By Steve Keane at 22 March, 2013, 6:28 pm
This has got to be the most ho-hum spring training I’ve experienced as a Mets fan in a long long time. I guess with the exception of Matt Harvey and to an extent Collin Cowgill have made me sit up and take notice. It seems as if jobs are being given to players not on merit but because they are best of a mediocre at best lot. In fact let’s look at who’s who on this team that should head North in 9 days:
Ike Davis-Will this be the Summer of Ike? Is this THE breakout season we’ve been waiting for from the talented first baseman? Can he give us that 30 HR 100 RBI season we’ve dreamed of? I sure hope so.
Daniel Murphy-hard not to root for Murph. He gives you an honest effort every time out and while he’s not a home run hitter his 40 doubles is a-ok. Since Murph is not a home run hitter he needs to get on base more so his walk total needs to improve. Love to see him get that OBA back up to the .360 or better. Since he turns 28 (and on the DL) on opening day this is the season Murphy needs to make his mark to stay a Met .
Ruben Tejada-This may be one of those “it’s not you it’s me” situations when it comes to Tejada as he doesn’t stoke my excitement when I watch him play. He can’t lead off since he doesn’t get on base enough and his defense is acceptable. I hope he gains a little toughness this season and learns the difference between being hurt and being injured. I can’t wait for the Gavin Cecchini Era.
David Wright-So the organization decided to name David Wright Captain. This is the equivalent of turning on a facet and seeing water come out. Wright has gone above and beyond for this organization from the first day he arrived in Flushing. The one player on the roster that Mets have no worries that he will produce.
Justin Turner-Like Billy Martin was Casey Stengel’s boy, Turner is Terry Collins boy
Jordany Vladespin-I never thought there was a question about JV1 making the big league team. Now that he has a lock on a roster spot he needs to grow up this year. If you’re going to be a pain in the ass you better be a productive pain in the ass. I think Valdespin will finally realize he needs to man up and will have a solid season as an outfielder/infield fill in.
Brian Bixler-I think he makes the team because of Murphy hitting the DL to start the season. He could make a case to say if he can be a productive right handed bat off the bench
Omar Quintanilia-solid infielder also makes it North to back up Tejada.
Lucas Duda-Please, please, please let this offensive surge that Duda has had of late carry over into the season. I don’t think it’s an over statement when I say a breakout season at the plate from Duda is the difference from another play out the string season and being the most interesting Mets season in five years.
Colin Cowgill-Cowgill has done what guys like Cowgill need to do, impress the brass with solid hitting fielding and balls to the wall hustle. He’s not only done that but it looks like he’s won the right handed hitting spot of the center field job (JV1 or MDD the left handed hitting spot) and looks like he will be a Citi Field fav.
Matt Den Dekker/Mike Baxter-Already a first class defender, question is will his bat be potent enough to keep him in the line up? Kirk Nieuwenhuis injury open the door for MDD that and the dearth of outfield completion in this spring camp as well. Baxter has had a dreadful spring it will interest to see if he stays and MDD goes to LV which is a distinct possibility since MDD has options and Baxter doesn’t.
John Buck-number one catcher for now as Buck holds the spot for Travis d’Arnaud. Buck seems to have meshed well with the pitching staff this spring and he does hit home runs and is an obvious upgrade over the woeful backstops of last year. Once d’Arnaud comes up to the team he and Buck will form a catching tandem that will be one of the Mets strengths after years of being a major liability.
Anthony Recker-I’ve got nothing
Jon Niese-Congratualtion on the opening day start. As good as Niese is this will probably be the first and last OD start of his Mets career. That’s not a knock on Niese it just shows that the Mets will have 3 top flight pitchers leading them to years to come with Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler. Niese gets the nod as Johan Santana will start the season on the DL and I’ve already placed Santana in my mind as a former Met.
Matt Harvey-Harvey’ starts will be must see events. Looks like the total package a physical specimen and tough as nails mentality. Could there be a wine vineyard in his future?
Dillon Gee-good solid 3-4 starter who looks to be recovered for blood clot in his arm he suffered from last year. Gee if 100% should give the Mets hopefully he stays sound, them 190+ innings pitched
Jeremy Hefner-good guy to root for as he’s one of these bang around the bushes type that realizes how lucky he is to make a big league start. Just needs to be serviceable to be an asset.
Shaun Marcum-what can we expect from Marcum? He’s got a sore shoulder which he claims is not a big deal, nothing a little cortisone can’t cure. Let’s hope the Mets get 2011 Shaun Marcum and not 2012’s version.
Bobby Parnell-Meet the new closer. With Frank Francisco on the DL Parnell gets another shot of closing out games for the Mets. I hope he succeeds and I hope he has found that sumthin’ sumthin” that all successful closers have.
Brandon Lyon-solid pick up for the Mets as Lyon has closed and should be perfect set-up man for Parnell. No secret the bullpen was the major reason for the awful season the Mets had last year. Last year’s pen was right at the bottom of every stat there was for pitching and who knows, if they were a middle of the road pen maybe Mets fans wouldn’t have the miserable attitude they have towards this team.
Scott Atchinson-As Collin Cowgill will be the position player fan favorite, Atchinson could be the pitching fan favorite. When was the last time the Mets fan embraced a reliever? Jesse Orosco and Roger McDowell???? If Atchinson can duplicate his 80 % stranded base runner rate this season, this team could have a better result than we all expect.
Josh Edgin-needs to get batters to chase that slider out of the strike zone and get that LOB% to at least 75% to become more than a LOOGY
Robert Carson/Pedro Feliciano –one of them is making this team as Terry Collins has stated he will go with two lefties in the pen. Feliciano hasn’t pitched in year and Mets have to make decision to either keep him or pay him $100K to take a trip to Vegas, which could be the move allowing Carson to make it North as the LOOGY.
LaTroy Hawkins-here for veteran leadership and direction to his pen mates
Greg Burke-got to love a guy who pitches from the land down under.
There is more pessimism with this Mets team for the coming season than I’ve seen in a long time. The 2013 Mets are far, far from being one of the worst I’ve ever seen; the Joe Torre years of the late 70’s still give me night sweats. Those teams were not just a disaster but the whole organization was in a downward spiral. Sure The Skill Sets money woes are still prevalent but at least there is some serious talent on the horizon.
Two things will make this season better than you and I think it will be. The bullpen has to become a strength and the corners have to produce some power. If that happens this summer will be much better that we all think it’ll be. YA GOTTA BELIEVE! I guess.