What’s Going on in New York?

Before the 2017 season started, the New York Mets were projected to be one of baseball’s best. That is, however, if key players could stay healthy and contribute on offense.

The Mets started off strong, winning seven of their first 10 games. Since then, the team has gone into a bit of a slump, losing the next eight of nine games. Many wonder why this is happening, but most already know the answer:

The Mets have always seemed to have trouble keeping their starting pitching rotation healthy, but this season, so far, things have not been too bad. The first three in the rotation, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, and Matt Harvey, have all had injury troubles in the past, but they’ve seemed to maintain their health thus far. However, the fourth supposed starter, Steven Matz, was placed on the disabled-list at the beginning of the season. Zack Wheeler has since then filled in for injured Matz, but hasn’t been able to fill the void.

So far this season, Wheeler has pitched in four games and has a 1-2 record. He has put up a 5.40 ERA (earned-run average), which is something that must improve if he wishes to stay a starter once Matz returns.

The Mets have had some trouble closing out games in the month of April. The bullpen, which revolves around relief pitchers Jerry Blevins, Addison Reed, and closer Jeurys Familia, has given up a total of 37 walks thus far, tied for third-most in baseball. The Mets’ bullpen ERA is 3.71 as well, something to keep watch for. Since Familia returned from his 15 game suspension, he has given up four walks and struck out six batters in just 2.2 innings. Although six strikeouts is solid, Familia seems to be having control issues, something that’s familiar to him and the team. If the bullpen is to improve, control is something to focus on.

Aside from pitching, the Mets’ offense has been in quite the slump, aside from a few key players. Right fielder Jay Bruce, whom the team acquired in a 2016 midseason trade from the Cincinnati Reds for top prospect Dilson Herrera, has hit well so far. Bruce is batting an average of .271, has hit six home runs and has tallied 14 RBIs (runs batted in). Other than Bruce, only a few other players have hit the ball. Outfielder Michael Conforto is hitting .361 with four home runs and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera leads the team with 20 hits. Left fielder Yoenis Cespedes and first baseman Lucas Duda (who are both known to be somewhat injury prone) have contributed as well, but minor injuries have kept them from stepping at the plate. Cespedes leads the team in OBS (on base percentage) at .377, but if he is to get on base, he needs to play in games, which ultimately means staying healthy.

Should Mets fans panic? Not really, since the season just began. There is much more baseball ahead and the team has bounced back from episodes like this in previous years.