With pitchers and catchers reporting to Port St. Lucie in 33 and 1/2 hours, what does the upcoming season bring for Mets fans? Should there be a sense of optimism? They didn’t add a starting pitcher to their mediocre at best rotation headed by all-star Johan Santana who is coming off elbow surgery. The Mets slogan for this season is, “We Believe in Comebacks”. This is apparent in their trust in a rotation that also includes, Mike Pelfrey, John Maine, Oliver Perez and a 5th spot to be determined in spring training. Pelfrey is coming off a 200 innings pitched season and a 5.03 era, while Maine and Perez are coming off injury-plagued seasons.
The offense which was depleted by injuries last year, has added Jason Bay for his big bat. But will be without the services of Carlos Beltran for atleast the first month and are putting their faith in Daniel Murphy to hit much better and hopefully play solid first base. They believe the David Wright of last year was an aberration and are hoping a return to form. Jose Reyes will be coming off leg surgery and appears to be ready to go as well as Jeff Francoeur and Luis Castillo. The Mets(at the moment) are going with Omir Santos and Henry Blanco as their catchers. These two are not everyday catchers but Omir at times did show he can get some big hits when it matters.
The relief pitching besides Frankie Rodriguez as their closer, remains suspect. They say goodbye to Brian Stokes and added Kelvim Escobar and Japanese import Ryota Igarashi to set up K-rod. They’ll depend on Pedro Feliciano to continue his job as the left-handed specialist along with Hisanori Takahashi.
The bench includes Gary Mathews Jr., Alex Cora, Fernando Tatis and Angel Pagan who will be starting in center until Beltran returns. Mike Jacobs was recently signed to a minor league deal which would provide some left -handed power off the bench.
Of course the Mets believe in Comebacks because they need the fans to believe that their one significant signing this off season was enough to get them to the playoffs this year. I dont think it was. However, i can see if all the stars are in alignment just right and the Mets “comeback” from their injuries and play intelligent baseball…that they will contend for a wild-card spot. But, can all these things go right? It would be the antethesis of last season! Cross your fingers Mets Fans!
Predicted Finish: Tie-3rd Place(84-78)