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New York Mets 2016 Midseason Report

With more than half the season in the books, now is a good time to take a pulse check of how the Mets are faring. This is the Mets 2016 midseason report.

With more than half of the 2016 MLB season in the books, now is the perfect time to take a pulse check of how the Amazins’ are performing so far. The New York Mets currently at 47-41, tied for second place with the Miami Marlins and six games behind division-leading Washington Nationals. While the Mets currently share the second Wild Card spot with Miami, a wave of injuries have made a postseason berth a major uncertainty for a team that was favored to take home the National League East. Along with my fellow Mets beat writer, Max Rosenfeld, we made our midseason picks for biggest surprise, disappointment, midseason MVP, and what to watch for in the second half.

Mets 2016 Midseason Report

Biggest Surprise

Max: James Loney

At the time of his signing, Loney was viewed as a short-term replacement for the injured Lucas Duda – and a mediocre one at that. Loney came in as a declining veteran on the wrong side of 30. Now, a legitimate case can be made that Loney should retain the everyday spot at first base even when Duda returns. Loney is batting .286/.340/.451 on the year and has provided solid defense. His steady play with the glove and bat has aided the Mets in their pursuit of the Nationals.

Justin: Wilmer Flores

Anyone who actually anticipated that Flores bat would come along, stand up and take a bow. With five home runs in his last six games (as of Friday, 7/8), it seems that Flores is finally starting to breakout. The Mets have waited long for Wilmer to emerge offensively and the return of Jose Reyes to Queens has seemingly ignited him. It’s tough to say whether he’ll be able to maintain this down the stretch, but either way he’s earned his spot in the lineup just as much as Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Neil Walker.

Biggest Disappointment

Max: Matt Harvey

Seen as the ace of the vaunted Mets rotation heading into 2016, “The Dark Knight” has been nothing short of awful. Harvey will undergo season-ending surgery after being diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome, a rare injury that has caused the pitcher to lose feeling in his fingertips. Harvey concludes his season with a 4-10 record and 4.86 ERA in 92.2 innings pitched. He must bounce back in a big way in 2017 if he hopes to regain the hearts of the New York faithful.

Justin: Michael Conforto

While Matt Harvey is easily the most disappointing player on this ball club, I’d like to give things a different look. Conforto entered this season with the sky as his limit after a promising late-season campaign in 2015. Things started well, with Conforto holding down the three spot in the lineup, but here we are at the All-Star break and Conforto is now resting comfortably in Triple-A. Despite ten home runs and thirty RBI, a disappointing slash line of .222/.296/.423 led to the 23-year-old’s demotion. Now, fellow prospect Brandon Nimmo has come up and taken his place. The task to return the Major Leagues remains daunting for the young outfielder.

Midseason MVP

Max: Yoenis Cespedes

Forget team MVP, Cespedes may wind up being the MVP of the National League. The Cuban slugger is batting .303/.373/.585 with twenty-one home runs and fifty-two RBI – all for a team that has struggled offensively for most of the season. Cespedes has provided a spark for a Mets team that desperately needed something to complement their wicked pitching staff. Cespedes is smacking line drives at a gaudy 25.4% rate and is on pace to set career-highs in almost every offensive category. If he can lead New York to another division crown, Cespedes will cement his legacy in the Big Apple as a baseball legend.

Justin: Jeurys Familia

Nobody on the Mets has been more stable in recent memory than Familia. Named to the National League All-Star team, the Dominican Republic native has performed spectacularly this season, posting thirty-one saves in thirty-one opportunities with a 2.55 ERA. Familia is poised to easily eclipse the forty-two saves he amassed in 2015, and currently leads the National League. Don’t look now, but he even has a shot at challenging K-Rod’s record of sixty-two saves in a season.

What To Watch For in the Second Half

Max: Zack Wheeler‘s Return

With Matt Harvey on the shelf for the remainder of the season, Wheeler’s impending return becomes even more important. Wheeler was sidelined for the entire 2015 season after receiving Tommy John surgery on his elbow. The right-handed hurler was seen as the original Noah Syndergaard/Steven Matz – a promising pitcher eager to join the game’s elite.

Wheeler was forced to watch all of last season’s playoff run from his couch, something he will use as motivation as he attempts to lead the Mets back to the postseason. Wheeler and his career 3.50 ERA should return in mid-to-late August.

Justin: How Jose Reyes Performs

Bringing Reyes back was surely a low-risk/high-reward gamble. The Colorado Rockies must pick up the $39 million that he is owed, so the Mets are only responsible for the league minimum. They also have a team option for next season. Reyes has been shrouded in controversy following a domestic violence incident that resulted in his release from the Rockies and a suspension for the first fifty-two games of the season.

It’s hard to determine if any offense remains in the player who once was the greatest shortstop in Mets franchise history. Reyes, always reliant on his speed, may not have the legs to get the job done anymore. His defense at third also stands as something of an unknown. Either way, it will be interesting to watch this exciting player return to the franchise that raised him. Perhaps he can help them win ball games down the stretch.

Love the Mets? Check out our series recounting some of the best moments of David Wright‘s career entitled “The Wright Moments”:






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