BY: Mr. Met Staff Writer for NFL Prozach
Before I put my picks for the year up I wanted to give a brief preview or my thoughts on the team the day before opening day. Terry Collins as posted what he thinks will be his lineup going forward so far so here it is:
The Lineup: The Bench:
CF- Collin Cowgill Kirk Nieuwenhuis – OF
2b- Daniel Murphy Jordany Valdespin- IF/OF
3b- David Wright Justin Turner- IF
1b- Ike Davis Anthony Recker- Catcher
RF- Marlon Byrd Mike Baxter- OF
LF- Lucas Duda
C- John Buck
SS- Ruben Tejada
Well for all the talk of the Mets being too left handed heavy in the offseason they will enter opening day with only 3 left handed bats in the lineup. With that being said 3 of the 5 bats off the bench will be of that variety. The lineup obviously has some glaring wholes and question marks here. One of which is the leadoff spot as the Mets and Terry Collins will hope that Cowgill’s strong spring will carry over. Another spot where the Mets might seem to lack production is the 5 spot in which right now Marlon Byrd is penciled as the team’s Right Fielder. Byrd who has been suspended for PED use is a few seasons removed from an All-Star appearance if he can regain that form the Mets got him for a steal. Lucas Duda is also a huge question mark here as he is coming off a disappointing 2012 season. With all that being said if Byrd and Cowgill can continue with their strong spring performances, if Duda can continue to improve, and Buck can hold down the fort for a few months until June when Met’s top prospect Travis d’Arnaud maybe ready to come up and help this team this lineup will be able to score enough runs to compete. As for the bench I think Valdespin, Baxter, and Turner have all proven they can produce off the bench for the Mets last year. The question marks here are Nieuwenhuis getting enough at bats to stay sharp and backup catcher Anthony Recker who maybe replaces by Buck when d’Arnaud proves to be ready. Buck is a guy with pop and is well suited as a veteran catcher off the bench.
The Pitching Staff:
Jon Niese- Lefty
Matt Harvey- Righty
Dillon Gee- Righty
Jeremy Hefner- Right
Shaun Marcum- Righty (DL until the 6th game of the season according to a tweet from Adam Rubin)
Jon Niese will be the starter on opening day followed by Matt Harvey and Dillon Gee. As for right now it looks like Jeremy Hefner will be able to make the next start after the top three. Shaun Marcum as per a tweet from ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin will start the season on the disabled list and will make his first start of the year on the team’s 6th game of the season slotting him between Niese and Harvey. According to Rubin the Mets will carry 8 guys in the bullpen until this point. The rotation itself even with the injury to Santana and the lost to Dickey has a chance to be solid especially if Wheeler is ready sometime before the All Star break. With that being said the Mets will need to see a continued evolution from Niese, Harvey, and Gee while Marcum provides solid innings and Hefner stabilizes the back end of the rotation as they await the arrival of top pitching prospect Zach Wheeler. This would be the best case scenario for this ball club but it is very feasible and if this happens this group can be a stabilizing force for this ball club.
Frank Francisco will start the year on the DL.
Closer- Bobby Parnell
This looks to be the bullpen going north with the club for tomorrows opener. Bullpen’s are always revolving doors as guys struggle and are shipped to the minors and others brought in to stabilize the situation. Francisco to me is a lost cause and if can come back and give this team anything positive it should be considered a plus. However, if Parnell and Edgin can improve on last year’s performance and Atchison and Lyon can provide solid innings like they have done in the past this group will be able to lock down the back end of games for this ball club.
Overall Thoughts:Well if the arguments that I presented in my preview come through this team can compete for a playoff spot and I say compete not win. I feel that even with these ifs come through the Mets would probably need to add another bat and arm in the bullpen to actually win a playoff spot and compete in the playoffs. With that being said this team can also be an outright disaster because again the Mets will go into the season with a cast of players brought in and acquired by Omar Minaya’s regime while missing major pieces such as Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and now Johan Santana. I have discussed this more in depth in a post back in December. Alderson promised major changes to this ball club in the beginning of this offseason and he has not delivered and I fear we as fans will have to go through another dismal season but for now I will hold out hope for some of the scenario’s I presented above because tomorrow is Opening Day.
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