Sunday, March 18, 2018
New York Mets 2018 season preview
In a season hurt drastically by injuries, the New York Mets finished 4th in the NL East with a 70-92 record, missing the playoffs. With the Marlins and Braves falling and the Phillies rising, plus the Nats keeping their powerhouse status, the Mets had some work to do. Let's take a look at what they did this offseason.
Notable additions: 3B Todd Frazier, RHP Anthony Swarzak, LHP Jason Vargas, 1B Adrian Gonzalez, OF Jay Bruce, C Jose Lobaton, OF Matt den Dekker.
Notable subtractions: LHP Josh Smoker, RHP Chasen Bradford, OF Nori Aoki, LHP Josh Edgin.
What they did well: They overpayed for Swarzak, but they still got good deals on Vargas, Bruce and Frazier. It's a win for them.
What they did bad: There was nothing bad to do, since everyone was shipped out at the deadline.
Sneaky sleeper: In 2017, it was clear who their best left handed pitcher was. It was Jerry Blevins, who had a 2.94 ERA in 49 innings, striking out 69. It's not amazing, but neither was this Mets team.
Incoming outbreak: With an injury to Michael Conforto (the reason him and Jason Vargas aren't in the projected roster below), Brandon Nimmo will get his big shot. He will probably be the starting LF, and his .379 OBP last year shows he can start.
Unsuspected slump: With more injury issues, Steven Matz struggled again in 2017, with a 6.08 ERA in 66.2 innings. Matz is 26, so this season is a make-or-break one for him. He needs to make something good happen.
Blue-chip Bopper: Since his 2015 trade to the Mets, Yoenis Cespedes has been outstanding for the team, with a .285 batting average and 65 homers in 1000 ABs exactly. He's been their best hitter in that span.
Astounding ace: Since Noah Syndergaard missed most of 2017, Jacob DeGrom goes here. DeGrom was just about the only good Mets pitcher in 2017, with a 3.53 ERA and 239 strikeouts in 201.1 innings. That's definitely ace material.
Here's the Mets projected roster, starting with their lineup.
LF Brandon Nimmo (L)
2B Asdrubal Cabrera (S)
CF Yoenis Cespedes (R)
RF Jay Bruce (L)
3B Todd Frazier (R)
1B Dominic Smith (L)
SS Amed Rosario (R)
C Kevin Plawecki (R)
Here's their rotation
RHP Jacob DeGrom
RHP Noah Syndergaard
LHP Steven Matz
RHP Matt Harvey
RHP Zack Wheeler
RHP Robert Gsellman
Jeurys Familia (R) is their closer, with AJ Ramos (R), Jerry Blevins (L), Paul Sewald (R), Anthony Swarzak (R), Seth Lugo (R) and Rafael Montero (R) in the bullpen.
C Travis d'Arnaud (R), INF Jose Reyes (S), CF Juan Lagares (R), INF Wilmer Flores (R) and 1B Adrian Gonzalez (L) are on the bench.
Finally, for my prediction, I think the Mets, a falling team, will miss the playoffs in 2018.