By Michael Eccleston
Lets be real here: The reigning National League champion New York Mets need help. Captain David Wright went down yet again, this time needing neck surgery to go along with his spinal stenosis, and even though he’s back, catcher Travis d’Arnaud has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career, and first baseman Lucas Duda is now having all sorts of back issues. Not to mention Juan Lagares, Steven Matz and Bartolo Colon being banged up and a couple scares here and there with Yoenis Cespedes and Noah Syndergaard.
This team needs something. An energy boost of some sort. Because even though they are currently 40-33 and second in the National League Eastern division, this Mets team has looked extremely vulnerable because of their lack of offensive production.
Well, Jose Reyes, you got what you wanted. He is back with the New York Mets organization and in the New York spotlight for the first time since 2011 when he won the batting title hitting .337. He was signed to a minor league deal, but he should be with the major league club soon. The homegrown Reyes was always the spark plug that got the offense going, and the Mets have severely lacked production from the lead off spot since he left for Miami. His game changing speed and excitement both at the plate and in the field were missed, and now, even though he’s been under scrutiny for his domestic violence case, here is his opportunity to redeem himself in the big apple. The Mets as a team have 14 stolen bases all season… Not to mention that their individual leader in steals has spinal stenosis. Yes, you heard that right, David Wright is currently leading this team in stolen bases with 3, and he has only played in 37 games. That is a major problem. Reyes will most likely be playing his buddy Wright’s position at third base, which will feel odd for him at first for different reasons, but if he can figure it out and produce at the plate, this will be a huge lift for this ballclub. Welcome home, Jose.
Now, onto rookie outfielder Brandon Nimmo. We did it! We finally found Nimmo! But on a serious note, this is the moment that Mets fans have been waiting for since the 23 year old was drafted in the first round in 2011. He has been called up to the big leagues and will be making his debut this afternoon in Atlanta against the Braves. The kid struggled for the first few years in the minors, but then really began to turn it on with the bat looking like the first rounder the Mets had hoped for in 2014.
Nimmo is replacing young outfielder Michael Conforto who has hit a speed bump in his career and now finds his average at just .222.
This absolutely needed to happen and it should only be a brief minor league stint, considering before he went into this slump, Conforto looked like an all star outfielder. The interesting thing will be what happens if Nimmo takes this opportunity and runs with it? Conforto will likely be back sometime in the next couple of months and Yoenis Cespedes is obviously the biggest star on the roster. This puts all of the pressure in the world on right fielder Curtis Granderson. Granderson has hit lead off for the last couple of years, and now with the return of Reyes, he will likely be moved down the lineup. But then if Nimmo produces and Conforto comes back ready to go, where does that leave Granderson and Lagares? This is a great problem for the Mets to have.
Competition is a great thing. You find out what you’re made of as players and as a team. The 2016 Mets team desperately wants to get back to the World Series after losing to the Kansas City Royals in just five games last year, and even though these might not look like the greatest pickups, there is potential that these moves could be the start of something huge in New York City.