The New York Mets acquired Jay Bruce this season at the trade deadline hoping that he could provide the same spark that Yoenis Cespedes did last season when they acquired him last August.
It is way too early to call the Bruce acquisition a “failure” but so far it has not worked out the way the team thought it would.
Turns out that Cespedes will be asked to provide the same spark that Cespedes provided last season.
It is very simple actually. If Cespedes doesn’t play, then the Mets have no shot at the postseason.
They did not have much offensive firepower last season until they acquired him, and even with their dominant but young pitching rotation there was no chance they were making a World Series push without him.
This season has not been as kind to the Mets pitching staff, with Matt Harvey expected to miss the remainder of the season, and he was even dealing with struggles when he WAS healthy.
Jacob deGrom has pitched very well this season, but he does not have the wins to show for it and he has struggled in back-to-back starts, and that has forced the Mets to skip his next start.
Steven Matz is currently on the DL with left shoulder tightness but he should be back very soon.
That leaves Mr. Consistent, Bartolo Colon and Noah Syndergaard as the two “veterans”.
The team will be depending on rookies Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo to carry the back end of their staff.
Back to their offense though..
Cespedes has been a winner since the moment he stepped onto a Major League field, when he signed as an amateur free agent with the Oakland Athletics in 2012. The A’s wound up winning the AL West in 12′ and 13′ and they seemed to be on their way to another division title in 14′ but the team wanted to strengthen their rotation so they went and acquired Jon Lester from the Boston Red Sox. The Lester acquisition did not work out at all for the A’s and they tore the whole team apart and they are currently in a “rebuilding” phase.
He made two pit stops — Boston Red Sox for 51 games in 14′ & the Detroit Tigers for about 100 games in 15′ before the Tigers shipped him to Queens in exchange for Michael Fulmer.
The Mets were lingering around last season until they acquired Cespedes in August and they were able to pull away with a 20-8 record in August.
There is no coincidence that the team and the offense was able to hit their stride after the trade.
If they had not drawn a hungry and well-disciplined Kansas City Royals team they might have won the whole thing.
A right quad strain has been bothering Cespedes all season but he has only been on the DL once this season, in early August.
The team went 5-9 during that stretch but since returning from the DL they have gone 7-3 while Cespedes has hit .388 with 5 HR and 9 RBI.
He hit a walkoff home run last night to propel his team over the Miami Marlins, and he also was at the plate when pitcher A.J. Ramos threw a wild pitch with Jose Reyes on third base that tied the game up.
Cespedes impacts the game even when he does not swing the bat.
The Mets are currently nine games behind the Washington Nationals in the division, so that is probably a pipe dream but they are only two and a half games out of a wild card spot.
With an ace like Syndergaard and a game changer like Cespedes on their roster, facing the Mets would be nightmare matchuo for a ton of teams.
Also, with the way they finished last season, facing the Mets in September could also be nightmare.
– Khristian Peel
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