Well, Its about that time again. Where I post a blog pertaining to the upcoming New York Mets baseball season and make some educated predictions(only in my mind) about how I think things will pan out. I used to go into a lot of detail on each team in the National league east as well. But, I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.
The Washington Nationals, last years reigning NL East champs are back, playing their final season under Davey Johnson and will have a full season from Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg. Their rotation is second to none and even improved their solid bullpen with the addition of closer Rafael Soriano. Their lineup is solid and has power as well. If it weren’t for the organizations innings limit on their ace Strasburg last season, they may have fared better against the perennial post-season attendees, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Miami Marlins. Ummm, who are these guys anyway? This team makes the New York Mets look like their roster was picked based upon popularity. Anyway, with a rotation of Nolasco, Eovaldi, LeBlanc, Alvarez and Slowey….eh hem, a bullpen of misfits and John Maine….oh wait, I already said misfits…..and a lineup that can compete with the Long Island Ducks, sans Giancarlo Stanton(who is an absolute BEAST), not much can be expected from this team this year. Its the typical product of stripping the team to bare bones after an absolute underperforming roster of allstars they brought in a year ago.
The Atlanta Braves. This team is pretty damn solid. Especially their lineup with 5 guys capable of 25 or more homers. Their rotation is good, but there are question marks. Can Hudson stay healthy? What exactly will they get from Minor and is rookie Julio Teheran ready for the big show? He has been great in the spring, but we know that doesn’t dictate anything in regards to performance during a long regular season. There outfield Defense is strong and the infield not bad either…I mean Uggla isn’t winning any gold gloves but, well. The most positive thing I can say about Uggla’s D is that……he can hit 35 homers!
There bullpen has some familiar faces, none more important than Craig Kimbrel, who is this generation’s version of Mariano.
When all is said and done, they are built to challenge the Nats atop the NL east.
The Philadelphia Phillies. Three regulars remain from there division dominant teams of 2007-2011. But, can Utley remain healthy and be a productive hitter and fielder with his hip issues? Delmon Young begins the season on the DL. Michael young the 36 yr old right handed bat they got from Texas should help drive in some runs and benefit from the bandbox in Philly. Ryan Howard is 33 now….jeez where has the time gone? But, if he stays healthy can still produce. The rotation with Hamels, Halladay, and Cliff Lee is a great 1 thru 3 on paper, but has Halladay overcome his health issues of last year? he struggled all spring with the flu and still working on his mechanics to have a comeback season. Kyle Kendrick and Lannan are serviceable to round out the rotation. But, does this team have enough to regain its place atop the NL east it held for soo long???
The New York Mets. A solid infield defense-wise. And a decent rotation when healthy. They already lost Johan Santana for the season. Shaun Marcum, is trying to put a healthy season together to become marketable again. When he’s right, he is very good. Johnathan Niese will get the ball opening day against the Padres, followed by Matt Harvey’s first full season in the league. Then comes Dillon Gee and Jeremy Heffner. Bobby Parnell will be getting the ball in the ninth inning and they have brought in some inexpensive, but experienced relief pitchers to mix in with youth from within the organization such as Josh Edgin. The outfield??? well, they signed Marlon Byrd who feels he has something to prove after being banned 50 games last year, for failing leagues PED banned substance list. A mix of Colin Cowgill, Jordany Valdespin and Kirk Nieuwenhuis in center and Lucas Duda in left. Please, easy on the enthusiasm! Needless-to-say this group wont be filming any, “we’ve got the teamwork to make the dreamwork” this year unless, youre dreams are rather uninspiring and provoke a heartbeat, one-notch above flatlining.
One more year of this and then, the ownership is to begin spending more, more, more……….intelligently, thanks to Sandy Alderson. But, for now as a fan, I am only interested in seeing Matt Harvey pitch a full season, Zach Wheeler arrive in June or July and pitch 100 or so innings and Travis D’Arneau come up in May and inject some positivity and talent into this team. And when this happens, hopefully even those who have lowered expectations and limited dreams may too, get excited again!
2013 National League East…….W….L….GB
New York Mets……………….71…91..23