It’s hard to believe that as of this writing, a new baseball season will begin and 30 teams will be tied for first place again… or last depending on your point of view – in 20 days.
Yesterday, the Mets made their first round of cuts and although I never expected Fernando Martinez or Ruben Tejada to survive the final cut, I didn’t expect them to be the first ones to be shown the door.
The outfield situation was supposed to be as clear as day, once Carlos Beltran volunteered to move to right field. But his inability to play in another game after just three at-bats as a designated hitter certainly clouded everything once again. It makes me wonder if this is really the Mets being super cautious as they say, or if the reality of the situation is much different. I can almost buy their story had he been playing in the field for nine innings, but he wasn’t.
This brings us to Lucas Duda. I wrote on a few occasions already about my discontent over the signings of both Willie Harris and Scott Hairston. Long before Duda became the darling of the Mets blogosphere, I advocated keeping him on the Mets bench because he would easily amass 300 at-bats with an outfield that included a very iffy Carlos Beltran, Angel Pagan who avoided the DL for only the first time in his career last season, and Jason Bay who could definitely use a day off against the league’s toughest right handed pitchers.
On the day we signed Hairston and Harris I wrote on January 19,
So Lucas Duda now seems to be the odd man out and has been assured that he will be starting the season in Buffalo? We’ve heard stuff like this before last year at this time with Ike Davis, and we all know how that turned out.
I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Harris and Hairston end up like Gary Matthews Jr. and Mike Jacobs did last season. Apparently, Duda is going to be playing a lot of first base up in Buffalo for the Bisons, but I would caution him to keep his outfielders glove close by because I’m betting he’ll be back with the Mets by early May and that he’ll end up getting 250 or more at-bats this season and impress everyone. Call it a hunch…
Another thing has become painfully apparent to all who are keeping a close eye on this second base battle.
With Ruben Tejada now sadly out of the picture, they all suck defensively.
It’s not a matter of which one is the better defensive player, but rather choosing the one who sucks the least.
Bad decision if you ask me, because in a park that they repeatedly remind us was built for pitching, speed and defense, neither Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus or Luis Castillo bring anything to the table. So if you’re going to pick one, then choose the one who has already proven he can swing a major league bat – Daniel Murphy.
Still, I remain optimistic about our chances this season. The youthfulness we have in players like Ike Davis, Josh Thole, Jon Niese and Bobby Parnell keep me very motivated and excited about how good these players can actually be.
Throw in a cast of all stars in David Wright, Jose Reyes, Francisco Rodriguez, the resurgence of Jason Bay and hopefully Carlos Beltran, and all around talents like R.A. Dickey, Mike Pelfrey and Angel Pagan, and you see the Mets already had a solid base to build on even before Sandy Alderson signed one of his many reclamation projects.
If a couple of those projects pan out, things are looking very good for the Metropolitans.