Baseball Insider

Mets camp report: Likes, dislikes

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- What I like, and dislike, about the Mets.

Things I like

-- Their quartet of young righthanded arms (Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero) is impressive indeed. But only Harvey will begin 2013 with the big club.

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-- Their young catcher, Travis d'Arnaud, will hit, by all accounts. He's very likely the game's second best catching prospect, behind Seattle's Mike Zunino. A June callup seems probable.

-- The rotation, even without Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, is still potentially above average, especially if Johan Santana proves healthy.

-- Manager Terry Collins, much improved in his third stint, has earned his excellent rapport with players. Though, he is likely going to need a better finish to manage into 2014. "Guys like playing for him,'' David Wright said. "Terry, I think, has done a fine job. Hopefully, we can go out there and play well for him.''

-- Ike Davis, now said to be fully recovered from Valley Fever, could become a star, and if he does, the Mets will have a very fine infield, with Wright, Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy manning the other spots.

Things I don't like

-- The outfield. It looks potentially unsolvable, with just about everything currently being considered, including platoons in center field and right field. Lucas Duda is the one given, and he really isn't proven.

-- There is no closer currently. Frank Francisco isn't ready, and he was inconsistent last year anyway. Unproven Bobby Parnell will fill in until Francisco can go.

-- Kids Josh Edgin and Robert Carson are the available lefties for the pen unless old Met Stalwart Pedro Feliciano can make it. Tim Byrdak should be ready in a couple months. In any case, this isn't an area of strength.

-- The depth will be up to a bunch of kids for the most part, many of them spare parts with Oakland last year (catcher Anthony Recker, infielder Brandon Hicks and outfielder Collin Cowgill, though with the outfield situation so uncertain Cowgill may start). There is no real veteran bat off the bench, and not much speed unless Jordany Valdespin makes the team.

-- The rotation, while decent on paper, depends on the health of Santana and Shaun Marcum, who both spent time on the disabled list last year.

 
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