Temper Your Expectations

Hey MMO readers, I’m not looking to be a Debbie Downer with this post, but I wanted to draw a bit of a comparison to my colleague Clayton’s post yesterday about the Mets offense being better than we think in 2012.

I think Clayton drew some fair points, but the bottom line is that it will take a lot of offense to make up for the losses of Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes.

Here is a chart I created thanks to some data from Fangraphs, that will show how daunting a task it will be to duplicate last season’s offense:

Click to Enlarge

It will take 9.6 of Wins Above Replacement to replace what Beltran and Reyes brought to the table in 2011. That’s a huge number for any team, but more so for the Mets who have added little this offseason to the offense. It represents more than 50% of what all the other Mets players did combined in 2011.

Even if you expect Ruben Tejada to put up a third of what Reyes gave you, I doubt that Ronny Cedeno can duplicate the 1.8 WAR Tejada had off the bench and as a part time starter.

For now, Andres Torres and Angel Pagan are just a wash.

Lucas Duda will get a shot to replace Carlos Beltran, but will he be ready for the adjustments NL pitchers will make against him now that the book is out on him? Remember that while Duda was a pleasant surprise for the Mets last season, he was never a highly regarded prospect and he never even appeared on a Mets Top 10 Prospect list. In fact John Sickels never ranked Duda on his Top 20 in 2010 or 2011.

This is baseball and the best thing about the game is it’s unpredictability. Like I said, I’m not trying to be negative, I’m only saying that our expectations should be tempered.