New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday: Reyes, Murphy, Gee, Capuano

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     Hello fellow Mets fans, welcome on back to another edition of New York Mets Stir-Up Sunday! Well, after rattling off six straight victories things have come crashing down a bit for our Mets, as they currently find themselves in the midst of a three game losing streak and are staring down the barrel at a showdown with Cliff Lee tonight. Regardless, the Mets have been playing better ball of late, and have proven they’re not going to be the team that kicked off the year on an ugly 5-13 skid, thankfully. And now that the first month of the season is officially in the books, there have been some things I for one have certainly learned about the 2011 New York Mets. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

     For one, I’ve realized Jose Reyes is easily one of my favorite Mets ever. The guy is an absolute lightning rod for this team, and I feel like he’s never been more exciting to watch as a player then he is right now. The catalyst shortstop is having a great year thus far, and has just been an absolute treat to watch over the years of his Mets career. Perhaps since that tenure is on the verge of coming to a close in a few months time, I find myself appreciating Jose more than ever. The other night in Washington, after getting called out at third base on a blown call in the late, close ballgame, Jose began jumping up and down in disgust. It was absolutely awe-inspiring to me. It was a great display of passion; the guy flat-out just wants to win. He would have gotten his hit regardless, but Reyes didn’t let it stop there. It’s not about individual statistics, it’s about the numbers in the win-loss column. The team needed that extra base at that point in the game, and just seeing Jose jump around with his dreadlocks bouncing was a great moment for me. In the event Jose does get dealt this summer, or simply decides not to re-up in Flushing this offseason opting to instead take his talents elsewhere, it’s going to be very deflating for me as well as a large chunk of Metland I’m sure. Sandy Alderson’s been very reluctant to state outright that he’ll make every effort to ensure Jose’s return to New York beyond 2011. I understand why, but I hope he takes the fanbase’s love for Jose into equation similar to the way he took their repugnance towards Luis Castillo and Oliver Perez into account. I hope we’re not witnessing Reyes’ final days in a Met uniform, but like everything else, only time will reveal that answer.

     Another notable thing learned this week: we’re just going to have to accept that there are two sides to the Daniel Murphy coin. He’s basically raked all season long, especially in his last 15 games, going .313/.377/.542 over that span. With an .817 OPS on the year, Murphy’s certainly done his part at the dish. He protects the plate nicely with his "emergency hacks", and doesn’t strike out often as a result. Certainly an upgrade over the Castillo and Brad Emaus’ of the world, Murphy has left little to be desired hitting-wise. On the other hand, despite making a sweet play yesterday, his fielding is certainly a weak link. Tiny miscues and mental errors really hurt him, like the other Wednesday night in Washington for instance. After tying the game in the eighth with a pinch-hit home run (hero), Murphy took over at second base and promptly forgot to cover the bag on a particular play, leading what was at the time the go-ahead run score for the Nationals (scapegoat). Nevertheless, he took to the plate in the top of the ninth and doubled in two insurance runs to seal the Mets victory. (once again, hero) Now if the Mets end up losing that game on account of Murphy’s fielding gaffe, the world would be calling for his head on the block. However, this was not the case. Murphy’s learning on the job as a result of the Mets having no other solution to their prolonged second base woes is not his fault. We’re just going to have to bite the bullet and acknowledge it. As long as the stellar production and approach at the plate continues, at least we can all say that there’s a better reason Murphy is in there as opposed to just saying the Mets have no one better.

     And while we’re on the subject of player placement, I think my argument that Dillon Gee should be installed into the rotation moving Chris Capuano to the bullpen was fortified this week. I mean Capuano’s been all right so far, nothing eye-popping. He has two mediocre starts, one that was excellent, and one that was a disaster. On the other hand however, if you take last year into account, Gee has yet to have a poor start. He was shelled coming out of the bullpen Friday night, but that I feel was due to the unfamiliarity of the role. He’s a starter; he needs to start off innings. Gee hadn’t pitched in relief since his first year in pro-ball in 2007 as a 21-year old for the Cyclones. How is sticking Dillon Gee into the bullpen different from sticking Jenrry Mejia in there? Both of these guys have promise as starting pitchers, so keep them in rotations someplace, whether it be in Flushing or Buffalo. Capuano on the other hand does not have the type of ceiling Gee has, and is far more expendable, plus he has relief experience in his past 2 major league seasons. Additionally, it would be nice to have a second lefthander in the bullpen. With Mike Pelfrey struggling the way he has, we need the best possible alternatives in the rotation, and I just can’t see how having Capuano in the front five is benefitting the team more so then having Gee in there. Is Gee getting anything at all by being stashed away in the bullpen at the major league level without getting regular work? I’m scratching my head on this one friends.

     All everyone, now’s the time for you to sound off! Are you enjoying Jose Reyes more than ever knowing his time in Queens could be ending in the coming months? With the way Daniel Murphy’s been hitting, are you able to turn a blind eye towards his lackluster play at second? And also, if you were a Mets decision maker, would you still have Dillon Gee in the bullpen in order to keep Chris Capuano in the starting rotation? Comment your thoughts and opinions below, and as always my fellow Mets fans, thank you very much for stopping by to read!