The woeful New York Mets offense is about to get worse; starting shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was removed from yesterday’s game with a knee injury.
On Sunday, the New York Mets (53-50) had lost four in a row, slipping to 7.5 games behind the first place Nationals. Although New York was able to eek out a win on Sunday, fans are desperately calling for offensive upgrades. The Mets have only a few hours left to decide whether or not to add talent to the team’s anemic roster, as the Major League Baseball trade deadline is today at 4 PM.
Yesterday’s loss of Asdrubal Cabrera exacerbates the Mets’ offensive conundrum; he was removed in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies with a knee injury. Cabrera, who had been hitting .255/.308/.410 with 13 HR and 33 RBI, will be sidelined for at least two or three weeks; Cabrera’s knee injury– a strained patellar tendon– is a recurrence of the injury he had earlier this season. As a result, the Mets were forced to recall Matt Reynolds (.234/.307/.355 in Triple-A this season) to the active roster last night; he will play various infield positions in Cabrera’s absence.
And now the Mets must choose: “win now” by adding offense at the deadline and forcing yourself back into the race, or stay stagnant and hope that Yoenis Cespedes and James Loney will lead to the promised land. Personally, I am not so sold on the latter.
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I believe that the New York Mets will acquire Cincinnati Reds’ left-handed slugger Jay Bruce before today’s 4 PM deadline. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson realizes that there is a limited window of opportunity for this roster; at some point, the Mets’ young pitching studs (Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz and Zack Wheeler) will be too costly to retain. In two or three years, at least one of those pitchers will be too expensive to afford: and so, the mentality needs to be “win now.”
Yesterday afternoon, reports began to surface that the Mets were both “interested” in Jay Bruce and “out” of discussions about Jay Bruce because the asking price was too high. However, as the Mets have continued to hold pat, the price of Jay Bruce has actually gone down; and thus, this morning, the Mets were formally the front-runner to land Bruce’s services.
What would Bruce bring to New York? Jay Bruce has been a mainstay in the Reds lineup since 2008; the outfielder has made three All-Star games, including this summer, and has averaged 31 homers and 95 RBI each season in Cincinnati. This season, Bruce is hitting .260 with 25 HR and an NL-leading 80 RBI. Bruce’s lefty bat, which plays perfectly to the short right-field porch at CitiField, should find a new home in Queens by the end of the day.
The Mets offense desperately needs this spark. First, the Mets have played the majority of this season without their best left-handed bat, Lucas Duda. Duda is out for an indefinite amount of time after a stress fracture occurred in his back. After the team lost third baseman David Wright, they opted to sign the controversial Jose Reyes to take his place. And, as only with the Mets, Reyes had to be placed on the 15-day Disabled List shortly after.
At this point, it almost feels as though the Mets are clamoring for just enough guys to field a team. This, however, is misguided; New York needs to be aggressive to capitalize on the amazing, young starting rotation that they have. In a few hours, Mets fans will be able to fully understand the direction of the organization. To Bruce, or not to Bruce?
The loss of Asdrubal Cabrera, the fourth Mets position player to fall, basically gives the Mets no choice: they have to add offense.