After yesterday’s big round of cuts and today’s expected cuts of Omir Santos and Raul Valdez, the Mets 25 Man Roster looks hardly like anything we expected after the offseason began. That’s not to say it’s good or bad, but somewhat surprising to say the least.
The 2010 reconstruction plan was going to be predicated on three things according to Omar Minaya and Jeff Wilpon; Pitching, Speed and Defense.
The biggest changes to the offense were the additions of Jason Bay, Mike Jacobs, Frank Catalanotto, Rod Barajas, Gary Matthews and Henry Blanco. So much for speed, and only time will tell if there was any improvement on the defensive side of things. We may have gotten a little better behind the plate, but I would hardly call Matthews, Jacobs and Bay defensive upgrades.
The starting rotation will see no changes and of course it goes to say, no upgrades as well. Four-fifths of the rotation will be returning from injuries, while Mike Pelfrey tries to improve on a dismal 2009 season. If any of our starters should falter, it’s not clear who is next on the depth chart after the release of Nelson Figueroa, and the addition of 20-year old Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen.
At this point, only Pedro Feliciano and Frankie Rodriguez are certainties to make solid contributions in the pen. Everyone after that is basically a roll of the dice. Japanese imports Takahashi and Igarashi have much to prove, and Sean Green has shown very little last season and even less this spring. Waiver wire find, Fernando Nieve was kept over fire-baller Bobby Parnell because he was out of options and not because of an impressive spring.
There are so many question marks and gray areas surrounding the overall makeup of this team. The decision not to add a frontline or even a middle of the rotation starter will loom over Omar Minaya’s head all season.
Jerry Manuel’s insistence to include Jenrry Mejia to the bullpen, and his decision to bat Mike Jacobs in the cleanup spot are just two big things to watch as Manuel’s job could ride on both those decisions.
Of course the Mets will need to have healthy and speedy returns from their catalyst Jose Reyes, and their big gun in centerfield, Carlos Beltran.
All we can ask for at this point is to see the Mets play some competitive baseball and hopefully play some meaningful games in September. Unless things go terribly wrong, I expect the Mets to fulfill those expectations. There’s a lot of “ifs” for us to worry about, but if the core players stay healthy it’s still a very capable team. Add in the one ingredient all contenders rely upon, luck, and anything can happen.
Here’s to seeing it through all the way to a championship in 2010. It may take a miracle this time, but miracles are nothing new to our beloved Mets. As for us fans, all we can do is what we’ve always done, “Ya Gotta Believe”.