Dec 11, 2013; Orlando, FL, USA; New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson announces that the MLB rules committee approved a change eliminating collisions at home plate during the MLB Winter Meetings at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. The proposed rule change goes to the owners and the MLB Players association for approval. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

What exactly is going on with the Mets?

The Mets are 0-3, having opened the season by being swept at home by the Washington Nationals. That’s not really all that alarming. Heck, the Mets swept the Braves to open the 2012 season, and we all know how that season turned out. The team has plenty of time to recover. But seriously, what is going on with the Mets?

First Base:

Sandy Alderson seemingly has a Kevlar vest. Most Mets fans believe that he has a plan, and “in Sandy we trust”. However, how in world can the team break camp with three, I said three, first basemen?

How can there be a platoon (Ike Davis and Lucas Duda) within a platoon (with Josh Satin)? The resulting roster inflexibility limits what Terry Collins can do to try to win games, especially late. And going a step further, neither Davis nor Duda has been effective for a long time.

So, Sandy, you’re carrying three first basemen, two of whom haven’t been good since 2012 (Davis) and 2011 (Duda)? Really? Don’t you think a two-man platoon would be better, with the other roster spot going to a versatile player (perhaps Anthony Seratelli)? Why wasn’t a decision made on this in Port St. Lucie? Yes, they had limited at-bats. But is the answer to carry two left-hand hitting first basemen?

Shortstop:

What more can be said here? Ruben Tejada has been publicly flogged for a lack of effort, and Wednesday night, he showed no effort on a play at the plate. Is anyone surprised? The team could not say enough bad things about Tejada, starting last spring. And yet, here he is.

How much more does Alderson need to see? Last night, Terry Collins said that on the play at the plate, Tejada did not know what to do, “so he did nothing.” But he’s still here. And Stephen Drew is still unemployed. And Didi Gregorius and Nick Franklin are still available.

Bullpen:

We all know that bullpens are wildly unpredictable. But this team’s bullpen ERA is over 13.00 (albeit in a small sample size). It’s not Alderson’s fault that Bobby Parnell is hurt. But the Mets are choosing to keep their young arms in Triple-A, ostensibly to avoid “Super Two” status. The team says that the young arms will eventually be in the Mets’ bullpen. Whether or not this is fundamentally wise is a topic for another article. But if they’re going to begin in the bullpen, and the bullpen is suspect now after being suspect during spring training, what is Sandy waiting for? Sure, the bullpen cannot possibly remain this bad, but how is this at all tolerable?

Catcher:

Travis d’Arnaud is struggling. He needs to be given time to become a major leaguer. Is he ready for prime time? Perhaps he is not. But he’s here to stay, as the centerpiece of the R.A. Dickey deal (along with Noah Syndergaard). However, at the moment, d’Arnaud is an automatic out, in a lineup that features far too many of them.

…In addition to the above, the team strikes out at an alarming rate (39 in its first 3 games). The record is the least of the Mets’ worries right now. The way the roster is presently constructed leaves a lot to be desired. Clearly, the roster will not look like this come July, when at a minimum Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero should be in Queens. But for now, it’s very fair to ask, “what exactly is going on here”?

 

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Tags: Bobby Parnell Ike Davis Lucas Duda Ruben Tejada

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