Now that a manager has been hired, and the front office is fixed the Mets attention must now go to improving the roster. Contrary to popular belief the Mets lineup will not be weak this season– assuming everyone is healthy. If I were Terry Collins, this would be my lineup:
On paper this is a very good lineup. Both Reyes and Beltran are in walk years, so they must put up numbers if they want to gain a big contract next year. I believe Wright still has not peaked as a ballplayer-and will continue to improve in Citi Field. He bounced back from the “poweshortage of 2009” to have 31 homers in 2010, but his average was still lower than it should be, and his strikeouts were high. Then, I would have to believe Jason Bays second season in blue pinstripes will be better than his first in which he had only 6 homers until he obtained the concussion that ended his season in Los Angeles. I think Ike Davis, will provide even more power, he showed two important factors in his rookie season. He was able to both make adjustments aswell as hit for a high average against left handed pitching. Then, I would have to assume Luis Castillo will not be on the roster in 2010. I do not see him as having a cubbie in the clubhouse as the Mets try and change the dynamic of the team. I think, therefore, Daniel Murphy will earn the starting second basemans job, handling himself in the field but exceling at the plate. I also think Josh Thole will continue to have success at the Major League level. New manager Terry Collins is very confident in Tholes ability to be the everyday catcher yet on ESPN 1050 Sandy Alderson said he believed the Mets were weak at the catchers spot.
In order for the Mets to entertain a playoff birth they must all stay healthy– and they must improve their pitching.
The majority of this offseason should be spent on improving both the rotation and the bullpen. With Mets Ace Johan Santana expected to miss the start of the season, the Mets lack a true ace. They now have a rotation lead by the inconsistant Mike Pelfrey and the young Jon Niese. R.A. Dickey, although brilliant in 2010, will have to prove he is more than just a one year wonder, and can duplicate success for years to come.
Even assuming R.A. Dickey will be a legitamate Major League starter, it is tough to envision him as a #3 starter especially in a division in which the triumvirute of Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels rule. This being said, the Mets must obtain a #3 starter. General Manager Sandy Alderson has already admitted the Mets will not be players for FA southpaw Cliff Lee. And thats fine! I do expect them to be in the market for a bonafide starting pitcher like a Kevin Millwood, a guy who will take the ball every fifth day, and give you 200 innings in a season. I also expect the Mets to bring in a salvage project. A pitcher who was once good, like Barry Zito or Brandon Webb, and put Dan Warthens mettle to the test. I believe then, the salvage project and the Mets young stars like Dillon Gee will fight it out in Port St. Lucie for the 5th spot.