NL East leads the standings based on improved roster
NEW YORK – An entire schedule, said Luis Rojas, rarely clicks at the same time.
“It’s hard for me to say that everyone is going to click at once because usually the way it goes is a few guys are hot – two, three guys max are hot – and two, three more get their hits.” here and there walking around, and then there are two fighting and going through their struggle a bit to find their way, ”Rojas said.
Right now, the Mets don’t have enough of the top two categories (guys who are hot and guys who consistently get their hits and rides). They too have the third category (struggling guys).
That’s how it’s been for most of the season.
When the Mets arrived in Atlanta to start a three-game series against the Braves, they were 29th in baseball in points per game at 3.59 – just a hair above modest Pittsburgh. They ranked 26th in batting average (.229), 26th in percentage on base plus slugging (.676) and 29th in percentage on slugging (.369).
As you can see from these numbers, the Mets’ potency numbers are dropping. Their lineup, considered one of baseball’s most dangerous early in the season, produced just 72 home runs. The only teams with fewer are the Diamondbacks and the Pirates, two teams that won’t be close to fighting this season.
And again, as a reminder:
“It’s not the whole lineup that clicks,” Rojas said. “It’s rare when this happens.”
But much of that roster hasn’t clicked as the Mets are near the bottom of the league in almost every major offensive category.
We need some context here, however. It might be unwise to overanalyze May, given the Mets were missing five of the eight players in starting position at one point. They continued to treat the wounds until June.
Now they’re healthy, with the exception of Brandon Nimmo and JD Davis – two guys who, to be honest, are important to this roster and were their hottest hitters when they suffered injuries.
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But here’s something to remember: From opening day through May 15, when hamstring injuries to Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto left the Mets with an exhausted team, New York wasn’t much better.
The Mets placed 24th in OPS (0.666) and 29th in slugging (0.347). They were 18th on average at batting (0.231).
Despite all of this, the Mets believe they will eventually come back. They explained that they had too many proven hitters not to score points. They also mentioned a sense of urgency because they understand they need to improve offensively.
They entered that series with the Braves holding a three-game lead in the division. And after releasing the numbers we’ve looked at in this story, this division head looks amazing. It speaks of dominant pitching and excellent defense (although the second has been shaky in recent days).
Now they need to be offended.
“If this is the rare occasion where everyone (clicking at the same time), we’ll definitely take it,” Rojas said with a chuckle. “But right now, we just want a connection to get quality hitting throughout our lineup.”
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Speaking of offense, the Mets are scoring a lot of points behind.
They just don’t score much early on.
This season, the Mets have scored 53 points – nearly 20 percent of their total score – in the eighth and ninth innings alone.
“We weren’t very good at the start,” Rojas said. “It’s something that we have to adjust, we have to come out of the fall with the same intensity as at the end of games. It’s almost like our concentration increases later in games.”
Rojas said Tomás Nido (contusion to the wrist) and Jeurys Familia (conflict to the hip) were due to start rehab missions with Triple-A Syracuse on Tuesday. Nido was expected to start behind home plate, while the organization expected Familia to pitch an inning.
JD Davis (sprained left hand) is expected to join them on Wednesday. Jonathan Villar (calf sprain) could join them on Thursday.
And Brandon Nimmo is still in Syracuse for a few more days as he completes his rehab assignment before joining the team.
The Mets appointed right-hander Jerad Eickhoff for assignment on Tuesday. He allowed Washington five runs in six innings on Monday.
The Mets called southpaw Thomas Szapucki. Rojas has said he could be a candidate for the incumbent. Other candidates, according to the manager: right-handed Corey Oswalt and Sean Reid-Foley.
Justin Toscano is the Mets Beat Writer for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to all analysis, news, transactions and other Mets, please register today and download our app.
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