Monday, July 9, 2012

All Star Break 2012: Mets Mid Season Report Card

Long Island Metfan and I have discussed our Mid Season grades on the 2012 Mets. For the most part we are in agreement. Here are the mid-semester grades for our 2012 NY Mets

Starting Pitching:  

metsfan73: Back on June 1st, Johan Santana accomplished the improbably. The Mets lefty threw the Mets first no-hitter against the (then) offensively potent St. Louis Cardinals. Santana overall has been OK, having pitched a few clunkers too many, but overall has done a respectable job.
RA Dickey has been the ace going 12-1 heading into the All Star break. It is expected that once again Tony LaRussa will T-Off Mets fans by inserting Matt Cain as the All Star Game starting pitcher. Dickey had a tremendous stretch where he went  44.2 innings without allowing an earned run. Dickey has baffled batters with his knuckleball, whether it be thrown slow, medium or fast, high or low.

Dillon Gee and Jon Niese has done a respectable job, sometimes showing brilliance.  Gee has pitched better than his record, but has been prone to a poor outing every now and again. Niese, for the most part, has been solid, not including yesterday’s 7-0 clunker.

Chris Young has finished out the Mets pitching staff and has been a nice surprise after returning in June from the same shoulder surgery that sideline Santana for over a year. Young (2-2) is living up to his past by being a smart, gutsy pitcher. He knows how to pitch out of critical situations, and is a solid #5 starter

Grade: A

longislandmetfan: Gee and Niese early in the year. They have been outstanding..They are going  much father into games.   

Grade: A-

Relief Pitching:

metsfan73: The Mets relief staff is never any different; they are the same over-used and under-performing group from one year to the next.
Tim Byrdak has been terrific, but other than him and Bobby Parnell, the relief staff has been awful. Jon Rauch has already blown 3 saves this year. Rauch does accept responsibility for his performances, but he has been absolutely awful
Miguel Batista is showing his age (41), and has been inconsistent
Frank Francisco hasn’t looked better than he has the last two weeks, and that is because he is injured and Parnell has been closing. Terry Collins is too eager to use Francisco, even when he is off. Francisco reminds me of Armando Benitez; can be dominating and can implode.

Grade: D

longislandmetfan: Parnell and Frank Byrdak  have been the only guys in this pen you can count on.

Grade: D


metsfan73: The bench has played well when called upon, which has been frequent with all the injuries. Injured OF/1B Mike Baxter had been great (.323 10 RBI .392 OBP) until he suffered a separated collar bone making a No-No saving catch for Johan on June 1st. Baxter is starting rehab in Florida, and we hope he’ll be back soon.

Justin Turner has done a good job whether filling in at 3B, 2B, or 1B. He always comes to play, and has become the Mets mascot in providing the Whip Cream pie in the face to the star of each game.

Jordany Valdespin is looking as if he is coming into his own. He has hit well, but his fielding leaves a bit to be desired. I think he needs to gain better focus, because at times he seems like he’s spaced out. He has been playing real well of late, and expect to see him get more starts as the season progresses.

Omar Quintanilla did an outstanding job in place of the injured Ruben Tejada. Quintanilla played a solid defensive SS, and had some big key hits during Tejada’s absence.
Ronnie Cedeno has not impressed me. His defense is at times offensive,  and he hasn’t added much to this club.

Scott Hairston has been great off the bench and as a spot starter. He is tied for the team lead in HR’s (12), and is ready to play when called upon. I just hope the Mets don’t think he is an everyday player, because he is not. He is a solid 4th OF and spot starter.

Grade: B+

longislandmetfan: Baxter and Hairston have been nuts;  Valdespin … Nickeas stinks but you expected that; Turner has done nothing against lefties…

Grade: B+


metsfan73: Terry Collins has had his team prepared the entire season, and with his exuberance and the youth of Nieuwenhuis, Tejada, Davis, Duda, and Thole – the team never feels that they are out of any game. My one knock on Collins is his penchant for overusing his bullpen – which much of the time is unnecessary. He has this team believing in themselves, and he appears to communicate well with his team.

Grade: A

longislandmetfan:  Collins has this team playing the right way and they don’t give up.

Grade:  A

Mid-Season MVP

metsfan73: David Wright. Case Closed. Wright is batting .351, 11 HR’s, 59 RBI. Not only that, but his strikeouts have significantly been reduced, and he has hit like an elite player in the clutch. He has moved closer to the plate, and isn’t being fooled by the slider down and out, nor has he been afraid of the inside heater. He has worked hard (as always) and it has certainly paid off.

longislandmetfan:  Duh!

Mid-Season LVP (Least Valuable Player):
metsfan73: To me it is a toss up between Jason Bay and Jon Rauch. Neither has been worth their weight and are being paid well. Bay has become this generations Roberto Alomar. Most fans, myself included, are concerned about Bay’s return, and that’s not because of his extinct hitting skills, my concern is the Mets are winning without him, using Nieuwenhuis, Valdespin, and Hairston in his place,  all of whom have produced much more than Mr. Bay.
As for Rauch, is he hurt? If so, he should take time to heal, because he has been nothing short of disappointment. I like the fact that the guy stands up to the press and media and tells it like it is when he falters, but he needs to be more reliable as a late inning set-up reliever.
longislandmetfan:  Bay…nothing out of him when healthy and his $$ will force Collins to sit someone who deserves to be in lineup

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