published by Keith Gendron
It was reported by multiple sources in the media today that Mets’ GM, Sandy Alderson proclaimed the Metsies to win 90 games this season. Unless, he has some last minute signings or tricks up his sleeve, I will assume this proclamation is for the presently constituted 2014 team. Although, Alderson is usually measured in most things he says, he didn’t make these comments to the media, but rather team brass. Where in fact it was also stated that Jeff Wilpon said, “They better win 90”. Is this because Mets’ ownership thinks they broke open the bank this year and set spending records for a franchise in major league baseball ? Truth is they did do some spending this year as they tried to address some of their flaws in outfield defense, power and a veteran starting pitcher to cover the Harvey void. Was it enough to have this team jump to a 16 game improvement over last season? Probably not. They would have to remain healthy and get a few player’s to turn around their careers. I do think this team may finish at .500 for the first time since 2008, though. Which would be an improvement of 6 games from last year.
But do you remember the 2006 San diego Padres? No, me either. That team won their division in 2005 at 82-80. In the winter of 2006, Sports Illustrated along with other experts(?)picked the Padres to finish 3rd behind the Dodgers and Giants. They brought in some older position players Mike Piazza,37 yrs old, Mike Cameron, 33 and Vinny Castilla, 38. I wouldn’t expect much from that group either, especially a 37 year old catcher to join the likes of 35 year old Ryan Klesko, Brian Giles 35 and outfielder, Dave Roberts, 34(who still relied on his speed). They had an ace in Jake Peavy, followed by a rather not-so-glamorous 2 through 5 in the rotation. They did still have Trevor Hoffman, if they would even need to rely on him that much. I mean they had a geriatric lineup, filled with players past their prime and for the most part a no-name rotation.
Now, the 2014 edition of the Mets is far from old and in recent years far from talented. But, their are similarities between the two teams, that could make for an argument that the Mets could be playing meaningful games in September and possibly further. You see, that 2006 Padres team won their division again by finishing 88-74. Their offense was far from explosive….or youthful, but that mediocre pitching staff finished first in the league with a 3.87 era. Their defense ranked 13th in all of baseball in errors, so that was mediocre as well. Both teams play in ballparks favoring pitching. The Mets have an experienced staff in Colon, Niese, Gee and if necessary Lannan and Matsuzaka. Zach Wheeler will hopefully continue growth. He seems to have the makeup and talent to be an ace or a number 2. This along with Mejia showing last seasons display isn’t a fluke and the debuts of Syndergaard and Montero has Mets fans excited! This staff can be great for years to come. The Mets outfield defense is greatly improved with the additions of Chris Young and Curtis Granderson to join Eric Young, Jr. and Juan Lagares. The Padres had 2 players lead the team in rbi in Cameron and Giles with 83 and Adrian Gonzalez had 82. They hit 161 homers, led by Gonzalez’ 24, Cameron and Piazza with 22 a piece. Certainly not overwhelming and the fact that much of the offensive production did come from the guys they brought in and past their prime, shows that stranger things do happen every once in a while. The Padres were 26th in runs produced at 4.51/game and they didn’t get on base, with a team OBP of .332, 21st in the league. You go through their lineup and you can see some of the Mets players putting up similar numbers. Cameron was 33 and played his first year with the Padres in 2006 as Granderson is coming to the Mets and the production may be similar. I don’t expect too much from the Mets offensively, but with a few players rebounding can greatly assist in them winning more than another projected sub-80 victorys.
I don’t think the Mets staff will finish number 1 in the league, but, if healthy and their veteran signings assist in the development in their power arm’s future, they can finish in the top 1/3. That Padres pitching staff was led by Woody Williams with 12 wins, Peavy 11-14, 4.09, Clay Hensley 11-12, 3.71 and Chris Young 11-5, 3.46. Trevor Hoffman saved 46 games.
I am expecting a bounce back from Ike Davis, Curtis Granderson should have a good season and will provide protection for David Wright. Wright has to be healthy for the Mets to succeed as he is great defensively as well and is the face of the organization. Wright’s success will trickle down to Daniel Murphy as well and Met’s fans are eager to see what Travis D’arnaud can bring to the plate and behind it. If you can be lucky enough to get a productive season from Chris Young too, then the Mets can certainly be lucky enough to reach the high 80’s in wins. But, it may be really dreaming too big, to even consider so many things to go well, but it would all make Alderson’s proclamation not seem so far fetched afterall.