Coming into the offseason, every fan knew what this team needed to add: A pitcher, an infielder, a reliever, and an outfielder. Did they do this? Yes (Vargas, Bruce, Frazier, Swarzak). Did they get the best available option for any of the four? No. So what did we go into this season with? A mediocre team, and that’s including the likes of a healthy Noah Syndergaard and Yoenis Cespedes, unlike in 2017.
Flash forward three months. Noah Syndergaard has been out since May 30th, Yoenis Cespedes has been out since May 16th, and the Mets are sitting as the fifth worst team in baseball with a record of 33-48. The reaction of many has been “FIRE MICKEY, HE CAN’T HANDLE THE PRESSURE OF NY”. But the fact of the matter is, he’s not the problem we are facing. The problem is that he has been thrown into the fire of an organization that did not give him the best opportunity to succeed.
Let’s first take a look at those four big free agent signings made this offseason. Jason Vargas has an 8.60 ERA in 9 starts. Jay Bruce is hitting a paltry .212/.292/.613. Todd Frazier is hitting .219/.305/.678. Anthony Swarzak has a 4.85 ERA. All four of them have been on the disabled list (Jay Bruce and Jason Vargas being on the DL right now) and all four of them are playing way under their expectations. These are the players Sandy Alderson (Thank you Wilpons) went out and got this offseason, one in which the likes of Jake Arrieta, Lorenzo Cain, Addison Reed and J.D. Martinez were all available.
Now let’s take a look at the health of this team as a whole. Here’s a list of the players placed on the disalbed list during the season:
- Anthony Swarzak
- Travis d,Arnaud – out for the season
- Kevin Plawecki
- Jacob deGrom
- Todd Frazier
- Yoenis Cespedes
- Juan Lagares – out for the season
- Noah Syndergaard
- AJ Ramos – out for the season
- Wilmer Flores
- Jeurys Familia
- Jay Bruce
- Jason Vargas
That’s more than half the 25-man roster. Not even a team with the most depth in the majors can succeed with THIS many injuries…
Lastly, let’s look at how this team is performing as a whole. There are only a handful of players NOT under performing. Jacob deGrom has arguably been the best pitcher in baseball this season. Brandon Nimmo bursted onto the scene thanks to injuries to Cespedes and Bruce (the only positive to that situation). Asdrubal Cabrera got off to an incredible start. Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler finally look like they’re fully healthy and the results for them have been there for the most part, and Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman thrived in the bullpen to start the season, to go along with Jeurys Familia. That’s nine players out of 25. 16 players have not played up to their capabilities and/or have been injured. That is no recipe for success.
Am I saying Mickey Callaway has been flawless this season and has made zero mistakes? No, of course not. He has made his fair share of head-scratching moves, and they have made me just as frustrated as all of you. But let’s take it back a notch. While I don’t want to make any excuses for Callaway, I think it’s fair to expect some mistakes as a first time manager. Outside of that, when you can count on a grand total of three bullpen arms in your bullpen, the team is bound to blow games. Mickey cannot get the blame for that. When your so-called “big offseason acquisition” is hitting .212 with a .613 OPS you’re not going to win games. When your game 1 starter and best hitter are missing a big chunk of the season, you aren’t going to win games. And last but not least, when your owners are not willing to spend the money to build a team us fans deserve to see, you aren’t going to win games.
Moral of the story is that this team could have the best manager in baseball and would still have a putrid record. This team wasn’t set up to succeed from the beginning, even if their top players were healthy and if a majority of the team was not under-performing. A new manager is not going to change anything about this, so no, Mickey shouldn’t be fired.