Top 5 Needs of the New York Mets for 2013
Top 5 Needs of the New York Mets for 2013
Despite having Johan Santana throw the first no-hitter in franchise history, R.A. Dickey winning 20 games for the first time since 1990, and David Wright becoming the all-time franchise hits leader, there is no question that the New York Mets had an awful season overall.
Going from a playoff buzz in the first half of the season to finishing fourth in their division, fourteen games under .500 is not where anyone expected the Mets to end up, even if it was thought that they were overachieving in the early months.
A lot of fans remember the first half of the season as better times, but there's no overlooking how awful the bullpen was, and how many games were lost as a direct result of a blown save. The second half was a pure disaster as the Mets went 28-48 to finish the season.
Since Mets GM, Sandy Alderson, made absolutely no attempts at making any changes over the course of the regular season in the way of helping the bullpen or adding a strong bat to the lineup, there is no doubt that change needs to be made during the offseason if the Mets want to make a serious run for the playoffs over the next couple of seasons.
While Alderson has made it clear that the re-signing of Wright and Dickey are a priority for the franchise, the Mets have a lot more areas they need to focus on before they can realistically show the fans that they are serious about the team becoming champions, or at least making the playoffs for the first time since 2006.
Here are five of the areas I believe the Mets need to focus on the most.
For the last several years the Mets bullpen has been a significant reason for my all too early gray hairs popping up in my head. The bullpen blew 19 saves in 2012. Think about that for one second. Even with as bad as the Mets were during the second half, had the bullpen not blown all those saves, the Mets would have made the playoffs.
Bobby Parnell's 100 m.p.h. fastball is fun to watch, but not when he doesn't have control over it, which seems to be more often than not. Five of those blown saves belong to Bobby. Frank Francisco did have 23 saves in 26 opportunities, but his 5.53 ERA proves that it wasn't always easy. Then there's Jon Rauch with his 3-7 record and 3.59 ERA. I still won't forget him almost blowing R.A. Dickey's 20th win.
The Mets need a bullpen from start to finish. They need someone who can go for long relief, a set-up man, and a dominant closer. These roles shouldn't have to be juggled every night.
Just once it would be nice for Mets fans to say, "Oh, so-and-so is coming in from the bullpen; It's in the bag."
Ironically, Jason Bay is the best defensive catcher the Mets have. However his bat leaves more than something to be desired. The outfield is changed on an almost daily basis between Bay, Scott Hairston, Mike Baxter, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Jordanny Valdespin, Lucas Duda, and Andres Torres.
I know a lot of the time the focus is on hitting, and while yes, I do agree that it very important, defense is key, too. It's unfair to expect these guys to be dominant at their position when they don't play there everyday. The Mets need to fix this. Misjudged balls, miscommunication, and not hitting the cutoff man on throws back in are unacceptable at this level.
Carlos Beltran anyone?
After you've finished this, please refer to my last article, 5 Reasons Josh Thole Needs to Go, and you'll see why I think the Mets need a catcher. Bottom line: The Mets need someone who can catch, hit, and field. They do not have that right now.
I know he looks like everyone's cute grandfather, but Terry Collins is not going to be the manager who will lead the Mets to the World Series, and this season proved that. When things were going swimmingly, you could see how much fun the guys were having and they seemed to love to play for Terry. But when times got rough Collins rarely held anyone accountable for any of the Mets' losses.
There is a lot of youth on the Mets, and they need to be whipped into shape. Sometimes tough love is needed, and I don't think Terry is the guy who is going to give it to them. It's as simple as scolding them for not hustling down the first base line each and every time. The Mets were allowed to be lackadaisical in the second half, and for that I, as a fan, hold Terry accountable
It looks like Terry will be back next season, so this change won't come as soon as I'd like, but it is most certainly a change that needs to be made.
A Power Hitter
In a baseball world where the year of 70 home runs in a season are long gone, we don't see as much power on a day to day basis, but this doesn't mean the Mets can't have someone with some pop in their bat. When it comes to intimidating batters in the Mets lineup, the pickings are slim.
David Wright is relatively consistent, and has proved he can hit a home run, but I don't think pitchers necessarily fear him when he steps up to the plate. Ike Davis could potentially be this hitter, but with his slow start to the season, he was still mostly looked over as the season went on. The Mets need that one player who when they walk up to the plate every time, it feels like slow motion; The potential to tie or win the game with one swing of the bat is always there.________________________ Agree? Disagree? Let me hear it on Twitter: @BrownEyedNJGirl