By Robert DeVita @RobertDeVita24 on August 4, 2014
Over the month of August, the New York Mets need to be on their A game if they want to have any shot of making a run at the postseason. It's a reach, but crazier things have happened. We have seen a number of guys step up for the Mets in 2014, but now it is close to crunch time. It will be essential for these five players to play pivotal roles for the Mets.
The Mets' shortstop position has been a huge letdown all season long. We have seen too much of Ruben Tejada, and now it is time for Wilmer Flores to step in and take command of the job. Flores has ripped it up in triple-A Las Vegas this season, batting .323 with 13 home runs and 57 RBIs. He has had his moments during a small sample of play, but nothing that won him a job. We have heard about what this kid can do; now it is time to see it.
Jon Niese has had a nice year, going 5-7 with a 3.24 ERA. He has battled through injuries this year, which shows his toughness. The Mets need Niese to be the top-of-the-rotation pitcher that he can be. If his health allows him to do so, he needs to go out there and throw zeros on the board. We have seen Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom step up for the Mets in recent months, now it is Niese's turn to do the same.
The Mets' Opening Day starter went down with a strained right lat muscle, which caused him to miss two months. Since his return, Gee has struggled, going 1-3 with a 5.82 ERA in those four starts. Maybe it has something to do with being out of action, but Gee must get it together in August. The Mets don't have much time left to make a run at the postseason, and if they are going to have any shot of doing so, Gee must get back on track.
The Mets' big-ticket acquisition over the offseason was outfielder Curtis Granderson, who has had an up-and-down go of it thus far in 2014. Granderson started to thrive when Terry Collins moved him to the leadoff spot. Since the All-Star break, he has gone cold as his average has dipped below .230, and the strikeouts are starting to pile up. We know Granderson is a streaky hitter, but now would be a good time for him to get hot.
The guy the Mets need most to step up over August is the captain David Wright. This season has been a down year for Wright: he is batting .271 with eight home runs and 52 RBIs. The Mets' offense has been suspect all season, and that has a lot to do with Wright's struggles. It's not a matter of if Wright will break out of his funk, it's just a matter when. The month of August will be pivotal for the Mets, and Wright needs to be the main guy.
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