The Mets aren’t likely to acquire an outfielder in advance of the trade deadline, sources tell Adam Rubin of ESPN New York (Twitter link). Collectively, the Mets outfield has batted .236/.297/.369 this season, with much of that production coming courtesy of Curtis Granderson’s very solid .243/.340/.417 batting line. The offensive contribution from Mets outfielders has been roughly 10 percent worse than the league-average batting line when accounting for park factors, evidenced by their wRC+ of just 90. Michael Cuddyer, Juan Lagares and John Mayberry Jr. have all provided little to no contribution with the bat, leaving considerable room for an upgrade. The Mets do have one of the best outfield prospects in baseball in the form of 2014 first-rounder Michael Conforto, though to this point all media reports pertaining to a Conforto promotion have indicated that such a move is not close.
Elsewhere in the National League East…
- The return of Travis d’Arnaud to the Mets’ anemic lineup would be another way to boost the club’s run production, and Marc Carig of Newsday tweets some positive news on his recovery. D’Arnaud is out of the brace he had been wearing on his injured elbow and is participating in “limited baseball activities,” GM Sandy Alderson tells Carig. The timetable on d’Arnaud’s return remains cloudy, but the update is nonetheless encouraging for Mets fans.
- News on the Braves’ injury front isn’t as positive, as president of baseball operations tells Jeff Schultz of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Freddie Freeman may be sidelined into the month of August. The Braves had hoped Freeman would be activated right after the All-Star break. “It’s more serious than we expected,” said Hart. “…He’s working hard to get back but it’s a slow-healing injury and it still gives him pain when he swings. … We gave him an injection and thought he would be back in two or three days but it was no better. We did further tests and found it was more serious than we thought.” A prolonged absence for the club’s best hitter does little to instill confidence that the 42-47 Braves can right the ship.
- On the heels of a dismal first half for shortstop Ian Desmond, Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo gave a vote of confidence to the struggling star. “He’s our shortstop, he’s gonna be our shortstop,” said Rizzo to James Wagner of the Washington Post. “He’s a leader of the ballclub. He’s a three-time Silver Slugger that we think he’s going to be Ian Desmond in the second half. He’s got a great attitude, a great work ethic.” The strong words seem to indicate that there are no present plans for a changing of the guard at short, even an internal switch such as giving the revitalized Danny Espinosa some more at-bats at shortstop. Desmond, of course, is a free agent at season’s end, so the poor first half comes with serious financial implications.
- Though Marlins players generally like manager Dan Jennings, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports that the GM-turned-skipper did upset some of the club’s pitchers when stating that pitching help was on the way in the form of Jose Fernandez. Some within the clubhouse took the comment as a slight. Jackson hears that some within the clubhouse think Jennings’ motivational tactics are better suited for a room of executives than a group of players.