What if tomorrow were Opening Day? Jose Reyes wouldn't be leading off, R.A. Dickey would probably be the starting pitcher (we'll see about Johan Santana) and one of Manny Acosta or Bobby Parnell would be closer. Not even the most sunny "The Mets have a chance this year!" blog post could be terribly optimistic about chances of contending. Regardless, there would still be Mets baseball to be played and discussed, Reyes or no Reyes. How many games would such a team win?
Using the current 40-man roster, I assembled my preferred 2012 Mets team and estimated each player's wins above replacement (WAR). Standard caveats apply -- these are back-of-the-napkin projections and some the players might not be around come next spring. Here we go:
If we assume ~48 wins for a replacement level team, this looks like a 75-79 win group. Some other quick thoughts:
- Conservatism is king for projections. Nevertheless, the projections for Josh Thole, Ike Davis and Jon Niese are probably on the low end. Replacement level projections for the bench and bullpen periphery are, in aggregate, probably on the high end.
- Positive reports aside, even 80 seems optimistic. is slated for 80 innings for the sake of meeting the innings requirement.
- There isn't much upside in that bullpen. Actually, it's just terrible. The 75-79 win projection is probably too generous, considering the relievers.
- I'm not calling Ruben Tejada's 2011 performance a mirage by any means, but expecting him to replicate .284/.360/.335 over a full season is a bit much to expect at this point.