|View single post by lobo316|
|Posted: Mon May 8th, 2017 04:21 am||
|Adam Wilk, a name relatively unknown to New York Mets fans, allowed a mammoth three-run home run to Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton. It took place in the first inning of Wilk's Mets debut on Sunday, roughly five years after his last major-league start, which came in 2012 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers.
This wasn't supposed to be Wilk's start. It should have been Matt Harvey's, who entered Sunday morning as the scheduled starter. It wasn't Wilks' start until news broke that the Mets suspended Harvey for three days without pay for violating a team policy. According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, that violation was a "miscommunication" on Harvey's part, who was absent from the ballpark Saturday due to a migraine.
Once considered the hero they deserved in New York, the Dark Knight's suspension typifies the club's season to date: one filled with unfortunate injuries, controversial front-office decisions, and questionable acts from the team's PR department.
To be fair to manager Terry Collins and the front office, they have almost zero control over injuries. Unfortunately, the team has had to deal with a boatload of bad luck in that department. Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and longtime third baseman David Wright have yet to appear in a game this season.
Lucas Duda and Yoenis Cespedes, two players fresh off new deals signed in the offseason, will earn a combined $29.75 million this year. Both remain out of the lineup without firm timetables for a return, though it's expected Duda will be back before Cespedes.
The first of several controversial incidents to befall the team in the season's first month came when Cespedes, by far the team's most important position player, left a game on April 20 with what the Mets called hamstring cramps. He made a quick return on April 26, only to re-injure that same hamstring a day later. He hasn't played since.
Then there's the predicament regarding Noah Syndergaard. You all know the story by now: The right-hander, arguably the game's best pitcher, was first scratched from a start on April 27 - the same day Cespedes limped off the field with his second hamstring problem - with "a tired arm." It was later diagnosed as biceps tendinitis, which led to the Mets urging their star pitcher to undergo an MRI as a precaution. He refused, saying he knew his body best, and the Mets begrudgingly obliged, with general manager Sandy Alderson saying he couldn't force his ace into the tube.
Syndergaard lasted only 1 1/3 innings into his very next start on April 30, departing with what was later revealed to be a partial tear of his right lat. Just yesterday, the young ace confirmed he wouldn't touch a baseball for the next six weeks, but insisted he didn't regret making the start that caused the tear.
The debate will rage on as to who is to blame in these two odd injury situations. Regardless of what side you're on, it's extremely disconcerting that the Mets lost their two most valuable assets around the same time, both apparently due to rushing back from injury. Players can be irrational with their decision-making, especially when they want to help their team win, but whether the Mets made this decision collectively or let Syndergaard and Cespedes make their own calls remains to be seen. Nevertheless, the fact remains that two terrific players are lost under frustrating circumstances.
This all comes at a time when the Mets' front office has been criticized for rostering two separate players recently suspended as the result of domestic violence accusations. First it was Jose Reyes, who was arrested and charged in the offseason of 2015-16 while a member of the Colorado Rockies in an incident involving his wife while on vacation in Hawaii. He was suspended for the first 51 games of 2016 and was later released, until the Mets brought him back on a minor-league deal on June 25.
The second is closer Jeurys Familia, who was arrested on Oct. 31 on a domestic violence charge. The case was dismissed on Dec. 15, however, due to lack of evidence. He was suspended 15 games to start this season and has since returned.
Lastly, the Mets' social media team recently came under fire for carelessly posting a picture on the team's Twitter feed of first baseman T.J. Rivera in the locker room. In the corner of said picture was a sex toy in catcher Kevin Plawecki's locker, causing a media frenzy. The picture was quickly deleted, and the team has yet to publicly address the mishap.
After back-to-back postseason berths that included a World Series appearance in 2015, this year has been anything but promising for a team widely labelled as a contender prior to the season. Luckily for them, the Mets find themselves in a weak division consisting of the Philadelphia Phillies, the Atlanta Braves, and the feeble Miami Marlins. With a current record of 14-15, New York is still projected to finish the season 83-79, according to FanGraphs, so there's still hope.
Perhaps Cespedes and Syndergaard return and collectively help the club dig out of an early-season hole. Maybe Harvey - who has posted a 5.14 ERA so far this year - comes back from suspension and performs better.
Right now, though, these are dark times, and the Mets need a hero now more than ever. Too bad, for now, the Dark Knight can't help guide them on the path to righteousness.