I think I've figured out a way to while away the off-days. This might become a regular feature - I might give an update on these topics, in regard to the Mets and baseball in general, every two weeks or so. Since I just thought of it, no graphics today...but I'll try to dress it up in the future:
Most Impressive: The reason I wanted to give an assessment, two weeks into the season, is because of Ryan Church's arm. That's by far been the most impressive thing about the Mets so far (slim pickings after the underwhelming 5-6 start). I could have mentioned Church for a number of reasons - he's hitting, period...but he's also hitting lefties - but teams have already stopped taking the extra base and challenging him in right field.
Least Impressive: Jose Reyes has had an awful start. He's just hitting .205, with a .238 OBP, and tack on a hamstring injury, to boot. He should be back playing soon, and I guess I'd rather he slump now than in September, but with the way he finished last year, Reyes needs to start playing better soon.
Biggest Surprise: I'd be lying if I said I expected this kind of start from Angel Pagan. Pagan leads the team with a .385 batting average, and is tied for the team lead with 10 RBI. I thought he might be a good addition to the bench when the Mets acquired him in the off-season, but now that he's the regular left fielder (in for the injured Moises Alou), he's been so good it raises the question - what will the Mets do when Alou comes back? I can't decide if I'd rather see them keep playing Pagan, or turn around and trade him while his value is sky-high and get some bullpen help in return (and while I have a limited attachment to him).
Biggest Disappointment: Pedro Martinez*'s injury is the biggest disappointment so far. I expected him to have some sort of injury mid-year, and miss a little bit of time, but to get hurt the way he did, so early in the year, it was a huge disappointment. It will only be OK if Martinez* returns relatively soon (on the timetable they set), and is healthy and effective straight through the post-season.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
Most Impressive: Are you aware of what Brian Bannister has been doing for Kansas City? (There are actually a few Royals starters putting up some great numbers, but I like Bannister, so I'll focus on him.) Bannister is 3-0, with a 0.86 ERA. In 21 innings, he's struck out 13 and given up just 10 hits, while walking 5 against Detroit, the Yankees, and Minnesota. It's not surprising, based on what he did all of last year, but it sure is impressive.
Least Impressive: C.C. Sabathia has been terrible. He's 0-2 in three starts, with an 11.57 ERA. 13 K's and 9 walks in 14 innings - and he's given up 24 hits. (He's given up four more earned runs than he's had innings pitched.) I could have also gone with Andruw Jones here, too - but he had a bad season last year, so he hasn't impressed me in a long while.
Biggest Surprise: How about the hot start by the Florida Marlins, and though they've cooled lately, the Kansas City Royals (both are 7-5). Neither one will last, but it certainly surprises me that the team leading the NL East this deep into the season would be the Marlins. (The Pirates are also 6-6 - .500 would be a big deal for them.)
Biggest Disappointment: By far it's the Detroit Tigers. What a bust. They're not going to recover - I'm making that bold prediction right now, with them standing at 2-10. Don't you feel like we should have seen this coming? I kind of do.
I realize I must be missing a team or someone somewhere. I also realize that these categories are sort of close (is there much of a difference between "least impressive" and "biggest disappointment"? In my mind right now there is a subtle difference, but I may feel differently in two weeks.). I'll re-evaluate over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, put your thoughts, if you have any differing ones, or even if you agree, in the comments.