Sunday, March 30, 2008

New York Mets preview

by Steve

The Amazin's and Willy Randolph may say they have been able to put the embarrassing debacle that was Sept. 2007 behind them, but I have my doubts. Randolph is on the hot seat and if they don't make the playoffs and make a serious push it might cost him his job. Omar isn't innocent the past two seasons either. We'll see.

Once thought to be the best young left side of the infield in baseball, 2007 may have burst that bubble a bit. If Wright can reproduce the 30hr .335 and 107 rbi's he'll solidify himself as a superstar. However, Jose Reyes showed he isn't infallible. He hit .205 in September. Talk about embarrassing, and if he isn't hitting and getting on base the Mets struggle to score runs. Luis Castillo is a solid 2b and should have taken pressure off Reyes because he is solid #2 batter in any line up. Hopefully a full spring training with Reyes and Castillo will work out any problems that may have existed between the two. Delgado is a year older which isn't a good thing, but it is unlikely he'll be as ineffective in 2008, then again we don't even know how old he even is really. Brian Schneider isn't giving you anywhere near the production P Lo did so expect less scoring and demand better defense.

Carlos Beltran is a five tool balla not fully living up to his potential in New York. I'm not going to bash the dude because he isn't playing bad, but he isn't playing like an MVP either. The backwards K in the '06 NLCS still weighs on my mind heavily. Also, it may not be helping his defense to the right with crusty old Moises Alou out there pissing on his hands to toughen his calluses. Although with him being out until at least May it looks like Angel Pagan will be starting in left field with Chavez waiting in the wings. Ryan Church in right??! This outfield is mediocre at best and needs to prove themselves before any playoff predictions are put in stone.

With the 'great' Johan Santana at the top of this rotation it makes everyone else better, but Santana would make any rotation look better. Johnny Maine is no ace, moving him down a peg takes pressure off him and should improve his stats. Randolph has him actually in the 3 spot behind Pete for now though. Speaking of the eternal one, Pete is back in the rotation for 2008, finally. Obviously there will be questions about his health for the rest of his career , however, if his September play was any indication (3-1 2.57 era) Martinez should be effective in 2008. The still young, 26, flamboyant lefty Oli Perez might be one of the best 4 spot guys in any rotation in the league at this point. He can be erratic but the problem isn't physical it is between the ears. As long as the mental toughness is there, so will the low ERA. For now young Pelfrey is in the 5 spot in front of el duque, I'm not very optimistic about him as some of the luster of a former 1st rounder has been sanded off a bit.

It is tough to see this team making the same mistakes as last year and golfing in early October. However, the NL East seems to have gotten stronger. The Nationals won't be a joke, the Phillies won the division last year and the Braves are the Braves and still have Larry the Met killer. The Marlins however are still at least a year away. Expect Johan to ball and the pitching staff to be superb.

Record 90-72

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