Don’t worry, friends. Old Jobu hasn’t gone insane. I know this is called the 2014 Contenders Series, but I had to show a little love to the other local sports squadron ny mets. While I think the Mets have a solid core made up of young pitchers, I really don’t think 2014 is their year. With a couple of good drafts, and maybe some more loans from Bud Selig (or whoever takes over for Bud next year), maybe the Mets can turn things around by 2018 or so… We’ll see. Anyway, here’s the team they’ll be fielding int he real world.
Wright, Granderson and Pray For A Miracle
Offense hasn’t been a strong suit for the Mets the last couple of seasons. Last year, they did get some great production from Marlon Byrd before shipping him to the Pirates (on Marlon Byrd T-Shirt Night of all nights) for Pittsburgh’s playoff push late int he season. This year, they have added a little power in OF Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, but Young has always struggled to hit even .240 in this league, so his value is questionable. Granderson, on the other hand, is looking to bounce back in a big way after a season where he lost all but 61 games to broken bones in his arm and hand due to hit by pitches. He’s still got that 40+ home run swing, so he should provide great protection for David Wright, who really is like Leonidis at this point. He knows he’s going into a losing battle every year, but as the leader of these Mets, he goes out there and battles.
The rest of this crew is made up of serviceable, but unspectacular guys who really won’t do much to help the team win. Ike Davis, for example, has become terrible. He caught valley fever two springs ago, which everyone thought was why he stunk in the first half of 2012, but that didn’t explain last year… that’s some fever. You can’t have a first baseman hitting .205 with 9 homers in 103 games. He’s not a shortstop, and this isn’t 1991. Trade rumors have swirled around Davis since last year, but who’s gonna want him now? Also, they’d only be making room for Lucas Duda to play first, and he’s just as terrible. On the other hand, I really actually like Daniel Murphy. He’s a guy that can hit for average, with slight power and a little speed to boot. He’s not very good defensively and he needs to be more selective at the plate (32 walks last year), but I think at this point he is what he is.
The hope for surprise offense comes from guys like Eric Young, Jr. Young stole 38 bases last year and earned himself a Good Guy Eric Young MEME when he broke Tim Hudson‘s ankle and basically broke down crying about it. The real guy to watch, however, is Travis d’Arnaud. d’Arnaud was the centerpiece of the R.A. Dickey trade last offseason, and promises to be a great defensive catcher who can hit for average and power. He’s probably no Mike Piazza (mainly because he can play D), but he has the potential to be great. He was called up for about a month’s worth of games last year and hit .202/.286/.263, but nobody should be concerned yet.
As you read this paragraph, I want you to run to your Spotify and put on “Blaze of Glory” by Bon Jovi, cuz the Mets are full of “Young Guns” in that rotation (see what I did there? Ah?). Seriously though, I’m not talking about Emilio Estevez, Charlie Sheen, Lou Diamond Phillips, Kiefer Sutherland and Dermot Mulrooney (what a cast!), I’m talking about the Mets young pitchers. Although Matt Harvey, who might be the best of them all, tragically tore his elbow up and needed Tommy John last year, the Mets still have Zach Wheeler, Dillon Gee and Jonathon Niese (although Niese will start ’14 on the DL) in the rotation, and young Noah Syndergaard waiting in the minor league wings. If Harvey can be healthy for 2015, and is joined by Syndergaard, Wheeler, Gee and Niese in the rotation, that’s a pretty solid group right there.
Yep. The Mets are full of young pitchers, and nothing but young pitchers. None of those guys are over 28 years old. No old guys in this rotation! What? What’s that? There’s someone else in their rotation? Another young whippersnapper I’m sure. What’s this guy, a top 20 prospect? A young stud on the verge of a breakout season, I’m sure. Oh… Wha- what’s that you say? It’s 40 year old Bartolo Colon? Oh… well then…eesh. Actually, I kid, because Colon was one of the better pitchers in the American League last year. Yep, even at 40 years old, he went 18-6 with a 2.65 ERA for the A’s. Colon is really enjoying the twilight of his career. Sure, he’s also been suspended for PEDs during this time, and is as big as a house (not in the good way), but he’s getting people out. I’m not sure I would have guaranteed him two years at $10MM per, but I’m not the Mets. Here’s hoping his body holds up, because he’s a good veteran presence for the youngsters to learn from. Just don’t drink any of his “protein shakes.” They might be loaded with roids… or cakes and pies.
I don’t really want to talk about the Mets’ bullpen, because 41 year old Latroy Hawkins might have been their best reliever last year, and they let him sign with the Rockies this year. Never fear, Mets fans, that historically awful Mets bullpen got a little boost this year, when they signed Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth to minor league deals! Ah? I mean come on! Veterans, man! Sure, they couldn’t get my eight year old nephew out at this point, but who cares? Veterans. OK if Bobby Parnell is healthy, he’ll be good, but they should probably trade him at some point, in case he leaves.
I kidded around a lot in this piece, but the fact is that the Mets are starting to develop some players, which is a good sign for the future of the organization. Now, if they could just find some more money, they might be able to turn themselves around. They did pick up Granderson on a good sized contract this year, so maybe that’s a sign of things to come. Bernie Madoff might not have ruined everything forever after all.
David Wright and Curtis Granderson should be drafted. Murphy is not among the best second basemen, but top 10 or 12 (depending on your league)? Maybe. Colon will probably break down at some point, but he’s worth drafting for sure. Wheeler is the real deal, so he should be on the team, and look out for Matt Harvey as a possible late-season addition. If I were the Mets, I’d hold him off until 2015 though. Gee and Niese could be serviceable extra arms for your team too. I had them both on my team at some point last year. I’m not sure the Mets will win enough games for Parnell to be a helpful draft pick, but the auto draft idiot in your league is going to get like six closers, so you might end up needing him.
Featured image courtesy of: Associated Press
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