As we wind down the blue and orange brick road to Opening Day, I think it’s a good time to look at where the team stands and what it needs to do to get prepared over the next two weeks. I have total confidence that on paper, we’re light years ahead of anyone in the division. The reality is that the paper has crumpled the last two seasons based on bad preparation, bad luck and Omar putting faith in the wrong guys. Let’s see how the different facets of the game are coming together and what concerns there might be. I also look forward to hearing what you think…
I’m confident the Mets can repeat a similar performance as they did last year based on our major run producers being healthy and on track this spring. They got a very pedestrian performance out of both left and rightfield last year and were solid (at least early in the game), so I feel based on past production that Church and Murphy can be at least league average. I also like our back up depth as Tatis, Cora, Sullivan & Evans should be able to outplay the Gerald Williams’ of the world we’re used to seeing. The injury protection is solid as our farm system has been finally getting some good press and come July, we can import another bat if someone goes down.
The issues I wonder about are not addressing the fatigue/ focus factor that had them shutting down late in games and our 2nd baseman.
I know it sounds like a broken record, but the WBC is bad for baseball. I believe now that everyone’s come back reasonably healthy (except for out of shape Olle), we might get off to a fast offensive start partly because of the tournament. The issue I have is the fatigue factor down the stretch. In 2006, they got out of the gate so fast that before long they were 86ing the East, but by October the mental and physical tank was empty.
Since the lineup has barely changed, I don’t except the same recipe to suddenly hit late in games (change the mix and I’ll change my opinion). They have to count on the opposition (like 2006) not believing they can beat our pen and giving up.
Luis Luis Luis
Castillo by most accounts is having a solid spring, but I keep getting this smoke and mirrors vibe. (With the design to improve his confidence and our attitude toward him). I’ve hear Eddie C and several other reported talking about how great he’s moving and what great shape he came into camp in, but two things stand out.
I wouldn’t boo right away just due to the fact he’s worked to improve, but if he still stinks I can’t tell someone what to do with their voice. I don’t personally boo unless I see lack of hustle.
I think where he hits in the lineup is also a huge issue. If he’s 85% of his former self and hitting 8th, his tools aren’t utilized and he becomes a light slap hitter with average defense that does nothing but clear the pitcher and move the 7th hitter into scoring position.
If he’s almost his old self and hitting 2nd, then he’s at least useful.
There are two things that worry me. First is the fact that Manuel knows this and is talking about hitting Murphy 2nd. Why would he put Castillo in a spot where he has no use unless he’s not himself? Second…
Lee Mazzili on 1050espn threw a lot of cold water on Castillo and hinted that he’s not nearly his old self. This is after seeing him this spring.
We’ll have to wait and see…
We have two questions here. First, can Dan Warthen undo the damage that team Mexico has inflicted on Olle Perez and second, can John Maine figure it out in two more starts.
Of all the things that bug me about the way the front office has laid the season down for Bud and his dopey project, the things that bothers me most is allowing our most fragile player to go unsupervised for two weeks.
Perez needs to be hounded constantly to be any good and we have to hope two weeks is enough to make up for 19 days of abuse. The man pitched just twice over two weeks and threw a huge amount of pitches out of the wrong slot in those two outings. The well worked out machine that left has returned an out of shape man with no release point. Nobody who lives and works in the US most of the year belongs on “Team Mexico”. What a joke…
I have little to say about John Maine other than he’s behaving like… John Maine. Sadly, his own head will always get in the way of him being great (see Olle has example number #1). I expect 12-13 wins from him this year and out of the #4 spot, it should be fine. Like all of you, it would be nice to see at least one good start before they break camp.
Livan said something that put the rotation in perceptive…
“With the players you’ve got on the team, you’ve got a chance to win a lot of games,” Hernandez said. “A lot of people have got a chance to win a lot of games.” Isn’t that always the case with this bunch?
Count me as shocked he’s part of it. What the hell? Grab a glove buddy… Pedro who?
I can see a middle reliever getting 10 wins this year (like McDowell’s 14 in 1986) due to the Perez and Maine 100 pitch 5 innings efforts. Due to the new pen, the team will be much better so I do expect a few of those losses from last year to get flipped. With a slightly less specialized look, don’t’ be surprised if Parnell wins more games than Livan.
As far the overall pen, there’s little for me to write. If the WBC fatigue sets in, we’re going to have problems in September. If it’s really not that impactful, then we’ll have the best pen in the NL six months instead of five months. I can’t see someone as fifthly as Putz pitching badly in the 8th , but who knows? I’d bet we’re fine there.
Overall, I see a 95 win team on paper with issues that could knock 10 wins off that number or dominate the division by June. It wouldn’t shock me if the WBC involvement makes the team go on an offensive tear to start the season. If the rotation can somehow get back into shape by then, we might be looking at 2006 again. It’s hard to collapse when you’ve truly buried the team behind you.
Posted By Nik Kolidas