The 2010 Mets: Team Question Mark
Posted on: February 28, 2010 5:50 pm
The Mets should add a giant question mark to Mr.Met's costume. That signifies the 2010 edition of the Mets. This team has more question marks than The Riddler's outfit.
Many of us believed some of those question marks would have been erased by a more productive off-season, especially in relation to the rotation. Instead, we may have even more there. That shows the front-office's incompetence and hubris.
Below is my breakdown of all areas of the team and coming into the spring what we should expect. Read on...
The offense should be improved with the return of Reyes, having Francoeur the whole year and the addition of Bay. I also like the late additions of Barajas and Jacobs. Barajas is a decent catcher and an upgrade over what we have had lately. Jacobs should provide some insurance @ 1B and he does have some pop. Having that come off the bench is a plus.There are still some big question marks there though. Will Wright's power return? Will Beltran return as planned or will there be setbacks? Overall, I feel confident the offense will be productive. In fact, I believe the offense is their strength.
The defense is an area I'm somewhat concerned about. The left-side of the infield is fine and now with Barajas, catching should be fine as well. The right-side lacks range and IMHO will be deficient all year. The Mets back-ups Cora and Jacobs are far from great fielders either. Tatis is a butcher @ 2B and a poor 1B. The outfield should be fine with Francoeur a solid RF with a gun. He'll make some bad throws, but he can catch and throw. Beltran is a very good CF, but after 2 knee operations, you figure his mobility will be effected. Going towards LF is important. Bay is an average OF with a decent arm, but he won't range far over. If Beltran can't cut down that gap, there will be doubles galore. Until Beltran returns, Pagan is pedestrian in the OF and his instints are poor. Matthews if healthy is a legitimate CF and should hold down the fort. Both players can play the corner positions, so there is flexibility. Tatis is a butcher in the OF if he's pressed into service. So question marks are 1B, 2B and LF(and CF with Pagan).
The starting pitching is where this team really falls short. The rotation is full of question marks after Santana. I think Pelfrey will bounce back and a lot of that is based on him losing weight and being young. I think he's re-committed himself this off-season. I like that. I do not have a scintilla of confidence in Maine, Perez or Nieve though. Maine is injury prone and simply has never shown he can put hitters away and stop the bleeding. He throws too many pitches and rarely gets past 6. I do not believe he's anything more than a decent backend pitcher. Perez is an enigma. He has a million dollar arm and a $.02 head. He's clueless how to pitch. When you're 23, that's not unusual. However, come 8/15, he'll be 29. IMHO, he's the most overpaid pitcher in the sport. Finally, we have Fernando Nieve as the #5. This was a guy who was cut by the pitching poor Astros. He started off 3-0, then reverted back to what he is, which is a journeyman. He's a AAA pitcher or possible a long man. A #5 starter (even on a weak staff), he's not. Niese could win that spot, but last year he was Jeckyl and Hyde. Then his season ended with a brutal injury. Supposedly he's still not even 75%. The best situation for him is to start the year @ Buffalo. If any pitcher goes down, only Niese is a legitimate replacement. Holt and Mejia are raw and need to pitch the entire year in the minors. Figueroa is a journeyman. Misch and Fogg the same. Dickey is even worse. The odds of this GM swinging an in season deal is remote. There is no depth here. If someone gets hurt or just goes in the tank(Perez), there is no one to step in. Maine, Perez and Nieve are huge question marks. That's 60% of the rotation. That's not very comforting.
As for the pen, I think they could be fine, if they're not worn out by July 1. I do not expect anything from an injured Escobar or either of the Japanese imports. I do believe Felciano will be his steady self and that Parnell(if given the chance and not thrust back into the rotation) will step up and be effective. K-Rod I believe will be his top 5 self. I expect 40 saves and hope for closer to 50. If that happens, then this team should at least be on the fringes of contention. Green could be a key in middle relief, especially if his "new" motion brings him consistency. I expect a lot of guys in middle relief to be shuttles in. Fogg, Misch, Igarashi etc. Hopefuly one of 2 will be at least decent. Question marks are Escobar and both Japanese pitchers. I have the feeling Escobar will start the year on the DL.
Finally, there is the coaching and upper management. Manuel hardly inspires confidence and is on the hot seat. Razor Shines may be the worst coach in MLB. Johnson hardly has distinguished himself. The pitching coach seems more comfortable in the minors. This is hardly a top notch staff. They also do not seem to be a good teaching staff. We saw that first hand last year. Manuel is a big question mark.
We all know the GM's woes. He's starting his ludicrous 3-year extension(more like albatross), but he's barely hanging on. His encounters with the press have been limited due to last year's debacles. There is doubt to the powers he has left. The assistant GM Ricco is the money guy, but has been getting more of the ear of Jeff. Wayne Krivsky was brought in to restock the minors and could be in line to take the helm at least in the interim with Ricco as his right-hand guy. It's a tenuous situation and the sharing of power is not a winning approach. Power needs to be centralized. Until it does, expect indecision and inaction. Huge question marks here.
All teams have question marks. However, this team seems to have way more than a big market team should. Especially a team that has spent about 700 million under it's GM to win just one division and playoff series.So there you have it. The 2010, team question mark. Do they have the answers? We'll see. Hope does spring eternal. We can say that, not ownership or the front-office.