Over the course this off season, there have been thousands of posts ranging from extremely negative to obliviously positive regarding the Amazin’s. So I have decided to group these fans into two categories for your viewing pleasure. Here one of two extremes on the various players that make up your 2012 New York Mets, starting with the negative. I will have the other end of the spectrum in the coming days.
This tends to be the more popular group around the Mets fan base nowadays; and frankly, who can blame them? After two heartbreaking collapses, injury plagued season, many failed prospects and countless departures of core players, it’s hard not to have some reservations about any team the front office throws out there every April. Anyway, here is the pessimistic view of Flushing’s Finest:
Starting Pitching: This rotation has got to be of the worst in the National League, certainly the NL East. Santana’s best years are far behind him, I doubt he’ll even make 10 starts in 2012. Jon Niese and Dillon Gee are average, unproven young pitchers that can’t be relied upon. Pelfrey is yet another failed prospect and the fact he is still even in the rotation shows that the Mets are indeed “punting” this season. The only half-way decent pitcher they have left is R.A. Dickey, who is now 37 and for all we know could regress next year.
Bullpen: Instead of re-signing the catalyst of this club, –Jose Reyes– Alderson decided to invest $7.5 million in two relievers; and they were paid much more than what they’re worth. What everyone seems to forget is Frank Francisco had a 5.92 ERA in the first half of 2011. He has never been a consistent reliever and now the Mets are committed to him for 2 years. As for Rauch, they decided to give him $3.5 million when he not only had a 4.85 ERA last year, but also is coming off of knee surgery! Aren’t these bottom-of-the-barrel signings supposed to be cheap and at give at least a decent return? The sole improvement to the ‘pen was Ramon Ramirez, and the Mets had to take a major downgrade in centerfield to acquire him.
Offense: It is as simple as this: Lineup, minus Reyes and Beltran, equals pitiful. An atrocious left fielder, a regressing third baseman and two unproven sluggers are not going to get the job done.
Josh Thole: Thole is not a major league catcher; He can’t hit, throw or catch. He is just a cheap alternative to getting a real MLB backstop. By being behind the plate, he is indirectly harming an already weak pitching staff. Why he is even on a major league team is a mystery to me.
Ike Davis: Yes a very talented young first baseman, but after that ankle injury, there is legitimate concern if that will become a lingering problem. What if the beginning of 2011 was just a hot streak? He has yet to prove himself and because of that he is a question mark entering 2012.
Daniel Murphy: Murphy is a corner infielder, not a second baseman, and outfielder, or whatever else the front office tries to make him into. He has an a average bat, and since those are hard to come by for the Mets, they have been attempting to put him on the field no matter how ugly the result is defensively; and that method will continue with Murph at second in 2012.
David Wright: Yes, Wright was the face of the franchise for years, but he on the down hill of his career; an old 29. His strikeouts have been mounting and his overall numbers have been on a consistent decline for several years. Also, after the back injury, the possibility of that coming back to haunt him is a cause for concern as well. Best to deal him while a decent return is still possible and before he walks like Reyes did.
Ruben Tejada: The grand replacement for Reyes? I think not. He has good range and a good arm, that’s it. He cannot bat to save his life. Another guaranteed out in the lineup for the Mets; like they need another one of those.
Jason Bay: It is pretty self-explanatory that Bay is awful. He is just one to add to a laundry list of bad contracts that got the Mets into this lowly state. Expect nothing more than a continued headache from Bay over the two remaining deals of his contract.
Andres Torres: Torres has basically the same story as Tejada. He can field, has good instincts, but he can’t bat whatsoever. The Mets went from Pagan and Reyes –two capable bats– to Tejada and Torres; two players who are inept when it comes to batting. How the Amazin’s are going to put up any kind of run production with guys like this in the lineup is beyond me.
Lucas Duda: Duda showed us in the second half that he has the capability to be an above average MLB hitter, just we haven’t seen that over an entire season. His defense leaves much to be desired, making him a better fit in left field which is obviously being clogged by Bay. If both Duda and Ike prove to be merely a flash in the pan, the Mets are a guaranteed 100+ loss team. Pretty sad that an entire season relies on two players who have barely had over one season in the majors.