Mets Have Few Spots Without Questions

Let’s assume for a moment the New York Mets’ health questions – outside from Matt Harvey – are answered in the positive heading into spring training. If that’s the case, then let’s look what issues the Mets’ don’t qualify as pressing.

They don’t have a lot.

As I see it, they are only three deep in their rotation with Dillon Gee, Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler. All have performance questions, but if healthy I’m not overly concerned.

Gee won 12 games last year and 15 should not be out of the question. The same goes for Niese. Who among us doesn’t expect Wheeler to pitch the way Harvey did before he was injured?

Who wouldn’t take that now?

As far as the position players are concerned, the Mets are set in just two spots, and possibly a third. David Wright, of course, and can we please stop trying to replace Daniel Murphy when there are other concerns?

I have no problem with Murphy at second base, and for that matter, I’m also fine with Eric Young in left field, primarily because he surfaced above nine other options to be a productive leadoff hitter. Yes, a high on-base percentage would be good to see, but he made things happen at the top of the order and lead the National League in stolen bases.

And, don’t forget, the Mets only had him for half a season.

The expectations are high for Juan Lagares in center, but he has too many offensive issues. The same goes for Matt den Dekker. Translation: The outfield remains a mess.

There are no answers in the minor leagues and little chips to use to trade. That means they will have to spend, but is there anybody out there that makes you salivate?

I wrote optimistically the other day about the bullpen, but that’s if everything comes together. They appear to have plenty of options to build around, but nothing concrete, especially considering Bobby Parnell’s injury. Should Parnell not come back that’s a source for serious worry.

The back end of the rotation is a concern just as it was last year before Jeremy Hefner and Gee started pitching well. They have options they could bring back and others in the minors, but there’s too much uncertainty.

First base is a black hole and catcher Travis d’Arnaud hasn’t proven he can hit, although the pitchers appear to like him and his defense is promising.

The Mets as we know them today will not be your team come Opening Day. And, that’s a positive.

5 thoughts on “Mets Have Few Spots Without Questions

  1. This is a fair analysis.

    I keep hearing how pitching is a priority, but considering how poor hitting was last year and in previous years I would expect hitting, specifically OF to be the top priority.

    We have no OF who is a lock. We have two marginal OF in Young and Legares. Both play good defense but both are wanting at the plate. Young can run but at 250 hitter he is barely a mlb player.

    I hope we follow the Red Sox model and get a few decent players at a few positions. That would make us better than last year.
    We got lucky with Buck ( for a month ) and Byrd. It will take a lot to replace Byrd.

  2. I think the Mets need to go get a decent pitcher to plug in the rotation. Instead of a reclamation project it would be nice to have a pitcher who can pitch deep and log innings plus take a chance on one other pitcher who may be higher ceiling but has a chance for a good bounce back season. Let the other pitchers in the minors become depth. The Mets need to upgrade shortstop and the outfield. Lets see what Alderson can do. He is now on the clock.

    • Glen: Sorry for the delayed response. Tick, tick, tick. The clock is ticking on Alderson. He’s made several moves already. Nothing yet with impact. I am waiting for a good signing, but I don’t want them to take a long-term gamble on somebody like Choo.-JD

  3. Found the assessment fair, but a bit guarded. I think the Mets can afford to carry Lagares in center considering the defense he brings. I don’t think a 250 batting average as the low end is unbearable. Similarly with Den Decker.Of course, I do hope to see some improvement from both and I think it will happen. Notice how the pitching solidified when these guys joined Young in the outfield. I like the acquisition of Black in the bullpen as a possible substitute for Parnell if he isn’t ready. I think the bullpen is in pretty good shape overall. We need a veteran catcher to supplement d’Arnoud. I wouldn’t mind getting Buck back. We really only need a stop gap player at short to help hold things down till the farm system comes through. Someone who can step in in case Tejada comes back with his head still on wrong. As for first base, if Flores can handle second as well as Murphy, move Murphy to first, put Flores at second and let the fun begin. Of course, any free agent( and there really aren’t many available this year) who we can sign, who provides an upgrade, speaks for itself. If we don’t use Flores, and Murphy stays at second, I don’t really care who plays first provided their last name doesn’t start with “D”.

    • Bob Fila: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I hope you’ll return and keep commenting. I agree the pitching improved with the better defense. The Mets might gamble and not throw a long-term deal to a so-so outfielder and give Lagares and Matt den Dekker a chance to hit on the minor league level. … As far as first base is concerned, I can’t say either Davis or Duda is the answer. The only thing for sure is they can’t keep both and this has to be the last chance for both to prove themselves. Murphy or Flores won’t get a shot there is either is still on the roster.-JD