The Mets offense has been anemic for a good portion of the 2014 season. After scoring 21 runs in two games at Yankee Stadium, their lineup has struggled mightily putting up runs in ballparks other than the bandbox in the Bronx. They rank 25th in MLB in OBP, 29th in batting average, and last in slugging percentage. They are now 20-23 through 43 games and just 9-12 at home with a nine-game homestand coming up. The organization can look to 2015 all they want, but they can’t let Citi Field be a ghost town in the dog days of summer of 2014.
As expected, Ruben Tejada has been a disaster at the plate. Everyone can praise his defense all they want, but his bat is not cutting it at the major league level. The Mets cannot have a guy hitting .185 with no homers and nine RBI in the lineup everyday. He’s a complete liability at this point. When June rolls around, the Mets need to make a move. The smartest decision to make is to go out and sign Stephen Drew.
Will Drew be a savior to the Mets season and send them to the playoffs? Of course not. This team still needs more juice in the lineup. But for a team that already has a ton of trouble selling tickets in New York City, it’s a move that needs to be made. Every year, the Mets find themselves out of the playoff race by late July. They have to find themselves in contention at least until August at the earliest and be hovering around .500 going into September. Nobody is going to buy into 2015 if the organization as a whole is not buying something into 2014.
This offense needs some sort of spark, and they don’t have that player offensively in the minor leagues. They can hype their young pitching studs like Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, and Jacob DeGrom all they want, but if they aren’t going to get run support, they won’t win games. Just ask Matt Harvey. Drew now has that winning pedigree, after taking home a World Series title last season with the Red Sox. In 124 games, he hit .253 with 13 HR and 67 RBI. That kind of production is light years away from what the Mets are getting right now at shortstop, and the kind of numbers that would give the Mets at least five to ten more wins. 10 of the Mets 23 losses have come by one run. They are on pace to lose 50 one-run games. That is a mind boggling number.
The issue will be that multiple teams will be going after Drew in June, when a draft pick is not attached to him. The Red Sox and Tigers will be the top two suitors and the Mets should be right up there with them. This team needs to be concerned with a shortstop that can hit and field, and Drew can do both. They badly needs more pop in the lineup, and the bottom of the order has become automatic outs at this point. With Travis D’Arnaud’s struggles, the seven through nine spots go down like falls in autumn. You might as well shut the television set or head to Shake Shack when that part of the lineup comes up.
If this team cares about their fan base, they will go out and throw whatever money it takes to sign Drew. They have told everyone they have a little wiggle room to spend, and babying Tejada and experimenting with Wilmer Flores has not worked and it will not work anytime soon. There’s nobody in the farm system that can fill in and get the job done. Sandy Alderson needs to find a way to get people to show up to games this summer for baseball reasons, not just for postgame concerts. I go to many of the Mets home games and the building is silent. It’s lifeless. Fans have become demoralized and expect runs to not be scored. They expect home losses. The Mets don’t have a homefield advantage.
Drew won’t save the season, but he’ll heal some of the wounds of what has been a futile Mets offense.