Where's the offense failing?

The offensive woes continue. The Mets just completed a six game stretch where the pitching has posted 1.33 ERA but the club is only 3-3. We all know why - the bats have been largely silent. (Post Saturday night game update: It's now a 7 game stretch where pitching has posted a 1.14 ERA during which the club has gone 4-3 - the wRC+ numbers below do NOT include Saturday night's game.)

It seems logical to think that things will improve once Wright and d'Arnaud return and hopefully they will. But it's probably not as simple as their return = winning ways.

The current insanely good pitching is not likely sustainable. A staff with 40% of their starts coming from the likes of Jon Niese and Dillon Gee is probably not going to end up 2nd in mlb ERA which is where they currently sit. They may be perfectly useful pitchers but they're not the type of guys that comprise one of the best staffs in all of mlb. It's also hard to imagine Bartolo Colon continuing his current pace. Hopefully Thor & Matz will help keep the good mojo going but it wouldn't be a shock if each starting slot failed to live up to the high early season performance. Inning limits alone make it likely that we'll see a greater ratio of substandard starts than we have so far.

Counting on DW & TdA probably isn't enough. DW's return date has already slid twice. Will nagging injuries be the norm and limit his performance for the remainder of his career? Can TdA remain productive in the face of the typical dents and dings that go with practicing the tools of ignorance? How deep and long will the inevitable slumps last?

Obviously returning them to the lineup will help but is it enough? Are there other places we can expect to see improved output? Anyplace we should expect slippage? Here's a position by position look at 2014 and 2015 production as measured by wRC+. These figures come from fangraphs and segment the PAs of any player that saw/sees time at multiple positions i.e. Murphy's 3B PAs are counted in the 3B numbers while his 2B PAs are reflected in the 2B numbers.


2014 wRC+

2015 wRC+


































8 Hitters Avg.




All (incl. P & DH)




Well, we all know last season's offense wasn't anything to write home about but so far this year we're appreciably worse.

But where we're worse doesn't suggest that returns from the DL will be the answer to our problems. We're actually hitting 5% better (via league avg) at 3B than we did in 2014. Of course, if DW returns to all-star form it will make a massive difference but can we count on that? If he's only a 105 wRC+ guy - which is still above average - then we won't be seeing much gain compared to what we've already seen with 70% of PAs coming from Campbell/Murphy.

Catcher is a similar story though it's a bit deceiving. The 110 wRC+ we've gotten out of C so far is a full 20% better than we got in 2014. But the baseline of 90 wRC+ from last year was built by combining a 50-ish wRC+ pre-demotion TdA and a red-hot post-demotion TdA with a dash of some other guys mixed in. Presumably that's a lower baseline than we should expect from 2015 catchers. Even so we're still 10% above average despite Travis only representing 41% of the catcher PAs to date.

The biggest surprise to me is CF. Lagares 80 wRC+ certainly needs to improve but it shocked me that we got 105 wRC+ from CF last season. Turns out Juan's injuries meant 210 ABs from Kirk, C Young, Grandy & MdD while playing CF. The first three slugged during their time in CF to the tune of .488, .573 & .550 respectively. MdD was the weakest link in CF posting .182/.262/.236 in his 55 ABs there. So as much as we love and value Juan's defensive contributions he needs to pick up his offensive game dramatically for the club to avoid a huge offensive deficit compared to 2014.

Daniel Murphy's struggles make it much less of a surprise that we're lagging 2014's production out of 2B. But "lagging" doesn't really do it justice. We're 55 points behind the 122 wRC+ production we got last season. Hopefully he'll return to form and boost the 3B numbers during DW's absence and get 2B back into form once he returns - unless Dilson is raking and moves Murph to more of a utility role.

Right field is another area where we need a "proven vet" to return to form/norm. Grandy's getting on base but his overall offensive value, while about league average, is 17 points behind simply keeping pace with 2014. I think some hoped to see improvement in his power game from his slot for 2015.

One place we have improved from last season's performance is left field. Of course it's an incredibly low benchmark to meet and as a result we're running well ahead of it despite only getting a 97 wRC+ from the position. Said another way - if we'd improved by 16 points of wRC+ at every position we'd be raking in the runs. That said, it doesn't seem unreasonable to hope/expect Cuddyer to pick up the pace moving forward. And if this is as good as it gets we're much better off than last season but still in a heap of trouble.

So all in all it seems like there is reason for hope. The two biggest improvements we have from last season are LF and C and both seem sustainable. Last season's benchmark for both was extremely low.

The place we've fallen furthest behind is 2B where we're only seeing a 67 wRC+. It seems completely reasonable to expect positive regression towards the mean and if it doesn't improve dramatically it's going to be a long season . . .

So the real question marks appear to be CF, RF and SS. They're lagging last year by 25, 17 and 1 wRC+ points respectively. It's extremely tough to know if Lagares is going to lag at 80 wRC+ or approach league average as a hitter. It seems to reasonable to hope that Grandy can find a better balance between approach and results. That leaves SS . . . I've got nothing new to add to that one except that may Sandy find the wisdom, inspiration and means to lay the question to rest in a 3 WAR kind of way.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process.