Speaking to Tyler Kepner of the New York Times, general manager Sandy Alderson reiterated his 90 win goal for the Mets this season and also said he is authorized to increase payroll if he needs to.
“We challenged ourselves to think realistically about what each player could do,” Alderson said by phone on Wednesday. “It’s not like we believe everybody has to have a career year in order to achieve this. That’s not the case. So when we laid out our goal, it wasn’t so daunting. But it did force us to think: How do we do this? It’s something that informs your approach on a daily basis.”
The Mets find themselves on pace for 93 wins after a 15-11 start one month into the season. If they were to have five more months with 15 wins each, they’ll have their 90 wins.
But can the team continue to win despite having what has been the worst offensive output in the game, ranking 30th in batting, slugging and OPS, despite leading the league in walks?
“You have to ask the question: Are the walks at the expense of something else offensively?” Alderson said. “Are we being too patient and giving up hitting opportunities for pitch selectivity?
“But we follow a lot of different things — early in the count, ahead in the count, behind in the count — and we’re pretty much league average when it comes to those categories. So I really don’t think the fact that we’re drawing walks is a function of being too passive and affecting our batting average. But things will turn around with respect to our batting average and slugging.”
Can they continue to rely on a patchwork bullpen that has blown five saves in 11 opportunities?
The Mets earned their 15 wins on the back of some stellar starting pitching that has produced 11 quality starts in their last 14 outings. Their 3.37 ERA ranks 10th in the majors.
Alderson continues to say that the strong minor league pitching depth gives him the flexibility to make an impact trade, which is the same thing he said last September as well when he was heading into the offseason, though nothing ever materialized.
As far as payroll goes, currently at about $86 million and ranked near the bottom of MLB, Alderson asserts:
“We have the authority to go higher if it’s necessary at the trade deadline,” Alderson said. “I’m not worried about that at all.”
It seems to have become an April mantra as far as saying that he has the flexibility to spend and take on salary at the deadline, so I’ll take whatever he says on increasing payroll with a
grain pound of salt.
The fact is that in four years payroll has never inched up and only gone in one direction – down. And that’s not to suggest we needed to go on any spending sprees, it’s only a reminder that we’ve heard these pie in the sky assertions about increased spending before.
The Mets have been surprisingly good so far, despite not getting any significant contributions from middle of the order hitters David Wright and Curtis Granderson. I suspect that both of them should produce at a better clip moving forward which will certainly help matters.
Still, I’d feel a lot more better about our chances if we had an offensive upgrade somewhere in that lineup.
The bottom line is that I’ve enjoyed watching this team so far. They are a resilient group who battles back and as long as we have the horses in the rotation, we have a chance to win. That will keep the Mets relevant most of the season and with a little luck who knows how far this team could go with or without the added payroll.
It’s a new month and we get things started with a four game set in Colorado who has also played some unexpected good baseball. This will be a good matchup that will give us a good gauge of how the rest of the month will go.
Lets Go Mets!