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The Mets Are Leading the League and Licking Their Wounds

There is not a hotter team in the National League than the New York Mets.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports


There is not a hotter team in the National League than the New York Mets.

But just about every team in the league is healthier than the Mets, whose 10-3 start is the living definition right now of a Pyrrhic victory, since it has come at the cost of the team’s projected No. 3 starter, its closer, its projected lefty spot man in the bullpen, the replacement for said lefty spot man in the bullpen, its team captain and starting third baseman and its starting catcher, who was also one of the team’s hottest hitters.

No National League team has a better record than the Mets, off to their best start in nine seasons (the last time they won the National League East). But, after Zack Wheeler and Josh Edgin were shelved for the season with elbow injuries in spring training, Jenrry Mejia became a health risk on opening day and then persona non grata with a steroid suspension right after that. David Wright is rehabbing a strained hamstring after starting the season swinging the bat better than he was in 2014.

The Mets moved quickly to replace Edgin with Jerry Blevins in a trade. Blevins has been literally unhittable in seven relief appearances, but he and catcher Travis d’Arnaud each suffered wrist/hand fractures within moments of each other in Sunday’s 7-6 victory over Miami.

Let’s not forget, both shortstop Wilmer Flores and left fielder Michael Cuddyer narrowly missed suffering serious hand injuries themselves last week when they were both hit by pitches in the same game against the Phillies.

Eric Campbell has done a predictably credible job stepping in for Wright so far. Blevins may not be so easily replaced. But losing d’Arnaud, as impressive as his early-season performance (.317 with a team-high 10 RBI) has been, for a couple of months may not be the crushing blow it initially seems like. The Mets are deep in quality catchers. Anthony Recker is a serviceable backup, and the organization has been looking for a way to get Kevin Plawecki a chance to show what he can do at the Major League level. Behind him at Triple-A is Johnny Monell, a catcher who had an excellent spring training for the Mets and who could also loom as a useful backstop in the majors.

Plawecki is Baseball America’s No. 2 prospect in the Mets organization. He batted .309 in 2014 splitting time between Double-A and Triple-A, and he has eight hits in his last 18 at-bats at Triple-A Las Vegas this season. Plawecki, a right-handed hitter who was the Mets’ first-round pick out of Purdue in 2012, is regarded as major-league ready.

Now we’ll get to see if he really is.

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