The Mets Road to 90 Wins | Astromets Mind

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Mets Road to 90 Wins

Reviewing the progress towards the 90-win challenge GM Sandy Alderson gave the Mets in Spring Training about every 20 games. Delayed a few days this time.

Current Record – 20-24
Since last time – 9-14
April 24 – Won the fourth game against Cardinals, taking ¾ in the series
April 25-27 – Won 2/3 against the Marlins
April 29-30 – Won 1, other postponed against Phillies in Philadelphia
May 1-3 – Lost ¾ against the Rockies in Colorado
May 5-7 – Swept by Marlins in Florida
May 9-11 – Lost 2/3 against the Phillies
Mat 12-13 – Won 2 against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium
May 14-15 – Lost 2 against the Yankees at Citi Field
May 16-18 – Lost 2/3 against the Nationals in D.C. (Series in review)
May 19 – Lost the opener against the Dodgers

Splits for the season
Home: 9-13            Away: 11-11
Runs scored: 177            Runs Allowed: 191
Pythagorean W-L (BB-Ref): 21-23
ESPN playoff odds: 14%

5th place in the division, 5 games back
3.5 games back from a wild card spot

Statistics – Season PA, AVG/OBP/SLG, K%/BB%, BABIP, wRC+
(Stats April 24-May 18)

Travis ∂’Arnaud – 114 PA, .196/.274/.314, 18.4 K%/9.6 BB%, .218 BABIP, 69 wRC+
                        (49 PA, .205/.271/.364, 22.4 K%/8.2 BB%, .226 BABIP, 80 wRC+)
Travis was placed on the DL with symptoms of a concussion after taking a back swing to the head from Alfonso Soriano. It is not clear when the Mets expect him back but they are likely to be extra cautious with him. He had been providing more production at the plate before the injury, though he is still well below expectations. Still, it’s kind of hard not to look at his statistics and his approach and think, “Well, if he had a .300 BABIP, he would be the leading candidate for NL ROY.”

Lucas Duda – 134 PA, .250/.328/.392, 25.6 K%/9 BB%, .313 BABIP, 105 WRC+
                        (67 PA, .230/.299/.295, 22.4 K%/9 BB%, .304 BABIP, 67 wRC+)
Since it has to be done, Ike Davis is at .263/.378/.382 in 90 PA’s since being traded. Happy for his success but he’s no longer a Met – enough said. The Mets need more from Duda, period. He’s been providing OK offense against righties (113 wRC+ in 114 PA), but has continued his struggles against lefties (62 wRC+ in 20 PA), and even his success against righties is sub-par for a 1B.

Daniel Murphy – 190 PA, .318/.368/.451, 11.1K%/7.9 BB%, .344 BABIP, 131 WRC+
                        (103 PA, .356/.427/.578, 8.7 K%/11.7 BB%, .367 BABIP, 181 wRC+)

            Murph has been the Mets best player so far, as he is on pace for what would easily be his best season. By fWAR, he’s been the 5th best 2B early on, with 1.5 fWAR. Not only is he hot, but also his defense has been pretty strong at times and he’s walking at the highest rate since his 2008 call up.

Ruben Tejada – 128 PA, .185/.302/.222, 19.5 K%/14.1 BB%, .241 BABIP, 46 wRC+
                        (61 PA, .176/.300/.235, 13.1 K%/14.8 BB%, .209 BABIP, 56 wRC+)

            I don’t even want to talk about the Mets SS situation. I just feel bad for Ruben at this point, though his career is far from over. That said, #FreeFloresAlready.

David Wright – 196 PA, .287/.332/.376, 23.5 K%/5.6 BB%, .370 BABIP, 99 wRC+
                        (100 PA, .290/.330/.409, 23 K%/5 BB%, .371 BABIP, 104 wRC+)

            I recently investigated some of the odd splits Wright has shown early on. Mark Simon went into his lack of pull power recently too. Despite his slow start, Wright has still provided an average bat by wRC+, which is the 15th best wRC+ among players with 100 PA while playing 3B. As a result, if he goes on his first real hot streak soon (one with power), he should be able to catapult himself into the top five 3B by wRC+. A fan can hope.

Eric Young – 158 PA, .221/.310/.309, 22.2 K%/9.5 BB%, .287 BABIP, 78 wRC+
                        (68 PA, .219/.265/.359, 17.6 K%/4.4 BB%, .255 BABIP, 75 wRC+)

            Everybody loves Eric Young… once he’s reached base. He’s fun to watch on the bases because you know he’s going to try and make something happen. The problem is that he has only reached base at a .310 clip in his last ~750 PA’s, and he’s been leading off for the Mets during much of that time. If Terry Collins is really interested in getting the best offense in the lineup, he’ll stop playing EY so often until he’s earned the playing time back, and definitely stop using him in the leadoff spot for now. Just my opinion, but if he’s not batting 1st, then he is a perfect candidate to bat 9th.

Juan Lagares – 116 PA, .302/.345/.462, 22.4 K%/5.2 BB%, .375 BABIP, 124 wRC+
                        (61 PA, .291/.344/.455, 21.3 K%/4.9 BB%, .357 BABIP, 121 wRC+)
            Pretty much made my feelings made in the post linked to in the EY section, but I am a firm believer in the #FreeLagares movement. It’s certainly not a given how much he will hit in the majors, and that will ultimately determine if he’s a starter or a nice glove-first 4th OF, but he’s been the Mets second best hitter this season – third best in the period mentioned here – and he’s easily their best defensive outfielder.

Curtis Granderson – 168 PA, .192/.292/.329, 26.2 K%/11.3 BB, .235 BABIP, 80 wRC+
                        (84 PA, .257/.345/.432, 22.6 K%/10.7 BB%, .294 BABIP, 123 wRC+)

            I would bet that recent slash line surprises a lot of people, as he’s been a very effective hitter for the Mets lately. Based on his history, no reason to think he won’t keep producing for the Mets, perhaps even continuing to increase his power outage as the weather heats up.  

Chris Young – 105 PA, .211/.279/.368, 21 K%/5.7 BB%, .243 BABIP, 84 wRC+
                        (80 PA, .214/.304/.414, 20 K%/7.5 BB%, .235 BABIP, 105 wRC+)

            Really, the most disappointing aspect of Chris Young’s game so far has been his defense. Offensively, he’s not quite up to his career rates, but he’s been pretty close over a large percentage of his plate appearances.

Bench since last (Current members only)

Anthony Recker – 6-35, 2 RBI, 2 2B, BB, 13 SO
            Would be great if he could increase his contact rate and OBP as he gets more playing time with T∂A on the DL.

Bobby Abreu – 6-30, 3 RBI, 2 2B, HR, 4 BB, SF, 4 SO
            Acceptable left-handed bat of the bench, bad idea in the OF. Not really sure he’s a clear upgrade over Kirk.

Wilmer Flores – 3-13, 2 BB, 3 SO
            Why was he called up to sit on the bench? Could have been getting more reps at SS and regular at-bats for the 51s! Glad he’s here though, let the Flores era begin!

Eric Campbell – 5-13, 3 RBI, 2 2B, BB, SF, SO
             Hit a high rate of line drives and was a pleasure to watch bat for Las Vegas this season. It might take some time for him to get a regular chance, but his name should definitely be in the OF mix. Also, he should be getting every start against lefties at 1B for Duda, unless he’s giving Murph a day off at 2B.

Juan Centeno – 2-7, 2 RBI, BB, SO
            Made it to the majors despite never being a full-time catcher in the minors thanks to a high contact rate and average walk rate. He won’t provide much power, but he should make outs less often than Recker. He may not be all that exciting, but he should be a perfectly acceptable backup catcher while around.

Totals since last time
Bench Totals: (.224/.284/.316) 22-98, 10 RBI, 6 2B, HR, 9 BB, 2 SF, 22 SO
Team Totals: (.242/.312/.375) 182-846, 88 RBI, 48 2B, 2 3B, 16 HR, 70 BB, 9 HBP, 5 SF, 10 sac bunts, 175 SO, 10 GIDP, 15-19 on stolen base attempts

Statistics (Stats are since last check in)


Dillon Gee (3 starts) – 1.35 ERA, 20 IP, 15 H, 6 BB, 12 SO, HR, .208/.284/.292
            The Mets were 2-1 in his starts. I want to do a longer post what has been statistically the biggest difference for Dillon Gee the past calendar year, but it’s hard to argue with the results.

Bartolo Colon (5 starts) – 5.29 ERA, 32.1 IP, 37 H, 3 BB, 25 SO, 3 HR, .287/.309/.426
            The Mets were 3-2 in his starts. It’s been a mixed bag on the season for Colon – he’s been great in six of his starts, awful in the other three.

Zack Wheeler (5 starts) – 4.4 ERA, 26.1 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 25 SO, 2 HR, .255/.368/.347
            The Mets were 2-3 in his starts. Wheeler is still a work in progress, having only made 26 career starts. He’s been a bit unfortunate with a .340 BABIP early on, but he hasn’t helped his cause with great control, as he’s walked nearly 12% of the batters he’s faced. He’s also been below average at stranding runners, which may account for the differences in ERA/FIP – 4.89 ERA/3.84 FIP.

Jenrry Mejia (3 starts) – 8 ERA, 18 IP, 28 H, 6 BB, 18 SO, 3 HR, .364/.424/.506
            The Mets were 0-3 in his starts before moving him to the bullpen. Really disappointed with his results and the Mets move, though I figured his innings limit would push him to the pen at some point in 2014. Still, with his stuff, I want him given every chance to prove he’s not a starter. That said, this move was about 2014, and the 2014 Mets couldn’t keep running Mejia out there the way he was pitching, especially with other starting options available at AAA. On the bright side, we’ll get to see his nasty stuff more often out of the pen, and he should make the bullpen stronger.

Jon Niese (4 starts) – 2.63 ERA, 24 IP, 25 H, 5 BB, 19 SO, HR, .263/.297/.347
            The Mets were 2-2 in his starts. For Mets fans who have watched Niese, this isn’t all that surprising. Statistically, he isn’t doing any one thing he hasn’t done before, he’s just putting it all together like never before.

Rafael Montero (2 starts) – 10.1 IP, 12 H, 8 ER, 6 BB, 7 SO, 3 HR
            The Mets were 0-2 in his starts. Not sure what’s up with Montero’s control this season, as that was one of the defining characteristics of his game coming into the season. To my eye, he seemed like a more aggressive pitcher when I watched him over a few starts last season – both his demeanor on the mound and the way he attacked the strike zone early.

Jacob ∂eGrom (1 start) – 7 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 6 SO
            The Mets lost his only start. He was obviously a much better pitcher this year for Las Vegas, and the Mets are very lucky for it. Not much new to say here for now, there is a lot to be read about him across the interwebs.


(Gonzalez Germen had 3 appearances before being placed on the DL, and it is unclear when he will be back.)

Daisuke Matsuzaka – 9 G, 14 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 14 BB, 16 SO, HR, HBP
            He’s been great outside of that one appearance and his walk rate.

Carlos Torres – 11 G, 11.1 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 11 SO, HR
            Continues to be pretty reliable. What happened to his sparkling walk rate?

Scott Rice – 10 G, 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO, HBP
            It’s frustrating when he comes in to face a lefty, walks the lefty, and then gets left in to face the righty and gives up a hit. For now, Sandy Alderson should put lefty reliever on his July shopping list, should the Mets make it that far while still in contention.

Jeurys Familia – 12 G, 12 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 6 BB, 12 SO, HR
            Doesn’t seem like so long ago people were calling for his demotion. Like the rest of the pen, he’s been a bit too wild, but otherwise very effective. A Familia-Mejia combination at the back of the bullpen could be potentially very effective and entertaining.

Jose Valverde – 7 G, 8 IP, 5 H, ER, 3 BB, 10 SO
            I keep reading speculation that Valverde will be gone soon, or complaints that the Mets need to get rid of him, but then I check his stats and don’t see a big problem. Sure, his stuff isn’t nearly what it used to be, but it’s still working for him. Outside of a rough week – three appearances from April 12-19 – he’s been consistently effective for the Mets. I still have my reservations about whether he will continue this level of success, but he can stay for now. Imagine if the Mets could flip him at the deadline? That said, will there be an odd man out of the bullpen when Gee or Germen comes back? Edgin is likely the first to go back to AAA, but Valverde probably has the weakest case for sticking around among the rest (Rice would, but he’s a lefty).

Kyle Farnsworth – 8 G, 6.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 SO, 2 HR
            Can’t say I’m disappointed he got released, though I wish him the best wherever he goes. He just didn’t look like he could keep getting major league hitters out and I’m glad the Mets didn’t wait to make the move, even if saving money was the issue that really forced their hand.

Totals since last time
Bullpen Totals (Including Germen): 3.08 ERA, 61.1 IP, 43 H, 39 BB, 62 SO, 7 HR
Team Totals: 4.03 ERA, 205.1 IP, 197 H, 87 BB, 177 SO, 20 HR, 8 HBP

Season Ranks (Ranking in parenthesis)

Offense: 173 R (19), 83 wRC+ (28), 2.8 fWAR (25), 34 SB (5), 29 HR (27)

Pitching: 3.88 ERA (17), 20 K% (22), 8.9 BB% (25), 44 HR (22), 3.89 SIERA (23)

Looking at the next 25
May 21-22 – vs. Dodgers
May 23-25 – vs. Diamondbacks
May 26-28 – vs. Pirates (Ike returns!)
May 29-June 2 - @Phillies (June 2 is a makeup game)
June 3-5 - @Cubs
June 6-8 - @Giants
June 10-12 – vs. Brewers
June 13-15 – vs. Padres

What the Mets will need to do to get back on track for 90
            At this point, the Mets would need to finish the season 70-48 to reach 90 wins – that is a .593 winning percentage (96 win pace). That’s not an unreachable pace, but it’s not an easy one either. They play some of the worst teams in the NL the next few weeks – Cubs, Pirates and Diamondbacks are already 8+ games under .500 – and five important games against the not so great Phillies. They need to get some hitters hot and go into that series in San Francisco on a winning streak. To get back on a 90-win pace they will need to win 11-12 games by the end of their next road trip, though ideally they would sweep at least one of the other cellar dwellers and do even better than that.

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