Preview of the A’s series with the New York Mets

July 20, 2017

MLB, Oakland Athletics

New York Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes (52) and Jose Reyes, right, celebrate with teammates after the Mets’ 7-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in a baseball game Wednesday, July 19, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

by Jerry Feitelberg

NEW YORK–The Oakland A’s begin a seven-game road trip Friday night in the Big Apple against the New York Mets. The Mets, led by skipper Terry Collins, have a record of 43-50 and are in third place in the National League East eleven games behind the first-place Washington Nationals.

The Mets, who just two seasons ago, were National League champions. The Mets, however, were not able to repeat their success in 2016 and the 2017 season appears to be heading south. The Mets’ starting rotation, which just two years ago looked stacked, has seen their young stars land on the disabled list. The Mets, currently, have four starters on the DL. The names are Noah Syndergaard out with a torn right lat muscle. Matt Harvey out with a stress injury to his right shoulder, Tommy Milone out with a left knee sprain, and Robert Gsellman out with a left hamstring strain. Their closer, Jeurys Familia is on the 60-day DL as he is recovering from surgery to his right arm.

The Mets also have two position players on the DL, too. Second baseman Neil Walker is on the ten-day DL with a hamstring issue and third baseman David Wright is on the 60-day DL due to a cervical disc herniation.

The Mets, like the A’s, appear to be sellers as the July 31st  trading deadline nears. Players that could be moved include first baseman, Lucas Duda, shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera, outfielders Jay Bruce and Curtis Granderson, as well as closer Addison Reed.The Yankees were rumored to be interested in Duda, but after the trade with the White Sox, that will not happen. Jay Bruce is hitting .266 with 24 homers and 63 RBIs and would be a welcome addition to several teams. Granderson is on the downside of his career but he, too, could help a contender. Addison Reed, who has 16 saves this year, could also shore up a contender’s bullpen. The Mets will be making decisions very shortly on these players. If they don’t get traded by the 31st, they still could be moved later via the waiver process.

So who will the A’s be playing against this weekend? The A’s will face Steven Matz (2-3, 4.48 ERA), Rafael Montero (1-6,4.58), and Zack Wheeler (3-7, 4.98 ERA). They will not face their best pitcher Jacob deGrom or Seth Lugo. Lugo pitched Thursday against the St.Louis Cardinals.  The big bats for the Mets are Duda, former Athletic Yoenis Cespedes, Jay Bruce, Michael Conforto, and Granderson. The infield is made up by veterans Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Lucas Duda.

The series should be interesting as it is a matchup of the rebuilding Oakland A’s going against a team that is older and appears to be on the way down. Tha A’s still have a few veterans such as Rajai Davis, Matt Joyce, Yonder Alonso, and Jed Lowrie. Davis and Joyce have seen their playing time decrease as the A’s are playing Jaycob Brugman in center field and Chad Pinder in right. Pinder is still on the DL but he will return soon, and the A’s will play him at either second base or in right field. The trade market for Jed Lowrie does not appear to exist, and the Yankees interest in Alonso is gone. Both Lowrie and Alonso are free agents at the end of the season.

After the three- game series with the Mets, the A’s travel to Toronto to play a four-game series with the Blue Jays.

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About rxslugger

Retired pharmacist who now has a career as a sports writer and broadcaster

View all posts by rxslugger

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