I exchanged questions with Mets blogger Chris McShane of Amazin' Avenue. Here are Chris' answers to mine. My answers to his can be found here. Thanks, Chris!
Is there any hope for former Pirate Jason Bay?
The hope for Bay lies in the fact that he’s still had fewer than 600 plate appearance in a Mets uniform. Everything else looks pretty bad, unfortunately, and I’m not sure if he’ll ever get anywhere near the level he was at with the Pirates and Red Sox. He’s been swinging at more pitches out the strike zone, his fly balls aren’t going out of the ballpark like they used to, and he’s struggled mightily with fastballs and pitches in the strike zone, particularly those on the inner half of the plate. Crushing those pitches was his bread and butter, and either he’s aged very, very quickly, or perhaps there’s something like a shoulder injury that we don’t know about.
Did Mets fans' attitudes toward the team change after that crazy 9-8 comeback win over the Pirates a week ago?
That win certainly kept Mets fans from completely losing it, especially the day after Terry Collins expressed his frustrations about the game the night before. Despite the fact that the Pirates have played well this year, losing three of four in that series would have been tough for Mets fans to handle after blowing two games against the Phillies the prior weekend with the Braves coming up the next day.
The Mets have given playing time to a bunch of guys this year who are either young(ish) players, or veterans who are getting a second chance. Who among those players have performed well, and who among them might play important roles with the Mets beyond this year?
Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner both appear to have a future with the team since they’re cost-controlled, can handle the bat, and can play multiple infield positions. Ruben Tejada could still be the long-term solution at second or short depending on what else happens with the roster.
Josh Thole is slowly getting back to his 2010 form, which wasn’t spectacular, but he was above league-average with the bat for a catcher.
Jon Niese looks like he could be the team’s best pitcher not named Johan Santana next year, and Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato could be around for the long haul in the bullpen, but they both have to prove themselves. If Dillon Gee isn’t bitten too hard by the effects of BABIP regression, the way he’s pitching now would certainly pencil him in for a spot in the rotation next year.
In terms of the veterans they brought in, I can’t see Wilie Harris or Scott Hairston on the roster past this season. Maybe they’ll bring back Chris Capuano, who has pitched much better than his ERA suggests. Taylor Buchholz could be back, too, as he’s been one of the more effective pitchers in the unstable bullpen.
Will the Mets keep Jose Reyes?
Yes. There’s not a day that goes by without trade speculation surrounding Reyes, and every time the Mets are on national television, a good portion of the broadcast centers on losing him. I think Sandy Alderson and his front office will find a way to keep Reyes with the Mets for the foreseeable future, even if the team’s ovearll payroll is going to be reduced in the near future. He provides a ton of value as a hitter and plays a premium defensive position, and he’d be impossible to replace.
What's the latest on the Mets' ownership situation, and how do fans feel about the job ownership is doing?
Hedge fund manager David Einhorn stands to invest $200 million in the team, pending the approval of Major League Baseball and the terms between Einhorn and current ownership. When Fred Wilpon’s remarks about Jose Reyes, David Wright and Carlos Beltran - the best three players on the team - came out, fans were not pleased with ownership at all. Their opinions probably haven’t changed much, but the anger at ownership seems to have calmed with time. That’s probably because the team is playing much better than expected given the absence of David Wright and Ike Davis.