3 early season red flags the Mets are still trying to overcome

Early warning signs the Mets still haven't gotten completely corrected.
New York Mets v Washington Nationals
New York Mets v Washington Nationals / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages
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3) Red Flag: The Mets were not the defensive stalwart we thought they’d be

The Mets have not played well defensively. It goes beyond errors. We see tons of mental mistakes on the infield on a near-daily occurrence.

Starling Marte should probably be a DH at this point in his career and Jeff McNeil isn’t too far behind. What happened to these once-talented defenders? Have they gotten old that quickly? Brandon Nimmo’s switch to left field on a more regular basis hasn’t been the upgrade we thought it would be. Although Harrison Bader has played well in center field and Tyrone Taylor continues to be a menace off the bench, there really isn’t much to praise on the defensive side.

The biggest messes were easily Omar Narvaez and Joey Wendle. The catcher who can’t throw anyone out and seems to think he must have catcher’s interference called on him each time out is now gone. So is Wendle whose lackluster glove work was too much to bear any longer.

Most surprising, however, is how poorly Francisco Lindor has rated defensively. He has several negative marks against him including a -2 in defensive runs saved. Defensive metrics can be tricky because a couple of balls Brett Baty was able to get to instead of Lindor might’ve taken away a few plays the shortstop would have had.

There is no one perfect defensive statistic to reference, but seeing the team employ just three players with an Rtot (Total Fielding Runs Above Average) that measure over 0 does raise some eyebrows. Those three are Harrison Bader (12), Brandon Nimmo (2), and newcomer Luis Torrens (1). The lowest in this statistic is Starling Marte (-13). Playing alongside Bader has likely accounted for the decline here as the Mets most frequently used center field is surely stealing away a few balls Mart might’ve otherwise gotten to.

No statistic will fully explain how poor the defense has been at times this year. Sloppier at times than we’re used to even if there is no error charged, getting this corrected is a must.