While Grandpa Bart sits less than a month away from his 42nd birthday, the Mets continue to pay the senior pitcher portions of his 11 million dollar salary. Simultaneously, multiple top pitching prospects continue to hurl for Las Vegas, wasting years of their career pitching in the minors. It seems like a simple fix, right? Trade your ancient pitcher with the huge contract to make room for the young studs on their way up, right? Wrong, says the Mets. It’s easy to see the logic from their side too. Bartolo Colon is the leader of this pitching staff. The Opening Day starter is off to a 4-1 start, and let’s not mention his whopping TWO RBIs! (The rumblings of batting Bartolo cleanup during his starts have been oddly nonexistent). But there is more to Colon’s presence than just his pitching. As the oldest player not only on the team but in the entire league, Bartolo provides veteran leadership to a young pitching staff that may require it. He keeps the mood light, and is unfazed by anything that may happen during his time on the mound. This leadership may very well be the reason the Mets staff has done so well in the early going. At the same time, the Mets have some guys deserving of a rotation spot, yet have no real opportunity of earning one in the pros. Rafael Montero has pitched well out of the bullpen and in his lone start, but a shoulder issue has sent him to the shelf. Steven Matz is one deserving candidate, and a prime example of a forgotten man in the Mets organization. Or how about Noah Syndegaard? Remember him? Oh, you don’t. Okay, well his nickname is Thor. Still nothing? A five star prospect deemed the next Harvey? That isn’t helping either? How about that time when Bobby Parnell and David Wright threw his entire lunch away at Spring Training for disrespecting the team? Yeah, that guy. Talk about a forgotten man. The once hot commodity is far past ripe, and should be put to use before the fruits of his labor rot. Those fruits of his labor should be enjoyed in the Big Apple, where— what’s that? One too many fruit jokes? Okay gotcha. Sorry about that. Anyways, Syndegaard’s call up is long overdue. While it would be nice to see him or Steven Matz pitching off the Citi Field mound, there still isn’t an opportunity for them to do so. Trading Colon may seem like the right decision due to his age and salary, but the guy still has a lot left in the tank, and his leadership is definitely undervalued. The better decision would be ridding the Amazin’s of someone like Dillon Gee, a rotation filler on a team that doesn’t exactly need one. Matz and Syndegaard need to be patient; their times will come before they know it. The Mets are smart for deciding to keep Colon around, as his veteran presence may be just what the doctor ordered for a Mets team with playoff aspirations.
Archive: May 1st, 2015
The Washington Nationals came to town on Thursday night and punched the Mets right in the mouth, serving notice to our heroes that the Eastern Division is far from won. It was also the Mets’ sixth loss in their last eight games, which has taken much of the shine off their recent 11-game winning streak.
To the Mets credit, they have taken action, calling up Dilson Herrera from Las Vegas and filtering through the media that Daniel Murphy is moving over to third, at least until David Wright returns. On one hand it is correct to state that injuries have finally caught up to the Mets and they are adjusting accordingly. But on the other hand, it is also correct to state that the makeover mentioned here earlier has begun.
One assumes Herrera is up here to play and that if he hits well enough he will stay in the lineup after Wright returns. This relegates Murphy to the 10th man role, a kind of 2015 version of Mark DeRosa, which I think is Murph’s ultimate ceiling. I feel bad for Daniel as this development is likely to cost him millions of dollars on the free agent market next winter, providing there is a team that would have been willing to give him a long-term deal. As it stands now, he is more likely to get a much lower set of offers.
Wilmer Flores’ error last night killed the Mets. Otherwise Jacob deGrom (who has pitched poorly for the second consecutive outing) would have been out of the inning unscathed. Instead, Washington put a three-spot in the board and were off and flying. The boo-birds quickly descended on Flores, which is a particularly bad sign. Flores probably has a week left to turn it around. I wonder if GM Sandy Alderson has had any conversations with his counterparts in Texas or Milwaukee about shortstop help in the event the white flag goes up early in either city.
Herrera is probably only the first farmhand from Vegas on his way here. Steven Matz absolutely dominated AAA Reno again on Thursday and looks to be ready. Jon Niese’s stinker on Sunday in Yankee Stadium was very disturbing and Matz could be here soon to replace Niese or Dillon Gee. A bit more of a longshot, but Michael Conforto has certainly looked great in Single-A. Normally, it’s a long way to the majors from there, but Conforto is a college hitter and there are plenty of examples of this type moving quickly through somebody’s system. Maybe Conforto gets a few weeks in Double-A first.
The past week has had me thinking that the Mets are frauds. They haven’t buried the Nationals and they haven’t even won the city back from the Yanks. They have in fact, looked very much like the Same Old Mets recently as the momentum of last month is quickly dissipating. It is heartening to see them making some effort to stem the tide.
What do you think? Time to bail on Flores? Will Alderson get another shortstop? Should they move Gee or Niese out of the rotation and replace him with Matz? Already thinking about football? Sound off below.