A Mets Month in Review

It’s hard to believe the first month of baseball has come to an end, but alas it has–which gives us the right to start rationally critiquing its production (or lack there of). The Mets season so far has been a mixed bag. While there have been some very bright surprises, there have also been just as many disappointments. Below is a list of Mets players who have exceeded or have fallen short of expectations after the first month of the season.

DISAPPOINTING BEGINNINGS

Angel Pagan: After being the most surprising Met in 2010, there were high hopes for Pagan in 2011. However, the outfielder has been less than mediocre. He posted a .159/.259/.246 line with 1 home-run, 6 RBI, 7 runs-scored, and 4 stolen-bases. Pagan then strained his oblique, and was subsequently placed on the disabled list. The Mets not only need a healthy Pagan to return, but also a productive one too.

Josh Thole: Similar to the excitement over Ike Davis, fans were equally ga-ga over Josh Thole. While the right-handed hitter is hardly Mike Piazza, Thole still impressed with his keen ability to draw a walk (a rare commodity for catchers). The rookie posted a .277/.357/.366 line with 3 home-runs, 17 RBI, 17 runs-scored, and 1 stole-base in 227 plate appearances last season, but hasn’t looked nearly the same in 2011. Thole posted a .237/.298/.276 line with 0 home-runs, 8 RBI, and 1 run-scored in March/April this season. The usually defensive-steady catcher has also been a little lost behind the plate to boot. Maybe May will treat him better.

Jon Niese: On the surface, Niese hasn’t been “bad”–his 4.71 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 1.71 K/BB are passable. But considering the left-handed pitcher posted a promising 3.61 ERA, 1.36, and 2.61 K/BB in the first half of 2010, his current production is very disappointing. The southpaw seems to fall behind on hitter this season, and his dominance has slipped too (from 7.7 K/9 to 5.9). Going into 2011, most people felt stamina would be his biggest hurdle, but apparently he has a few more issues to work-out.

Mike Pelfrey: Despite starting the season as the “ace,” Big Pelf has been the antithesis of one. The former first round pick posted a forgettable 7.39 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, and 1.23 K/BB in March/April. After pitching his first good game against the Diamondbacks (7 innings, 5 hits, 1 earned-run, 2 walks, and 4 strike-outs), the righty reverted back to his 2011 form in his next start against the Phillies (4.3 innings, 8 hits, 4 earned-runs, 1 walk, and 3 strike-outs). There have been whisperings of a demotion to Triple-A, so if Pelf continues his lack of success, he could be minor league-bound.

Bobby Parnell: Everything finally clicked for Bobby Parnell in 2010. Despite always struggling with his control in the minors (and majors), Parnell posted a 2.83 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, and 4.13 K/BB (including a shocking 2.1 BB/9). But skeptics (like myself) were unfortunately correct in predicting his regression. Before being placed on the disabled list with a finger injury, Parnell posted a dismal 6.14 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, and 2.20 K/BB (featuring a 6.1 BB/9). Parnell is certainly better than those stats, but nowhere near his 2010 stats either.

SUCCESSFUL STARTS

Ike Davis: Davis had a great rookie season for the Mets in 2010, posting a .264/.351/.440 line with 19 home-runs, 71 RBI, 73 runs-scored, and 3 stolen-bases (not to mention 500 over-the-wall catches). Apparently no one told Ike about the “sophomore slump.” The left-handed hitter posted a .337/.414/.600 line with 5 home-runs, 20 RBI, 16 runs-scored, and 14 total extra-base hits during the first month of the season. His surface stats are great, but his peripherals are also off the charts. There is little reason to think that Davis will not be a big part of the Mets offense for years to come.

Carlos Beltran: Despite only collecting a combined 612 plate appearances over the past two seasons, a now-healthy Beltran is apparently ready to contribute. Beltran, who has shifted over to right-field full-time, posted a .281/.360/.472 line with 3 home-runs, 11 RBI, 14 runs-scored, and 11 total extra-base hits during the past month. The switch-hitter is in the last year of his contract, so if he continues to hit as this pace, he might become a nice trade chip for the Mets at the deadline.

Dillon Gee: Gee surprised fans last season when he posted a 2.18 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 1.13 K/BB ratio in five starts for the Mets. The crafty pitcher got a chance to start this season when Chris Young was placed on the disabled list–and again performed quite well, pitching a 2.31 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 3.00 in two starts. Upon Young’s return, Gee stuck with the club, but as a reliever. He’s yet to find a niche in the ‘pen, but as fragile and ineffective as many Mets starters have been, it wouldn’t be unearthly to see Gee become a fixture in the rotation at some point in 2011.

Pedro Beato: Before his apparent injury, Beato was easily the Mets most reliable reliever thus far. After posting 2.11 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 16 saves, and 2.63 K/BB in Double-A last year, the Mets plucked him from the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft, and put him on their active roster. The move was a savvy one by Sandy Alderson & co., as Beato did not surrender an earned-run in 14 innings during the first month (also only 7 hits, 3 walks, and 8 strikeouts). The stud reliever is currently on the disabled list with “elbow tendinitis,” but Mets fans are hoping against hope that he makes a quick recovery, and will continue to throw-up zeros.

Jason Isringhausen: Izzy’s second round with the Mets started as a nostalgic minor league signing, but the veteran righty has quickly become a much-needed fix to the bullpen. After Parnell struggled with his control, and was then placed on the disabled list, Isringhausen was slotted into the setup role. The former “Generation K” member posted a dazzling 2.45 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, and 3.00 in 7.3 innings during March/April, and has looked sharp in just about every outing. He might not have closer-worthy “stuff” anymore, but Izzy has certainly been a pleasant surprise for the Mets.

Topics: A Mets Month In Review, Angel Pagan, Ben Berkon, Bobby Parnell, Carlos Beltran, Dillon Gee, First Month Review, Ike Davis, Izzy, Jason Isringhausen, Jon Niese, Josh Thole, Mets, Mets April March, Mets First Month, Mets Month Review, Mets Review, Mike Pelfrey, New York, New York Mets, Pedro Beato, Rising Apple

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