Mets’ Top Questions Heading Into Spring Training

With the forecast for up to ten inches tonight and temperatures possibly getting down to five degrees, what better time to think about the New York Mets, if for no other reason, to wonder about spring training?

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS

QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS

Let’s face it, neither one of New York’s basketball teams is worth thinking or talking about. Those seasons are all but over.

But, spring training? The thought of Florida, and the drive from the airport in West Palm to Port St. Lucie gets the juices flowing.

The Mets say they aren’t finished this winter, but it appears they’ve completed their heavy lifting. Here’s what I consider the top half-dozen issues facing the Mets:

1) Who will be the fifth starter?

A: As of now Jenrry Mejia seems to have the inside track after undergoing elbow surgery. Mejia pitched well at times last season, but the organization suggested his ultimate role is to be determined. Despite the presence of Rafael Montero and Noah Syndergaard in the minor leagues, neither promotion is imminent and the Mets will need a fifth to round out the rotation. If he’s physically ready, Mejia needs the ball. Who knows, he could even prove be a valuable trade chip.

2) Who plays first base?

A: At this rate, Ike Davis will be on the spring training roster. Milwaukee is supposedly their best trading partner, but the Brewers don’t appear in any rush to deal. Perhaps, they are waiting for the Mets’ asking price to fall. Perhaps, they are waiting for the Mets to release him outright. That might not happen as the Mets could be thinking of the July 31 trade deadline. The Mets appear to favor Lucas Duda at first base, and keeping Davis around could prove a distraction. If Davis isn’t going to play, do everybody a favor and let him go.

3) Will Bobby Parnell be the closer?

A: The Mets say they don’t know if Parnell, who is recovering neck surgery, will be ready. If not, Vic Black will get the ball in the ninth inning. Slowly, the Mets have added pieces to their bullpen. There’s always an arm or two that will emerge in spring training. The Mets recently added Ryan Reid, 28, from Pittsburgh. Reid throws in the low 90s and last year was 7-2 with a 2.73 ERA and 1.197 WHIP with Triple A Indianapolis. There could be room for him.

4) What is to become of Travis d’Arnaud?

A: He goes in as the starter, but he didn’t hit enough in his opportunity to warrant the job. Manager Terry Collins said he has faith in Anthony Recker as a reserve, but held back on expressing confidence as a starter. The Mets are more likely to grab a veteran catcher off the waiver wire in spring training rather than make a deal.

5) Who is the leadoff hitter?

A: That remains open, but Eric Young could retain his role if he starts in left field. It is apparent the Mets won’t trade Daniel Murphy and move Young to second base. This could change if Juan Lagares has a strong spring training at leadoff. The Mets have made no promises regarding Lagares, but this much should be obvious: Lagares is better off getting at-bats and playing time in the minor leagues rather than sitting the bench in the majors. To say Lagares has proven all he can in the minors is erroneous thinking. Lagares is far from a being a proven major league hitter, especially considering his propensity for striking out.

6) How much patience will the Mets give Ruben Tejada?

A: There’s nothing imminent in the trade market for shortstop and signing Stephen Drew wouldn’t be a good move. Let’s face it, the Mets aren’t close enough to contender status to warrant signing the veteran the Red Sox didn’t bring back.

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I will attempt to respond. Follow me on Twitter @jdelcos

7 thoughts on “Mets’ Top Questions Heading Into Spring Training

  1. I think all these guys will start. I don’t like Young. Yes he has energy and can run but he can’t hit. I think if Lagares goes to the minors we can have the OF everyone is talking about. But I rather see Juan in Queens.

  2. Jennry Mejia pitched well at times? When did he pitch badly? Bobby Parnell will be their closer. Since Sept 2012 he has a 1.8 ERA. Stephen Drew would be a good signing and I do think they could make a run at the playoffs if they sign him.

    Good Starting Pitching, great talent at AAA (see St Louis if you don’t think that matters)
    Young Power arms in pen (again see St Louis)
    Solid defense
    4 above average offensive players at their respective positions (Drew, Murphy, Wright and Granderson).

  3. Mejia and the others should pitch their way ‘up’ to the major leagues. Let’s sign a 5th starter….give those kids time to prove themselves. Our GM….needs to make at least 2 more BOLD moves, trade or sign a free agent or both. We need more pieces. I really believe something else ‘substantial’ is going to happen before spring training. It HAS too….if we are to be more credible in 2014 and beyond!

  4. Drew is the perfect fit for this team and I think Alderson knows this. I’m not surprised if he gets the 3 year contract he and Boras wanted going into the offseason even if not for quite as much money. Maybe 3 years 39 million. If the Mets sign him they are playoff contenders.

    • Um not really. We don’t have enough talent.

      I still don’t like our OF

      The new guys need to prove they can hit north of 220 and the other one needs to prove he belongs. Then there is ss and catcher. Oh and the bench and the pen.