The New York Mets Get The Call One More Time

The New York Mets Get The Call One More Time

The New York Mets Get The Call One More Time
by: Brad Diamond Sports

The Program

The Mets head to Citi-Field in 2009 in hopes of recharging a club that has been burned in recent history by their bull-pen and a lack of late inning clutch hitting. Over the last three season New York has regressed from 97 wins in 2006 to 89 in 2008. In that time span the Mets made a major move on the managerial front exiting Willie Randolph for Jerry Manuel. The attitude of the club seemingly improved overall last season, but the end result was another lackluster finish.

Pitching

Wholly improved with the health of $137.5 million lefty Johan Santana (16-7, 2.53)who threw lights out last week in a stint against the Braves. The bull-pen has suffered somewhat with the doubtful status of Billy Wagner, but the addition of free agent Francisco Rodriguez (2.24) will completely change how manager Jerry Manuel attacks the late inning opposition. Also, the addition of J.J.Putz (3.88)coming from the Seattle trade, will surely help deepen the Mets pen. Remember, this is a club that has quality starters in John Maine (10-8, 4.18)and Mike Pelfrey (13-11, 3.72)to support their ace Santana, if the Mets coaching staff can refine the fourth starter, Oliver Perez (10-7, 4.22) the sky is the limit. Also, at this writing Jonathon Niese (Class A) a young and inconsistent LHP might make the grade as a starter.

Lineup

The same as last season with a team batting average of .266, the New Yorkers need more consistency and good health at the top of the lineup. Recall, in the #4 slot is Carlos Delgado a seasoned veteran with a big bat, but no lateral movement at first base. His 2008 production increased dramatically from 24 to 38 home runs, 87 rbi's to 115 and a batting average from .258 to .271. Castillo and Reyes are an outstanding keystone combination with supporting bats and major game experience. The hot corner possessions one of my favorite players in the game, David Wright (33, 124), who had another stellar year (.302)allow his average dropped 23 points.

The outfield is strong in center with Beltran (27, 112), but the New Yorkers need to improve their lot on the foul lines, maybe former Orioles farmhand, Fernando Tatis (.297)can develop with more playing time. My personal opinion, Ryan Church is overrated and Marlon Anderson is toast. My guess is at the end of spring training the Mets will promote a "prospect" from the minors to fill one of those "talent" voids. In closing, catcher Brian Schneider is a real gamer and augments the pitching staff very well with an accurate arm to boot.

Forecast

In the early season, New York fields 20 of the first 32 games at home. Playing on a new surface with different dynamics can really help a home team looking to regain their swagger. If the starting staff is healthy and viable during the favorable scheduling, the Mets might garner a fairly size able lead in the East. I believe the winner of the division will need to put up just 93 wins as the talent level throughout the other clubs is on the up-tick.For those who think the Mets can win the NL Pennant, you can lay 7/2 odds or higher in most sports books in Las Vegas. No matter, this will be an improved team.

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