In the future, it’s possible that this 3 Up, 3 Down feature may combine the Mets and Yankees into one – but with so much to talk about in the first week-plus of the bizarre 2020 MLB season, why not give each their own space to debut it?
The Mets’ .300 winning percentage through 10 games is second-worst in the NL, but there of course have been bright spots amidst the darkness that Mets fans will likely say is ever-present. So, to spotlight both, let’s take a look at three players or topics that are trending up for the Amazins, and three that are on the downswing.
UP: The McNeil/Davis Runs HourWould McNeil play third, or would it be Davis? Would McNeil have to play second a lot? Would someone have to be Cespedes’ caddy or Dom Smith’s defensive counterpart in left field?
All valid questions going into the season, but regardless of the flux, McNeil and Davis have been the leaders of an offense that has actually been decent. McNeil and Davis are 2-3 in average and OPS, McNeil’s 12 hits tie Robinson Cano for the team lead, Davis leads on slugging, and the pair is 1-2 in RBI.
DOWN: The Edwin Diaz Home Runs HourEdwin Diaz nailed down a tricky save in Game 1. Then he blew one the next day. And, by the end of this past week, he was pitching seventh-inning mop-up duty. Diaz looks like he has no idea how he’s going to pitch from pitch to pitch, and it seems as if it took Luis Rojas only a week to do something Mickey Callaway was often loathe (for one reason or another) to do: relieve Diaz of his role as closer.
UP: Robby Cano, don’tcha know?Why aren’t McNeil/Davis 1-2 in a lot of spots? Because Cano is the leader in average and OPS, and co-leader in hits. There was real wonder if he would be able to play much early on given all things, but he’s been a sparkplug.
DOWN: How low can Yo go?Yoenis Cespedes has every right to opt out of the season due to coronavirus concerns, but let’s be real: he straight up quit on this team. Anyone who believe it was fully COVID-related might be lying to themselves, because people who have legitimate gripes and reasons don’t just pull a Dottie Hinson and dash off without telling anyone.
UP: Prospect, Not SuspectThe Mets went from “maybe Michael Wacha will be a swingman” to “uh oh, we need a fifth starter” in a hurry, and top prospect David Peterson has delivered. He’s one up and one down, but Petey was one out shy of a quality start in Boston in his debut, and then fanned eight over six strong in a quality start in Atlanta. Cy deGrom keeps on keeping on and Steven Matz has had a strong start, but Peterson’s quick impact is the positive story of the Mets’ hurlers so far.
DOWN: Cy OldPeterson might be the Mets’ fourth starter before too long, because if and when Marcus Stroman returns, it might be Porcello – and not prospect Peterson or fallback plan Michael Wacha – who ends up in the bullpen. Granted, this is a guy who went from Cy Young in 2016 to AL losses leader in 2017, but when the highlight of his season is the video tribute the Red Sox gave him at Fenway, that’s a problem when you’re not a Red Sox player (and didn’t even pitch in the series). Porcello has faced Atlanta twice, and while the second time was better than the first, he still has a 13.50 ERA in six innings pitched with as many walks allowed as strikeouts tallied. Porcello is an old 31 with a lot of miles on his arm, and one wonders if this is a flier that would’ve been better left on someone else’s windshield.