Believe it or not, but behind the Tigers, the New York Mets are the the hottest team in all of Major League Baseball. Yes, you are reading that correctly.
After starting the season 2-3, the Mets have won 8 consecutive games, their longest streak since June of 2010. They now sit atop the National League, and are 2nd in the league with a 10-3 record. Their hot start is due to their thriving offense. The Mets rank 4th in the N.L. in Runs and RBI’s, and rank 6th in hits and batting average while having the second-best OBP in the N.L. While the hitting is surprising, most people overlook their pitching because the expectation is that the Mets are supposed to be atop the league in team pitching. Indeed they are, with a 3.00 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP both ranking 7th in the MLB.
Due to the Mets’ hot start, however, some may overlook the barrage of injuries currently plaguing the Mets. Four key players had to be put on the shelf before the season even started. Josh Edgin and Zack Wheeler both had Tommy John surgery on their respective elbows, Bobby Parnell is still trying to come back from last season’s Tommy John surgery, and Vic Black is rehabbing shoulder tendinitis. Although this isn’t entirely due to injury, Jenrry Mejia was suspended 80 games on April 11 for the use of Stanozolol. Four days later David Wright strained his right hamstring while sliding into 2nd base. On April 19, Jerry Blevins and Travis d’Arnaud both suffered fractured bones in the same game. Blevins fractured his left forearm from a line drive while pitching. Travis d’Arnaud fractured his right hand on a hit by pitch.
All these injuries to key players will prove how deep of a team the Mets are. With all the injuries to the bullpen, the Mets still have one of the best pitching staffs in the league. Besides Dillon Gee, the starting rotation hasn’t missed a beat without Zack Wheeler. Since losing David Wright to injury, the Mets have won four straight, including the game he had to leave. Jeurys Familia has taken over the closing role since Mejia was suspended and he has flourished. The Mets have called up Hansel Robles to replace Blevins on the roster. Losing d’Arnaud will be tough for the Mets, mainly because he’s been arguably their best hitter with a .317 batting average, two home runs and a team-leading ten RBI. However, the Mets called up top-catching prospect Kevin Plawecki, who will get most of the starts in his absence.
Injuries of this nature can cause even the best teams to flounder. If the players mentioned above are able to step in seamlessly, the Mets will continue their winning ways. If the call-ups cannot match the level of production of the injured players, Mets fans may be in for a harsh dose of reality as injuries take their toll on the team’s stellar start to the 2015 season.