New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson recently sat down for a Q&A with Mark Feinsand from MLB.com. He discussed the 2017 Mets and how they got to this point from way back in 2011.
When Sandy Alderson was brought in as the Mets General Manager in 2011, the team was on a stretch of missing the playoffs in five of six seasons under Omar Minaya. Working under a limited budget, Alderson slowly but surely turned things around.
Alderson told MLB.com,”It’s funny; I think it took some time. First of all, you have to be able to articulate a strategy, and then you have to be able to stick to it. Eventually, that kind of strategy or idea is punctuated by certain events.” The Mets GM spoke confidently about the 2017 season.
He has also brought in, and re-signed twice, the big bat that New York needs in slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespdes. Cespedes has been a vital part of the two straight playoff appearances and gives the Mets a legitimate middle of the order bat for the next four seasons.
The Mets have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, including winning an the National League Pennant in 2015. Last season, New York lost in the NL Wild Card game. The 2017 ball club is almost exactly the same as the 2016 team. Alderson said, “it wasn’t the plan to bring back the same team, but we liked our players.”
Alderson set some points forward that he wanted the 2017 team to work on. “… Less reliance on the home run, better with men in scoring position, a little higher on-base percentage.” Offensively, the Mets relied on the home run ball a whole lot in 2016.
As a team, they hit a total of 218 home runs. Home runs are awesome and fun for fans to watch, however when you become too home run happy it becomes an issue, which leads me to my next point.
With runners in scoring position, the Mets had a league worst team average of .225. They ranked 23rd in OBP with a mark of .316 and 28th in stolen bases with 42. The 2017 Mets need much better situational hitting and will benefit from Jose Reyes’ speed on the base paths.
If all goes well, and everyone stays healthy the Mets could go on a run this season. Sandy says he tries not to “get too caught up in…” the in hype of reaching a World Series. “We try to focus on the process, the day to day, and improve our chances.”
Sandy Alderson has been a terrific general manager in his tenure with the Mets. If the Mets stay healthy, this may be the year Alderson finishes his job, and the Mets get a ring.