The Mets have been pretty awful. If it’s not one thing (their offense) it’s another (their bullpen). Barring a miracle (going undefeated the rest of the season) the Mets are doomed for the cellar. At best, we’ll see the ReplaceMets: Alonso, McNeil, Nido, etc.; at worst, Reyes starts a majority of the games for the rest of the season—which may result in Gary Cohen openly losing it on air. Maybe that last bit is a blessing.
But there’s one interesting thing the Mets fell *** backwards into.
Here are three first baseman:
In order, those are the stats of Lucas Duda (32 years old), Eric Hosmer (28 years old), and Wilmer Flores (26 years old).
Their respective contracts are: 1 year/$3.5M, 8 years/ $144M, and 1yr/$3.4M. While Duda has only played 61 games and Flores 80, Hosmer has played 100 and isn’t particularly far ahead in any category.
The point is the Mets dodged a bullet by being their usual disgustingly cheap selves. Wilmer has struck out only 23 times in 80 games compared to Hosmer 100 in 100 games. Flores also makes most of his outs in the air as opposed to the ground. For every fly out, Hosmer has nearly 3 ground outs which has resulted in 12 GIDP as opposed to Flores whose ratio has continued to skew more toward fly outs. His ground out to air out ratio per MLB.com is 0.59. While I’m equally frustrated as anybody when Flores pops a lazy fly ball, I know I’d take that over a possible double play (so you don’t have to look it up: Flores has grounded into a DP 4 times this season).
Now, just to be clear: this is in no way meant to support the Mets’ ownership not spending money. In fact: sell the team. This is just to say that Adrian Gonzalez never should’ve been getting regular starts at first base and, aside from the 8 games missed due to injury, Flores should’ve been starting every game. Instead we’ve seen pity/whining-won starts by Jose Reyes in spots that Flores could’ve just as easily filled.
It’s possible this post is just coming about because I’m filled with anxiety about the possibility of the Mets trading Flores, but the statistics were a thing I happened upon last night out of boredom. Honestly, these are all pretty much career lows where it counts and career highs where it hurts for Hosmer, but he’s certainly not going to become Benjamin Button and start aging in reverse. That contract could end up a disaster for the Padres.
In a season of one awful story after another, it’s important to acknowledge the silver-linings. Wilmer Flores, Mets Walk-Off King, has been a pretty damn good for the Mets. When a league is seeing upticks in strikeouts, it’s nice to have someone who puts the bat on the ball often. Hopefully, Flores isn’t one of the casualties at the trade deadline because it’ll hurt to see him go.