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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

2010 New York Mets team preview

2009 Record: 70-92   .432

Run Differential: -86

The Mets of 2007 and 2008 had historic collapses in September which cost them not only the division title but also a spot in the playoffs.  The 2009 Mets were determined not to let this happen again...so they finished 22 games under .500 to spare the fans the suspense.  The season began with the team affected by the Bernie Madoff investment scandal.  Although owner Fred Wilpon denied reports that team finances would be affected, it was known he was a major investor.  Also, the brand new home stadium, CitiField, nearly changed names as the media demanded they forfeit their licensing agreement.  But really these two public relations hits were mild compared to what would happen over the course of the season.  The following starters spent significant time on the disabled list last season: Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, Johan Santana, Oliver Perez, and JJ Putz.  Things were so bad GM Omar Minaya traded for Jeff Francoeur because "he's a guy who plays everyday."  The rash of injuries was so fierce the team went from being a legitimate playoff contender to having the league's worst offense.  I think that sums it up pretty well.

It seems that 2010 is picking up where 2009 left off.
The Mets have more star power than any other team.  Carlos Beltran, David Wright, Johan Santana, Francisco Rodriguez, and Jose Reyes are all among the very best at their position.  Free agent acquisition Jason Bay is also a very good hitter.  The problem with this team is that the supporting cast is at or below replacement level.  Although Minaya loves Francoeur's arm, he fails to realize that he's a poor hitter and now a poor fielder.  The bench and rotation are league average or below, too.  These are things that would hold a normal team back but this team could at least hide its deficiencies if healthy.  But that already is not the case.  Carlos Beltran delayed his knee operation until winter and has already told the team he will be unable to resume baseball activities until May.  Jose Reyes tore his hamstring so badly last season many are worried he'll never again possess the speed that made him an elite talent.  Now he's unable to elevate his heart rate due to a thyroid condition.  Normally these types of injuries can be called "nagging" but this team isn't getting any younger causing these injuries to be pretty concerning.

After last season's hamstring injury there
 is concern Reyes will never be the same.

Likely Opening Day Roster:
Pos.
Name
My Two Cents
C
Rod Barajas
Career OBP of .284 doesn't offset his 34% career caught stealing %
C
Henry Blanco
Will probably play more than he deserves. I think John Krumsee recommended his signing
1b
Fernando Tatis
Probably the RH form of a platoon this year while also being a backup OF
2b
Luis Castillo
In 580 plate appearances last season hit .302 but only had 16 XBH
3b
David Wright
If the power is really gone so is his claim to NL's top third baseman
SS
Alex Cora
When you slug .310 the end is near
LF
Jason Bay
Consistently a very good hitter but now an awful awful defender
CF
Gary Matthews
Poor hitting and overrated defense make him a pefect fit for the M-E-T-S
RF
Jeff Francoeur
Acquired because unlike the other 24 active players, Jeffrey plays everyday. Not a good thing
IF
Anderson Hernandez
Solid infield backup but stretched as a starter
4C
Daniel Murphy
What to do with him? Can't hit enough to play 1b but is a very good fielder.  Can't play LF
1b
Mike Jacobs
Likely will form the LH side of the 1b platoon. Guy cannot BUY a walk.
OF
Angel Pagan
Heck of a '09 for him. Don't expect it to be repeated but is a valuable 4th OF
SP
Johan Santana
Only Lincecum is at his level in the NL
SP
John Maine
A third starter forced to be this team's #2
SP
Mike Pelfrey
Can't really call him a bust but is clearly not what the Mets thought he'd be
SP
Oliver Perez
Worst contract of the 2008 offseason (3yrs-$36 million). Gotta love Omar Minaya
SP
Jon Niese
Probably going to be the third best starter on this team. That's very sad.
Cl
Francisco Rodriguez
A shadow of his former self yet still pretty darn good.
SU
Kelvim Escobar
Great, great stuff but has had two arm injuries in the last 12 months. Not a good omen
RP
Bobby Parnell
Not sure what he'll turn into but seems like his K rate will hold steady with that fastball
RP
Brian Stokes
ROOGY? Lefties hit .330/.435/.487 off him last season
RP
Pedro Feliciano
LOOGY has held lefties to a .245 OBP the last two seasons
RP
Ryoto Igarashi
Prediction: will be the best reliever on the team
RP
Sean Green
A good reliever but probably not the best choice to pitch multiple innings
DL: Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran

Say Hello To: Gary Matthews Jr, Jason Bay, Ryota Igarashi, Kelvim Escobar, Henry Blanco, Rod Barajas, Chris Coste, Jay Marshall, Clint Everts

Wave Goodbye: Carlos Delgado, Gary Sheffield, Brian Schneider, Jeremy Reed, Cory Sullivan, JJ Putz, Lance Broadway, Tim Redding

Rookies: 1b Ike Davis, RP Ryoto Igarashi - After TJ surgery in '07, hasn't had the same velocity but still has good command and the standard Japanese deceptive delivery.

Potential Breakout: Ike Davis - There are no other candidates.

Welcome to Earth:  Angel Pagan - I don't think he's going to bomb but the Mets were so bad and injured last season there are really no other choices.

Likely to Rebound: David Wright

Top 3 players: Santana, Beltran, Wright

Top Prospect: Jenrry Mejiar SP - Struck out more than a batter per inning as a teenager in AA last year.

Prediction: 75-87  4th place N.L. East
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