published by Keith Gendron March 23, 2014.
With the 2014 Mets season 8 days away, fans and players are eager for the games to count. For the Mets it may be coming at the perfect time as players are recovering from some injuries and starting to hit their stride. The offense has produced 19 runs the past two games and players such as Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Travis d’Arnaud and even Ruben Tejada appear to be rounding in to form.
Well, for this team to have any chance to contend for the post-season this year, along with all 25 player’s contributions and creating a home field advantage at Citifield, the Mets will be tested early and often in the month of April. I would suggest if they can come out of April with a .500 record, then that would be a positive. After opening the season with a homestand against the Nationals and Cincinnati Reds, they will travel down to Atlanta for 3 (never easy), Los Angeles to face the Angels for 3 games and then Arizona for 3. That is a relentless schedule to start and their bats better be at their best. Coming back home after that road trip they play Atlanta for 3, St. Louis for 4, Miami for 2 and a 2 game series in Philadelphia to close out the month.
Easy? not at all. But, the challenge may provide a mentality early on in the season to be at their best and that the standard and focus of play needs to be high. Hopefully, they come out of it alright and can carry that mentality throughout the season and see where the chips lie at the end. But, for now they must play out their string of exhibition games and hope players get stronger and no injuries occur this last week of spring training.
To see the APRIL 2014 schedule click the link below
By Keith Gendron
According to New York Mets insiders, Ike Davis is now expected to be in spring training with the team. Mets gm Sandy Alderson had been holding Ike out there on a line all off season to see what bites he could get, but none were satisfactory enough to pull the trigger at this point. Apparently, no teams are desperate enough to part with their young pitching for the 26 year old left handed bat.
Maybe, this becomes the best trade the Mets never made and Ike Davis and his swing returns to the promise it had shown not so long ago. In 2012, after getting off to a horrendous start, Davis finished the season extremely strong and finished with a team leading 32 homers and 90 rbi. Last season was an identical clueless start and Ike did not show improvement until he returned from a 2 week stint at triple-A Vegas with a more discernable eye at the plate, but no sign of power finishing the season with 9 homeruns.
Still, maybe an offer comes Alderson’s way this spring when injuries occur and teams faced with no other options pull the trigger out of desperation. The Mets still have the Lucas Duda project as a fall back and he still has minor league options. Duda is another left handed bat with potential, but has not shown consistency at the major league level. Many of his offensive numbers mirror Davis’. He had been a liability in the outfield and first base is his natural position, but he wont be confused with Keith Hernandez anytime soon. The Mets brass appear to like his “upside”. He is a year older than Davis, so they apparently feel Davis doesnt have as much upside. Duda’s numbers have trended upward and maybe they think he is ready for 550-plus plate appearances finally.
Ike has had 2 strong seasons, so, I am hoping for his sake and the Mets he can rebound from whatever he is battling and turn it all around. He is good defensively and if he can find his power stroke again, then the Mets may make it to the postseason this year. But if it doesnt happen for him and Duda becomes the slugging first baseman the Mets are hoping then that works as well.
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By Keith Gendron
If Nelson Cruz expects to get signed anytime soon, then his expectations of a 4yr/75 million contract may have to be reconsidered. A power hitting rightfielder, turned down the Texas Rangers team option for 2014 of 14.1 million dollars. I understand he is looking for security but after an injury riddled career and a suspension from Major League Baseball last season he maybe should have played a season(clean), to get a better contract in 2015. Over the last five seasons Cruz has averaged 126 games played. 18.5 million is usually reserved for FULL TIME players, unless your name is Jacoby Elsbury who won the jackpot being signed by the Yankees this offseason. But, the Yankees are not going to sign Cruz and the 33 year old who will be 34 early next season should expect something closer to 14 million/year for 3-4 years.
Curtis Granderson signed with the New York Mets this offseason for 4/60 million, Five times in his ten year career he has played in 156 games or more. Last season he was hit by the injury bug, but has played in almost 400 more games than Cruz who has played 9 seasons. Granderson is also a superior defender, a year younger and a positive clubhouse presence who never has been suspended for PED’s.
Dont get me wrong. I would appreciate Nelson Cruz over Chris Young on the Mets for the next 3 seasons, but he has to be on the field. I hoped the Mets would have signed Cruz in November, when they were showing interest, but went in another direction hoping for Chris Young to turn his career around and rebound from playing hurt during his one year in Oakland. When Cruz is healthy he is dangerous. Based on a 162 game season his career averages translate to 32 Hrs and 99 rbi, Granderson’s are 30 and 83 but is more likely to come close to these numbers because he is on the field. The other numbers all can be argued as they do have similar production.
I’m sure Seattle could use another bat to help Robinson Cano and maybe if Cruz remains on the market long enough with his asking price, they’ll have enough money left to get him.