Mets 2017 squad are a blueprint for a modern-day worst case scenario
By Tim Boyle
Heading into the 2017 season, there were high hopes for the New York Mets. Unfortunately, the team put together one of the worst campaigns in recent team history.
Less than two full years from appearing in the World Series and only one after earning a playoff berth in the Wild Card Game, the 2017 New York Mets put out a blueprint for what you don’t want your team to look like. With some serious talent on the roster, the team managed to win only 70 games.
The 2017 squad should consider themselves fortunate that the early days of the Mets were as awful as they were. The 2017 team didn’t lose as many games as those old-school ones did. However, there’s a good argument to make about how much worse this year was.
Hopes were still high in 2017. Many members from the 2015 National League Pennant winners were still present. Unlike some seasons in the early part of the 2010s, there were expectations. Unfortunately, the talent wasn’t quite up to par.
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Injuries plagued the team. Noah Syndergaard made only 7 starts and Yoenis Cespedes missed 81 games. Their lone All-Star, Michael Conforto, was on pace to challenge for the franchise home run record. Sadly, he was only able to muster up 27 in his 109 games played.
The franchise which had previously relied on their pitching to carry them didn’t get much in this department. Jacob deGrom led the way in wins with 15. The next closest was Robert Gsellman with just 8.
As if the losing wasn’t rough enough on fans, the summer involved a mass exodus from Flushing.
The team traded away every veteran on an expiring contract including longtime Mets slugger Lucas Duda and fan-favorite Curtis Granderson. In the years that followed, we learned how little the club got in return for these key members of the 2015 run.
Equally as heartbreaking, fans began to realize that perhaps Matt Harvey would never be the same again. In his 19 games, the Dark Knight went 5-7 with a 6.70 ERA. Promising young starter Steven Matz was just as bad in his 13 starts. He finished his unhealthy season going 2-7 with a 6.08 ERA.
Everything that could go wrong did for the 2017 Mets. deGrom was the lone gunman to reach 120 innings pitched. The bullpen included only two guys to reach 50 frames: Paul Sewald and Josh Smoker. Neither had productive campaigns either.
It was a season where Jay Bruce led the team in home runs 29 in 103 games. Asdrubal Cabrera led the team in his with 134. By far the most egregious, the .246 hitting version of Jose Reyes led the team in multiple offensive categories including runs scored, at-bats, and games played.
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Years like the 2017 season come around every so often for just about every franchise. The important lesson is to not let it continue. Fortunately, the Mets seem to be trending in the year direction since. Let’s hope another 2017 campaign doesn’t come around for a really long time.