State of the Citi
By Lisa R. Neilson
As Major League Baseball finishes up its fifth week of play, it’s time for me to take a good hard look at the state of my boys in Flushing. To be honest, the NY Mets current fourth place standing doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me. With a wimpy outfield and a bullpen that my local little league team could fluster, most of us weren’t expecting much more. Still, the lack of offensive production lately and numerous outfield errors aren’t giving us Mets fans much reason to even tune in. Here’s a look at some of the ups and downs:
Jordany Valdespin. ‘Spin has come up big so far in difficult situations, like the sixth career pinch hit home run Wednesday against the Marlins that snapped a 6-game losing streak. Terry Collins might be tempted to play Valdespin every day for his bat but will most likely continue to play him off the bench for now. Who else does he have to turn to?
John Buck. Catcher Buck has been a nice surprise for Mets fans. He had a terrific debut month with 9 home runs and 27 RBIs. Who knows how much worse the Mets record would be without Buck’s great start? And with elite catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud sidelined in Triple A with a broken left foot, it looks like Buck will be sticking around for a while.
Matt Harvey. Right-hander Harvey is certainly one bright spot on the team. Labeled as “the real deal” by many baseball folks, his 4-0 record and 1.56 ERA in six starts have earned him the title of National League Pitcher of the Month for April. Too bad Twins’ slugger Justin Morneau broke up Harvey’s bid for a no-no on April 13th. I’m looking forward to seeing what this young ace can do. At least one thing is real about the New York Mets this season.
Ike Davis. Slump is a word first baseman Davis has grown too familiar with. His .169 batting average so far mirrors closely the .185 batting average of last April. His second consecutive slow start to the season is frustrating to watch. It might be worth reminding Mets fans that Davis eventually ended the 2012 season with 32 home runs and 90 RBIs. But I’d feel a lot better if Ike started hitting, and soon.
Collin Cowgill. Outfielder Cowgill offered an explosive start to his debut at Citi Field with a grand slam on Opening Day in the Mets’ 11-2 rout of the San Diego Padres. But Mets fans are asking: “What have you done for us lately, Cowgill?” Since Opening Day, Cowgill has contributed little to the already anemic Mets’ offense; defensively, he has fallen short of expectations, too. A misplayed ball earlier in the week against the Marlins contributed to a blown lead and eventually a loss. It may be time for Cowgill to be sent packing.
No one said this was going to be a winning year for the Mets. And May has just begun, right? Last year, we had a great first half only to return from the All Star break and spiral downward to a disappointing fourth place finish. Maybe a disappointing April 2013 will reap an opposite finish to the end of this season. After all, there’s a whole lot of baseball left to be played. And what happens in April stays in April, right?