I happen to enjoy the comments because they provide some context to how they determined their projections.
Because the author is consumed with sloth, he will not look at the 14 clubs previously considered in this series to verify it, but will instead state the following — namely, that there is a very good chance that Lucas Duda‘s projected defensive rating (-11 runs in left field) is the worst we’ve seen so far. It is also possible, if not likely, that Dan Murphy‘s own defensive projection (-7 runs at second base) is the second worst so far by that measure.
Are there bright spots among the Mets’ starting field players? Okay. David Wright remains an All Star candidate, certainly. Ruben Tejada‘s performance as a 22-year-old last season has bred encouragement for his future, as well. Furthermore, giving at-bats to players like Andrew Brown, Collin Cowgill, and Anthony Recker — that is, young-ish sorts who’ve demonstrated promise, but have little major-league experience — could produce gains. Otherwise, though, there is little cause for optimism from this squad in its present incarnation.
In 2012, only two pitching staffs (San Diego’s and Minnesota’s) produced a collective WAR of 6.0 or less — which is to say, posting a figure of 6.0 or less is something like an outlier so far as pitching staffs, and the WAR they produce, is concerned. That a system like ZiPS — conservative by nature, owing to the presence of regression — would project, then, a collective WAR as low as ca. 6.0 WAR for a team’s pitching staff is discouraging.
The Mets, of course, are not bound to the particular fate being presented here. It’s possible that Johan Santana will survive for more than 100 innings. It’s even more possible that Jenrry Mejia won’t be given the opportunity to make 13 or whatever entirely fruitless starts. It’s thirdly possible that the club will extract some sort of value from the bullpen. The likely outcome is poor, is the point.
There is hope for the Metropolitans. As the attentive reader will note, three of the top seven WAR projections among Mets’ hitters belong to players (Travis D’Arnaud, Wilmer Flores, and Juan Lagares) who are likely to begin the season in the minors. Add in Wilfredo Tovar, and that ratio becomes four in 10. The pitching depth isn’t quite so, uh… deep, but ZiPS regards Zack Wheeler as nearly a league-average starter already. Finally — and with sympathies to his most vocal supporter — Josh Satin does not appear poised to take the world by storm in 2013.