David Schoenfield of ESPN placed the Mets at No. 24 in his preseason MLB Power Rankings. His overall outlook of the Mets is rather bleak to put it mildly.
How they can get to 90 wins: Score 73 more runs, allow 72 fewer. Of course, allowing 72 fewer runs will be much more difficult without Matt Harvey.
Due for a better year: I’d say Ike Davis but he’s always due for a better year and Lucas Duda is probably the better bet to win the first-base job with Davis dealt at the end of spring training. Ruben Tejada is the shortstop by default, barring a last-minute Stephen Drew signing and he should bounce back from a miserable .202/.259/.260 line. How quickly Mets fans forget that he hit .289/.333/.351 in 2012.
Due for a worse year: The Mets signed Colon to help chew up innings in the absence of Harvey, but no way will he repeat the 2.65 ERA he had with Oakland last season. He’ll be 41 in May and doesn’t appear to be keen on eating green leafy vegetables and protein shakes. Colon pumps fastball after fastball, getting just enough late movement to induce weak contact. Still, his peripherals didn’t match the ERA — he had a 3.43 ERA the year before with similar numbers — so I expect a decline in both results and workload (he pitched his most innings — 190.1 — since 2005).
The final word: It’s not so much that the Mets are horrible, but that I have trouble seeing a lot of upside here. You’re relying on a fat, 41-year-old starter, a guy coming off an injury-riddled year in Granderson, a guy in Young who hit .200, a shortstop who hit .202 last season, a catcher in Travis d’Arnaud who has never been able to stay healthy and a bullpen that doesn’t look that deep. Maybe things come together, but I just don’t see enough star-level talent here to crack .500.
Who the heck is David Schoenfield anyway? I would love to see him say those things to Bartolo’s face. :-)
I believe the Mets have a good shot at reaching .500 even without all the star level players as long as they stay healthy and play to their level. I think the real keys for the Mets will be the development of Wheeler and d’Arnaud and if they are able to become the big contributors the Mets expect them to be. Even with a perceived weakness at shortstop, getting some nice production from behind the plate will even things out. Of course we need Wright and Murphy to continue to produce and throw in a big rebound season from Granderson.
All of that is not too much to ask… Right?