Hey fellas! It's been a while.
After the denials and obvious lies about where payroll would be and how the Madoff scandal would not affect the day to day operations we saw that the Mets, who love to send e-mail blasts to keep fans informed of every move, keep showing up in the news due to leaked information regarding the the severity of their financial circumstances. From a pure baseball perspective though, looking at the product on the field from Terry Collins to the 25th man the elements are there to produce false hope yet again.
Potential day to day balance: In the infield anchored by cornermen Ike Davis and Dubs (for now) I see potential for monster production. I know we lost perhaps the best SS in the game but most teams need to give a focus to defense in the middle infield and I think the combo of Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy/Justin Turner will perform well enough defensively and Murphy can put them over the top offensively as a middle infield tandem. Overall I would call it slightly above average if everything breaks right.
The outfield: If the Lucas Duda of last year and the Jason Bay of September show up we can be as solid as anyone at the corner outfield positions. Andres Torres represents a defensive upgrade over Angel Pagan who as talented as he may be seemed to get in his own way at times. Should be good enough in a best case scenario.
Bullpen: I love this bullpen. This is where we excel I believe. I think were truly in a position to shorten the game to 6 innings and between Ramon Ramirez, Tim Byrdak, Manny Acosta, Bobby Parnell, Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco get the final nine outs consistently.
Starters: This can be good or bad yet potentially great as well. Johan Santana has not pitched in the majors since late in the 2010 season and if he makes the opening day start will have had about a year and a half on the shelf. Is that enough? Will it ever be enough? The injury type is scary and he may never be able to string together consistent starts or even make consecutive starts and handle the workload expected of him. If he is able to start 28 to 32 games next year and get his fast ball up to at least 89 mph I think he can savvy his way to 180 innings and an ERA around 3.25. Dickey will be I believe as solid a number 2 as you can expect. 200 innings plus, solid ERA and a guy that helps the starter behind him by screwing up the timing of opposing lineups. Jon Niese needs to take a step forward this year. We all see the potential but he needs to live up to it this year. The strong bullpen will help him as they will be able to pull him quicker and save games before they get out of control which seemed to happen a lot to him last year late in his starts. Mike Pelfrey has gone from last years number 1 to this years number 4. That alone will help as he will less often be matched up against the aces of the league. I really think the reduced margin for error that comes with being a number one affected Pelfrey negatively. I could see a solid bounce back on the point alone. Dillon Gee seemed to become a punching bag around here last year. He was inconsistent but there was some good in there for stretches. He may not be 22 or 23 years old be he still is young and if he shows confidence in all his pitches and stops nibbling so much can resemble the Gee from the first half of last year. Last year was his rookie year so coming back this year with the workload under his belt and after learning what worked and what didn't I believe he's a smart enough guy to figure it out. He should at least be a decent number 5.
Catcher: Thole has regressed as a hitter I believe. After a nice start to his career I believe the poor defense is starting to affect the offense and although he put together a few nice stretches last year this is the position most in need of an upgrade. Rob Johnson and Mike Nickeas do nothing for me.
The financial picture may mean losing Dubs at the trading deadline. I would say thats probably a lock to happen especially if the team is way out of it early. We can only hope that this team is competitive early and able to produce enough revenue to prevent that.
Overall I have to say I feel good to know the season is right around the corner. I love to watch good or bad for better or worse and as the saying goes ya never know. Worse case scenario at least my Knicks and Giants are competitive!!!