Tuesday, March 21, 2017

New York Mets 2017 season preview

With a record of 87-75, the New York Mets finished second in the NL East, 8 GB of the first place Washington Nationals. The Mets qualified for the NL Wild card game, but lost to the San Francisco Giants. GM Sandy Alderson must of thought his team was good for next year, making virtually no moves. Let's look at what Alderson did.

     Key additions: P Tom Gorzelanny.
     Key subtractions: SPs Bartolo Colon, Gabriel Ynoa, Logan Verrett, RP Jim Henderson, 1B James Loney, OF Alejandro De Aza, 2B Kelly Johnson.

      Biggest move: The Mets did not acquire anything this offseason but a depth pitcher in Tom Gorzelanny. So, I'm going to break my own rule and put a re-signing as my "biggest move". The Mets signed one of their stars, OF Yoenis Cespedes to a new 4 year, $110 million deal. Cespedes is a key part of this Mets lineup, and retaining his services really helps their organization.
       X-factor: David Wright used to be a top 3B in the league. But injuries have hurt him recently. He hasn't played in at least 39 games in a season since 2014. He hasn't hit 20 HRs in a season since 2012, and hasn't hit 30 since 2008. Wright will likely start the season on the DL (that's why I put him on the bench at the bottom). But when he comes back, he needs to perform well to save his career.
       Biggest bounce back: Injuries limited 1B Lucas Duda to just 47 games in 2016. In 153 2016 ABs, Duda hit 7 HRs, with a lousy average of .229. It would be nice for Duda to have a healthy 2017.
       Biggest breakout: With the Mets having 5 solid outfielders, LF Michael Conforto might start the season on the bench, but if the Mets trade Curtis Granderson or Jay Bruce, then Conforto will need to play well. He's yet to play up to his potential, and 24 years of age is a nice number to breakout. Maybe Conforto will do it.
        Guaranteed star: He may only have 2 years of MLB experience under his belt, but 24 year old SP Noah Syndergaard is already a top pitcher. He had a 2.60 ERA in 183.2 IP last year. The best of "Thor" is yet to come, which is scary for hitters.
        The Mets' lineup should look like this.

1. CF: Curtis Granderson
2. 2B: Neil Walker
3. LF: Yoenis Cespedes
4. 1B: Lucas Duda
5. RF: Jay Bruce
6. SS: Asdrubal Cabrera
7. C: Travis d'Arnuad
8. 3B: Jose Reyes
9. Pitcher
          Their rotation will probably be this.

1. Noah Syndergaard
2. Jacob DeGrom
3. Matt Harvey
4. Steven Matz
5. Zack Wheeler

           LF Michael Conforto, 3B David Wright, CF Juan Lagares, C Kevin Plawecki and 1B Wilmer Flores will be on the bench.
           Jeurys Familia will be their closer, with Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas setting him up.

           Finally, for my prediction, I think the Mets will once again be in the NL Wild card chase, but lose to the St Louis Cardinals. I think this not because the Mets are bad, because the Cardinals offseason moves make them better than they were in 2016.

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