The Mets Might be OK IF…

Murphy's injury was the final nail in 2011.

For all the strikes the Mets have against them this year, their biggest single issue continues to be team health.

Yes, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, and Francisco Rodriguez all wear different uniforms now.  Yes, they are buried in a mountain of debt following the Bernie Madoff debacle, and overall mismanagement by Saul Katz and the Wilpons.  But if you look at this team, position-by-position, they can be competitive…


…they can stay healthy.  They have some good players (David Wright, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda) and pitchers (Johan Santana, R.A. Dickey, Ramon Ramirez), but they have to be on the field to be effective.  As much as the Mets will miss Reyes and Beltran, even they couldn’t stay on the field for the last 3 years.

Compare the following players to the ones that occupied each position for most of last season.  Most positions will get an upgrade or stay the same:

C: Josh Thole (same)

1B: Ike Davis (upgrade – he only played in a handful of games before getting hurt)

2B: Daniel Murphy (offensive upgrade)

SS: Ruben Tejada (downgrade)

3B: David Wright (same)

LF: Jason Bay (same)

CF: Andres Torres (same/slight defensive upgrade)

RF: Lucas Duda (defensive downgrade/same offense, potentially)

Starting rotation: replacing Capuano with Santana (upgrade)

Bullpen: 3 veteran additions (upgrade)

On paper, this looks like a pretty nice roster…


…they can stay healthy.

Just like 2009, 2010, and 2011.  And since they are so lacking in depth, health is paramount in 2012.  So far in Spring Training, however, it’s been more of the same.  More injuries, more initial misdiagnoses, more frustration.  Even manager Terry Collins couldn’t hide his aggravation when he found out yet another Met, Tejada, couldn’t play.

Does anyone know what the cause is for these injury woes?  Is it the medical staff, the ownership, the managment?  Does anyone know what the solution is?  Find a new medical staff?  Practice over-caution with every nagging injury?  Or is it just bad luck or law of averages?  Maybe they just happen to have a roster full of injury-prone players.  Does anyone know for sure?

One thing is for sure – it’s hard to win ballgames when half your starting lineup is in the trainer’s room.

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. Mike B March 14, 2012 at 10:34 am
    More like wishfull thinking. Everything you have as same was bad last year. Might be an upgrade on offense at second but that is a defensive position and will be a huge downgrade. Duda is not the player Beltan is, and is not even potentially the same. Bullpen only an upgrade on second half of last season. And of course the downgrade at SS counts about X5.

    “IF” this team stays healthy and overachieves they will most likely win 75-80 games. I am counting on 70 or 71 though.

  2. Izzy March 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm
    Sorry but you’re really dreaming Paul. Sad how you mention some partial upgrades failing to mention the downgrades at the same position and your notable errors as well. You totally to fail to mention the potential disaster on the field at second base. You call Tejada a downgrade but as Mike B states it is a severe downgrade. Worse fielder, worse arm, slower runner and weaker all around hitter. In center field you ignore the total failre Torres has been at the plate except for part of one season. Another serious downgrade. As bad as Pagan was last year, he totally outhit Torres, and Torres best year wasn”t as good as Pagan’s either. In right Duda has potential to be better than /Beltran. He can’t run he can’t steal, he can’t field…. He’s a one dimensional guy . and the bullpen!!! Just because a guy is a veteran doesn’t make him any good. Last year bullpen had KROD closing and a surprisingly effective Isringhausen and Beato in front of him. If these guys have as good a first half it will be nothing short of a miracle. And the the ending… if they can stayt healthy. Nobody has a fully healthy team for 6 months. Why does anybody bring it up and act like only Met players get hurt? The fact that the most optimistic metsie has to say that fully demonstrates this is not a contending product.
  3. DaveSchneck March 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm
    For what it is worth, last year’s Mets were more like an 84 win team that bailed on the season for financial reasons at the 2/3 point, finishing with 77 wins. With a healthy Santana, improved pen, and diminished talent in the field against improved divisional opponents, anything over 80 wins would be a victory. As much as the ownership situation nauseates me, hitting or surpassing .500 and trending towards improvement would be a satisfying season for me. It would have to mean that some of the young pitching and talent took the next step.
    • Mike B March 15, 2012 at 9:26 am
      Dave I agree with you, but this Mets team is missing 3 Allstars from the team in the first half last year. Ok they get Santanna back, but I think his starts will be the most painfull because he will keep us in the game for 7 innings and then we will lose. The Mets can win 80 games this year and I could win the Powerball jackpot. The only shot the Mets have at 500 is if they win the first game of the year.