The Mets started this season on a strong point, and for a moment were the top team on the NL East. However, such dominance didn’t last long; although it’s still very early on in the season, they’re already below .500, and while they could make it to the wild card later on in the season, they’ll have trouble taking the NL East title from the Nationals. But it’s not entirely bleak for the Mets; while this season is shaping up to be a tough one for the team, it’s not over yet. I recently read an interesting article arguing that the Mets are setting the groundwork for a big win in the near future.
The Mets have still got some pretty talented players in their roster; they might have lost Colon to the Braves in a bittersweet loss, but Jay Bruce has been stepping up to the plate in a big way, in many instances hitting home-runs that have saved the game. Alderson and Collins seem to be making decisions similar to a few years ago when they were rebuilding the team. Some spots on the Mets roster could spell trouble, for example Asdrubal Cabrera. For the second straight season, he’s forced to play the infield’s most difficult position while fighting through all sorts of injuries. This happened last year as well, and it didn’t end great. Flores and Duda are both out, meaning that Collins needs to rely on Reyes, Bruce and Rivera. Sometimes this goes well – Jay Bruce has been doing very well this season – but not always.
While this is a perfectly acceptable approach when expectations are low, it’s not sustainable if the Mets want to be the last team standing. According to a quick survey on baseball insiders, the Mets are the only baseball team that consistently plays shorthanded. That’s perfectly fine if you don’t expect to break .500, but it doesn’t look good if the Mets want to get as far as they did in 2015, or even last year. For the Mets to make it to postseason, Collins and Alderson need to play a lot more aggressively. Such players as Rosario, Cabrera, Reyes and Conforto, if used properly, could help propel them to postseason as opposed to making fans wait years for any hope of making it to postseason.