The Mets were 70-92 last season, 11 games off the pace to finish .500 and 22 behind the wild-card Colorado Rockies. For the record, they were 23 games behind Philadelphia in the NL East.
They have done precious little this offseason to make anybody believe they will cut substantially into those deficits. At least, little in comparison to the front office comments spouted by Jeff Wilpon and Omar Minaya in the immediate days following the end of the disastrous 2009 season.
Because they know it won’t go over well in selling tickets and creating goodwill, the Mets can’t articulate that their plan is to bring back their pieces intact and hope for the best.
With each passing day that becomes clearer and clearer. Let’s try to put numbers to their thinking.
With the healthy comebacks of Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran, and return to power for David Wright, the Mets picture 85 victories, going under the assumption each player individually accounts for five more wins over the course of the season. That’s roughly three more victories per month.
That’s doable. It gets them over .500, but still out of the wild card picture.
From there, it’s harder to say where the wins will come from. Let’s add four more victories with a healthy return for Johan Santana to give him 17 total and the team 89 on the season.
These are things the Mets’ front office envisions.
Then, there is what the front office – fingers crossed – hopes for, and that would be improvement from Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and Oliver Perez. Factoring conservatively, assuming each wins ten games in 2010, that should be enough to have them contend with the Phillies. Pelfrey won ten games last year, so it’s a wash for him.
Remember, if this improvement comes to fruition, some of those victories will be in the games credited to the Reyes-Wright-Beltran improvement.
Of course, it’s hard to accurately quantify all this. Some of the projecting, mostly in the offense, is based on passed performance.
The pitching, save Santana, is wishful thinking.
Overall, they they are hoping for a lot of good things to happen. Everything has to fall into place and how often does that happen?