Murphy’s Law & More: 2011 New York Mets Preview

Posted: March 3, 2011 by The Cheap Seat Fan in MLB
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Murphy’s Law must have its home offices in one Citi Field’s many luxury boxes. No matter what they run out there, something seems to happen, from injuries to domestic issues to more injuries and then a few more just to make sure the point is made. The Mets have become the home of the “getting nothing for a lot spent” movement (a spot the Cubs are still fighting to over as well). They are not getting numbers (or even games played) from the vast majority of their most expensive investments. For around seven years now have ran out a similar team that has never had what it’s taken to get over the top. No nonsense manager Terry Collins was brought in to try to whip this group into shape; however can he finally get something close to the astronomical potential this roster has on paper, onto the field?

THREE UP

1. SITTIN’ ON THE BENCH BY THE BAY: Tell me if you’ve heard this one before regarding the Metropolitans: go out, lure big name free agent to town to become the final piece in putting them over the top. Do the names Johan Santana and Carlos Beltran ring a bell? Well they should, because they are still there, in one capacity or another. Jason Bay was brought into become the big power bat in the middle of the order that will boost the talented, yet snake bitten, Mets over the top. Instead he suffered a similar fate to that of his previous big money predecessors: injury or setback (or both in his case), and more money made for watching than playing. In his New York debut, concussion scares limited him to 95 games, yet he still only hit 6 home runs, 30 less than he had clubbed the year before. While tomorrow never knows, if Bay’s head is clear again, count on him making up for lost time in year two manning left field in Flushing.

After a dismal New York debut, a concussion-less Bay can change everything about the Mets attack.

2. OUT THE BLOCKS: They have a lot of speed at the top of this lineup. With Jose Reyes back in the mix, the lineup received the most disruptive speed threat in the game. He responded by swing 30 bases, along with 10 triples. Angel Pagan had a breakout season, and often was the best player on the team in the second half; he finished with 37 steals himself. With this duo leading way, they are capable of manufacturing many runs, with just singles hitters, even if they struggle in the power department in the middle of the order.

3. SHUT THE DOOR: The starting pitching for the Mets has been a huge issue for the last few years. However, the 9th inning is not a problem, with Francisco Rodriguez looming to close down any winning opportunity that somehow reaches him. Now that he has his multiple run ins with his family (that landed him in court rather than in a uniform to end last season) over with, they are solid in the 9th inning. His 30 save average over the last two years is the type of dependable presence this team needs behind a questionable pitching staff otherwise.

THREE DOWN

NOODLE & CO: Anytime Chris Young and Chris Capuano, who have spent 10 years worth of time in the last two years on the DL, are brought in to try to fix things in your starting rotation, you know it’s bad. Their $22.5 million dollar per year ace Johan Santana’s arm problems has followed him into a third season, and he’ll miss at least a quarter of this year. This puts the responsibility of the holding down the fort on Mike Pelfrey and R.A. Dickey has the only dependable arms available. They had solid breakthrough efforts last year, but I still don’t like their chances consistently against the likes of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, Josh Johnson or Tim Hudson. A matchup problem that correlates directly into the Mets odds against their division mates perhaps.

The Mets sub par rotation needs its $22 million ace back in Santana much sooner than later to survive.

SHELL SHOCKED: I challenge you to name any other team that has kept the same core together, almost in its entirety, for this long without taking any steps forward. If you’re a video gamer, pop in MLB: The Show 2008 and play with the Mets. It’s the same team. This group of guys (Reyes, Beltran, Wright, Luis Castillo), is most likely beaten down by not making it over the top together for so long and facing virtually the same set of struggles each year. Yet, the huge price tags combined with piss poor healthy records, they have makes it a problem to move them. Somebody needs to find the key to the handcuffs on the Mets front office.

OWNERSHIP OVERDRAFT: Despite the curse that seems to loom over anybody that signs with them, the Mets have had no problem getting more guys to come and enlist with them. It’s New York and big money, an easy package to sell. However, there’s a big problem with that method now. There’s still New York, but the Mets don’t have any money to throw into mix. Owner Fred Wilpon got caught in the Bernie Madoff shakedown, and it became clear how big of an impact it had when the Mets were players in none of the races for ANY free agents this offseason, took a $20 million dollar loan from Major League Baseball and put up part of the team for sale.

LINEUP/PITCHING with 2010 stats/info (Impact Players in BOLD)

  1. Jose Reyes-SS: .282 avg/11 HR/54 RBI/30 steals
  2. Angel Pagan-CF: .290 avg/11 HR/69 RBI/37 steals
  3. David Wright-3B: .283 avg/29 HR/103 RBI/19 steals
  4. Carlos Beltran-RF: .255 avg/7 HR/27 RBI
  5. Jason Bay-LF: .259 avg/6 HR/47 RBI/20 doubles
  6. 6. Ike Davis-1B: In his rookie year, he belted 19 home runs and 33 doubles. In his second year, he’ll be counted on to improve those numbers in case of any further injuries to their power threats.
  7. Josh Thole-C: .277 avg/3 HR/17 RBI
  8. Luis Castill0-2B: .235 avg/0 HR/17 RBI/8 steals

The 23 year-old Ike Davis is one of the only immediate bright spots in the New York future.

  1. Mike Pelfrey-RH: 15-9/3.66 ERA/113 K’s
  2. Jon Niese-LH: 9-10/4.20 ERA/148 K’s
  3. R.A. Dickey-RH: 11-9/2.84 ERA/104 K’s
  4. 4. Chris Young-RH: Hasn’t made over 20 starts since 2007, when he posted a 3.17 ERA for the Padres. 2-0 record with only 2 earned runs in 20 innings in 2010.
  5. Chris Capuano-LH: 4-4/3.95 ERA/54 K’s

Closer: Francisco Rodriguez-RH: 25 saves, 2.50 ERA,

Rundown: If there is a word that can be used to describe this club it is….well “if”. There are so many “ifs” around this club, that assessing success for them is a risk at best. Actually the same preview that has been good for them for the last three years could work here as well. “If” they can get to 100% and deploy Beltran, Reyes, Santana, Rodriguez and Bay at one time along with Wright, then they have as talented of a roster as any team in the National League. However, when you’re discussing the potential of a Major League roster based on its health, predicting that they will be able to do anything over what it has done in the past is a fools bet. This combined with their inability to add anything to help alleviate this problem in the offseason, which will no doubt spill into the season, does not show signs of a jump in the Mets status in the NL East.

 

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Comments
  1. Diggame says:

    I see an epic melt down on the horizon for my beloved Mets…smh

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