Exiled Mets from 2018 team aren’t having much fun in 2019
By Tim Boyle
What are former the New York Mets from last year’s roster up to? Let’s check in on how cruel this year has been to some of them.
For all of the grief the New York Mets have given us at times already this season, checking in on how some members of the 2018 team no longer with us are performing with their new clubs can provide a little Schadenfreude. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it has to do with enjoying the misery of others.
Over the last year and change, the Mets have moved on from an abundance of players. Through trade, release, or other means, the roster has been shuffled. Other than Jarred Kelenic down in the Seattle Mariners farm system, I’m not sure there’s anyone producing. I’m not looking deep into the minor leagues at who has and who has not performed well. He’s still worth mentioning because of how great he has been and the controversy over trading him.
Please note, I’m not even including jobless players like Jose Bautista. These struggling ex-Mets on big league teams are all employed at the moment, but maybe not all for long.
Why not start with the Dark Knight? The relationship between the Mets and Matt Harvey is a fractured one although he has given us a few quotes in the last couple of months to suggest he has matured. After he has retired, I would like to see the Mets fans cheer for him upon a return. Maybe he can throw out the first pitch in a playoff game.
Through 8 starts, Harvey is 1-3 with a 6.69 ERA. So far, the risk the Los Angeles Angels took on him has not paid off whatsoever. The Harvey of old is non-existent. Unless he can reinvent himself as a relief pitcher, I don’t think he stays in the major leagues for much longer.
The season Jay Bruce is having for the Seattle Mariners has gotten a lot more attention than the struggles from Harvey. That’s because Bruce is knocking home runs and not doing much else. Bruce is batting only .192 this year but already has 12 dingers in his first 138 plate appearances. With 41 strikeouts, he’s also killing rallies.
Bruce is having the type of year we could only hope for from Todd Frazier. Between the two, I would rather have a guy smashing home runs every third game. Bruce isn’t doing much else for the Mariners this year. His best days are far from over.
Injuries have affected Anthony Swarzak yet again in 2019, but the former Mets reliever has given the Mariners about a dozen innings. However, it has resulted in a 6.17 ERA and 4.6 home runs per nine!
I don’t often use exclamation points. For Swarzak’s pitching performance this year, I’m willing to break out the most exaggerative of punctuation. He has been that bad this year in Seattle even with three saves.
Kevin Plawecki is right where he belongs; as a backup catcher. The second-string backstop for the Cleveland Indians is below the Mendoza Line and there’s no reason to believe anything changes this year.
The only positive for Plawecki is how he has managed to somehow pitch a pair of shutout innings in two different appearances. Baseball is a funny game.
Speaking of former catchers, what has Travis d’Arnaud been up to since leaving the Mets? After signing on with the Los Angeles Dodgers and having one pinch-hit at-bat where he made an out, d’Arnaud is with the Tampa Bay Rays. In his first game with them on Saturday, he batted fifth. When the Rays get to know him better, I don’t think this will be the case.
The strange thing about d’Arnaud is that I feel like the Dodgers actually made money by signing him. They traded him to Tampa Bay for cash considerations and I have to believe this equaled more than the week salary he earned with Los Angeles. Basically, he was an investment they turned into a couple of Benjamins.
Who remembers Asdrubal Cabrera on this team last year? Dealt at the trade deadline to the Philadelphia Phillies, Cabrera signed on with the Texas Rangers this offseason. Through 119 plate appearances, Cabrera has slashed .229/.311/.467 with 7 home runs and 23 RBI.
It’s not a dreadful year. On a team headed nowhere, it’s probably a little tougher to take.
This list doesn’t include a few others having a tough 2019. Bobby Wahl, one of the men traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Keon Broxton, underwent Tommy John Surgery before the season even began. A pair of minor leaguers the Mets dealt to the Houston Astros in the J.D. Davis trade are also off to rough starts on the farm.
Somewhat unexpectedly, Wilmer Flores is one of the few Mets from last year’s roster playing well in 2019. Tell that to his adoring fans in Flushing. They knew he had magic left in his bat.
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The 27-year-old is now with the Arizona Diamondbacks playing a lot of second base. In his first 118 plate appearances. Flores is slashing .275/.322/.394. At the start of Saturday’s games, his .717 OPS was only three points below Robinson Cano.