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What the N.Y. Mets' September strategy should be

What the N.Y. Mets' September strategy should be

What the N.Y. Mets' September strategy should be

It didn’t take WFAN’s Mike Francesa to tell you that the Mets season is over. The normally angryradio personality loves to bash the Mets and had an "epic rant" on the team’s inability to play good baseball which has become one of the most talked about sound bites of recent time.

“The Mets have become such an embarrassment,” Francesa yelled to his audience on Friday. “Terry Collins is starting to sound like (Rich) Kotite!”

Francesa’s rant comes after the Mets got swept by the lowly Colorado Rockies in which the Mets scored a total of five runs in four games. After Friday’s 3-1 loss to the even lower Astros, the Mets ended their six game losing streak with a 3-1 win on Saturday.

With nearly all lost in this season, the Mets can enable a strategy that will give the team something to play for in September.

With rosters expanding to 40 on Sept. 1, the Mets should utilize this and start playing some of their young players to give them some big league experience and prepare for the future.

They got their first taste of this when the dismantled Mets were forced to start Collin McHugh in Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the Rockies. McHugh was far better than anyone could have imagined going seven innings only allowing two hits, no runs and striking out nine.

Despite this, the Mets had to send him down to Triple-A Buffalo after the game to make room for Jeremy Hefner, who will start Sunday.

McHugh was not on the radar for the big leagues this season but will be recalled for September call ups. They did the same with outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis, who came up earlier in the season after injuries to their outfield and was a pleasant surprise until he went on the disabled list earlier this week.

Since Nieuwenhuis, the Mets have also brought up pitching prospects Matt Harvey and Josh Edgin, both of whom were drafted by the team in 2010.

A first round pick out of North Carolina, Harvey has been superb in a few starts showing electric stuff that Mets fans are excited about. In six starts, he is 2-3 with a 2.75 ERA and 43 strikeouts in 36 innings pitched.

Edgin was more of a surprise than Harvey and has been a mainstay in the Mets bullpen since he was brought up in mid-July. He has appeared in 21 games since then and has shown that he might be more than a lefty specialist out of the bullpen.

The one that every Mets fan wants to see is pitching prospect Zach Wheeler, who was acquired from the Giants for Carlos Beltran last season. Wheeler has just been promoted to Triple-A, but the Mets should call him up to get his feet wet in the majors.

Wheeler has been looked at as not only the best pitching prospect in the Mets system but one of the best in all of baseball.

"I haven't seen [Orioles super-prospect Dylan] Bundy yet, but this guy is the best minor-league pitcher I've seen this year," said one scout according to CBS Sports. "He just blew me away. One of the best I've ever seen."

The Mets have other pitching prospects such as Jenrry Meijia (who pitched for the Mets as a 20 year old in 2010) and Jeurys Familia, but they are relatively weak in major league ready position players. One of the most interesting call ups will be Lucas Duda, who has been with Triple-A Buffalo since July and has been inconsistent since his demotion.

Duda will play left field when he is recalled in September. The Mets had high hopes for Duda as a big bat in the middle of their lineup and an everyday right fielder. However, Duda struggled in the field and was in a terrible slump when the club sent him down.

Mets manager Terry Collins is excited to see Duda back with the club and hopes he can help spark the Mets offense for the rest of the year.

"He's had some good games in Buffalo and he's had some games that are similar to what we saw here," Collins said. "But they tell me they thought he's made some improvements, and we're certainly anxious to get him back, because I still think he's a threat in the middle of the lineup."

Needless to say, the Mets will not be seeing any postseason this year. In a year that was shocking and held some promise, the Mets are now playing like many experts projected them to before the season started.

Despite this, it would be important for the Mets to finish the rest of the season strong so they can work towards building their future.

BY DAVE RAGAZZO
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

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