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New York Mets: Calls to fire Mickey Callaway are premature

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PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 16: Manager Mickey Callaway #36 of the New York Mets looks on from the top step of the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Chase Field on June 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX, AZ - JUNE 16: Manager Mickey Callaway #36 of the New York Mets looks on from the top step of the dugout against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning at Chase Field on June 16, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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It has been a rough first season for New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway, but he hasn’t exactly been dealt a great hand either.

It couldn’t have turned into more of a nightmare in Mickey Callaway’s first shot as a manager. He came from an organization with recent success and brought a fresh voice. Yet the New York Mets are once again in the same spot they were a year ago.

It’s easy to lay a lot of blame on Callaway and his in-game moves have been brought into question on more than a few occasions. But any talk of firing Callaway at this point would be premature and counter-productive.

The jury, to a degree, is still out on how Callaway will eventually work out as a manager.

I know it looks ugly right now but let’s consider what he’s had to deal with: two of his top players, Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes, have not even been available for a substantial portion of the season due to injury.

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The Mets have been able to hold from a starters’ standpoint thanks not only to Jacob deGrom but improvements from Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz behind him. However, it’s created a trickle-down effect that took Seth Lugo out of a struggling bullpen.

The loss of Cespedes, for the time being, has put a huge dent in the offense. The Mets rank no better than 21st in any of the following categories: runs, home runs, on-base percentage, batting average, and slugging percentage. There have been individual offensive bright spots (mainly Brandon Nimmo and Asdrubal Cabrera), but a healthy Cespedes is capable of offensive production that is hard to replace.

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Another thing to consider is a period of adjustment was to be expected. We’re talking about a new coaching staff all coming with little collective experience. Not only is this Callaway’s first job as a manager, but bench coach, Gary DiSarcina is new to the coaching game. And all the new coaches hired came over from the American League.

Lastly, the bullpen has been brutal no matter what buttons Callaway pushes. The bullpen collectively has surrendered 47 home runs entering the weekend. Only the Angels bullpen has given up as many. Relievers have also taken 21 losses (most in the Majors). New York ranks in the bottom ten in ERA and walks.

Consider as well that the roster could look completely different in a month with the Mets selling.

The question then becomes what will Callaway have to work with down the stretch? The roster could look a lot younger by the time July 31 passes.

Like I said earlier, Callaway has had to answer for some decisions and there certainly have been some flaws. At the same time, I think a certain bit of perspective is needed at this point. Especially after seeing what he’s done already with some of the young pitchers on this staff, I’m willing to give Callaway a little more leeway to see how he progresses.

Next: Potential Noah Syndergaard trade destinations

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Any talk of firing now would be a rash decision.

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