Sunday, June 2, 2013

Different Paths To The Same Finish Line

Unfortunately, the Mets are on their way to another losing season. No amount of Matt Harvey strikeouts and Daniel Murphy doubles are going to change their fate. There are going to be times throughout the season when we wonder why we're still watching. The Mets will be down by five runs to the Braves on a beautiful summer day and the summer sun is bound to be more appealing at least once. However, the Mets do have a way to make the dog days of summer a little more interesting. 

Right now the Mets are trotting out lineups with Rick Ankiel and Marlon Byrd. They are leaving Juan Lagares on the bench and Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill, and Andrew Brown in AAA. They are throwing Shawn Marcum, Jeremy Hefner, and Dillon Gee on the mound for what usually turns into about five mediocre innings per game. Zack Wheeler keeps pitching well in AAA, and Mets fans keep waiting around for the Mets to seem him worthy of a call-up. 

The Mets could keep playing Ankiel and Byrd as they eat at-bats in a meaningless season. They could leave Lagares and Valdespin on the bench for most games and never find out what the younger outfielders are really capable of. They can have Wheeler throw for three more weeks in AAA and hope Hefner and Gee can repeat their performances from against the Yankees. They can coast their way to 85 losses and wait until next year. 

Or the Mets could bring up some young players and see exactly what they have for the coming years. Zack Wheeler is more than ready to pitching in the big leagues. He will likely be up in the coming weeks and he should be the first of a series of moves to remake this roster. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Collin Cowgill, or (if healthy) Andrew Brown should be up with Josh Satin to take the spots of Ankiel and Byrd. If Travis d'Arnaud were healthy it'd probably be time to see him instead of John Buck. 

I am just tired of seeing these fringy, aging players take at-bats and innings away from players that could actually be contributors for more than one season. Right now it may not look like the Mets have much help coming soon for the outfield but they won't know if they don't play any of the viable options. They will have to field a team next year, hopefully one that is better than this year's team, and relying on Las Vegas and spring training statistics is dumb. 

Games with young players, hungry to get noticed, are always more appealing than games with veterans playing out one-year contracts. 

At least, I think they are. 

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