The New York Mets have a better team than people think they do. The starting rotation, with the exception of Mike Pelfrey, is a pretty good rotation. Mike Pelfrey can be a good starter too, but tends to struggle more often than not. Johan Santana is returning this year, and seems to be fully healed after the surgery. Johan Santana has pitched very well this spring, compiling a record of 0-1 with a 3.44 earned run average. He also allowed no home runs, walked 7 and struck out 13 while only allowing a opponents to bat .246 against him . The New York Mets also have R.A. Dickey, Dillon Gee, and Jon Niese in their rotation.
The bullpen should be interesting to watch. The New York Mets added Frank Francisco as the closer, Jon Rauch, and Ramon Ramirez. They kept Bobby Parnell, Manny Acosta, Miguel Batista, and Tim Byrdak. I don’t think the additions really strengthened the bullpen, but it gave them a set closer and backup closers. Both Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez can step in to be the closer in the event of injury or unavailability for Francisco Rodriguez. Plus, Bobby Parnell could take that role too, provided he is consistent.
The offense doesn’t look too bad either. Let’s take a look at the Mets infield first. The starting infield has Ike Davis at first base, Daniel Murphy at second base, David Wright at third base, and Ruben Tejada as the shortstop. The infielders on the bench will be Ronny Cedeno and Justin Turner. While it isn’t a great infield, it should get the job done. Ike Davis should be able to really add some pop at the plate. David Wright should be able to get some more home runs now that the fences have been moved in. While I am not very confident about the Daniel Murphy-Ruben Tejada duo up the middle, they’ll make the plays they need to make. The bench players will mainly be used in the occasional fill-in role and as pinch hitters, so they should be able to help as well.
Now let’s take a look at the outfield. The New York Mets starters will be Jason Bay in left field, Andres Torres in center field, and Lucas Duda in right field. On the bench will be Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter. Jason Bay needs to live up to expectations this year. After hitting at least 30 home runs consecutive years before joining the New York Mets, he has hit 18 in the 2 years he has been with the team. Andres Torres basically replaces Angel Pagan and will be hitting first in the order. Lucas Duda is being given a good opportunity to start this year, and should be taking advantage of it.
The final area to look at is at the catchers. Josh Thole will be starting and Mike Nickeas will be the backup. While it isn’t a great catcher set, it should work since the New York Mets have many veteran pitchers.
So, the New York Mets are putting out a pretty good team this season. It is very realistic that they win more than 80 games this year, but is it likely? Unless all the players play like they should be playing, it is not likely they will win more than 80 games. My prediction is for a 75-87 record.