NEW YORK METS (NL EAST)
2013 record: 74-88 (third, 22 GB)
Projected 2014: 73.5
World Series odds: 100/1
Key additions: Curtis Granderson, Chris Young
X factor: Bartolo Colon
Projected starting lineup: Infield: C – T. d’Arnaud; 1B – I. Davis; 2B – D. Murphy; 3B D. Wright; SS – R. Tejada. Outfield: LF – C. Granderson; CF – J. Lagares, RF C. Young.
Starting rotation: B. Colon, J. Niese, Z. Wheeler, D. Gee, J. Mejia.
Closer: B. Parnell
When GamingToday contributing writer Bob Christ mentioned New York in his preseason column as a division winner, I figured it was the Yankees. It wasn’t.
The Mets? He suggested it was more of a last man standing thing, but as a longtime Met Fan, I’ll take any scenario and hope he is right.
For sure the Mets will be better once their stud pitcher Matt Harvey recovers this year from Tommy John surgery and is ready to go in 2015. Harvey was so good for the Mets last season that he earned the start in the All Star Game and threw two scoreless innings.
Then came the dreaded elbow injury and the need from reconstructed surgery. It usually takes two years to fully recover from Tommy John thus management is sitting him out for 2014. Wise move.
But there’s more disturbing news. Lefty Jon Niese is having arm problems and it may be serious. Ageless Bartolo Colon is the current ace, but you have to wonder how much is left in his tank.
Closer Bobby Parnell (22 saves) appeared in less than 50 games. Dillon Gee led the pitching staff with 12 wins with Harvey on the shelf.
Star third baseman David Wright played in only 112 games so his numbers were down, though he did hit .307. First baseman Ike Davis is an injury waiting to happen.
The pleasant surprise was the emergence of Daniel Murphy at second base. He held his own defensively while leading the team with a .286 BA, 13 HR, 78 RBI, 183 hits and 23 stolen bases.
New York newspaper reports glow about the Mets young pitching prospects other than Harvey and Zack Wheeler, who pitched much of last year with the Las Vegas 51’s, the Triple-A affiliate. Seems there’s a need for a shortstop and Arizona’s Didi Gregorius is coming up in trade rumors.
For now we’ll just deal with the present and that would seem to be that the Mets on paper don’t measure up to either Washington or Atlanta and perhaps Philadelphia as well. But they don’t call the Mets Amazins for nothing.
The Mets made a major offseason move signing Curtis Granderson, who missed over 100 games last season due to injury. The Grandy Man gave the Yankees 40 homers when healthy. He was one of Detroit’s top talents when there. The Mets desperately need his bat and to keep Wright in the lineup.
Heck, who isn’t hurt on the Mets. Outfielder Lucas Duda like Davis is an injury waiting to happen.
Bottom line: The Mets just have to find a way to avoid injuries, which seems impossible. With all due respect to Christ, the Mets seem closer to last than first in the division.
On deck: New York Yankees
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].