Here it is, my long awaited season preview of my beloved New York Mets.
It is upon us, another season of NY Mets baseball. I won’t even begin to complain about last season, it’s an exercise in futility.
Here we go kids.
The Mets have Brian Schneider. I like him.
I also like Ramon Castro. Who should start? Who cares? It makes no difference, you won’t see huge numbers from either guy.
Carlos Delgado is there again. He’s a big power guy, but let’s face it, a little kid could play better defense. Supposedly, Marlon Anderson will back him up. Personally, I’d love to see Nick Evans penciled into that spot on a regular basis eventually. He won’t give you homers like Delgado will, but he’s a line drive hitter, who is a doubles machine. I saw him last season in AA-Binghamton, and he is a special kind of player, and a class act to boot.
Luis Castillo. Enough said.
Ok, I’ll say more. It’s hard to steal bases when you have no knees. Somehow Castillo does it. I don’t even want to know how. Alex Cora was signed as a back-up. He might see some significant time once Castillo break both legs trying to steal second.
Jose Reyes is there. And hopefully for Met fans, he will be forever. He does it all. Steals bases, hits for power, smiles a lot. What can’t he do? Well, lead the Mets to a title…but there’s time.
David Wright occupies that spot. He’s a special kind of player, and will conservatively hit 30 homers and drive in 120 runs this season.
Yahoo! Sports has Daniel Murphy listed as a third baseman as well. Let me tell you where he will see no time at all this season; third base. Murphy is a guy like Evans, a young guy who I sincerely hope will see a lot of time this season. More than likely though, it will be in left field. He has a great throwing arm, and an even better bat.
The Mets killed my buzz when they traded human highlight reel Endy Chavez in the JJ Putz deal, as I loved seeing his acrobatics patrolling the Shea Stadium outfield. I looked forward to seeing what he’d do at Citi Field. Oh well, c’est la vie.
Carlos Beltran is a monster, and can do it all. He’ll have a great season. How great? He might just win the MVP award.
Ryan Church exceeded everyone’s expectations last season, but battled a lot of concussion issues. Hopefully he’s 100% healthy this season, and he can make a big impact.
Evans and Murphy could see a decent amount of time in the outfield, along with Angel Pagan and newly acquired Jeremy Reed. Fernando Tatis factors in here too, and may start the season in left if Anderson or Murphy don’t.
This is where everyone cringes, right? This has been the Achilles’ heel of the Metropolitans game for awhile now.
Pedro’s gone, as is Tommy Glavine. Fine, I’m not worried.
The rotation will probably shape up as follows (in order): Johan Santana (possibly the best pitcher in baseball), John Maine (vastly underrated), Oliver Perez, Mike Pelfrey (who will turn a lot of heads this season), and Tim Redding (an innings eater, if nothing else).
I would expect Redding to give way to rookie Jonathon Niese by midseason, especially if Niese can put together some decent stats out of the bullpen or in AAA.
Now onto the bullpen, and here’s where the tears normally start for most Met fans. However, in the mold of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, there will be “No More Tears” this season.
Francisco Rodriguez is a good acquisition, but I question his durability. However, if he’s anywhere near the same player he was last season, when he racked up 62 saves for Anaheim, this is a genuis signing by Omar Minaya.
Speaking of Minaya, he made a great move picking up Putz from Seattle. He’s a great closer, and will serve as a setup man for K-Rod, at least until the latter’s arm falls off from trying to throw the ball 400 miles per hour on every pitch, and at that point, Putz will close.
Pedro Feliciano and rookie Eddie Kunz look to be a decent middle of the game reliever unit, and I”ll take that.
Overall, it’s a good time to be a Mets fan. New stadium, new start.
I won’t jinx it and say that this is the year that they win it all, but it looks pretty good from where I’m standing.