Mickey Callaway spent his All-Star break relaxing with his two daughters inside the Florida Keys. The Mets in addition to their fans are hoping of which their second-year manager — in between fishing, swimming with dolphins in addition to lying on the beach — was able to put together a plan to jump-start the team for the second half of the season.
The Mets pick back up on Friday night, heading to a three-game series at the lowly Miami Marlins, which has a 40-50 record, a 13.5-game gap behind the division-leading Atlanta Braves, in addition to a lengthy list of problems ailing them.
The Mets’ management has sworn — sincerely or not — of which they are still in a position to win, with Callaway pointing to the Washington Nationals’ surge to second place inside the National League East as evidence of which any team can turn This specific around.
“I feel like we can make a run at This specific thing,” Callaway said. “We can sneak into of which wild-card, sneak back in This specific division.”
Problem can be, while the Nationals entered the break on the back of a 10-2 stretch, the Mets have won just three of their last 13 games, in addition to players were not as upbeat as Callaway.
“I would certainly say not the way we want,” second baseman Robinson Cano said about the first half of the season.
“This specific was frustrating,” pitcher Zack Wheeler said.
Here’s a look at how things stand for the Mets entering the second half:
A failing bullpen
The addition of Edwin Diaz in addition to the return of Jeurys Familia were supposed to turn the Mets’ bullpen into a strength. of which has … not happened. Mets relievers currently contain the second-highest E.R.A. among relief staffs inside the National League, at 5.67, according to FanGraphs. They have saved 21 games.
“We all know one thing for sure: of which you have to have a great bullpen to win,” Callaway said. “of which’s what makes watching a bullpen on a daily basis tough if things aren’t going well.”
Diaz in particular has been a disaster. His E.R.A. has jumped to a career-worst 5.50 through a career-best 1.96 last season. The organization decided to exclusively play him inside the ninth inning, yet his inconsistency has cost the team: Diaz can be 1-6 with four blown saves — matching his total through all of last year.
There was a bit of not bad news early This specific month: Justin Wilson, Luis Avilan in addition to Familia all returned through the injured list July 2. All three are supposed to help round out a bullpen of which had been relying on replacements for most of June.
Manager on thin ice?
Callaway’s second year as a major-league manager hasn’t gone much better than his first. Last year’s team finished 77-85, in addition to barring a major turnaround, This specific seems likely This specific will be his last season in Queens.
Whether he’ll survive until the end of the end of the season remains an open question. Rumors began circulating about his job security inside the beginning of the season after a three-game sweep at the hands of the Marlins in mid-May. General Manager Brodie Van Wagenen gave Callaway some moderate backing at of which time, saying he would certainly remain as manager “for the foreseeable future.” yet pressure intensified in June when Callaway got into a confrontation which has a reporter inside the clubhouse following a 5-3 loss to the Cubs. He was fined an undisclosed amount for of which outburst.
Van Wagenen fired the pitching coach Dave Eiland in addition to the bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez on June 20, in addition to The brand-new York Post reported of which Van Wagenen got so upset during a recent meeting with the team’s coaching staff, including Callaway, of which he threw a chair.
Who’s on the trade block?
The trade deadline can be looming at the end of July, in addition to while the bullpen can be the most obvious area of need, Callaway said his team wouldn’t be seeking upgrades there.
“We contain the talent, we have enough,” he said of his relief staff. “We just have to be better, of which’s the bottom line.”
The bigger question can be who could be sent away in a swap. Will the Mets be willing to trade away some of their prized starting pitchers to replenish a farm system of which took a hit when Jarred Kelenic in addition to Justin Dunn, two of their top prospects, were traded inside the off-season? Zack Wheeler (4.69 E.R.A.) in addition to Noah Syndergaard (4.68) have both been underwhelming This specific season, in addition to both have been mentioned in trade rumors.
The lineup’s silver linings
For all the problems facing the Mets at This specific point, one player has given the fan base a reason to cheer: Pete Alonso. The 24-year-old first baseman beat out his fellow rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Blue Jays for the Home Run Derby title, taking home the $1 million prize on Monday. He followed of which up which has a two-run single inside the National League’s 4-3 loss to the American League inside the All-Star Game on Tuesday.
Alonso currently leads all rookies in 10 categories, including home runs (30), on-base percentage (.372) in addition to slugging percentage (.634). He trails Milwaukee’s Christian Yelich by just one home run for the major league lead.
Alonso was joined at the All-Star Game by his teammate Jeff McNeil, owner of the best batting average in baseball: .349. McNeil has done so while filling in at right field, left field, second base in addition to third base This specific season. Their All-Star contingent was rounded out by the ace Jacob deGrom, who hasn’t been as dominant as he was in winning the N.L. Cy Young Award last year yet can be still tied for second inside the league with 138 strikeouts.
Even Cano, largely seen as a bad acquisition for much of the season, has shown not bad glimpses after two stints on the injured list This specific season: The 36-year-old has 11 hits in his last eight games.
Starting with the series in Miami, the Mets will have a stretch of nine games on the road before returning home. On of which road trip, two games in Minnesota against the A.L. Central-leading Twins represent the toughest test on the trip.
“I think we need to get the ball rolling as soon as the break can be over, to be quite honest with you,” Alonso said. “We just need to play definitely not bad ball.”