Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York Mets Preview/Prediction

We are here!!  Opening day is tomorrow morning at 3 am and we will be having our first official prediction in the next post.  For now let's keep going with the team predictions.

Our next post takes us to Queens where the Bernie Madoff situation has left the Mets unsettled.  It has also left them not very good.  What do they have?  Find out now.

Infield:  Josh Thole at catcher, Ike Davis at first base, Daniel Murphy at second base, Ruben Tejada at shortstop, and David Wright at third base.  

Josh Thole is the starting catcher for this team.  I have never heard of Josh Thole but he did hit close to .270 last year and only struck out 47 times in 114 games.  It looks like he actually has some value as a catcher, and he will be playing every day.  Ike Davis only played in 36 games last year and he hit over .300.  Now that he has the chance to be an every day first baseman I am excited to see what he can do.  I think he has the potential to hit 30 home runs this year and be the top power hitter on this team.  Daniel Murphy is six foot 2, which is big for a second baseman.  He is a career .292 hitter but he has got to stay healthy and he will be fine.  Unfortunately he has not shown the ability to stay healthy for an entire year.  I don't think this is the year.  Ruben Tejada has hit 1 home run in 544 career at bats.  He also has stolen 7 bases in his career.  Frankly I have no idea what he brings to the table.  I will be shocked if David Wright is healthy all season long.  On the off chance he is healthy and has a good season, I will be shocked if he is still on the Mets come  August.  Basically one or the other he will not be the everyday third baseman for the New York Mets this season.

Who will have the best season of these guys? Ike Davis will have the best season of these five.  He won't have any real protection but he will still hit well and play a good first base.  He will hit 30 home runs, and while he might not get to .300 he will be close.  I'm guessing .285.

Outfield: Jason Bay in left field, Andres Torres in center field, and Lucas Duda in right field.

Jason Bay has struggled since he joined the Mets.  He was good with the Red Sox but has since struggled with the Mets.  He only hit .245 last year and hit 12 home runs.  This is a guy who has hit 25 home runs six times in his career.  Andres Torres is going to bat lead-off this year for the Mets.  He hit .221 in 112 games last year.  That is the Mets in a nutshell.  The plus side is he couldn't be worse this year.  We hope.  Lucas Duda was the only pleasant surprise for the Mets last year.  He hit .292 and had 10 home runs and didn't play a full season.  I think he will continue to go forward and have a very good year this year.

Who will have the best season of these guys? Lucas Duda will have a better season this year.  He is the youngest with the most upside.  I think he doubles his home run total to 20, and continues to hit over .280.  He also is the cheapest of the three.

Starting Pitching:  Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese, R.A Dickey, and Dillon Gee.

Johan Santana didn't pitch at all in 2011 after repairing a torn capsule in his shoulder.  Oral Hershiser, Mark Prior, and Chien-Ming Wang.  Two of the three never pitched the same again and frankly Santana doesn't have the same mental toughness as the bulldog.  I don't think Santana will ever be the pitcher he was a few years ago.  Mike Pelfrey had his worst statistical season of his career last year.  I think he will bounce back this year, and win double digit games once again, after failing to do so for the first time in four years.  Look for him to be the surprise of this staff.  Jonathon Niese is a ground ball pitcher who can't stay healthy.  He also has allowed 417 hits in 370 innings.  Those are facts I do not trust.  R.A Dickey is now the longest tenured knuckleball pitcher in baseball with the retirement of Tim Wakefield.  He also throws a better fastball than Wakefield.  He isn't going to get a lot of wins, but he is going to have an ERA under 4 and will be entertaining every time out on the mound.  Most knuckleballers are fun to watch, and Dickey is no different.  Dillon Gee walks too many hitters, but he was statistically the best pitcher on this staff last year.  That isn't to say he is a great pitcher, and to be honest it shows you dire the situation with the starting rotation is, but he did go 13-6 last year so there is some upside.  He is a much better pitcher at home where the park is bigger, but he should still provide some quality starts for a team sorely lacking in them.

Who will have the best season of these guys?  Mike Pelfrey will bounce back this year and have the best season of these five.  That season will be about 13 wins and an ERA of around 4, but that will be the best you get from this team this year.

Bullpen: Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, Ramon Ramirez, and Manny Acosta.

Frank Francisco has been placed on the disabled list at least once the last three seasons.  When he is healthy he is a good closer.  The problem is staying healthy.  If he does get injured, enter 6 foot 11 Jon Rauch into the closer role.  The problem is last year his ERA was almost 5 and he gave up 11 home runs in only 52 innings.  Not exactly numbers you want to hang your hat on.  Ramon Ramirez came over from the Giants, and brought with him one of the nastiest sliders in the game.  Even though he is a right hander, I can see him being the guy to get lefties out as well because of that pitch.  Manny Acosta has been as reliable a reliever as the Mets have had in the last two seasons.  I don't really know how much of a ringing endorsement that is, but hey its something.  Look for him to have another solid, yet unspectacular season.

Who will have the best season of these guys?  Ramon Ramirez will and I think he will end being the closer if/when Francisco gets injured.  He will out perform Rauch to win the 8th inning job and when Francisco goes down, there is Ramirez to pick up the pieces.

Record: 73-89, fifth in the National League East

Next up:  New York Yankees

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