From Left Field: The Status Quo
With the World Series just around the corner, the MLB offseason hot stove can’t some soon enough for us Mets fans.
But just like last offseason, the Mets will likely be watching as the other NL East teams improve while they sit tight.
The team is looking to shed payroll rather than add it, so we might just have to stick with what we’ve got yet again.
On paper at the beginning of 2011, the team didn’t actually look so bad. However, once the injuries set in, the Mets came back down to earth.
On the whole, Terry Collins and Mets overachieved last season based on how things could have turned out.
In 2012, the team on paper—assuming there are no major free agent signings or trades—will look weak. But we might just have to bite the bullet and hope for the best.
With Jose Reyes likely on the way out and trade talks swirling around David Wright, this team will be forced to rely on unsung heroes.
Ike Davis will be at first, Justin Turner at second, Ruben Tejada at short and Wright at third, but if he’s traded then Daniel Murphy fills in at the hot corner.
Jason Bay will be in left based on the huge contract. If he can pick up where he left off this season, then that wouldn’t be so bad.
Question marks surround Angel Pagan in center. He’s a prime non-tender candidate. Rick Ankiel could be a potential option to fill in.
As of now, it seems Lucas Duda will be the team’s everyday right fielder. We’ve seen what he can do with the bat in short spurts, but how will he handle 600-plus at-bats?
Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas will be the catching tandem, with Thole getting the bulk of the playing time.
The pitching staff is a completely different animal. Hopefully, a healthy Johan Santana can carry the starters, and the team can afford one of the many talented closers available on the market.
Let’s not get too set on this lineup, since it is still only October. Maybe the Mets will surprise us all by bringing back Reyes and maybe making a play for lefty starter C.J. Wilson. But the odds of bringing in one let alone both are extremely slim.
So Mets fans, maybe the status quo of this team can be enough to compete—likely not for a division title or a wild card but at least the .500 mark.
That may not be good enough for some fans, but the road back to relevance has to start somewhere.
About the Author: Jim Mancari
Jim Mancari hails from Massapequa, N.Y. He recently earned a Master's degree in Journalism at Hofstra University. He is a devout Mets fan and takes pride in his team, despite their lack of success over the last few years. Like all Mets fans, Jim has plenty of hope. He also writes as the sports reporter for the Brooklyn Tablet newspaper and the senior editor of metroBASEBALL Magazine. Click my name to view my personal website.
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