With the 2013 Mets season underway, I wanted to try something new here at the Daily Stache. After some meditation and prayer, I thought why not try out a quick back and forth with a fellow blogger of the New York Metropolitans.
So to get us started this week is a good friend of mine, Jon Presser. Jon happens to run the fantastic Mets blog The Shea Faithful on Fan vs Fan.
Now some of you might be wondering who this person is. I don’t blame you, he leads a quiet life in Westchester. Very unassuming as he enjoys life taking care of his little dog.
But, What if I told you that he is known on twitter as @MetsJetsNets88?
Oh, so now you know who it is.
Yes, that’s right, the guy who always fights a lot with people on twitter and never buys anything. All joking aside he just happens to be one of the brightest baseball minds I have the pleasure of knowing.
With with the Mets season starting the season well, the team is off to a solid 5-4 start, the two straight losses in Philly not withstanding, I thought I should see what his mindset is about the early story lines that have come about already.
Below are the three questions (just like three strikes and three outs, there are three questions) he answered about a couple of issues and highlights regarding the Mets.
1. What can the Mets do to fix the back of the rotation?
I hate to say it, but they need to just press on right now. I wouldn’t mind seeing Collin McHugh get a shot over Aaron Laffey, but I think with Gee and Hefner, the Mets just need to be patient. Both Gee and Hefner have similar repertoires and approaches on the mound, so perhaps it could help to split them up so they don’t pitch back-to-back days against the same opponent in the future. But really, for the most part, I think the Mets just need to be patient and hope that Niese and Harvey can continue to carry the rotation until Shaun Marcum gets healthy, Gee and Hefner settle down, and Zack Wheeler finds his rhythm with a few more weeks/months in Las Vegas. McHugh is probably the next man up if needed.
2. Does Ike Davis’ slow start concern you?
Not particularly. For the most part he’s been more of a second-half hitter in his career, and we all know he got off to a very extended slow start last year and still rebounded to SLG .542 with an .888 OPS after the All-Star break. He’s too good of a hitter not to get on a hot streak at some point. He’s only swung and missed at 9% of the pitches he’s seen this year, down from a career-worst 11.2% last year, so hopefully he starts getting luckier with balls in play. He’s had a paltry .158 BABIP so far this year, (and he had a .325 BABIP combined in 2010/2011 for what it’s worth) despite a solid line drive rate of 20%. The hits will come.
3. What player (Not named John Buck) has impressed you to start the season?
Lucas Duda’s approach at the plate has really impressed me. Obviously the power numbers are great (.731 SLG, 1.216 OPS in 35 plate appearances through the first 9 games of the year) but really what I love seeing from the Mets this year is the selective aggressiveness that Dave Hudgens has preached, and nobody has embodied that better than Duda. Duda has only swung at 11.8% of pitches outside the strike zone so far this year, and he’s made contact with a career-best 75% of those pitches. He’s only swung and missed at 6.6% of the pitches he’s seen this year, and that combination of a good eye and a quick bat has really helped him be productive to start the year. I’d love to see him keep it up and put it together for a longer stretch of time, like he did in the second half of the 2011 season when he hit .322 with a .411 OBP and a .957 OPS in his final 64 games after the All-Star break.