Thursday, October 8, 2015
2015 Mets: Wilder Than Wild, Part II
If you missed part 1, it's right here.
Bartolo Colon - A-
I once again have to give Colon a high grade, for no other reason than at 42 years old and in the shape of a Shmoo, he once again went out there and gave the Mets a quality outing every 5th day. True, much like last year he had his share of games when he just didn't have it and got blasted and for a brief stretch in July he looked like he was at the end of his rope. But when it came down to crunch time he got it together and he pitched as well as anyone on the staff when it mattered most. Also proved to be perhaps the most entertaining Met of the season, between his near-riotous At-bats, which resulted in 8 hits, 4 RBI and a .138 BA, his Airplane selfies, his bubble gum and his behind-the-back flip in Miami. 14-13 on the year, 4.16 ERA, 194.2 IP, 136 Ks, 24 BBs. And the Mets lone CGShO of the season.
Jacob deGrom - A
If deGrom was good in 2014, he was great in 2015 and proved immune to any kind of sophomore jinx. The defending NL Rookie of the Year had a minor hiccup in early May, but made an adjustment and for the next 3 months was as good as any Pitcher in Baseball. deGrom was the Mets lone representative at the All Star Game, and just to make sure he represented the Mets well he went out and stole the show, striking out the side on 10 pitches in his inning of work after Joe Buck scoffed at him. Started to run out of steam towards the end of the season but a skipped start helped him rest and get back on track, and now he'll reap the spoils of a great season by starting Game 1 of the NLDS. 14-8, 2.54 ERA, 191 IP, 205 Ks, 38 BB.
Matt Harvey - B
Although Harvey deserves all the credit in the world for coming back from the Big Boy Surgery and looking like he'd never left, he also managed to turn himself into perhaps the most polarizing figure on the team and maybe made a number of ill-advised and ill-timed statements and actions probably because he needs better handlers. Letting his agent dictate his workload was probably a mistake and ended up causing a rather unnecessary distraction. That being said, when he pitched, he generally pitched well. Yes, he had some lousy games early in the season, which had to be expected from a guy coming back from elbow reconstruction, and yes, he was kind of iffy late in the season, probably because he was hitting a wall, but like the other youngsters, a couple of skipped starts did him well. Ultimately, I don't think his work ethic is false bravado and I believe him when he says all he wants to do is take the ball but he's just got to be a little smarter with his actions because more often than not he comes off looking like a bit of an ass and draws focus away from what he's here to do in the first place. If he wants to shut everyone up, though, he can do so by throwing 8 shutout innings on 4 hits with no walks and 11 strikeouts on Monday night. 13-8, 2.71 ERA, 189.1 IP, 188 Ks, 37 BB.
Jon Niese - C-
Niese had another head-shaking season where in about 75% of his outings, he'd throw 3 great innings to start the game, get 1 or 2 outs in the 4th, then he'd get a bad call, walk a guy and go on to give up 4 runs and destroy the whole game. Or he'd get a bad call and give up a 450' Home Run. Or both. This from a guy who we've for years been counting on to be that veteran lefty in the rotation but he still makes the same mistakes that he made when he was 24 years old. Now he's 28 and that doesn't fly anymore. Unfortunately, if this still happens it means Niese will probably continue to pitch like an asshole if he remains on the team instead of being the odd guy pushed out of a crowded rotation. Again. he's 28 years old and went 9-10, 4.13 ERA, 176.2 IP, 113 Ks and a team-leading 55 BBs.
Noah Syndergaard - A-
Syndergaard is a good example of a young guy who learned a little bit of maturity and he took off from there. After ascending to the Majors in May, Syndergaard grabbed a spot in the rotation and didn't give it up, justifying the lofty hype that was attached to him and displayed an ungodly array of pitches that he often times could throw any time he wanted. After a few early outings where he pitched with some rookie jitters, he found his sea legs and started ripping off a string of outings where 8 innings, 1 run, 4 hits and 12 strikeouts were the norm. Just like the other young guys, Syndergaard started to slow down in late August, had a start skipped, and he probably benefited from that more than anyone because after that, he looked like he was back in June and dominated again. 9-7, 3.24 ERA, 150 IP, 166 Ks, 31 BBs (notice a theme here?)
Steven Matz - B
Matz is kind of the dark horse for the Mets right now. He came up in June and had possibly one of the most auspicious debuts in Mets history. He allowed a HR to the first batter he faced and then settled down to pitch into the 8th inning and punctuated that by getting 3 hits and driving in 4 runs, and at that particular point in the season that output made him more qualified to hit cleanup on a regular basis than 2/3ds of the position players on the roster. Made another good start, and then went on the DL with a lat strain that of course kept him out for 2 months. Came back and pitched decently, but still has this 1st inning-itis problem. Now, the 2 months he missed kind of undercut him from making any kind of major impact this season but it sort of feels like he's been here for a while. Maybe that's more hype than anything else, but the more important thing here is that while everyone else in the rotation has worked a full season, Matz is basically in July right now. So, assuming he's healthy enough to pitch, he's actually one of the fresher arms the Mets have right now. 4-0, 35.2 IP, 2.27 ERA, 34 Ks, 10 BB.
Logan Verrett - B
Verrett took Dillon Gee's number and Dillon Gee's job as the swing guy for the Mets over the latter half of the season. It was Verrett that pitched in Harvey's spot in Colorado and surprised the hell out of everyone by pitching 8 innings that day. Made 3 other starts and pitched reasonably well. Kind of a non-entity in the grand scheme of things but certainly posits as the sort of pitcher who could get 2 batters out or eat a bunch of innings and not really skip a beat. 38.2 IP, 1-1, a surprising 36 Ks and 11 BB.
Dillon Gee - F
Though Gee was initially supposed to fill the void left by Zack Wheeler's injury, Gee ended up pitching miserably, ended up "injured," and then shoved aside when Syndergaard ascended and showed a pulse. It's unfortunate, because Gee performed yeoman's work for several seasons in often hopeless situations (and perhaps the same could be said of Niese, although Gee never had those blow-up innings quite like Niese does) and now that it's prime time he's totally forgotten. We've probably seen the last of Gee here but let's not forget the good times. 0-3, 5.90 ERA, 39.2 IP, 25K, 11BB
Rafael Montero - C-
Montero had a chance to earn himself a role here after falling flat last season but it didn't really come together for him. Pitched inconsistently in relief, got a spot start and fizzled out and ultimately wound up on the DL and stuck in Rehab Assignment Limbo and a visit from Terry when his work ethic came into question. I've always viewed Montero as talented trade bait and now it appears he might have killed his value, but we'll see. 0-1, 10 IP, 4.50 ERA, 13K, 5BB.
Sean Gilmartin - B
Rule 5 pick that stuck it out all season while being spotted mostly in low-pressure situations. Lefty-specialist type that wasn't really a lefty specialist. Could work as a crossover guy when the situation dictated. One of the "bubble" guys for the Postseason roster but he earned his keep this season and might earn himself a larger role going forward. 3-2, 2.67 ERA, 57.1IP, 54K, 18BB.
Hansel Robles - B-
There's always a young pitcher who surfaces each season on the Mets who I say "Flashes of brilliance, flashes of youth" about and this year Robles was that guy. Robles had several outings where he would come in and just dominate the opposition, and quick pitch guys and keep everyone out of sorts. Then he'd have a day where he had nothing and would get cuffed all over the ballpark. Such is to be expected from Rookie relievers but as the season went on, we started to get more of the good Robles and less of the lousy Robles, even if he kept inciting the Phillies. 4-3, 54 IP, 3.67 ERA, 61 K, 18 BB.
Carlos Torres - C-
Carlos had a second Torres join him in the bullpen this season and rather quickly it seemed to become apparent that when one of them ended up in a game, something had gone haywire. Carlos seemed to thrive in outings where he would come in a tie game in extra innings and have to throw for 3 or 4 innings, but when he needed to get a few outs to bridge a game to the 8th or 9th, this became a struggle. But, then again, that's what Carlos Torres has always been, isn't it? 5-6, 57.2 IP, 4.68 ERA, 48K, 18BB.
Alex Torres - D
Alex and his poofy hat comprised the lefty half of the Torreses and although Alex had better numbers than Carlos, he also had several outings where he couldn't throw strikes and got blasted. Supposedly a lefty specialist but of course like many lefty specialists he had the annoying habit of not being able to get lefty hitters out, and perhaps that's where the bullpen troubles began... 34.1 IP, 3.15 ERA, 35 K, an ugly 26 BB.
Tyler Clippard - B
Clippard came over from Oakland just before the trade deadline and immediately took over the 8th inning role, which was a cause for concern before he arrived. Wily veteran performed admirably well for several weeks and bridged the gap to Familia. Struggled late in the season due to overuse because he was pitching so well and Collins insistently used him game after game after game...a few days of rest here ought to be just what he needs. Still kind of looks like he should be on his way to Social Studies. 4-1, 3.06 ERA, 32.1 IP, 26 K, 10 BB.
Jeurys Familia - A+
At some point in 2014, something clicked for Familia, and he went from being a guy who was barely passable as a Major Leaguer to a solid reliever. But in 2015 he took The Leap. Handed the closer's role when Mejia was lost, Familia took the job and ran with it, going from a pretty good setup guy to an Elite-level closer and over the course of the season became one of the best in the league. Experienced a minor hiccup coming out of the All Star Break but otherwise was lights out all season long. If you could look at one guy who absolutely saved the Mets asses this season, it's Familia. He hopped into a situation that could have been completely disastrous and instead proved himself light years better than the guy he replaced. 2-2, 1.85 ERA, 78 IP, 86 K, 19 BB, 43 SV in 48 opportunities.
Bobby Parnell - D
It was a rather difficult journey back from the Big Boy Surgery for Parnell, who'd experienced a drop in velocity even before the surgery and when he returned he really didn't show much at all. For a few weeks he actually looked pretty good, like he had forcibly learned how to be a pitcher instead of just a hard thrower but eventually that luck ran out and he got shelled really bad on several occasions. A phantom "injury" kept him on the sidelines for a stretch and when he returned he seemed to have regained some velocity but I'm not sure he can be counted on to be the pitcher he once was. 24 IP, 6.38 ERA, 13 K, 17 BB.
Erik Goeddel - C+
Unexciting middle-reliever type whose arm may be one ill-timed pitch away from exploding. Made it back after a lengthy DL stint. 33.1 IP, 34 K, 2.43 ERA so for the most part serviceable.
Addison Reed - A-
Acquired for purposes of depth at the end of August and for the most part pitched really well and kind of solved the 7th inning problem for the most part. Also spelled Clippard and Familia on multiple occasions. Former closer who could easily adapt to the role if necessary. 15.1 IP, 1.17 ERA, 17 K, 5 BB, 1 SV.
Jack Leathersich - C
Another lefty specialist that wasn't really much of a lefty specialist. Great K numbers in the minor leagues and managed 14 in 11.2IP in the majors but didn't exactly distinguish himself. Eventually lost to the Big Boy Surgery.
Eric O'Flaherty - F
Acquired from Oakland as a reclamation project to try and take over the lefty specialist role. After routinely failing to get both lefties and righties out this particular windmill was abandoned. 8.2IP, 13.50 ERA, 6IP, 5BB.
Buddy Carlyle - C
37-year old journeyman earned his first career Save on Opening Day as the emergency closer. Unfortunately that would be the high point of his season. Injured and I believe groused about something involving management. 1-0, 5.63 ERA, 8 IP, 6 Ks, 1 SV.
Jenrry Mejia - F
Failed to answer the bell on Opening Day because of a strained giblet or something to that effect. Got pinched for PEDs while healing. Came back, pitched for a few days, then got pinched again, thereby getting himself suspended for a full season and earning the Mets "Idiot Of The Year" Award. 7.1 IP, 7 K, 0.00 ERA.
Non-entity veteran called up to eat a few innings down the stretch. Pitched like the retread he was. 5.2 IP, 7.94 ERA, but did K 8 to keep in the spirit of the team.
Got off to a hot start until a comebacker that was predictably hit by a Marlin batter broke his arm, and then he broke it again while on rehab. Can't know how the season would have turned out for him but he seemed to have the right attitude for his role. 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 K, 0BB
Actual lefty-specialist type that got called up in September, struck out Bryce Harper in his first game of the season, then got hurt and didn't see anything resembling consistent work after that. Stuff-wise looks better than most of the available lefties but lacks experience. 12.27 ERA in 3.2 IP.
Called up from A-ball in an emergency situation. Toronto lit him on fire in the one game he got into. Not exactly an accurate assessment of his abilities. Probably a better pitcher than his 67.50 ERA might indicate.
And who can forget...
Terry Collins - B+
For all of Collins' foibles, Terry got the absolute most out of this team all season long, and really if you look back on it, he's done that for as long as he's been here. It's been tough to get an accurate read on Collins because he's mostly had awful, hopeless teams to manage. But he kept everyone together, he kept everyone focused, and sure, he made some questionable decisions, but in the end when management finally gave him a decent team to work with, he made the most of the opportunity. Collins might not win Manager of the Year for what he did with the Mets this year, but if Baseball has anything resembling a Purple Heart, Terry Collins should be the recipient.
So, that's it. Whether you agree with all these grades or not, what can't be debated is that in the end this season has to be considered a success. The Mets were considered not quite there yet but they stuck together, they persevered and ultimately they were able to reach the next step. And now, we're on the eve of that next step.