Sunday, February 14, 2010

NL East Capsule - My Predictions - The Mets

Today, we are completing our quick tour of the NL East with my favorite team and yours the New York Metropolitans! 2009 was a tough year for the Mets as they were beset by a plague of injuries and ended up finishing 4th in the NL East ahead of only the lowly Nationals. 2010 promises to be a brighter year at least than 2009 but many Mets fans are wary of the current make-up of their favorite team. GM Omar Minaya and the Wilpon family have taken a lot of criticism for the moves (or lack thereof) made this offseason. Here's how the Mets look to start the season -

New York Mets

SS: Jose Reyes
2B: Luis Castillo
CF: Carlos Beltran
LF: Jason Bay
3B: David Wright
1B: Daniel Murphy/Fernando Tatis
RF: Jeff Francouer
C: Omir Santos
Bench: IF/OF Tatis, OF Angel Pagan, OF Gary Matthews Jr., IF Alex Cora, C Henry Blanco

SP: Johan Santana
SP: Mike Pelfrey
SP: Oliver Perez
SP: John Maine
SP: Fernando Nieve
CP: Francisco Rodriguez
RP: Kelvim Escobar, Ryoda Igarashi, Pedro Feliciano, Bobby Parnell, Sean Green, Nelson Figueroa

Many observers felt that the most glaring weakness the Mets had going into the offseason was in the starting rotation - well, nothing was done to fix that. The Mets hope that a healthy stable of starter with plenty of upside will bounce back from an abysmal 2009 that was riddled with injury and inconsistency. Today the #5 spot in the rotation looks like it belongs to Fernando Nieve who was a revelation in 2009 before falling victim to the injury plague. Others that will be competing for that #5 spot; fan favorite Nelson Figueroa and young gun Jon Niese. But the most important man in the rotation is the Ace - Johan Santana - will he be 100% from the get-go? Will he be able to shoulder the load of all of Met fandoms expectations?
The Mets solidified one of their strengths in the bullpen by adding Kelvim Escobar and Ryoda Igarashi to the fold. Escobar can be extremely valuable (if healthy) and could be a dominant bullpen presence. Igarashi was exceptional in the Japanese league and the Mets hope his power stuff translates well as a late innings reliever in 2010. The rest of the bullpen has solid reliable arms, and I expect the Mets bullpen to be one of the league's best in 2010.
The offense "should" be good to very good. The offense features speed, average, and power and if not for the collapse of 2009 would no doubt have high expectations. It is fairly balanced left to right and features some of the games best hitters. There is some worry that the power outage that hit in 2009 might continue into 2010 but I think that those worries are highly overrated. I expect the Mets offense to be among the top 3 in the National League in 2010.
While there are reasons to worry (most glaringly the rotation), on balance, I think the positives outweigh the negatives for the Mets. With a full and healthy season from this offense, and a bounce-back year from the rotation I expect the Mets to finish 2nd in the NL East and to challenge the Phillies for most of the season.
I also expect the Mets to be the Wild Card team for the National League in the playoffs in 2010. So save up for those playoff tickets Mets fans!


  1. I could not agree with your assessment more. I believe you hit the nail right on the head. Florida and Atlanta haven't really improved enough to overtake Philly or even the Mets. I do however have to say that I think you are underestimating the Nationals because of Atlanta's and Florida's inconsistency. Pudge will be a huge factor for a young staff and they have a solid bullpen with experience, unlike Florida and Atlanta. Washington could very well be a spoiler team, even to our beloved Mets. I think the Mets will be good this year. The injuries can't be as bad this year, but keep in mind,they are already starting off with a key injury in Beltran. They need to overcome that and get off to a good start to have any chance at anything good this year.

  2. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you how much I like both of your blog pages I've seen, this one (south of shea) and the Rambler (politics). I would also like to invite you to check out my site. It's a blog from a Mets fan (like you) not in NY (like you). In southern New Jersey (Philly country). I think you'd like it.