Mets Won’t Play Defense in 2015

With it clearly being a weakness for the New York Mets, an Executive Decision has been made: the 2015 club simply won’t play defense.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson made it official:

Defense is important, but so is offense. We’re going to have to score more runs than the other team, so that’s a combination of pitching and offense. So we’re mindful of the importance of defense, and the importance of defense to pitching generally. But given the fact that we think we’re going to have better pitching than most, it doesn’t necessarily follow that we need to have more defense than most. So it’s a balance.

In case you missed it, I’m going to point out the main sentence from above:

We’re going to have to score more runs than the other team, so that’s a combination of pitching and offense.

See there? Pitching and offense is what wins games. Not defense. Not fundamentals. And I wonder if “offense” refers only to hitting, or if baserunning is included, as well?

Ironic, isn’t it, that the Mets made such a stink about Juan Lagares winning a Gold Glove? Everyone knows that Lagares’ defense can sometimes thrill the crowd, but, obviously, has no affect on a pitcher’s ERA — nor, how many runs the opposing team scores.

Sandy’s a smart guy. He knows defensive metrics are in their infancy, and unreliable. Therefore, pretend that defense doesn’t exist; ignore it! And really, is it pretending, if you can’t properly measure it? Duh-uh!

Yes, the Mets will still send men out to the field when it’s not their turn at bat — that’s part of the rules, of course. So, technically, the Mets will be showing up for the defensive half of each inning — but that doesn’t mean they’ll be forced to participate. In fact, sased on information from an inside source with knowledge close to the situation, the Mets plan to use a strategy temporarily code-named “Royal,” that employs only a pitcher, catcher, first baseman, and shortstop. In addition to avoiding defense, this four-man lineup will save the team tens of millions of dollars, enabling Alderson to easily stay below the $100M salary cap imposed on all MLB teams based in Flushing, NY.

Here is a peek at what that strategy will look like:

What do you think? It’s certainly out-of-the-box, and progressive. Post your opinion on whether this might work, and why, or why not, in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. hart December 10, 2014 at 5:24 pm
    Our defense will be sub-par, so we get the latest idiotic spin to try to appease us: defense doesn’t matter as much when you have good pitching. Yeah, bet the pitching staff will love to read this! More of that piss disguised as rain streaming down our backs, Senator. “Meet the M-E-T-S, Mets, of podunk town.”
  2. Dan42 December 10, 2014 at 8:43 pm
    I think I saw them once upon a time. But it won’t work for Sandy without pitchers who consistently K 90% of the batter’s faced.

    Apparently he is trying to take “The difficult we do immediately. The impossible takes a little while longer.” to a new level using the silk purse-sow’s ear method.

  3. norme December 10, 2014 at 9:15 pm
    I’m sure that Scott Boras/Matt Harvey will be overjoyed.

    How do you convince quality pitchers to sign or stay with the Mets when keep moving in the fences—-keep the payroll at a level which belies your status as a major market team—–tell people that defense is not a top priority?

    Sandy Alderson was once a respected figure in baseball. He’s turned into a laughing stock with every inane utterance. It’s the Wilpon effect!

  4. DanB December 10, 2014 at 10:01 pm
    Did I miss something? When did the Met’s offense become an asset?
  5. DaveSchneck December 10, 2014 at 10:19 pm
    Joe, Joe, Joe, and Norme,
    I am in full agreement with y’all over the construction of this team i.e. sacrificing defense of offense and winding up a bad offense and bad defense. Combine that with the word that they are kicking the tires on 2nd tier LHP options like Coke et al. and I am reaching for Davey Johnson’s rolaids. Despite all the talk and news conferences and blogging, the offseason has been very unimpressive to date and consistent with the sorry-a** cheapskate ownership budget limitations we have seen in the prior 4 years.

    On the plus side, the offseason is far from over and sometimes patience is the winning approach. Alderson is a weird bird. sometimes offering the truth, sometimes throwing bull for potential trade partners, and usually saying very little. I’ll take the actions over words, and he needs to go 3 for 3 on the final additions to the 2015 25 man roster if he expects to be taken seriously.

    My fear is that the end result is the proverbial cutting the baby in half. If that is the case, I believe it is due to primarily with budgetary constraints and less with baseball acumen and foolishly discounting the marriage of strong defense with strong pitching, a pre-SABR formula that has proven itself over more than a century.

    • argonbunnies December 11, 2014 at 6:06 am
      I’m sure Sandy will scoop up some guys in January-March who are good deals. I doubt any of them will make a BIG difference, though. Expect today’s 80-win Mets team to be an 81- or 82-win team by opening day.
  6. argonbunnies December 11, 2014 at 6:04 am
    Whoa. Props for the Feigner video, Joe. Most dominant pitcher who’s ever lived.

    As for Sandy, he’ll take whatever team he winds up with and make it sound like it was the plan all along. And then when the players perform as any objective person would expect, and the team sucks, he’ll talk about disappointing performances or fluke injuries or whatever. We know the drill by now.

    I agree that his latest talk, minimizing defense, implies that the Mets will not be acquiring better defenders. But if someone offers him salary relief and throws a good defensive SS back, I’m sure we’ll hear him tell us how important defense is.

    • Joe Janish December 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm
      Spin, spin, spin!
  7. Murder Slim December 11, 2014 at 7:27 pm
    With the shortened right field porch, it’ll be lovely for Murph to be so close to Cuddyer that they can shake hands all the time. Team building right there. Does anyone believe Alderson’s PR schtick? It’s not even well structured.
    I’m still clinging onto some hope they’ll get something back for Gee (I know I’m in the minority). And if you’re gonna salary dump, dump Murph (who’ll be paid more), play Wilmer at 2nd and sign a defensive shortstop. And that won’t happen because they think Murph is adorable.
    Urgh. I’ll shut up until Spring Training. All this is pointless to worry about now and we’ve got arm injuries to look forward to… and to get annoyed about.