No, Springsteen isn’t coming to Citi Field, so calm down.
But Jay Bruce will be here tomorrow after the Mets spent the day on the line with the Reds and hammered out an agreement that sent Dilson Herrera and minor league lefty Max Wotell.
“I think it’ll be a big impact,” said manager Terry Collins. “Obviously we aren’t sure how the outfield’s going to shape up, but as Sandy just said, he’s a tremendous run producing. He’s a huge bat in the middle of our lineup. He’s going to hit behind (Yoenis Cespedes), I think all of a sudden, it lengthens your lineup. I think he’ll make a big impact.”
Look, no one thinks Bruce will be another Cespedes. In fact, general manager Sandy Alderson chuckled when a reporter asked him that question. “I think you need to use different verbs,” Alderson said. “Hope is a better way to put it.”
The move creates a tough time in the outfield because Bruce plays the corners and they are currently occupied by Curtis Granderson and Cespedes, meaning Granderson will have to move to centerfield.
However, because of the offense – .265 with 25 homers and 80 RBI – Bruce has so far this season, Collins will take it.
“We performed at the end of last summer because we hit the ball, we drove in runs,” Collins said. “That’ll be primarily what we’re going to look at. Just like tonight’s situation, we know that certainly, Logan is not a strikeout kind of a guy. Now it’s a little different last year. We had strikeout pitching. We don’t necessarily have that right now.”
With Matt Harvey out for the season and the Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz both with bone chips, the Mets are a different team and they need to play defense.
“It’s important to make sure that we’ve got guys that can catch the baseball out there,” Collins said. “We’ll mix and match that we think will give us both sides because we certainly, had we been able to score some runs this week, we’d be sitting a lot better shape than we are right now.”
Alderson also welcomed back Jonathan Niese from the Pirates, who was exchanged for the Mets white flag of surrender Antonio Bastardo. In a move of failed acquisitions, the Mets hope Niese will find his old form from the playoffs last season.
“He’s going to start out in the bullpen,” Collins said. “He gives us, certainly, an option as a starting pitcher. But the job he did in the postseason last year out of the bullpen, I didn’t forget. And right now, we need that kind of guy to step up, who can give us some length, who can come in, with his repertoire of pitches, certainly. Hopefully gets some left-hand hitters out.”
Ultimately, the current Mets have to hit or these two moves will go for naught. Bruce also gives the Mets some insurance for next season if Cespedes opts out of his contract.
But there is still two months of baseball to play and right now, for the boys from Queens, the season just started.