A-well-a don’t you know / about the Byrd
Well, everybody knows that the Byrd is the word!
The Mets have been terrible offensively of late, averaging just under 3.5 runs per game since May 1st and going 13-19 entering play today. They rank 26th in runs scored, 29th in batting average, and 27th in OPS (though, interestingly enough, that’s third in the NL East). David Wright has been struggling, Ike Davis got optioned today, and they’re seemingly getting no production from anyone.
Marlon Byrd, meanwhile, is raking.
Seriously.May 30, 2013; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Mets right fielder Marlon Byrd (6) hits a two-run home run in second inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports
Since May 1st, Byrd has appeared in 25 games (20 starts) and accumulated 86 plate appearances. Over them, Byrd has hit .263/.337/.566 with seven home runs and 18 RBI. He’s struck out quite a bit (26.7%), but has posted a respectable 10.5% walk rate and is making good contact, with nine of his twenty hits going for extra bases.
At the end of April, it looked like Byrd would end up as many prognosticators had assumed, powering through a strong spring before eventually fading back to the player who posted a .488 OPS between Boston and Chicago last season. His OPS was .657, and he had a 37.5% K rate in his last ten April games. He’s since turned it on, and has bumped his OPS to a respectable .786 on the season with 8 homers. Heading into the spring, Sandy Alderson was widely criticized for failing to re-sign Scott Hairston (who currently sports a .601 OPS for the Cubs), and signing Byrd was labeled a desperate scrap-heap acquisition. Giving credit where it’s due, the 35-year-old Byrd has been a great value, and a quality contributor on this team.
Should the production continue, Byrd could be a quality trade piece for the Mets to collect prospects and pieces to build or flip in this offseason. Unlike Hairston, Byrd doesn’t exhibit severe platoon splits; his numbers against right-handed pitching are worse than against lefties, but a .748 OPS there can play. Though it’s been a bit more fueled by power, his overall good defense in right field and ability to hit the long ball ought to make him attractive to other teams.
In the meantime, let’s hope that Byrd can keep it up at least until someone else gets going. I know The Trashmen have their fingers crossed.