The New York Mets have been a much healthier team this year. Unfortunately, it may have a negative side effect.
Ray Ramirez was fired over the winter as the long-tenured trainer of the New York Mets. The number of injuries that hampered the team over the last few seasons made Ramirez public enemy number one.
Fans began to believe that the Mets were cursed. Every minor injury led to more serious injuries that would sideline players for months on end.
Players are so healthy this season there’s a legitimate concern of trying to get Brandon Nimmo into the lineup. Sandy Alderson actually sent Nimmo to Las Vegas in order to get him at-bats. Due to injuries to catchers Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki, Nimmo was recalled and has not cracked the lineup since. His on-base percentage hovering around .500, Nimmo is a lead-off catalyst who should set the table for the heart of the lineup.
Instead, Nimmo is a glorified pinch hitter. With Adrian Gonzalez struggling, the plan is now to move Jay Bruce to first base a couple of games per week. Nimmo could then play the outfield. Other than the Mets scoring 14 runs in a game in San Diego, their offense is ice-cold. Yoenis Cespedes is starting to hit, yet the team just isn’t scoring runs.
They need a jumpstart. Even Juan Lagares, who would be an every day, Gold Glove center fielder if only he was able to hit consistently, is killing the baseball right now. Lagares is not as effective off the bench as Nimmo is, but he also has done enough to deserve a couple of starts a week.
So, what is the issue? The Mets have a healthy outfield. Their infield is healthy as well. If only Lagares or Nimmo could catch…..
The Mets offered so many opportunities to play in prior seasons because of significant injuries. The issue is the healthy everyday players are slumping mightily. The dilemma is whether to sit an everyday player to get a hot part-time player at bats. As of right now, the answer is no.
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Mickey Callaway made it clear that the everyday players are going to continue to regularly play. He remains confident the bats will warm up. Cespedes and Bruce have started to come around, however, Conforto is still cold, and so is Rosario.
The old baseball adage is having too many players is a good problem to have. That is possibly true, however when a team’s offense is struggling the way the Mets are your hot hitters must find a way to play.
Since their 12-2 start, they are playing under .500 baseball. They had a chance to run away with the division early and put distance between their rivals, but teams are starting to slowly catch up. They haven’t even won two games in a row in over two weeks.
Kevin Plawecki is about a week away from returning, so that should help with the offense. If Bruce plays first base a bit, Nimmo playing also will add offense, and they will just have to mix and match and see where the Mets will wind up by the end of May.
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The Mets to stay healthy and have that good problem they talk about.