Monday, July 01, 2024

METS 1st Half Report Cards

The Mets finished the first 81 games of the 2024 season with back-to-back unsightly losses to the Astros, with much help (or lack thereof) from a taxed, mediocre bullpen currently without its closer. To be fair, while Houston has not been great for most of this season, they have been good lately, and have also been to seven (7) consecutive American League Championship Series. So let's not lose our minds that the Amazins slipped back under .500 at 40-41. 

More importantly, the Mets spent June putting themselves in great shape for the 2nd half, with a real chance to break out of the large NL wildcard pack. The final 14 games before the All-Star Break include 7 with the nothing special Nats, 4 with the plucky Pirates and 3 with the wretched Rockies. And the first 3 after the break are against the miserable Marlins. I see them winning 12 of the 17 and arriving at 52-46 as the deadline approaches.

With that as a backdrop, here are my Mets Position Player Grades, starting with the order they bat most often:

Lindor: B+  If not for his absolutely putrid start to the season, he would've received an A. He has been the catalyst for this offense and his player's only meeting sure seemed to light a fire under this club. Oh and his defense is still Gold Glove caliber.

Nimmo: A-  He was slow out of the blocks as well, but arrived at mid-season with 13 HRs and 50 RBIs. He's found a real home in the 2-hole and continues to be very good defensively.

JD: A  His production has been terrific and his presence has been even better. Many of the hitters credit him with helping their approach. If only he had been ready sooner, the team might not have slumped so terribly in April.

Alonso: B-  I'm a bit critical here, because I expect so much from the Polar Bear. He has looked better at the plate lately and still hasn't gone on a big hot streak. I expect a big 2nd half from him.

Alvarez: A  He is becoming what everybody hoped... a fantastic hitter, a terrific catcher and a team leader. The team is 23-9 when he plays... and that's not a coincidence. 

Vientos: A  I watched Vientos the past two years when he received at bats here and there and didn't think he could hit enough breaking pitches to be really effective. MY BAD! He has been fantastic and shows no signs of slowing down.

Bader: B+  Excellent defense plus timely hitting has made the acquisition of him a steal. Maybe he just needed to get out of the Bronx!

Marte: B  His offense has been terrific. His arm is still excellent. His tracking of fly balls has been very shaky. He is still a good piece of the puzzle but scares me.

McNeil: F  For most of the season he has hit lazy flyballs or weak groundouts. Would love for him to find his batting stroke but he's running out of time. If he somehow gets back on the beam, this lineup becomes even more ferocious.

Iglesias: A+  Fabulous fielding. Has been outstanding at the plate. And his song is now the theme for the team. OH MY GOD!

Taylor: B  Has done what has been asked of him and like Bader, has had some clutch hits. 

Torrens A-  Pefect backup to Alvarez with good pop and strong defense.

Stewart: D-  He's a faster runner than Vogelbach and he can sorta play outfield. But it's time for him to go.

The pitching staff has been rather schizophrenic, sometimes scintillating, other times exasperating. I'll handle the starters first and then the relievers.

Severino: A  After last year and his first start for the Mets, I expected NOTHING out of him. Thankfully, he has been an ace since then. I think the Mets should extend him NOW.

Quintana: C-  He's allowed 2 earned runs or less in 8 of his 16 starters. In the other 8 starts, he's given up 32 runs in 37.2 innings. He's like Forrest Gump's box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna gget.

Manaea: B  He's had 12 good-to-great starts and 3 clunkers. It would be nice if he could keep his pitch counts down and go deeper into games. But he's given the team a good chance to win 80% of the time.

Megill: D  His first three starts were good. Four of his last five have been terrible. He has good stuff but once trouble starts he seemingly can't get out of it. 

Peterson: B  Four of his five starts have been very good. He still walks too many batters (13 in 27 innings) but unlike Megill, seems to be able to work out of jams.

Scott: B+  He filled in nicely during May. Looks to have the makeup of a solid middle to back end of rotation starter. I think we're about to find out more about him.

Butto: B+  He filled in nicely during April and May. Looks to have the makeup of a solid middle to back end of rotation starter. I think we're about to find out more about him.

Diaz: D  Returned from last year's injury and looked solid, then terrible, then very good, then very sticky. This team can't make the playoffs without him anchoring the bullpen.

Ottovino: D  Has allowed earned runs in 10 of 33 appearances and has lost his role as setup man. It would really help for him to find it in the 2nd half.

Garrett: C+  Unexpected excellence followed by expected unpredictability. I'm worried we've seen his best pitching already and he's going to struggle more as the season progresses.

Reid-Foley: B  Sometimes I wonder how he gets anybody out. But he's been effective more often than not. He needs to stay healthy.

Houser: F/A  He was putrid as a starter and has been terrific as a long man out of the bullpen. It's like he's two different pitchers. Then again, I've never seen starter Houser and reliever Houser in the same room together.

The final pieces of the puzzle are the GM and manager. 

Stearns: B  He's made some good acquisitions. He's been a little slow to jettison dead weight. His first deadline with the Mets will be fascinating.

Mendoza: B  I liked him a lot at the start of the year. I've been less pleased as the year has gone on. I generally intensely dislike managers and give them nasty nicknames, but we're not anywhere near that yet.

No comments: