New York Mets acting general manager Zack Scott has seen a roster he’s taken over during a tumultuous season nosedive in recent weeks, losing 13 of their last 18 games entering Tuesday’s series opener against the Washington Nationals.
And he let them have it as urgency will likely have to start building with 51 games remaining and the Mets now looking up at the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies from third place at 2.5 games back.
“There are plenty of games left. We have a chance to compete and win this division There’s always a chance. You can’t get too down or too high,” Scott said. “That said, we’ve played very mediocre baseball for most of the year. This recent stretch has been much worse than mediocre… It’s been unacceptably bad. We need to be better. We’re not going to panic. You can’t do that in this game.”
Now treading dangerously near the .500 mark after holding the top spot in the lowly NL East for 90 consecutive days, the Mets are trying to turn things around with the steady onslaught of injuries still keeping the pantry bare.
Jacob deGrom, Francisco Lindor, David Peterson, Noah Syndergaard, and Javier Baez are injured — the latter potentially being made available off the bench.
And Scott even put some of the blame of those injuries on those dealing with soft-tissue issues rather than the performance staff tasked with keeping everyone on the field; although they are usually the first bunch thrown under the bus when injuries run rampant.
“You can have the best plan but if the plan’s not followed, that’s not going to necessarily yield a good result. Sometimes that’s the issue,” Scott said. “On the soft tissue, we’ve talked through each one but nothing’s stood out to me as an egregious mistake in our process, our training, or our treatment.
“Some cases, it’s clear where something might have been handled differently in terms of compliance issues.”
Scott later backtracked a bit on those sentiments, claiming that players are forced to walk a fine line when it comes to conditioning programs.
“I’m not saying that to vilify players. That’s just what happens sometimes,” he said. “They’re locked in on what they’re supposed to do, but it doesn’t take much.”
Those that are still healthy and in the fold aren’t doing much to help Mets fans forget about their injured bunch, as a plethora of big bats are struggling mightily.
Michael Conforto is having the worst season of his career, Pete Alonso entered Tuesday night in an 0-for-21 drought, J.D. Davis was batting .115 over his previous 12 games.
They need to get going to keep the Mets alive and Scott believes there’s a large mental aspect to all of it.
“Sometimes you get in search mode when you’re struggling,” he said. “You look up and you see those numbers every day and you can’t get them back up to where you expect them to be. They need to keep grinding and focus on small things to make big differences over time… You have to stay in a good mental state.”