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Big League Clu continues his New York Mets spring training preview.

Welcome back for part 2 of my Spring Training Edition of Lucky Sevens. We now have a chance to take a look at what is supposed to be the secret weapons for the future New York Mets organization and all of the trades they have made in the past few years to help rid themselves of the disasterous contracts of Frankie Rodriguez, Ollie Perez, and even Carlos Beltran to an extent. After all of the efforts by GM Sandy Alderson to help get rid of those terrible contracts that hindered the ball club for the last few years, here is the fruits of his labor. Will it pay off? Only time will tell…

Revamped Rotation?

Will Johan's body hold up enough to get him an extension? (Metsmerized.com)
Will Johan’s body hold up enough to get him an extension? (Metsmerized.com)

It’s not so much revamped, but it could most certainly be one of the more underrated rotations this year… that is if they can stay healthy, as they have two veteran starters whose elbows or shoulders could fall off. That would ruin their chances of playing any meaningful baseball this year. I am of course talking about LHP Johan Santana and RHP Shawn Marcum.

Santana is coming off a solid year. He threw the first no hitter in New York Mets history, but unfortunately he was shut down early because of lower back inflammation. By that point, though, he was struggling (6-9 4.85 ERA, 111 k’s) anyway. What can we expect from Johan this season? Well, he has entered the final year of his contract and he is set to earn a cool $25 Million… $25 mil! Even though he does have an option for 2014, he needs to play his butt off and do everything in his power to not get hurt. I highly doubt the Mets are going to want to keep him on for another season unless he goes 25-5, with a 2.50 era and wins the Cy Young, of course. I am almost certain he will be playing somewhere else in 2014.

Marcum is a player I actually like. Solid pitcher. Good breaking ball. Plus, he helped pitch the Brewers to the NLCS a few years ago. So when the Mets got him on a one year deal, I thought, “alright, a solid pickup for the Mets, especially in that ballpark. He should do quite well”. The only cause for concern is two words no manager or trainer wants to hear: ELBOW SORENESS. That’s why Milwaulkee and everybody else wanted nothing to do with giving him a multi-year contract. That’s a big reason why he was able to come to Queens on the cheap (1 year, $4 Million dollar contract). I believe that if he get’s back to the way he was pitching before he was hurt, wins anywhere between 12-15 games and has a ERA in the mid 3s, which is where he is consistently been for most of his career, and of course goes through the season without any setbacks or injuries, he will find himself with a nice 2-3 year contract, maybe even a 4 year deal come next free agency.

Matt Harvey & Zach Wheeler, Everyone!

Can Wheeler impress enough to break camp with the Mets? (Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)
Can Wheeler impress enough to break camp with the Mets? (Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)

Ah yes, the young superstars in the making for the Mets. Matt Harvey, the local boy from New London CT, is a farm hand drafted by the Mets in 2010. During his time in the minors, he was touted as a top pitching prospect and quickly showed the Mets why. He went through the minors quickly in 2011, making the jump from A+ ball in Port St. Lucie (8-2, 2.37 ERA) to AA Binghamton. He kept going in 2012, starting the year in AAA Buffalo (7-5, 3.68 ERA) before being called up to the big leagues by year’s end and going 3-5 with a 2.73 ERA. Not bad at all, if you ask me. He could be pegged as a #3 or 4 starter in the rotation. It all depends on how well he comes along, and on how well Jenrry Mejia and Dillon Gee do this spring.

The other shining star for the Mets rotation is phenom Zack Wheeler. Wheeler was a key part of the deal that sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants in 2011. Here’s a guy who has the potential to become the Mets’ future #1 starter (although I am sure he will be in good company with Harvey challenging him for that). Wheeler is a strikeout machine, averaging almost one per inning. So if he does end up having a good spring, he could be the #5 starter, or will most certainly be a mid-season call up if anyone in the rotation gets hurt or is just plain bad. He would most certainly benefit from playing along side Harvey, learning from a guy like Santana and so on and so fourth. According to scouts so far this spring, Wheeler has impressed.

R.O.L.A.I.D.S. spells relief!

How many trips to the bullpen will Collins make in 2013? (Metsmerized.com)
How many trips to the bullpen will Collins make in 2013? (Metsmerized.com)

Oy vey! The black eye of the Mets pitching staff in 2012. The Mets bullpen tied with Miami for the worst ERA in the NL East and had 19 Blown saves. They let Manny Acosta pitch 45 games for crying out loud! Certainly Sandy Alderson wouldn’t let the bullpen be that bad again would he? Right guys? Anyone???  This team they have put together looks disastrous  What kind of patch job is this bullpen staff made of? Brandon Lyon? Latroy Hawkins? Oh hey, they got Pedro Feliciano back. He hasnt pitched in two years because, last I recalled, they overworked his shoulder capsule. Can you even name who the closer will be for the Mets in 2013? As it stands right now, it is going to be between Frank Francisco and Bobby Parnell. I am sure that Mets fans feel so much more relaxed knowing that it is between those two guys.

The Catcher with the Golden Arm: Travis D’Arnaud

How long before D'Arnaud breaks John Buck's doors down? (Metsmerized.com)
How long before D’Arnaud breaks John Buck’s doors down? (Metsmerized.com)

Finally, we have the last key component for the Mets to continue their youth movement; catcher Travis d’Arnaud. You may all have heard about D’Arnaud, as he is touted as one of the best prospects in the Mets organization. d’Arnaud was originally part of the deal that sent Roy Halliday to Philadelphia and came to the Mets when they shipped NL Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto. In that deal, the Mets also sent Josh Thole to the Blue Jays and they received Jobu’s favorite player ever John Buck too (**Jobu’s Note: suspension papers will be filed for Clu after this comment**). Buck will most certainly start the year at catcher for the Mets. As for d’Arnaud, he will have a close eye kept on him all spring because he brings power (21 home runs in 2011, 16 homers in 2012) and was rated best defensive catching prospect in 2011. He will be a big part of the Mets success for years to come if he can continue to develop his catching skills in AAA. More than likely, he will be called up midway through the season.

So there you have it everyone, your 2013 NY Mets. Yes,  GM Sandy Alderson was stagnant this offseason and would not sign any big name players in the free agency market. However, he has a plan and he was going to stick to it. He believes that developing the Mets farm system and getting young talent was key in helping the Mets become a better organization and help them stay competitive for years to come. Mets fans obviously have gone through a lot of turmoil and want to see a winner now. Can you blame them? I can’t. It’s obvious that they have alot of work to do to and, even though the Mets may not win today, tomorrow looks better and brighter for them.

Big League Clu

About Big League Clu

Clu Haywood leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. When he sneezes, he looks like a party favor. Also, he's been known to hit the ball "too high" and alleges to have illegitimately fathered Jake Tayor's non-existent children. You can also find him on Twitter @bigleagueclu

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