By Steven Inman
With the 2014 all-star game now only a month away, let’s take a look at the candidates to represent the New York Mets at Target Field in Minnesota next month.
David Wright: You can make the case that Wright is having the worst first half of his entire big league career. He has just 4 homers and is hitting just .265. Wright is hitting just .127 in his last 14 games (7-55 AB) with zero homers. He is batting one of the worst slumps of his career yet still may get voted in to start the all-star game. The third basemen position in the National League is just anemic right now. Nolan Arenado is hurt, Ryan Zimmerman is now in left field, while Pablo Sandoval and Pedro Alvarez haven’t hit much this season.
Wright is currently in first place in the all-star voting and with no other big name having a decent year behind him it looks like Wright could make the team as a starter even though it hasn’t been a good year for the Mets captain. Todd Frazier and Anthony Rendon are candidates to back up Wright at third.
Daniel Murphy: Murph has been the Mets best hitter this season in what could possibly (probably) be his final season in Queens. Murphy is 2nd in the National League in hits with 83, only one behind Paul Goldschmidt. Chase Utley is going to start the game at second base but a legitimate case can be made for Murphy to be his backup. His main competition comes from Neal Walker (who is now on the DL) and Dee Gordon.
Gordon has been making a name for himself this season with 36 steals but Murphy beats Gordon in BA, OBP, SLG, OPS, and pretty much any other statistically category not named SB. The thing that hurts Murphy most is the Mets poor 30-37 record. The Mets may actually get only one all-star.
Jon Niese: Niese is the Mets dark horse to make the All-Star team. He has put together his best year statistically in what is now his 7th season. Niese has a sparkling 2.54 ERA but unfortunately that only puts him 7th in the National League. What will really hurt Niese is his 3-3 record as he has already recorded seven no decisions this season. It would really help him if he could just record a couple of wins here before the break but with the way the Mets offense has been going I wouldn’t hold your breath.
These are the only three Mets with even a chance to make the All-Star Game. It has been a tough year for most Mets even individually so far through 40% of the season. Wright, Niese and Murphy are the only Mets with even a chance to make the team so we will have to wait and see when the rosters are announced in the first week of July. Remember plenty of guys will get hurt and Murphy and Niese have a chance to get in as a replacement later on.