Thor Crosses the Bifrost, Fire Collins Now, Weekend Notes & More

As I write this, I’m currently flying from Orlando to JFK to Chicago to see the debut of Noah Syndergaard for the Mets tonight

It’s always exciting when a top prospect finally gets the call to the big club and we have every reason to expect and hope for big things from the man they call Thor. 

Unfortunately, for the Mets, it’s not the son of Odin they need, but his hammer, Mjolnir to add thump and consistency to what has become a lineup lacking any thunder. 

Offense is at a premium in the bigs and the Mets have very little to go around right now. Whether it’s due to the injuries to David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud or a real-life slump, the fact of the matter is that whatever they’re doing simply isn’t good enough. 

We’ve all repeated the cliche that good pitching beats good hitting, but at some point, you have to hit and you have to score. Not every pitcher is a Cy Young winner. 

I don’t see an easy fix to this. The Mets lack impact bats at the upper levels of the minor leagues and, short of a surprising blockbuster trade, are committed to the team as is while hoping Wright and d’Arnaud don’t suffer any (more) setbacks and can get back to form quickly. 

There’s simply not a lot you can do with this roster. Wilmer Flores leads the team with a mere four home runs and the overall lack of team speed hamstrings the team from a using creative ways to generate runs. 

Simply put, the guys who are there need to produce. And quickly. 

Other notes: 

I’m not worried about Jacob deGrom. Yet. Last night’s start was uneven, but his seems like a case of a guy who had early success and has been slow to keep up with the rest of the league adjusting to him. I think he’ll get it and be fine. 

Matt Harvey wasn’t great against the Phillies the other day and blamed his lack of feel for his pitches early on the team going to a six-man rotation the week before. I am with Harvey 100% on this too. I understand you want to limit innings and pitches over the course of the season, but how about letting the guy keep to his routine and just pull him a little early when you have a game in control instead of sending him out to finish a bullshit and completely unnecessary game against the Yankees? 

I’m happy I wasn’t the only person going nuts about the way Terry Collins used his bullpen in Philadelphia. When Alex Torres can’t throw a pitch in the same zip code as home plate, why is he being given another hitter? Infuriating. 

And I’m going to be this guy and just say it: Terry Collins has done nothing to keep his job any longer. The Mets are currently in first and the sky isn’t falling, but his constant mismanagement of the bullpen, his indifference to finding guys playing time to keep them at least active and his complete inability to get anything more than the minimum out of his players has grown tiresome and frustrating. We spoke during the off season that he was on the hot seat and on a short leash and he’s done nothing to change that. 

Wally Backman has seen a great deal of this roster go through him while he’s managed Triple-A Las Vegas and the guys there have seemed to constantly improve and seen their stocks rise while under his watch. He’s a strong personality, but you’ve only heard glowing reviews from his players about how much they enjoy playing for him. Just like Davey Johnson eventually graduated with most of his players in the 80s and presided over one of the more successful stretches in team history, it’s become time to give Backman the same opportunity. 

There is no reason to wait for this team to shit the bed before making a move. While the firing of Davey Johnson early in the 1990 season may have been a case of an itchy trigger finger, that would definitely not be the case here. Collins may not have had the greatest collection of talent during his tenure, but at no point has he done anything to merit any kind of further commitment or been looked at as anything more than a glorified caretaker until a competent manager could be found. 

As stated at the beginning, I’ll be at Wrigley Field tonight to see Syndergaard’s debut. I’m excited to finally see him along with watching Kris Bryant and the other young guys on the Cubs in person. 

I’ll be writing another ballpark report after this one so you can get my insight into a baseball landmark. Also, thanks for all the positive feedback on my Miller Park review. It was much appreciated. 

Hopefully, the bats will wake up and we can get a little consistency going with the sticks here. #LGM

Joe DiLeo

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