Sandy Needs To Shake Up The Roster
- Updated: May 13, 2013
A lot has been debated about what should be done with the Mets roster since Omar Minaya was fired and Sandy Alderson took over as the GM. Some wanted a complete rebuild, trade everyone, including David Wright, and start from scratch. Others wanted a partial rebuild, keeping the bigger pieces like Wright and Niese, but making moves to improve the roster without giving up top prospects and draft picks. The Mets, in my opinion, went the “partial rebuild” mode– but haven’t done enough to solidify the lineup and the bullpen via trades and free-agency. Coming into the 2013 season after the R.A. Dickey trade, we were under the impression that the team would be ready to contend in 2014 led by Wright, Niese, Harvey, Wheeler, Davis, and d’Arnaud; but are they?
There has been one massive bright spot in Matt Harvey, surprising contributions from Buck, Parnell, and to a lesser degree Duda (in his offense), and of course the steady contributions from Murphy and Captain Wright. Ike Davis is off to another abysmal start, and unlike last season, the fans aren’t taking it with as much patience and understanding. Take him off the 2014 contributor’s list until he proves he can make adjustments before the All-Star break to at least make him serviceable. Wheeler and d’Arnaud are not up in the majors contributing so we don’t know what the Mets have in terms of production from their top two prospects. Duda can hit and take his walks, but his defense is a major issue. Niese has been less than good, going no more that 5 innings in about half of his starts. Murphy started the year off hot and cooled down significantly the past few weeks. The only parts that so far have shown they can help in 2014 are Wright, Harvey, Murphy, Parnell, and maybe Duda. That’s not enough, especially considering that only two of those players are stars, and another two can quickly revert back to their bad habits and drop off the list.
The team doesn’t have a big bat coming up anytime soon, unless you’re high on Wilmer Flores, who doesn’t have a position.
So what is the front office going to do?
First off all, I think they need to let go of hitting coach Dan Hudgens, pitching coach Dan Warthen, and skipper Terry Collins. Collins has been in the hot seat with fans due to his questionable lineup and bullpen management. Lately, fans have questioned his handling of Jordany Valdespin as well. Is Wally Backman the best option? I don’t know. But the team could certainly use a manager that players openly rave about and that has his team play with fire, in order to get the best out of their limited talent. This team is not like the Angels or the Tigers, lined with superstars, they need a special manager. The organization, supposedly, has a hitting philosophy that comes from Sandy and his men about taking pitches and working counts, but that shouldn’t be forced on every player the way it seems to be. It works for guys like Wright who know how to be aggressive yet still work counts, but not every player has that ability, and you end up with guys quickly falling behind 0-2 and failing.
Pick up respected coaches with solid track records and start fresh. Trade whoever you can that isn’t named Wright, Harvey, Wheeler, and Parnell and bring in serviceable veterans that play the game the right way and have been on winning teams, to set an example for the younger players that the team will obviously have. Just fill the team with hungry players and coaches that do whatever it takes to win. To many times this roster looks defeated and lost. Bring some positive, winning energy into the clubhouse and most importantly, use your excess pitching prospects to bring in another star player, preferably for the outfield.
David Wright needs a fellow star batting behind him– Ike Davis, who we thought would be that guy, and could still be that guy, is simply too inconsistent. Let’s say Sandy makes a trade for a big time player like Carlos Gonzalez, Giancarlo Stanton, or even Alex Gordon. They can then sign a stop-gap veteran player like Hunter Pence or Shin-Soo Choo, and fill in the last OF spot with a young kid like Lagares or den Dekker. Suddenly, you have a fantastic defensive outfield that your pitching will appreciate, and you have two guys out there that can hit the baseball really well and help score you runs. The infield can be fortified with the players you got in trading away players like Davis, Duda, and maybe one or both of Murphy and Tejada. Hopefully those guys played well enough to bring the team a good defensive infielder with offensive upside. I’m not saying trade all of those guys, but some combination of the pitching prospects, those guys, and even Niese, should get the team their star outfielder and their solid shortstop or second baseman– depending on who you kept. You can even get a good bullpen piece as well.
My point is that I believe Sandy and Co. need to make at least one big-time acquisition for the outfield and a few trades and signings to solidify the outfield and re-do the infield outside of David Wright, if they want to keep the fans coming to the stadium, watching the games, and supporting the team– things that bring the organization the money that compete like a big market team should compete. Keep drafting smart, keep the roster mostly young (and talented, of course), and bring in a respectable coaching staff with a good track record and you’ll have a team worth rooting for that can compete. Sign a few of the many free agent relievers. Sign a guy like Matt Garza and your rotation can be: Harvey, Garza, Wheeler (and depending on who was traded), some combination of Gee, Mejia, and Montero.
Something needs to be done. Give the New York Mets fans more to look forward to other than Matt Harvey (and hopefully Zack Wheeler), every 5th day.