The New York Mets have surprised many with their 46-45 record at the All-Star break, especially after beginning the season at 5-13. The main reason for their success is all-star shortstop Jose Reyes, who is arguably the National League(NL) Most Valuable Player through the first half of the season.
Reyes leads the NL in batting average, at .354, hits, with 124, triples, with 15, and is second in both runs scored and stolen bases, with 65 and 30, respectively. In a season in which it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that Reyes would be traded by the All-Star break, there is now a lot of talk about the Mets resigning Reyes.
Outfielder Carlos Beltran is also a 2011 All Star for the New York Mets, and is having a fantastic season, leading the NL with 28 doubles, while hitting .326 with 13 home runs and 58 RBI, while scoring 50 runs. Beltran is also a free agent at the end of the season, and it will be intriguing to see if the Mets decide to trade him, keep him until the end of the season, or resign him.
Three Mets starters tallied eight wins in the first half of the season, led by rookie Dillon Gee, who is 8-3 with an ERA of 3.76. Jonathon Niese is 8-7 with an ERA of 3.88, while Chris Capuano is 8-8 with a 4.12 ERA. Mike Pelfrey has been disappointing so far, with a record of 5-8 and an ERA of 4.55.
Injuries have been a large part in the season for the New York Mets. Third baseman David Wright injured his back and has played in only 39 of the 91 games, while hitting .226 with 6 home runs and 18 RBI in those games. Wright’s return to the lineup and his usual form will play a large part in the second half success of the team.
Second-year phenom Ike Davis was on his way to a 30+ homer, 100+ RBI season until he was injured on what seemed to be a freak play. Even more surprising, the injury, a bone bruise on his knee, has lingered, and gotten worse, so that there is no available timetable for his return.
Jose Reyes left the game on Saturday, July 2, 2011, with an injury to his hamstring, and missed the following eight games. He also did not play in the All-Star Game Tuesday evening. If Jose Reyes isn’t healthy, the New York Mets aren’t going to be able to maintain their good play.
The New York Mets traded closer Francisco Rodriguez and cash to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named later. Will this be the start of the Mets dismantling the team, or was it just a move to dump a high salary and a player who has caused problems in the past for the organization? We will have our answer within three weeks.
Rodriguez had his problems toward the end of last year, and is making a large salary, but he was having a very good season. Rodriguez had 23 saves, with 46 strikeouts in 42.2 innings, and had an ERA of 3.16. He had only three blown saves during the first half.
Mets fans can continue their optimism, but the health of Jose Reyes, David Wright, and Ike Davis, as well as who remains on the team after the July 31 trade deadline, will ultimately impact if this team is a serious contender, or just a first half pretender.