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Offensive drought complicates trading deadline moves

by Jim McNierney

Through much of this season, I’ve been touting the wisdom of seeking out a fifth starter to shore up the dwindling starting pitching for the Mets. In the last few weeks it certainly seems that they aren’t lacking much in the pitching department compared with an almost nuclear meltdown in all offensive categories.

Through most of the season, we’ve endured ups and downs with the pitching corp. Early in the season, there was a glaring weakness in middle relief. We saw three of our original starters spend time on the DL. Despite these problems, the team not only seemed to be resilient in the pitching corp but they almost thrived. Currently, two of the original starters are still spending time in the minors and their replacements (original last minute additions that were given minor league contracts at the beginning of the season) filled in ably.

The defense has been very consistent through the season. Last year, this was certainly a concern. There was a concerted effort this spring on shoring up the defense. That coupled with some great homegrown additions/replacements in the combination of Ruben Tejada (at 2nd or SS) and Ike Davis this area of their play has been greatly improved.

The offense has been another story all together. They currently rank 10th in the league in overall average and RBIs, 11th in runs scored, Hits and Slugging Pct and 13th in Home Runs. What’s worse is that for over half of the season the Mets have been without the services of Carlos Beltran and the addition of Jason Bay has been largely an underwhelming experience. The recent loss of Jose Reyes’ services has left the offense without a key spark plug.

As the trading deadline approaches, the Mets need to consider strongly how to bolster their offense. What also needs to be factored in is where any additions would best fit. I like the team chemistry that exists right now. The most obvious power deficiencies right now seem to be at 2nd base, left field and catcher (although I’m very impressed with the way Josh Thole seems to be developing as a catcher).

With the trading deadline approaching, the Mets are going to have to make some tough decisions if they want to have a chance at the post season this year. Those decisions need to be tempered with the longer-term goals of the organization.

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