Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, raised a very interesting question in his column over the weekend. Will the 2015 Mets really be any better than the 2014 Mets?
The obvious things to remember are that Matt Harvey will return, likely taking the mound on opening day to a huge, energized crowd. Bobby Parnell will also be back, teaming with a now established bullpen. The pieces that seem to be missing are a shortstop and a left fielder. The question is, will that be enough?
David Wright is experiencing the worst season of his 11 year major league career. He is batting just .263 and as Rubin points out, hasn’t hit a home run in over 150 at-bats. Curtis Granderson, another piece the Mets are counting on moving forward, is having an equally horrific season. With those two taking up $36 million of the payroll next year it’s crucial that they turn things around. Terry Collins summed this up perfectly.
“Your main guys, when you go into spring training every year, you look at those names and you say, ‘These are going to be the guys that carry us. Now, the pieces around those guys, what do they need to do for us to be successful?’ It depends on those guys to really do what they do best.”
If you want to assume the team’s success rests on the shoulders of Wright and Granderson, adding a left fielder and shortstop will only make things a little better. You need the two horses in your lineup to hit and if they’re not, there is no easy way to turn things around.
The saving grace is that you have legitimate reasons about why both are struggling. Wright has been dealing with nagging injuries all season long. A hopefully healthy Wright in 2015 should be able to bounce back, despite his downward trend in recent years.
Another saving grace is the combo effect the two hitters should have on each other. Each hitter helps to make the players around them better. You could argue that Granderson would be having a better season if Wright was a more feared bat in the lineup. The same could be said about two more potential hitters in left and shortstop. Better hitters make the current hitters more effective. If Sandy Alderson is able to make the necessary moves in the offseason, Wright and Granderson could be looking at a lot of help in 2015.
Still it’s a scary picture that Rubin paints. Could the 2015 Mets perform the same way the 2014 Mets have? Could September 1st of 2015 be the start of another meaningless month of baseball? Anything is possible. You have to believe that the energy Harvey will provide paired with some solid offseason moves should take the Mets to the next level, a level we’ve been dreaming about for far too long.