|2010 Season Preview: New York Mets||| Print ||
Written by Jonathan Leshanski (Contact & Archive) on March 30, 2010
2009 Regular Season Record: 70-92
C - Henry Blanco (Free Agent from Padres)
C - Shawn Riggans* (Free Agent from Rays)
C - Rod Barajas (Free Agent from Blue Jays)
1B - Mike Jacobs* (Free Agent from Royals)
IF/OF - Frank Catalanotto (Free Agent from Brewers)
OF - Jason Bay (Free Agent from Red Sox)
OF - Jason Pridie (Wavier Claim from Twins)
OF - Gary Matthews Jr.Â (Trade from Angels)
LHP - Hisanori Takahashi* (Free Agent played in Japan last year.)
RHP - Ryota Igarashi (Free Agent played in Japan last year.)
RHP - Kelvim Escobar (Free Agent from Angels)
RHP - Kiki Calero* (Free Agent, signed from Marlins)
Getting those Little Town Blues:
*Signed minor league contract.Strengths:Â Starting Pitching, some promising youngsters, David Wright.
The Jason Bay signing isn't one that will put this team over the top anytime soon, but it did possibly have one benefit that could actually help the team.Â Bay, by all accounts, is a very nice guy and a great team player -- something the Mets desperately needed to help change the attitude in the clubhouse (and a reason they didn't bring back Carlos Delgado).Â He'll provide some veteran leadership and serve as a role model for David Wright, the only reliable star this team has had over the past few seasons.
As these Mets have little hope of competing without a quick and full recovery by Beltran and Reyes (who could miss a lot more time then the Mets have estimated), and barring that, logic would dictate that general manager Omar Minaya won't survive the season, we might get a chance to see some of the top young players in the Mets organization get to try their hand in the big leagues.Â Those include first baseman Ike Davis and pitcher Jenrry Mejia both of whom have a chance to make the team out of Spring Training.Â Pitcher Eric Niesen and catcher Josh Thole might not be far behind.
The other positive point for the Mets, albeit a very uncertain one, is the pitching staff which has the potential to do a lot better than it did last year.Â Johan Santana who is returning from late season surgery should be his usual self.Â Â Mike Pelfrey is capable of improving and youngsters Jonathon Niese and Fernando Nieves both have some upside.Â A healthy season by John Maine, and even an appearance of being average from Oliver Perez would help tremendously.
Weaknesses: Offense, defense, bullpen, injuries.
The loss of Reyes at the top of the order will force the Mets to rely on Luis Castillo to lead off (unless they do something radical like ask David Wright to do it) which won't help their offense much.
The Mets bullpen, which hasn't been a strength in the past few seasons, won't look to be much better in 2010.Â Ken Takahaski, one of the few relievers with a sub 3 ERA is gone, and the Mets seem to be relying on Kelvim Escobar (coming off an injury last year, and is expected to start the season on the DL) and Japanese righty Ryota Igarashi are the only sure additions to the pen, although another Japanese pitcher, lefty Hisanori Takahashi, may earn a shot this spring.
Defensively the Mets are going to struggle too.Â Alex Cora is no Reyes in the field, Murphy is always an adventure, Castillo committed 11 errors last year, Wright committed 18, and Jason Bay and Angel Pagan don't have great range.Â It's not an ideal situation and it will cost the team some games.
Besides the chronic injuries which seem to be derailing Jose Reyes the team has a lot of key guys coming back either from surgery or from mental issues which sidelined them last year.Â That includes Santana (elbow), Maine (shoulder), Perez (mental block), Reyes (Hamstrings/thyroid) and Beltran (knee).
One question that need answering: