he first 12 games of the season were terrific for the Mets, it was the final 69 of the first half that presented the problem.
At the midway point, the Mets — who started 11-1 and then lost 47 of their next 69 games — are finished in the playoff race for a second straight season and staring at three months of meaningless baseball. It doesn’t mean the second half will be without intrigue. Here are five things to look for over the next 81 games:
Who stays until the end?Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera have expiring contracts and seem likely to be traded. The Mets are listening to offers for Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard, but the expectation is both rotation horses will remain.
The most intriguing trade possibilities might be Zack Wheeler and Steven Matz, each of whom is under club control beyond this season. One could be dealt and replaced by Seth Lugo in the rotation for the foreseeable future.
Will Mickey Callaway survive the season?SEE ALSO
Mets are down to their last plan and have to make it workThe first-year manager is taking a beating for his handling of the lineup and bullpen, but it’s hard to envision team brass dumping Callaway during the season. At this point the Mets are not competing for the playoffs, so changing the manager during the season solves nothing for 2018.
What’s up with Yoenis Cespedes?The veteran slugger has been sidelined for the past six weeks with hip/quad issues, and it’s starting to resemble a second straight lost season for him.
You almost have to wonder if the Mets will experiment with Cespedes at first base when he returns, with the idea of trying to keep him on the field.
Will David Wright play?The possibility looms larger than it did when the season began, but it would only take one misstep for Wright, who has undergone three surgeries since he last appeared in a major league game, to sustain a setback.
David Wright takes another step in his unlikely Mets comebackAs it stands, Wright has been participating in baseball activities — fielding and batting practice — but until he can start playing in minor league rehab games and endure the grind of nine innings, it’s difficult to say he will return. If he could return for even a handful of September games, it would give the fans something to look toward.
What about Tim Tebow?The former Heisman Trophy winner is an Eastern League All-Star, so it almost seems like fait accompli that he will be among the September call-ups. As of last week, team officials had not discussed promoting Tebow to Triple-A Las Vegas, which suggests it’s possible he will go right from Binghamton to the major leagues.