published by Keith Gendron
The Mets are trying to sell their fans and Major League baseball in general, that this year they will be post-season bound. With their group of young power arms and collection of experienced veteran starting pitching, that is a very good starting point to making it to October baseball. With Matt Harvey back from a year plus of rest and rehab, the sophomore season of NL ROY Jacob deGrom and Zach Wheeler, the Mets have 3 young studs in their rotation. Ok, maybe not. Harvey has pitched almost one full dominant season, Wheeler one and a half good seasons and Jacob deGrom pitched 2/3 of a very good season in 2014. Bartolo Colon is in the 2nd year of his 2 year contract and went 15-13 pitching 202.1 innings as an overweight 41 year old. He has to break down this season, doesn’t he? Then, you have the oft injured Jon Niese and Dillon Gee. The rotation depth is good but you don’t know how long Harvey goes this season as he will have an innings limit to contend with. You hope deGrom builds on last years success and that Wheeler can become more efficient and go longer in his starts. Their also is the likely promotions of Noah Syndergaard and Long Island’s own Steven Matz. They may possibly be added to the bullpen late summer if the Mets are vying for a playoff spot.
But, the signing of Michael Cuddyer from Colorado is the only major addition to this lineup, which has had it’s issues scoring runs the last few years. If he is healthy, Cuddyer is a solid right-handed bat to offer Duda protection. Can Wright bounce back from a shoulder injury and be a productive hitter again? or is he simply past his prime. Curtis Granderson is heavily relied upon as well to be more productive this year and is reunited with his batting coach from the Yankees in Kevin Long. The outfield walls were again brought in to help transition some of the long fly outs to now become round-trippers as well. I expect d’arnaud and Lagares to also continue progressing and showing more power. Daniel Murphy is a solid bat, but his time in NY is coming to an end as he will warrant a nice payday next year as a free agent. Does Wilmer Flores prove shortstop worthy? I am willing to give him a shot. As a 24 year old, he was drafted as a shortstop, so he had to be adept at some point. Does Lucas Duda build on his 30hr 92 rbi 2014? Or was it a flash in the pan.
There are still many questions, but there is more hope this year. I don’t know how this team will remain afloat if someone goes down with an injury, but the good teams find away. Maybe the Mets hit just enough as their pitching gets it done and their young relief arms don’t take a step back. They will get Bobby Parnell back possibly in May. The relief pitching did a solid job last year, that I expect it to take a step back. Does Carlos Torres and Jeurys Familia continue logging large innings totals from the bullpen without consequence?
These concerns will play themselves out during the course of the season. I think the Mets take another step forward this year, but with the talent of the NL West and the major upgrades to the San Diego Padres lineup, the Mets work is cut out for them in getting that second wild-card.