Hits & Misses: Fruits and Nuts Aisle, Hey Mickey, You’re So Fine?

1. How many games will the Mets win in 2018?

Way too early to wrap my brain around that, lots of unknowns that have yet to be determined. As it stands, I’m probably the worst person you want to ask about predicting wins, having projected 94 wins for the 2017 Mets. I couldn’t have been more wrong about the Mets this year, a team I called one of the three powerhouses of the National League back in February. I’ll leave the predicting to the experts from now on.

Incidentally, the early betting line from Las Vegas has the Mets at a surprising 20-to-1 odds to win the World Series in 2018, with only seven teams possessing better odds to win. Those seven are the Dodgers (5-1), Indians (6-1), Astros (6-1), Nationals (7-1), Yankees (8-1), Red Sox (10-1), and Cubs (10.1), all of which made the playoffs this past season.

Honestly, those are some pretty good odds for a team that just lost 92 games. If you think the Mets are that good, learn more about no deposit free bets. In case you were wondering about the rest of the NL East, the Braves have 50-1 odds, while the Marlins and Phillies both have 80-1 odds.

Maybe I’m jaded, but I’ll wait and see who’ll be starting at second base, third base and center field before I consider the Mets a legitimate contender for a playoff spot. I want to see who the Mets get to bolster a questionable and injury-riddled rotation, as well as a shaky bullpen, before I place my chips all-in.

2. Can Mickey Callaway turn this Mets team around?

My short answer is ask me in 10 months. The truth is we have no idea what kind of a manager Mickey Callaway will be and what kind of an impact, if any, he’ll have on the Mets. He’s never managed a game in the majors or the minor leagues.

I’m hopeful that the raves about his communication skills will translate well, but what I haven’t heard much about is his ability to motivate and drive results. That’s the most important thing you want from a manager. Mickey will get his big chance to prove his mettle on the biggest stage in baseball beginning next year.

For the better part of two seasons I believed the team was in need of a new voice and Callaway certainly fits that bill. But we’ve had new voices before and that alone doesn’t equate to winning. My biggest hope is that Callaway holds all his players accountable from day one which was something Terry Collins was not very good at. We’ll keep our fingers crossed and see how it goes, but for now Mickey Callaway feels like a breath of fresh air.

By the way, I came across an article on first year managers and they ranked the best first year turnarounds of all time. Guess who the best first year manager in MLB history was? Did you guess Dusty Baker? If you did, have a cigar. Dusty guided the 1993 San Francisco Giants to a 103 – 59 record, an incredible 31 win improvement from the previous year. Billy Martin came in second, guiding the 1980 Oakland A’s to 29 more wins. Do any of you remember Billy Ball? Man, I’m getting old…

Quick Hits

When Sandy Alderson keeps repeating that he’s looking to upgrade the bullpen this offseason, I hope he means finding a reliever that’s better and more reliable than AJ Ramos for the setup role. I don’t mind telling you that Ramos did little to impress me after we acquired him for 21-year old right-hander Merandy Gonzalez. After a solid season for the Brooklyn Cyclones in 2016, Gonzalez impressed his way through Class-A Columbia and was promoted to Advanced-A St. Lucie combining for a 1.66 ERA and 0.974 WHIP in 20 starts.

It really sucks that we have to cross off names that could help us like J.D. Martinez, Greg Holland, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and even Jay Bruce because we can’t afford them. I thought we were passed all that but it looks like the Mets are back shopping in the fruits and nuts aisle. I’m so sick and tired of trying to build a team on the cheap. Looks like we’ll have roughly $30 million to spend this winter which wouldn’t be so bad if all we needed was 2-3 fixes. The problem is that we currently need about 6-7 fixes.

Todd Frazier is growing on me and I was impressed by his gritty play for the Yankees. He’d be a nice addition to take over at third base where he’ll instantly upgrade our defense while adding a proven bat that can hit in the middle of the lineup.  Yes, his .213 batting average is a concern, but he draws a lot of walks and hit 27 homers this past season. He’s also one year removed from a 40 homer campaign. Frazier may be as good as it gets for the Mets this offseason. Beggars can’t be choosy.

So the Mets picked up the $8.5 million dollar option on Asdrubal Cabrera last week. When you factor in the $2 million buyout, it looks like a reasonable decision… But that doesn’t mean it’s a great fit for a team that needs a radical face lift in that infield. So let’s say that the Mets do get Todd Frazier, that probably means Cabrera is our second baseman where he had -6 Defensive Runs Saved in just 32 games there… Now imagine 120 games…. Now scream…

The Mets are not giving up on Amed Rosario and they are not looking to deal him… So just shut up about that.

Have a great day!

About Joe D 7953 Articles
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.