4 players to blame for the Mets falling behind the Braves in the NL East

New York Mets v Chicago Cubs
New York Mets v Chicago Cubs / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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2. New York Mets DH Daniel Vogelbach is watching the opposition pound him (and Billy Eppler) in the strike zone.

The Mets, rightfully, prided themselves on plate discipline and not striking out last year. That was a big reason why they were so successful offensively. So when Billy Eppler acquired Daniel Vogelbach from the Pittsburgh Pirates last year, Eppler though this would be the Mets' solution to their left-handed DH problem left behind by Robinson Cano and Dominic Smith.

And in isolation, Vogelbach was pretty good, batting .255 with a .393 on-base percentage and had an OPS+ of 138, blowing away his career averages.

However, Daniel Vogelbach was brought in to swing the bat, and his swing rate of 32.2 percent is the lowest in the majors since coming over from Pittsburgh. This season alone, that swing rate is 31.6 percent, 2.4 percentage points lower than the next lowest (Juan Soto at 34.0 percent as of Saturday), while he looks at 44.5 percent of strikes, which is the highest in the majors. And he has as many strikeouts looking as swinging strikeouts. Vogelbach is not giving the Mets what they need, and that's power hitting.

And he is regressed, as a result, to his numbers in Seattle, where he was a low average hitter and a slightly below average hitter. Yet Billy Eppler and the front office keep insisting that Buck Showalter put him in the lineup when they face a right-handed starting pitcher. And Eppler gave up a solid relief pitcher in Colin Holderman, who is turning into one of the best setup guys in baseball, in the trade. Holderman has been much better this season than the current Mets' setup guy, which I discuss on the next slide.