Struggling Sophomores

So it’s come to this.

Swept by the Braves at home, the third-place Mets are expected to, and let’s face it, probably ought to, shake the team up at least a little before the hated Royals arrive for a two-game set starting Tuesday.

26Some of the changes appear obvious. Travis d’Arnaud will return behind the plate and hopefully, he’ll stay healthy. It appears very likely that Kevin Plawecki to Last Vegas will be the corresponding move. No excuse for how poorly he’s hit — wearing 26, Plawecki’s barely any different than the overmatched 22 he was in his rookie year — but thanks in part to d’Arnaud’s fragility Plawecki’s never had that two months in Las Vegas he so obviously needs.

30Will Michael Conforto join him on that plane? It would appear to be a consideration, and one I advocated weeks ago. I have little doubt Conforto can and will be a very good hitter but it’s long past the point where he ought to work out his issues in Las Vegas, even for just a short while.

Top draft pick Brandon Nimmo is having a fabulous year out there by the way, slashing better than 300/400/500 (that’s a positively Fonzerian line), is already on the 40-man roster, and could presumably succeed as a leadoff hitter. That would allow Curtis Granderson to drop in the order and take up at least some of the power slack. Nimmo wears No. 7 in Vegas, but 9 — and 1 — are just sitting around waiting for someone here.

Less likely in my estimation — but inevitable it would seem — will be a reacquaintance with Dilson Hererra. I don’t think that happens unless Neil Walker is hurt, or traded, but I wouldn’t necessarily reject the latter idea. Walker’s a free agent to be and won’t get “Murphy Money” from us, and isn’t on a 40-home-pace any more.

16Finally it takes a special kind of uselessness to be a reserve and yet fail to fit into this lineup but it’s my guess Alejandro De Aza won’t be around for too much longer. Traded? Released?

59The bullpen may also get a rocking, although injuries may determine that as much as performance. Even if Antonio Bastardo were having a good season, which he’s not, his deliberate pace drives me crazy as a fan and he would appear vulnerable but for the expectations that come with his career and contract, and the fact that’s he a left-handed relief pitcher. Hansel Robles, like Conforto and Plawecki, may just need a few weeks in AAA to work things out. Sophomores.

What are your thoughts?

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  1. Bill M. says:

    Since you asked:
    – The jury’s is out on d’Arnaud. If he can become the player he was rumored to be – & we saw some flashes of – when he first came over, that would be great. We’ll see.

    – Plawecki’s been bad, but I still like him slightly better than Rivera as a backup, although I’ve heard that a lot of the starting staff likes to throw to Rivera.

    – Love your idea of swapping Nimmo for Conforto. And Granderson should be dropped in the line up. I think I’d rather see him bat 2nd than 7th, though.

    – Even though Walker’s cooled off a bit, I’d still like to see him finish the year with this team.

    – De Aza is dead weight.

    – Bastardo drives me crazy too. A snail on the mound.

    – Robles is slumping. I just don’t see him getting demoted. Hopefully he’ll break out of it soon – he’s always been streaky.

  2. Matt B says:

    So if Reyes comes back, does Travis give him #7? I say no…that Reyes gets #1 or #77.

  3. Chris says:

    Give d’Arnaud #8 or #9.

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