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Running down the rosters: New York Mets

Feb 22, 2012, 11:00 PM EDT

Jason Bay, David Wright Getty Images

As depressing as all things Mets have been lately, the team on the field still finished a respectable 77-85 last season. Unfortunately, it seems likely that things will get worse before they get better.

Johan Santana – L
R.A. Dickey – R
Mike Pelfrey – R
Jon Niese – L
Dillon Gee – R

Frank Francisco – R
Jon Rauch – R
Bobby Parnell – R
Ramon Ramirez – R
Manny Acosta – R
Tim Byrdak – L
D.J. Carrasco – R

SP next in line: Jeremy Hefner (R), Chris Schwinden (R), Miguel Batista (R), Matt Harvey (R)
RP next in line: Daniel Herrera (L), Batista, Pedro Beato (R), Chuck James (L)

Instead of going all out — or even making a legitimate bid — to re-sign free agent Jose Reyes over the winter, the Mets dedicated their limited resources to upgrading the pen. Of course, the pitchers they saw as upgrades were the same two the Blue Jays were trying to upgrade from. Francisco should be effective, but he’ll be good for a DL stint or two. How much Rauch has left is unclear. The cheaper pitchers should be pretty good, though. Parnell may have struggled in his first go at closing, but it’d be no surprise if he outperforms both Francisco and Rauch this year.

The rotation looks a lot better with Santana at the top, but there’s no telling what the Mets will get from him this year. Depth is a problem right now, but with Harvey, Jenrry Mejia, Jeurys Familia and Zack Wheeler on the way, the rotation picture will be awfully interesting a year from now.

CF Andres Torres – S
2B Daniel Murphy – L
3B David Wright – R
1B Ike Davis – L
LF Jason Bay – R
RF Lucas Duda – L
C Josh Thole – L
SS Ruben Tejada – R

C Mike Nickeas – R
INF Ronny Cedeno – R
2B-3B Justin Turner – R
OF Scott Hairston – R
OF Mike Baxter – L

Next in line: C Rob Johnson (R), 1B Val Pascucci (R), 1B Josh Satin (R), 2B Reese Havens (L), 2B Jordany Valdespin (L),  3B Zach Lutz (R),  INF Omar Quintanilla (L), OF Adam Loewen (L), OF Kirk Nieuwenhuis (L)

I’m not quite sure why the Mets are picking the guy with the .312 OBP last year as their leadoff hitter and ruling out the guy who finished at .360 in Tejada. But that’s what they’re doing.

If the lineup gets a bounce-back season from Bay, who did manage to finish strong in 2011, then the offense shouldn’t be bad. I don’t expect a whole lot from Torres and I’m not as high on Duda as some, but the middle of the lineup is fine and the guys at the bottom should be a little better than most National League No. 7 and No. 8 hitters.

Defense, on the other hand, is going to be an issue. Fortunately, Torres is one of the game’s most underrated glovemen, and he should be able to pick up a bit of the slack from the weak corners. Murphy at second base could range anywhere from below average to major liability, and Turner, the fallback there, isn’t a whole lot better.

The NL East appears much improved this year after the additions made by Miami and Washington, so I don’t expect the Mets to approach .500 again. They’re not nearly as bad as some like to think, but they’re a ways away from being good.

  1. plmathfoto - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:07 PM

    Huge Mets fan here. However, when I saw this, I thought it said rundown roster the New York Mets, would’ve been appropriate that way to tell the truth.

    • dondada10 - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:16 PM

      Die hard Mets fan, as well. This season is all about can Lucas Duda be a legit middle of the order bat and can Harvey make 10 starts at the end of the year and show promise.

      Other than that, R.A. Dickey is worth the price of admission on the day he starts.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      At least you can laugh about it!

  2. drubeatz - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:54 PM

    Another year of no baseball for Mets fans. How long must I suffer?

    • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:34 AM

      I was reading Hiroshima Notes by the great Japanese fictionist Kenzaburo Oe the other day and he mentions somewhere that radiation levels in the city actually dropped to levels low enough to permit reoccupation of some once severely contaminated areas within just a few months. I suspect that the Mets will take longer to recover from Minaya, but at least there’s reason for hope.

  3. randygnyc - Feb 23, 2012 at 2:40 AM

    Going to be honest with my opinion here. With the emergence of the nats and marlins into an already tough division lead by the braves and dominated by the phillies, the mets are no longer a middle of the division team. IMO, they lose 95 games this year. If it gets a little wonky, they’ll lose an even 100. Sorry for the sobering opinion.

  4. buffalomafia - Feb 23, 2012 at 3:35 AM

    Do I hear last place again for both Nets & AAA Bisons?

    • Old Gator - Feb 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      Last place again for both Nets and AAA Bisons!

  5. sdelmonte - Feb 23, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    I don’t see this team as being much worse than last season. If it’s healthy, I would even say it’s better (a big if, given the last few years). There are a lot of young players here with potential.

    Are they contenders? Probably not, but the Braves did nothing to fix their shortcomings, the Phils’ bats are a season older, and the Marlins and Nats are still unproven to be there yet. There is room for the Mets to hold their own.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      I don’t see this team as being much worse than last season. If it’s healthy, I would even say it’s better (a big if, given the last few years)

      How is losing Jose Reyes to a division rival NOT a big drop-off? I think it’s iffy to argue the team not being much worse, but saying its better? I know Reyes has had health issues, but improvement by subtraction is a bit much to suggest in this case.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:46 AM

        Losing Reyes (and, it should be noted, Carlos Beltran) is certainly a liability, especially given his career year last season, but the team also (theoretically) regains the service of Johan Santana and Ike Davis. Both are certainly question marks, Santana he hasn’t been on a mound in a long long time, and Davis because he doesn’t really have much of a history to allow us to know what to expect, but losing Reyes shouldn’t be the only change to the team on the field.

        I think if Mets fans are looking for a playoff team, they’re not going to find it. But if they’re looking to see how young players develop, there are plenty of exciting storylines, at least a couple of which are likely to pan out.

        Ike Davis was a monster before his injury last year. If he comes back to that form, he’ll be a pleasure to watch.

        Lucas Duda obviously has plenty of raw power. Whether he can harness that and play quality ball in the long run totally remains to be seen.

        Last season, Ruben Tejada at the age of 21 had a better season than Jose Reyes at 21. While he probably doesn’t have the same kind of ceiling, he’s probably better than he’s gotten credit for so far.

        And Daniel Murphy has shown he’s got a chance to be a decent hitter. The question is if they can find a place he doesn’t kill the team with his glove.

        And yes, the young pitchers are probably pretty exciting, but as we all know, There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect. So that’ll have to wait a while.

  6. ikedavisnose - Feb 23, 2012 at 10:30 AM

    Why do I have a feeling the Mets are gonna go 2011 Broncos on us all and do good instead of what everyone thinks and maybe even make the Playoffs……………………Or maybe all Mets are starting to get the same halucinasions (sorry can’t spell for my life) Dickey got on Mt. KIllomajaro

  7. kappy32 - Feb 23, 2012 at 11:56 AM

    Lucas Duda is not a good baseball player & Ruben Tejada is NOT even in the same paragraph as Jose Reyes. Torres is an upgrade over Pagan, then again any warm body would be. Mets fans who are excited to see & banking on Duda & Gee to make significant contributions to this team will be sorely disappointed come August when Gee has only a couple of wins with an ERA hovering around 5 & Duda displays warning track power, huge K numbers & an average right around the Mendoza line. I’m a huge Mets fan but this team is not very good & the young players on this team are no better than AAA talent.

    • natstowngreg - Feb 23, 2012 at 4:44 PM

      Lucas Duda hit .292/.370/.482 in 301 AB for the Mets last season, with 10 homers. He struck out 57 times — not good, not terrible. Before running down your own team’s players, you might do a little checking.

      BTW, have you heard that the Mets are moving the warning track in this season?

    • ikedavisnose - Feb 23, 2012 at 5:18 PM

      You sound like a happy person

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