Inbox: Can Cespedes jump-start Mets?

Beat reporter Anthony DiComo answers fans' questions

June 5th, 2017

The Mets hope a road trip to Texas and Atlanta, which feature two of Major League Baseball's foremost hitter's parks, will spark them into more consistent winning ways. While they await Tuesday's opener against the Rangers, here's another batch of questions and answers:

Given that the offense has been really good so far, even without him, is ' return really all that consequential?

-- @CobyWanKanobi

It's consequential in that Cespedes is the Mets' best hitter. He'll make it easier for them to maintain their current production levels even if their other outfielders fall off a bit.

But you're right -- offense is not the Mets' problem. They're seventh in the National League in runs and ninth in OPS, numbers that -- while not elite -- should be plenty good enough with their pitching. The Mets need to pitch better, plain and simple. So through that prism, the returns of and next weekend may prove even more significant than that of Cespedes, despite the fact that Cespedes is one of the best overall players in all of baseball.

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At what point is a real factor and an everyday guy for the Mets?

-- @David__Castro

So many questions about Rosario this week and, again, I can't stress enough that he won't be in the big leagues until the Super Two arbitration cutoff has clearly passed, ensuring the Mets won't be on the hook for millions of dollars of extra salary down the line. It's a moving target, which may have already passed. Because no one knows for certain so to be sure, teams typically wait until mid-June to be certain.

When the Mets do call up their No. 1-ranked prospect, Rosario will play almost every day. There's no point to having him here otherwise. By process of elimination, that means , and would all be scrambling for reps at third base, which is why at least for now, it may take an injury for the Mets to pull the trigger on Rosario.

Once Matz and Lugo come back, is it a possibility that Matt Harvey gets sent down because of 's recent success?

-- @knba2k16

It's always possible that if Harvey's struggles continue, the Mets send him on a Roy Halladay-style Minor League assignment to rediscover his mojo. It's just extremely unlikely. Even with Matz and Lugo, the Mets simply don't have the luxury of too many extra starters in the big leagues, unless you're confident everyone will stay healthy for the rest of the season. (Spoiler alert: they won't.) The Mets need Harvey's innings.

More likely would be a trip to the bullpen for Harvey. But for now, the team has made it quite clear that it would like Harvey to continue battling through his many ailments in the big league rotation. If anything, as MLB Network's Jon Paul Morosi reported Monday, the Mets could go to a temporary six-man rotation while the problem assuredly works itself out.

Why not put Zack Wheeler in the 'pen when Matz and Lugo come back to keep him from getting shut down?

-- @KScott59

Eventually, the Mets may very well do that. But the team has said all along that Wheeler's innings limit -- roughly 125 or so -- is flexible depending on how he's pitching and how he's feeling. Right now, Wheeler is feeling good, and he has been the Mets' most consistent starter. They're not going to mess with him before they feel they have to.

Are the Mets missing ?

-- @real_daz

To this day, I get questions about Colon almost every day on Twitter. He's beloved, I get it. He's also 44 years old, makes $12.5 million and has a 6.99 ERA in Atlanta. He's not the answer.

How is 's recovery going?

-- @livingdeadguy

There's not a lot to report here, and won't be until Syndergaard's torn right lat heals and he's able to begin throwing again. That process won't begin for about another two weeks; he's still at least six weeks away from a big league return if everything goes perfectly.

If the Mets can't fix their pitching and fall out of it, do you see as trade bait, considering he will be a free agent in the offseason?

-- @LieutenantDan19

If the Mets truly fall out of contention in the coming weeks, anyone who can be a free agent after this season -- Duda, Cabrera, , , and -- could be on the block. But while Duda has played well of late, there aren't many contenders out there in need of a power-hitting first baseman. The return for him would be relatively low compared to what the Mets could potentially get for Bruce, Walker or Reed.