Friday, July 13, 2012

5 Questions the Mets Need to Answer In the Second Half

Author: Will Hernandez

It's time for the second half of the season! Here are 5 questions the Mets need to answer in order to be in contention come October. Enjoy! 

5. Can the farmhands help with the harvest?

It’s hard to believe former general manager Omar Minaya is responsible for a lot of what you see on the field at the moment for the Mets. These are Minaya’s Mets in many ways from Ike Davis to Lucas Duda to Bobby Parnell. And if the Mets intend to make a serious push for a playoff spot, current GM Sandy Alderson might need to reach down into the system to help the big club if outside options are few or too costly. Lefthanded reliever Josh Edgin is set to join the Mets in Atlanta. Jenrry Mejia, meanwhile, struggled in a relief appearance Thursday night for Triple A Buffalo. And then there’s the question about what to do with Matt Harvey, who might make his major league debut Wednesday in Washington against the Nats. The sign of a stellar farm system in the ability for those players to rise to the occasion when called upon. The Red Sox are a great example of this and the Mets are on their way down a similar path.

4. Can Jason Bay be Jason Bay?

This may very well be Bay’s last chance to prove his worth to the Mets. He is no doubt one of the great guys in baseball and plays every game like it might be his last. Well, if Bay doesn’t turn things around very quickly, he might very well be playing his final games in Queens. If the Mets can some how coax 10 to 15 homers out of Bay in the second half, watch out.

3. Can the bullpen improve?

There’s really no need to rehash the shortcomings of this Mets bullpen. It’s pretty atrocious and not one Mets fan is confident right now about having Frank Francisco in a prime save situation. Help is on the way in Edgin as mentioned earlier. Francisco is on the mend in the minors. Outside options such as K-Rod and Huston Street continue to be discussed. Manager Terry Collins might not necessarily believe in his relief pitchers having set roles, but he might have to change his tune down the stretch.

2. Can the starting rotation hold up?

Despite what we’ve seen from Johan Santana in the first half, he’s still pitching with what’s basically a reconstructed left shoulder. Collins will no doubt try to get Santana extra rest in the second half, even if it means pitching R.A. Dickey on three days rest a couple of times. Jon Niese struggled in his last start before the break against the Cubs, but he’s been consistent the last eight weeks. What happens with the backend of the rotation remains to be seen. Chris Young is always an injury waiting to happen. Dillon Gee probably won’t pitch again this season. Harvey remains in play as mentioned earlier. If Miguel Batista can’t get the job done in the next couple of weeks, Alderson might have to go outside the organization for help.

1. Can the Mets keep this up, period?

The Mets schedule for the remainder of July is brutal. They’re tested right away with the Braves and Nats. It’s time for the Mets to make a statement. Too many times in the past they’ve found themselves in a similar situation coming out of the All-Star break and failed in spectacular fashion. Mets fans probably want to see nothing more than this team to step on the throats of the Brave and Nats, press down hard, and dominate the second half. That’s unlikely to happen for the Mets and the rest of the division for that matter. We’re probably in for a wild ride until the bitter end.


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