division title. This time last season the Mets hit just an awful stretch, averaging just 1.2 runs a game. During that span last season though the Mets never fell out of contention. As previously stated, the Nationals are going to compete in this division. The Mets are trying as hard as possible to fall into another slump such as that one. A slump like that would kill their chances of recapturing that elusive division title.

The Yankees on the other hand have definitely have not been as successful as their intercity counter parts. The

The New York Post rendition of the so far Yankees' season with GM Brian Cashman.

The New York Post rendition of the so far Yankees’ season with GM Brian Cashman.

Yankees are currently on pace to just win 71 games this season, resulting in their first losing season in twenty-one years. The Yankees are built around their bullpen. If the bullpen can be given a lead after five innings a Yankees win is almost guaranteed. After a trade with the Cincinnati Reds in the off season, the Yankees acquired closer Aroldis Chapman. With the addition of Chapman the Yankees bullpen was reassured to be the best. Although not everything fell into place for the Yankees in the early going. Chapman was suspended for the first thirty games of the season. He returned to the Yankees in early May. The offense has been sub-par. Total team batting average is just .240. That ranks them 13th in the American League and .011 below league average. The Yankees are far below in other offensive statistics as compared to the rest of the league. On the pitching side of the Yankees, they rank a bit better but not much. in overall pitching the Yankees rank eleventh. Definitely not what was expected of the reigning Wild Card team and a team many sports writers selected to be in the Wild Card game once more this season.

Major League Baseball thus far has been quite different than last season. If the season were to have ended on May 22nd, not one team that played in the playoffs in the American League would be playing. In fact, last year World Series Champions, the Kansas City Royals, would finish in third and 2.5 games out of the nearest postseason spot. The runner ups in the American League, the Toronto Blue Jays, are currently in last place in the American League

Boston's David Ortiz lifts Red Sox to defeat the struggling Houston Astos

Boston’s David Ortiz lifts Red Sox to defeat the struggling Houston Astos

East. The Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners, who were expected to succeed in 2015, have finally lived up to the expectations and are currently in first place of their respective divisions. The Boston Red Sox made severally upgrades this past off season and have gone from last place last year to tie the surprising Baltimore Orioles on top of the AL East. Some teams were expected to have a break out year such as the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have currently have only won 11 of 43 games and are dead last in the AL Central. The Houston Astros who not only played in the ALDS last season, but won a Wild Card spot were expected to easily win the AL West. Houston certainly has not lived up to expectations only winning 17 of 45 games and sit dead last in the AL West. Houston’s Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel has only won 2 of 8 decisions and has a 5.43 ERA.

The National League is also quite different. If the season were to have ended on May 22nd, two of the five teams

Early success in Philadelphia has lead to this familiar sight, the team giving high fives after each win.

Early success in Philadelphia has lead to this familiar sight, the team giving high fives after each win.

would repeat trips to the postseason. First off, the biggest surprise of the 2016 season is the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies are currently third in the NL East, own the second Wild Card spot, and a 25-19 record. This Phillies early success will not be sustainable though, as seen as being shut out twice by the Atlanta Braves at home. The Nationals as previously mentioned have control of first place in the NL East. After winning 97 games last year the Cubs have won 29 of 41 games to lead the NL West. The NL West on the other hand has been mediocre at best. Many predictions wrote the division off as being a two team race between the Los Angels Dodger and San Francisco Giants the entire season. Currently, San Francisco sit comfortably 3.5 games up on the second place Colorado Rockies. Overall MLB is majorly different than last season.