COMMENTARY | After a surprising 7-4 start through their first 11 games, the New York Mets have hit a rough patch heading into the month of May. Terry Collins has seen his squad put together a 3-9 record in its last 12 games, including the team's current four-game losing streak.
It is tough to watch the Mets on a nightly basis right now, but what have been the top five most frustrating things to watch through the first month?
The Early-Season Struggles of Ike DavisWe're all aware of how bad Davis hit during the first half of 2012 but with 20 home runs and 41 RBIs after the All-Star break, the Mets are counting on their first baseman to be the primary source of power in the lineup. His Grapefruit League statistics (.327/.431/.455) looked encouraging but once the regular season started, he's struggled to a .169/.261/.338 line and has lost his lineup spot as the team's cleanup hitter.
The Performance of the Bullpen
Following another offseason makeover of the relief corps, Sandy Alderson was hoping the crop of relievers he brought in this season would be more productive than the 2012 version. Unfortunately, that hasn't been the case so far as their 5.35 ERA ranks second to last in baseball, only better than the St. Louis Cardinals (6.08 ERA). While one would expect more consistent play out of the bullpen, it's tough to always shut down the opposition when the starting rotation (excluding Matt Harvey) is averaging less than five innings per start this season.
Starting Pitchers Not Named Matt Harvey or Jonathon Niese
The starting rotation was supposed to be one of the Mets' strengths heading into 2013, but only two-fifths of it has been thus far. Harvey and Niese have been solid at the top of the rotation but when someone else takes the mound, New York is 2-10 on the season.
Ruben Tejada's Defense
No one is expecting Ruben Tejada to be a tremendous offensive threat in the lineup; the main part of his game is to provide solid defense at shortstop. He's begun the season with a .241/.333/.329 line, but his defense hasn't been up to par. Through one month, Tejada has already committed six errors, which is half the amount of his 2012 total. His defense has improved since New York's first road trip, but it has hurt the team in the win-loss column already.
I put this last because the play of the outfield shouldn't be much of a surprise. Lucas Duda, Collin Cowgill, and Marlon Byrd were named the opening-day outfielders, but two of the three have struggled so much that they're no longer playing every day.
Cowgill has put together a .170/.188/.319 line, while Byrd hasn't done much better with a .235/.284/.382 line. What makes it worse is that they're the only right-handed bats in the outfield, leaving it predominantly left-handed again, which is one of the few reasons Juan Lagares has been recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Matt Musico's Mets opinion has been featured on MLB Trade Rumors, MetsBlog, Amazin' Avenue and Rising Apple. He also provides his analysis and opinion on the rest of Major League Baseball at his personal blog, On The Way Home.
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