What Is the Mets Strength?

The text poll on the SNY telecast yesterday was, “What do you think the Mets strengths will be this year” with the choices

a. Starters
b. Relievers
c. Outfield
d. Infield

What is your answer, and why?

I have to admit, this was a tough one for me. I guess it’s the infield, since it’s not the outfield, it’s not the bullpen, and it’s hard to choose the starting rotation when two of the projected starters are already on the DL (with one out for the year). Granted, the Mets infield isn’t bad, but it isn’t great, either — it’s OK. And if that’s the team’s “strength,” well, it’s going to be a long season.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s your thought? Sound off 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. DaveSchneck April 2, 2013 at 8:37 am
    If you had “e. The Mascot”, I’d go with that, no disrespect to the players, but the mascot has done it over 50 seasons. Otherwise, I’d have to agree with you on the infield, especially if we include the catcher there.
    • Joe Janish April 2, 2013 at 9:12 am
      Agreed on the mascot, but to be fair, it was SNY’s poll, not mine (actually that’s not entirely true; the poll was “owned” by a communications company that shall remain nameless since they don’t pay me to advertise their name).

      But, if mascot was a choice, would there really be any point to the poll? It’s the obvious choice.

  2. TexasGusCC April 2, 2013 at 9:18 am
    One area that it’s not is the outfield. I was just looking at the minor league blog and the AAA outfiled only has three healthy outfielders!!! Three, that’s it! Brown, Lagares, and Hoffman. No subs, no backups. I can’t believe that I defended this front office. What the heck are they thinking???
  3. Reese April 2, 2013 at 10:04 am
    Valdespin will be there shortly. He’s deeper in Collins’ doghouse than ever before after being the ONLY player to skip the voluntary workout. I’m guessing it was a major case of sour grapes after posting the best spring training numbers and then not being handed even a platoon role.
  4. Joe April 2, 2013 at 10:29 am
    “c” is the silly answer found in most multiple choice tests that you can eliminate easily. It being 4/1, how many chose that one? “b” is a weak answer — there relievers are okay enough as a whole, but not a strength.

    I would say “infield” because we have know what they are capable of and even the weak link (Murphy) is not that weak. Buck looks to be a promising veteran catcher presence. Thole btw was sent to the minors in Toronto.

    The starters might be the strength, but I will have to see what they do long term, including beyond Niese and Harvey. They have potential. With that, plus the infield and an average pen, the team has potential for middle of the pack presence even w/o the final pieces necessary to be at the top. But, maybe this isn’t debb….”realistic” enough.

    • Joe April 2, 2013 at 12:12 pm
      If the IF is merely “ok” …. lots of teams will have “long” seasons, since many teams have question marks in the starter rotation, average pens and even if they might have another bat or two have problems some place else that the Mets might not have. Then again, 162 is long by def.
  5. NormE April 2, 2013 at 11:06 am
    GKR definitely represents the Mets strongest point.
    • argonbunnies April 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm
      Agreed. The one edge we truly have vs other teams. Mets vs White Sox booths would be like Nats vs Astros baseball teams.
  6. Dan B April 2, 2013 at 12:37 pm
    TexasGus, this front office is only enactting the philosophy of the owners, just like the last front office. This is why Norfolk and Buffalo canceled their ties to the Mets — because the Mets, despite the spin, do not emphasize financially or otherwise their farm system.
    • TexasGusCC April 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm
      That is exactly what I thought after reading that. I had asked during the offseason why any east coase team would go to Las Vegas (even have their pitchers throw there) and you folks educated me on what Norfolk and Buffalo had to go through. I cannot believe that they didn’t sign Ezecuiel Carrera or Casper Wells, or someone to field a proper roster. When I read that, I totally lost the euphoria of our opening day win because this kind of mindset and lack of respect approach for your affiliates and in turn their owners (your support system) tells me all I need to know about how this team does business.

      I live in South Texas, and the Astros have a very good reputation of supporting their AA team here in Corpus Christi. People are very happy with them. I cannot fathom a parent team doing this to an affiliate on opening day of their first season together!

      How very surprising. I hope that there is a reason behind it and they fix it soon. BTW, I think Kirk can use the at bats, he should go and Spin, to learn the outfield.

      • DaveSchneck April 3, 2013 at 2:59 pm
        Tex G,
        Agreed 100% on Spin and Captain Kirk – they need daily ABs, if not in NY then in Vegas. I agree with Collins’ concern about outfield D, but there are plenty of glove-only guys out there to stick in that spot. This makes no sense. Likewise with Familia, if he doesn’t get regular work he should be closing in Vegas. Maybe he will go there if/when FF is ready to go.
  7. Steven April 2, 2013 at 12:58 pm
    Speaking of Spin. Did anyone else notice that after scoring on the GS he went straight to dugout and did not stay around to high-five Cowgill. Is this not a big deal?
    • Joe Janish April 2, 2013 at 2:09 pm
      Wow, did not see that – good catch!

      Is there more to the ‘spin story that we’re not yet hearing? I had not heard about him missing the voluntary workout, either (thanks Reese).

      Inquiring minds want to know …

  8. Dan B April 2, 2013 at 2:11 pm
    Golf applause to Steven for the segway.
  9. argonbunnies April 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm
    The Mets’ strength is David Wright. Since he’s in the infield, the poll answer has to be “infield”. If the Mets moved him elsewhere tomorrow, the answer would change accordingly.
  10. Brian Prioleau April 2, 2013 at 4:16 pm
    I would mention two things not on your list: Management and farm system. I like Terry Collins, he is a classic overacheiver while also being a classy guy (not often seen in combination). Ten years in the minors, never made it to the show until he walked onto the field as manager of the Astros. Has been successful as a manager with the Astros, Angels and just under .500 with the Mets (truly miraculous, given the personnel and the luck). And Sandy Alderson has no peer, in my mind, not even Theo Epstein. Have you ever been to Oakland? It’s like running a successful MLB team out of Paterson, New Jersey. (The only cool thing about Oakland is that John Lee Hooker allegedly made a fortune from Oakland real estate.) No, it takes business genius, predict-the-future, pick-the-right-people genius, to CONSISTENTLY put a team on the field that is in the top third of the standings while working with financial resources that consistently rank in the bottom third. And I believe we are seeing him do it again, though we are not likely to have verification for at least another full season. Five years ago the Mets farm system was called a liability. No one calls it that anymore. Good prospects create options, and those options are fungible. And that means hope.
    • Joe Janish April 2, 2013 at 4:55 pm
      Wow, Brian, pass the Kool-Aid! I need me some of that righteous juice!

      I’m guessing this is your first visit to MetsToday. Thank you very much for visiting, and welcome aboard. I look forward to bantering with you.

      • Brian Prioleau April 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm
        I insist on being Pollyana all the way through mid-May. I will get cynical later.
        • Joe Janish April 2, 2013 at 10:43 pm
          Ha! thanks for being a good sport. We have a long season to discuss.
  11. Dan B April 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm
    Texas Gus, if you were thinking of moving outfielders up from the lower minors to help AAA, forget it. The Mets only carry 4 outfielders in every level (except AAA, of course , where they carry 3). No wonder there was ncompetition on the major league level. One injury on any level will hurt the whole system.
  12. Dan B April 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm
    If they are demoted, who comes up? Mets need more outfielders from outside the team. Alderson dropped the ball big time.