April Foolin’ Or Are Mets For Real?

We’re nearly at the end of April, and the Mets are in second place in the NL East with a 14-11 record. Are they for real, or is this April foolin’?

There are two games left this April, so the team can finish 16-11, 15-12, or 14-13. Regardless, the Mets are guaranteed to finish with a winning record for the month.

Here is what the Mets did in the previous four Aprils:

April 2013: 10-15 (final record: 74-88)

April 2012: 13-10 (final record: 74-88)

April 2011: 11-16 (final record: 77-85)

April 2010: 14-9 (final record: 79-83)

Hmm … Every team wants to get off to a fast start, but can we trust what happens in April? Doesn’t seem like it, does it?

Of course, it’s MUCH better to start off the season with a winning month than a losing month.

Some good points to consider …

The Mets have a winning record thus far, despite:

- having the worst batting average in the NL
- Curtis Granderson being in the worst slump of his career
- being without Chris Young for most of the month
- losing Bobby Parnell on Opening Day, and working with a “closer by committee”
- operating with a leadoff hitter with a .216 AVG / .320 OBP

… among other issues.

The assumption is that the Mets as a team will hit higher than .218 going forward, that Curtis Granderson will eventually reach and pass the Mendoza Line, and Chris Young will give the Mets the .235 / 20 HR / 70 RBI production they expect. So, if everything else stays the same, and at the very least, Young and Granderson provide some pop, there’s hope that the Mets will continue their winning ways.

However, we don’t know if:

- Eric Young, Jr., will get on base any more often than 32% of the time
- Ruben Tejada will take a step forward, or continue moving backward
- Anyone will step up and take over the closer role
- All 5 Mets starters will stay healthy and continue to provide 6-8 innings nearly every time out

We also don’t know how other teams will perform going forward. Were the Mets lucky to catch a few teams at just the right time in the past few weeks, for one reason or another?

I’m not going to get into the potential promotions of Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, etc., nor will I consider what possible acquisitions the Mets may make in the future — it’s too presumptuous. Looking at the team exactly as it is currently constituted, what do you think? Is this team for real? Can they keep winning more than they lose? Is there any chance of reaching their 90-win goal? (They’d need to go 76-61 the rest of the way to do so.)

Post your thoughts 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. meticated April 28, 2014 at 11:43 am
    It appears unsustainable at this rate of offense..I’m in astonishment that with the paucity of hitting that we aren’t in the cellar licking our wounds..baseball is a bizarre sport statiscally. I have seen records of WS winners with team batting averages of .215…Our lovable mets just might have the mojo with them to play .500 ball, but methinks that if we can’t hit better than last rung , that when the offense catches up historically to the pitching, than our orange and blue goose gets a fork put in it!
  2. DaveSchneck April 28, 2014 at 11:50 am
    Joe,
    I basically agree with Meticated, likely unsustainable unless the results, especially on offense, improve. That said, the beauty of baseball is that while statistics and individual performances many times predict outcomes, there are deviations that keep it onteresting. The Orioles of 2012 made the playoffs despite being projected as a second division team. The won an incredible amount of one run games, which defied reason. This is why every season counts. Unfortunately, many take extreme positions, seeing a team as all in “win now” mode or “all out” strip it down and build for the future. There is an in between, where the management takes reasonable measures to give the team every opportunity to win with its current talent level. So far, into the 4th season, the Alderson regime has not done that. Adding a legit SS and a legit closer to this roster, two moves that would not require compromising the future financially or personnel-wise, would give this group a legit shot at competing through the end of the season, and leave it well positioned for more success in 2015. Sorry for sounding like a broken record.
  3. James Preller April 28, 2014 at 12:21 pm
    For as bad as the Mets offense has been, they are (surprisingly) ranked 18th in Runs Per Game, sandwiched between the Red Sox and Dodgers.

    In Runs Allowed Per Game, they rank 11th, which sounds about right.

  4. graham April 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm
    Wright and Murphy have been scuffling a little too. There is no way our offense is as bad as it has been so far….the pitching will come back down to earth but it will be evened out by Darno and Grandy as well as our usual workhorses starting to pick it up in the batters box.
  5. Eric Schwartz April 28, 2014 at 12:41 pm
    I think the Mets are actually going to improve for the rest of the year. d’Arnaud is not a .200 hitter, and I don’t believe Granderson is done at the age of 33. The pitching is excellent, and bringing up Dice-K improves the bullpen immeasurably. Actually, he should be the closer: although he says he prefers to start, he is most valuable in the bullpen. Although Syndergaard and Montero are getting all the hype, the AAA pitcher who has been pitching really well is deGrom — he could replace Zack Wheeler in the rotation. Or the Mets could trade one or two good pitchers from AAA for a decent shortstop. Will they sign Stephen Drew after the draft? That’s another possibility. Anyway, I’m one of the very few who is really bullish about the Mets this year, and expects them to win it all in 2015.
  6. ExileInLA April 28, 2014 at 12:48 pm
    As built, this isn’t a 90-win club. But if they get things to break their way – instead of against them – and they make a few smart moves (callups & trades), then they could easily remain a .500 club.

    And, for this year, .500 is victory. Just like it was in 1984…

  7. Scottie April 28, 2014 at 1:02 pm
    I think Tejada has to be replaced. Just like the trade of Davis it will show the team and fans that you have to produce and any change will be an upgrade at this point.
    • Steve April 28, 2014 at 1:27 pm
      I agree that Tejada should be done with this team and ANYONE at this point would be just as good/bad as him. Issue is they do not have any viable MLB ready options on the farms. They won’t pull the trigger on Drew and lost out on other free agent infielders.

      STAT OF THE DAY: This franchise has not developed a truly valuable position player since 03 (Reyes/Wright)…..which speaks VOLUMES about the direction they have headed this past decade.

    • Steve April 28, 2014 at 1:32 pm
      According to the Bill James Runs for/Runs against stat, the Mets should be at .500 (assuming an even number of games played). They have scored 100 and given up 100…………which usually means .500. Their starting pitching has made their record a bit better than it should be at this point. The lineup is anemic. They have hit 13 less HR than opponents; their team OB% is under .300; their slugging % is .318 (OY VEY)…………….and team OPS% is………..614. I know its only 25 games, but that’s enough of a sampling to see where the offense is headed. Sandy did little to upgrade the lineup.
  8. Murder Slim April 28, 2014 at 1:21 pm
    I see the Mets as a .500 team, just as I did before the season. I expected them to be four or five games under by now.
    Being 10-15 would have created plenty of funny comments from Izzy, but it’s been nice to the Metsies win more than lose. Even if some of it has seemed a little lucky.
    Instead of a slow rise, there’ll probably be a slow decline. But, hey, we can never know until the season’s over. And if the team could sign a damn SS….
  9. Joe April 28, 2014 at 1:37 pm
    I don’t know what ‘for real’ means.

    The Mets have had good first halves in recent years and then totally dropped off in the second. Last year, the Mets held it together into August. That was an improvement.

    Four years are cited in the column. Two were subpar. Two comparable to the current month. One factor here is the future. That is part of what ‘for real’ would mean to me. “For real” is not ’90 wins.” That is not real. For real is a flawed team that has some good things going for it and plays winning baseball. Not quite there, but not far away with a promising future.

    Before ’13, I predicted a mid-70s record while some thought it would be in the ’60s. Before ’14, as I recall, I said it would be around 80/82 wins, with a margin of error of a few games. The start suggests that can be “for real,” especially since I also note the various problems cited, Wright struggling some not even included.

    I don’t think all of those things will continue (and Chris Young already is showing something), plus I think certain improvements / new blood to put a spark to deal with others wearing down will help balance things out.

    To be continued.

  10. argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 4:19 pm
    When the season began, computers and experts on baseball and betting (along with many verbose non-experts) all pegged the Mets as about a 74-win team.

    Has anything happened in April to change that assessment? Has anyone on the Mets roster indicated to us that they’ll be much better or worse than expected?

    Here’s what I’ve seen:
    - Granderson looks worse than expected.
    - Tejada looks worse than expected.
    - Bobby Parnell won’t contribute as expected.
    - Mejia looks better than expected.

    If I’m right, and the signs these players have shown really do indicate trends that will continue, then that leaves the Mets as about a 72-win team.

    There are plenty of other players on the team who had good Aprils or bad Aprils, but I haven’t seen anything outside the range of “he’s hot” or “he’s cold” for what was expected of them. Wright’s SLG will rise, but so will Niese’s ERA.

    72 wins in 162 games is a .444 W%, which would net 61 wins the rest of the way if the Mets play like the team I think they are. Add to the 14 they’ve already won, and you get a 75-win season. So that’d be my current guess.

    • crozier April 29, 2014 at 2:05 pm
      A couple other key factors to consider: the Mets batters lead the league in walks, and their defense leads the league in fewest unearned runs. Over the course of a month that’s at least noteworthy, and could have made the difference in any number of their five 1-run victories. To beat expectations (if not win 90), those trends need to continue.
  11. argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 4:20 pm
    When the season began, various computers and experts all pegged the Mets as about a 74-win team.

    Has anything happened in April to change that assessment? Has anyone on the Mets roster indicated to us that they’ll be much better or worse than expected?

    Here’s what I’ve seen:
    - Granderson looks worse than expected.
    - Tejada looks worse than expected.
    - Bobby Parnell won’t contribute as expected.
    - Mejia looks better than expected.

    If I’m right, and the signs these players have shown really do indicate trends that will continue, then that leaves the Mets as about a 72-win team.

    There are plenty of other players on the team who had good Aprils or bad Aprils, but I haven’t seen anything outside the range of “he’s hot” or “he’s cold” for what was expected of them. Wright’s SLG will rise, but so will Niese’s ERA.

    72 wins in 162 games is a .444 W%, which would net 61 wins the rest of the way if the Mets play like the team I think they are. Add to the 14 they’ve already won, and you get a 75-win season. So that’d be my current guess.

  12. Larry Rothamel April 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm
    The team is better than I thought at this time. I looked at a 70-75 win season in March and will hold to that mark. They need to move some of the minor league pitching to patch weakness, shortstop, and a closer. I would like to see them talk with Seattle about Franklin. Drew is not the answer unless he can be had for 1 year at a low cost. I do believe that the farm system will continue to produce and the team is still 1 year away. I have watch the Mets since 1962 and I can wait another year .
  13. DanB April 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm
    i’ve said it before, I will say it again. 2014 is extended preseason for 2015. If players such as DiceK or Tejada show any worth, they will be traded away. There are few backups for any player (other then staring pitchers) in case/when the injuries come. I don’t see Mets adding significant salary. It all lines up for a bad second half. But hey, lets enjoy it while we can but I stand behind my preseason prediction of 75 wins.
    • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm
      How long ago was it that 2013 was the extended preseason for 2014?

      How long will it be until 2015 is the extended preseason for 2016?

      The talent we’re graduating from the minors is merely keeping up with the competition who’s doing the same. I’m still waiting to hear a plan for where runs are going to come from next year.

  14. Murder Slim April 28, 2014 at 5:16 pm
    Tejada has been as bad with the bat as last year, and slightly better with the glove.
    Hey, you gotta look on the bright side. He’s improved!
    Also, Argon, you’re ignoring how much better the outfield defense is. No Duda. Everyone can actually move.
    I know defense is of little interest to people, but outside of Murphy and (on bad days) Tejada it’s a nice little team on defense.
    I’m not saying the team is great and I don’t think they’ll make the playoffs. But I don’t think they’re as bad as people think. Added to that, I think standards overall are down across the NL.
    • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 6:07 pm
      Defense was factored into the projections I referenced, which included “no Duda in the OF”. Do you think EY, CY, Granderson and Lagares have been better defenders than expected? I think Granderson’s actually been worse…

      The forecasts predicting 74 wins are assuming the Mets will improve over 2013 in some areas, but decline in others (such as the Matt Harvey department). I’m inclined to agree.

      FWIW, most projections are not very high on Niese, Gee, or the bullpen, so perhaps there’s potential to surprise on those fronts. Gee’s current .202 BABIP is certainly not sustainable, though (career: .278). And there’s also potential for the bullpen to be awful. We’ll see…

      • Murder Slim April 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm
        It’s the lies, damned lies and statistics debate.
        Colon will (in all probability) get more wins that Murphy despite his eventual 3.50+ ERA. That’s despite Harvey being a far better pitcher. Harvey was ridiculously unlucky last year and the Mets only won 50% of his starts. Colon will get a couple more wins.
        You’re also understating the difference between this year’s outfield and last year’s outfield. You’re comparing these outfielders general performance (and ignoring that Legares should improve to around 680-700 OPS with stellar defense in 140 games) instead of comparing it to last season’s Mets’ OF. Statistically the best outfielders – Legares and Byrd – started 115 games last year. The other OF position was a void.
        Stats can be turned in a hundred ways. And if you’re betting on the Mets it’s always best to bet on losing.
        But it’s also fun to turn the stats into a possibility of something good happening. Why? Well, I like watching the Mets play and like watching them win.
        I’m still saying 81 wins. And if I don’t… well, I still had my (little) hope and had fun watching ‘em.
        • Murder Slim April 28, 2014 at 6:58 pm
          Darn, Harvey not Murphy. I just can’t stop talking about Mr. Ironhands.
        • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 8:41 pm
          Resisting the urge to poke holes in unsound logic…

          You’re right, it can be fun to turn the stats into a possibility of something good happening. • Montero’s minor league K/BB rate and d’Arnaud’s minor league OPS are both great signs. • Germen and Torres have also put up some good K/BB numbers since moving to relief. • David Wright has been awesome for the last 2 years despite the league’s offensive decline. • Duda has generally hit better when playing 1B. • Tejada held his own in MLB at age 20-21, a feat usually reserved for players who become great. • In his last two healthy years, Granderson averaged 37 HRs even if you factor out Yankee Stadium. • Last year Dillon Gee had the league’s 5th best ERA from June on. • Lagares raked this winter. • Somewhere in Zack Wheeler’s arm is the ability to throw that rarest of pitches, the 98mph sinker. • Jon Niese’s bad numbers from past years can be attributed to bad BABIP luck and injuries that are now behind him. Pow!

        • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 8:43 pm
          BTW, what’s that thing in your profile photo? At first I thought it was some sort of gattling gun; now I’m reminded of a rocket; kind of in the right spot to be a megaphone…
        • Murder Slim April 29, 2014 at 9:49 am
          Pow indeed! Nice stats, Argon! But, see what I’m saying… we can predict and analyse and complain as much as we like, but ultimately we don’t know. And if the Mets do well this year, I’d be surprised that many “mea culpa” and say they got it wrong.
          The Mets fanbase, unsurprisingly, attracts a lot of masochists. And people just love to grumble on the internet.
          As for the logo, I’m an editor at Murder Sim Press and part of our output is crime books. The gun is an intentionally unrealistic one from one of our books.
  15. DaveSchneck April 28, 2014 at 5:52 pm
    Most if not all agree that while it is nice that the team has won 14 of 25, it is too small a sample to raise expectations over 162 games. However, 14 of 25 projects to 90/91 wins, Sandy’s “goal”. I think the equation is not as simple as saying that adding a piece or two win only add “X” wins per WAR and only push them to a 78 win team. This does not take into account the impact that those pieces have on the performance, or underperformance, of other players that won’t be replaced. Good offense is often times contagious. It also does not take into account the status of the direct competition. It looks like Washington is losing Harper for a extended period, to go with Pfister. The Braves are down several pitchers and likely cannot sustain the 17-7 pace. If the Mets can bolster the roster they can close the gap, and hey, anything can happen, that is why they play the games.
    • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 6:31 pm
      Just like last year, the Braves are so loaded that they can survive losing two key players and be fine (last year B.J. and Uggla were so bad it would have been better if they’d missed the year with injuries). Between Wood, Santana and Hale, the Braves won’t miss Beachy and Medlen at all. All their best players are young and still improving. No team maintains a .700 winning percentage, but if anyone could, it’d be Atlanta.

      As for the Nats, I just saw the news that Harper should be out till July, so perhaps injuries will wind up holding them short of their 90+ win expectations. They’re still better than the Mets in every way, though, aren’t they (rotation, bullpen, hitting, defense)?

      It’s clear from the Drew situation that the Mets won’t be spending money to bolster the roster, so the question is whether Montero and deGrom can dramatically help the team. Maybe! I’d expect their 2014 impact to be small, but you never know.

      • crozier April 28, 2014 at 6:55 pm
        I don’t know about not bolstering their roster. It probably depends on how May goes. If they manage similar results, they still have trade chips in the arms department.

        You have to keep in mind that the Mets don’t have to be better in every way over their opponent; they just have to pitch better and be luckier. If luck swings their way in 2014, I’d expect better results. I also think it depends on how Lagares does upon his return (you left him out of your analysis in your earlier post).

        As for the Braves, they did just fine without two key players in April. That doesn’t signify anything just yet.

        • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 8:00 pm
          Well, sure, we could trade Montero and Plawecki for Nick Franklin (that’s what the Mariners asked for, according to one report), replace Tejada, and improve the SS position. That sort of bolstering is possible. I think there are other reasons why the front office won’t do that, though.

          I didn’t intend to imply that superiority in all ways is required; I was just pointing out the talent gap between the Mets and Nats. If the Mets’ rotation does somehow manage to outpitch a team with Strasburg, Zimmermann, Gonzalez and Fister, you can bet it won’t be by a large enough margin to make up for the bullpen and lineup gaps. Re: luck, anything is possible, but that works both ways — the Nats could win 100, the Mets could lose 100.

          Do you see a weakness in the Braves? I’m not seeing one. I do expect Harang to regress, but Minor’s coming back soon, so whatever.

          As for Lagares, no, I didn’t mention him, because (a) he showed last year that he was capable of hot streaks at the plate, and this April looked identical to those, and (b) projections already expected his bat to improve from age 24 to 25. Juan improving a little is already part of that 74-win guess.

      • crozier April 28, 2014 at 6:57 pm
        Joe, you left out of your analysis your ESPN Power Ranking comment that they’re 6-0 with Recker. I’m curious if you think this is entirely anomalous. It’s certainly interesting.
        • crozier April 28, 2014 at 7:03 pm
          Apologies for nesting this comment incorrectly.
  16. crozier April 28, 2014 at 7:09 pm
    Does anyone – including the Mets front office – think 90 wins is likely? Alderson has been clear that this was a “stretch” goal, i.e., a number significantly beyond what they should be expected to achieve. I support his putting it out there, because it’s like any other drive to achievement: give yourself a bold target so you ultimately achieve more. But I get the impression that the cynics will call failure if they finish with, say 84 wins.

    Yeah, I know, no one here expects them to get 84 wins either. Wouldn’t surprise me.

    • argonbunnies April 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm
      If we assume that stating stretch goals has any power at all, then we should probably expect some good and some bad:
      Good: Mets win more games! Let’s say 79 instead of 75.
      Bad: 79 feels like a disappointment to some staff, players, media and fans.

      Personally, I don’t care about 79 vs 75 wins; I care about playoffs vs otherwise. Given no playoff appearance, I have two thoughts on this:

      1) I’d prefer to see the Mets establish realistic expectations and then provide a pleasant surprise by exceeding them. That’s the sort of plucky underdog it’s fun to root for.

      Missing a goal, on the other hand, is consistent with the same failure, disappointment and underperformance that has characterized the Mets since 2007. I am so sick of that.

      Of course I am free to set my own expectations, but staff, player, media and fan response is part of the experience of following the team.

      2) If ownership and management acknowledge that they’re fielding vastly inferior talent, then the way forward is clear, and no one can hide from the need to add talent. All these rose-colored evaluations and projections, on the other hand, allow them to portray losing seasons as misfortune rather than mismanagement. I find that galling. If they’re going to be cheap and field a bad team, they should admit it and be held accountable.

      • DaveSchneck April 28, 2014 at 9:28 pm
        Argon,
        I agree that the difference between 79 and 75 wins is immaterial. However, I don’t agree that it is playoffs or but. The Mets desperately need to compete this season to right up to the end. Whether they fall short in game 160 or a game 163 playoff loss to me is as immaterial as whether they win 79 or 75. While there are no “moral” victories, this is essential for several reasons – it changes the trajectory of the franchise and gives the fans a reason to spend going forward (more fan spending means more resources), it gives the players on the team confidence that they actually can hang with the big boys, it gives potential additions for 2015 reason to think the team is more than a career graveyard with a paycheck, and it gives management the ability to evaluate players in, what did someone call it, “meaningful September games”, which is a big difference from evaluating players in meaningless September games. The money it will take to add 2014 resources that can enhance this possibility is peanuts compared to the potential benefits.
        • argonbunnies April 29, 2014 at 3:09 am
          Fair enough. I’d take “compete right to the end” too. Unfortunately, at the moment, that seems just as unrealistic to me as the 90 win goal.
      • crozier April 28, 2014 at 10:08 pm
        I don’t often disagree with you argon, but setting “realistic” goals for the club is resignation. Is 90 wins possible? Absolutely. Likely? Absolutely not. But you don’t get there by putting 82 wins in front of the team.

        The ’69 club was expected to finish in the lower half of the division. It was the leadership of the players – Seaver, Koosman, Agee, Jones – who began discussing what it would take to become a good team. Gil Hodges was no slouch, either, but it was the players who changed the attitude that year. Let Alderson aim high. The team may yet surprise you.

        • argonbunnies April 29, 2014 at 3:21 am
          I’ve never led a pro sports team, but I have co-captained amateur teams, and I always had better success when challenging players to do things that were in fact achievable. Setting unrealistic goals led only to frustration and disappointment.

          I agree that there’s not much point in putting 82 wins in front of the team. Personally, I wouldn’t put any number of wins in front of the 2014 Mets. As you said, the choice there is between “unrealistic” and “resignation”. Instead, I’d form a path for getting the team to the playoffs in whatever time frame was realistic, figure out what the current roster needed to achieve in service to that plan, and set those goals. The guys you plan to trade should be challenged to excel in ways that make them attractive trade bait. The guys you plan to stick with long term should be challenged to work on foundational skills over immediate results. The systems you plan to institute should be drilled and enforced, whether it’s pitch calling or bunt plays or communication on defense. Etc.

          The team goal of winning as many games as possible can stay unstated — it’s already covered by the competitive nature that athletes will bring to the field every night.

        • Murder Slim April 29, 2014 at 1:26 pm
          I need to say thank you to Crozier here for his spot-on comment.
          But I’d echo that I understand where Argon is coming from.
          The Mets at their 100/100 runs scored/conceded are the classic divisive team. But I genuinally enjoy watching them play.
          I love Eric Young Jr, for instance, even though he isn’t very good. But there is an enthusiasm to the team which is… well… fun.
  17. Bobby April 29, 2014 at 12:10 am
    I see the Mets as a legit 85W team this season. However, just not enough to squeak into 1 of the wildcard spots.
  18. Vilos April 29, 2014 at 12:13 am
    Let me make some points.

    First, pitching. Yes the Mets pitching has been better than expected, so yes it would be normal for them to regresa, either because of injuries or performance. But, they have prospects on the wings. They can come and start (replace injuries or upgrade performance), fill bullen roles (allá St Louis) or swap trades. From what We’ve read about the prospects, these next few months, in the very least, sounds interesting!

  19. Vilos April 29, 2014 at 12:19 am
    Continued:
    Second, final récord. More important than the récord, is the attendance. For attendance to finísh strong they must compete. If attendance finíshes strong, than whatever offseason adquisición they make Will have a larger impact.
    In my opinión, they didn’t go after Reyes because they knew attendance was going down and they didn’t have the means to turn performance around
  20. Vilos April 29, 2014 at 12:26 am
    Third, changes. If they fold, as in the previous four years, then I wouldn’t expect Many changes other than bringing up pitching prospects and flores for Tejada.
    If they continúe to play as in april come june/july then yes, expect change at SS.
  21. Vilos April 29, 2014 at 12:30 am
    Expect change at SS and maybe somewhere else.
  22. Vilos April 29, 2014 at 12:37 am
    Fourth, position players. The only real hole is SS. The OF is average/above. 4 guys to rotate, a 40 year old who can hit, and 3 reserves in the wings.
    1b pkatoon, 2b can hit, 3b above average, C prospect potential with decent Sub. At least it sounds good on papel!
  23. Vilos April 29, 2014 at 12:39 am
    Conclusión: anything can happen, too soon to know, but at least its interesting.
  24. Alan Shapiro April 29, 2014 at 5:24 am
    The Mets have excellent starting pitchers, and that may be enough to keep them hovering slightly above .500 and in the wild card race. However, they may get swept by the Yankees in a couple of weeks. The bullpen looks OK. The hitting won’t improve much. You didn’t mention d’Arnaud’s struggles at the plate. Granderson’s swing looks awful — he is not even coming close to contact most of the time. Eric Young might get up to .250 and that is OK if he steals 50 or 60 bases. Chris Young and Lucas Duda can hit 20 or more HRs, Wright and Murphy can hit .290 with some RBIs. Lagares probably won’t hit, but his defense is stellar and important. Forget about any offense from d’Arnaud, Granderson and Tejada, it won’t happen. At some point, Granderson will get demoted to not playing every day. Hope for more at-bats for Recker and even Satin.
    • crozier April 29, 2014 at 6:56 am
      d
      • crozier April 29, 2014 at 7:55 am
        Hmm, my intended reply was supposed to be longer than that.

        d’Arnaud is providing offense. His last 44 at bats produced a.295/.397/.432 slash. And I don’t see why we shouldn’t expect him to do well, other than injury concerns.

    • Joe Janish April 30, 2014 at 4:06 pm
      Do the Mets really have “excellent” starting pitchers? Maybe compared to previous years, but in 2014, I don’t think they’re all that special when compared to other teams’ starting staffs. I think what we are seeing is a league-wide regression in post-PEDs offense.
  25. DanB April 29, 2014 at 6:54 am
    Argon, you asked when the prolonged preseasons will stop? Simple question, actually. When the Wilpons finish refinancing their debts, I expect they will then be able to refocus on the team. That could happen by the end of the year. People who follow their finances have been predicting problems for the Mets until 2015 and so far they have been more right then baseball people’s predictions. This is also why I don’t believe the Mets will add, during the season, the payroll necessary to improve the team. It only confirms to me that a good owner is more important then an ace pitcher or an all-star third baseman. For 2014, I will be judging success not by wins but by the performance of players that I see contributing in 2015. Just like I do when watching spring training.
    • DaveSchneck April 29, 2014 at 9:50 am
      Dan,
      As much as it disdains me to agree with you, I have to until proven otherwise. While money doesn’t cure all ills, including lack of talent on a ballclub, until the spend to fill ALL the holes on the team, these 2014 games are exhibitions for the 2015 season, and ticket prices at Citifield should reflect that (Stubhub certainly does).

      The Wilpons have been able to secure refinancing of loans quite easily, so the situation is more a choice of how much loss they tolerate. I think everyone agrees that a strong farm system is necessary for sustained winning, but not all agree on how to go about building a winning team. I am with Joe J. in that teams can rebuild and compete at the same time, at least good ones. Last week I heard on a broadcast that the Cardinals have lost 90 in a season only 4 times in the past 100 years. Additionally, of those 100 seasons, 72 seasons have produced a record of .500 or better, and the longest dry spell of losing seasons in a row has been 3, from 1918-20, and again from 1954-56. It strikes me that these guys never “throw away” a season in the name of building for the future.

  26. DanB April 29, 2014 at 11:09 am
    Dave, I think the Wilpon’s problems are more then how much money they spend as much as it is how they spend their money. They didn’t spend it all too well when they had money and they continue to spend it poorly now that they have little money. And I don’t trust Jeff Wilpon to convert this farm system into a winning MLB team. I don’t understand how you can combine a top ten farm system with a bottom ten major league roster and get more then a 81 win team. There needs to be more and Jeff Wilpon is not out thinking anyone. No matter who is GM, he is the one steering the team.
    • DaveSchneck April 29, 2014 at 3:13 pm
      Dan,
      You had to go and bring up the name, you know, JW (I can’t type the whole thing out), prove your point, and depress me once again. Yes, that is the elephant in the room, to which there is no solution. Bernie is in the big house, and despised by many, but he tried his best to solve that problem. Met fans should at least give him some credit for that. I think I’ll just go sit in the lotus position and repeat 14 and 11, 14 and 11, as long as I can,
  27. AJ April 29, 2014 at 2:22 pm
    I have been a Mets fan all of my life. This team reminds me of the 70s Mets (all pitching no hitting). .500 is a likely reachable goal. Unfortunately, SS is a gaping hole. With all the young arms they have coming up, I can see them trading Gee, if he continues to have the season he is, for a quality position player-SS is most glaring, around the trade deadline in late July. The Wilpons love trading future FAs before they go for free. With so many arms available in stock, they should look to make one blockbuster trade to get a Tulowitski or a good solid dependable Major League SS and not Tejada. If only the Wilpons had spent a little more and kept Reyes, there would be significant hope for the playoffs. Instead, we can only hope that a trade will bring us a ML SS.!! In regards to comments by “Exile in LA”, the 84 Mets won 90 games after having a dismal 1983. Not sure how 1984 compares to this team. In 84 the Mets were in first place as late as mid-July before playing mediocre in August and September. There was optomism and swelling crowds because a team was beginning to surface that would be excellent. This team is nowhere near that yet. I cannot get excited over the Youngs in the OF with Granderson. Young arms coming up is exciting but there are no position players waiting in the wings (yet) nor are there any solid veteran players that one can say is worth or valid of idolizing. Hopefully a Keith Hernandez type trade can bring that feeling back.
    Lets Go mets!
  28. Craig April 29, 2014 at 6:46 pm
    I hope the starting pitching remains stellar, the bullpen gets better [unlikely if Valverde and Farnsworth remain, they look tired already].

    They need to start hitting with authority and average consistently, otherwise the pitching will break down trying to win with less than 3 runs or less per game.

    Showing solidarity and teamwork is great, butr only goes so far.

  29. Charlie April 29, 2014 at 8:02 pm
    A shame they didn’t get another bat to help out but hopefully the offense they do have will begin to click and help this pitching out. Pitching wins in this league nut it sure helps to score some runs
  30. Bobby April 29, 2014 at 11:56 pm
    I think this team’s whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
  31. Joe Janish April 30, 2014 at 4:10 pm
    If this team wins 85+ games WITHOUT signing Stephen Drew and adding a closer and/or another arm (either for the bullpen or rotation), the Mets fans should be absolutely furious at the end of the year.