METBLOGFEVER: Are the Mets wildcard worthy?

published by Keith Gendron                                      March 27, 2014.

 

There are 4 days left until the home opener to the 2014 season at Citifield versus the Washington Nationals. This spring training seemed to last forever. Two exhibition games at the old Olympic Stadium in Montreal against the Toronto Blue jays and an off day remain. Hopefully there will be no casualties during the series, in an attempt to draw baseball back to Montreal, an old division rival, Montreal Expos(now Washington Nationals).

But enough talk of exhibitions and games that don’t count. Lets do this already. The 2014 Mets will have new additions Bartolo Colon, Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, along with Jose Valverde. Gone for 2014 is Matt Harvey as he recoups from Tommy John surgery. Ruben Tejada is the shortstop for the time being and Ike Davis and Lucas Duda are both on the roster as well. The shortstop issue was not addressed as Stephen Drew has been dangling for months with no takers. I am assuming Ike Davis will be the left-handed complement to Josh Satin as Duda is a late inning bat off the bench and designated hitter, getting occasional starts at first base. Daniel Murphy survived trade rumors as well and now entering his prime, I expect even more production from him. David Wright should benefit the most from the Granderson signing offering him protection he hasn’t had since the second half of 2012. Wright needs to be healthy this year, along with Davis if their are any designs on reaching the post-season. Travis d’Arnaud will be playing his first full season in the Majors and I hope he just focuses on defense and managing the pitching staff and let the hitting just come. This year will be about constantly making adjustments in a league that overwhelmed him last September. Chris Young bouncing back and being productive again would solidify the lineup as a right handed power threat and he plays good defense as well. Eric Young Jr. hopefully buys in to pitch selection and getting on base more in order to cause havoc as a base stealer. Granderson should hit 25-30 homers this year and his presence trickles down to Wright and Murphy. He strikes out a ton as does half the lineup, but a power bat will also drive in runs. Juan Lagares is their best defender in the outfield, but I dont know if he gets bumped off the roster or not. I hope he gets an opportunity as the pitchers can relax when a ball is hit in the gaps with  out there.

The rotation is pretty good with Gee, Colon, Wheeler, Matsuzaka or Mejia and Niese. The reserves Syndergaard and Montero will be up in July and will excite the crowd. Colon’s condition worries me and I expect some sort of hamstring or leg injury when he has to run the bases. The bullpen is questionable. Parnell still recovering from neck surgery has pitched well in spring training, but he is still trying to build velocity. Vic Black was optioned to the minors to work on his mechanics and will hopefully be back in a few weeks. Valverde will be the set up man for now and spell Parnell early in the season on occasion. Jeurys Familia has pitched better in a limited sample this spring and Lannan has been added to the roster as a reliever. The rest are not that remarkable and hopefully can bridge the gap successfully.

The schedule will be tough in April facing playoff caliber teams in Washington, Atlanta, Arizona, Cincinnati and the Los Angeles Angels. Do the Mets have enough to make the post-season? Well, a lot has to go right. The chances of them all happening between health and career resurgences, I as a fan will say Yes!!! but as an analytical student of the game I say NO.

As far as what i project the positions of the National League East in 2014

Washington      95-67

Atlanta               85-77

Mets                  78-84

Miami                 70-92

Philadelphia       70-92

Nothing expert about this….I like to go against conventional wisdom at times and this appears to be what everyone that isn’t a Mets fan is predicting. I hope I am wrong, for the Mets and My sake, It would make  for one Hell Of A Season. Believe me, I will be watching every game this year, hoping for a hot start and some great individual contributions to get them to the Post-Season for the first time since 2006! It is about time and has been way too long!

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