When Curtis Granderson signed a four-year, $60 million deal to join the New York Mets this offseason, massive expectations were attached to the man many expected to protect David Wright from the cleanup spot.
Perhaps burdened by these expectations, as well as the desire to get off to a fast start for his new team, Granderson had a miserable April. He hit .136 with one measly home run and struck out in over a quarter of his ABs during the month. For a fanbase that had all-too-clear memories of Jason Bay and his massive contract fizzling out, there was a certain level of PTSD apparent.
However, despite Granderson’s dismal start, he has rebounded in a big way the last few months. The old adage “April showers bring May flowers” can be attributed to Granderson, who has been one of the best hitters in the league since the beginning of May.
Granderson’s OPS rose from .468 in April to .838 in May, to an astounding 1.081 in June. In 22 June games, Granderson is getting on base at a .472 clip, reaching base in nearly half of his plate appearances. His slash line since May 1 is .287/.409/.521/.930 with nine homers, and he’s finally been justifying the money the Mets spent on him.
Despite Granderson’s resurgence, the rest of the New York offense hasn’t exactly followed suit. While the offense has picked up a bit recently with 26 runs scored in the last three games, it is still serving as the weak link on a team that has seen its starting and relief pitching stabilized over the past few weeks.
The Mets actually have a positive run differential on the season, but their 10-18 record in one-run games this season has led to them being several games under .500. Although they’re getting limited production from several different spots in the lineup, wherever Granderson hits certainly hasn’t been one of them.
Manager Terry Collins has experimented with Granderson in several different spots in the lineup this season — leadoff, second, fourth, fifth, sixth and even seventh, although the latter was primarily in April when he was struggling. Granderson’s versatility has allowed Collins to craft his lineup in different ways all season, although he has been entrenched in the cleanup spot with his recent hot streak.
There’s no telling whether this hot play will continue throughout the rest of the season, but thus far, the Mets are getting their money’s worth from their biggest offseason acquisition. If New York is to sniff .500 again this season, Granderson will certainly be a big reason why.