Four Mets Facing Make-Or-Break Seasons

As spring training approaches so might the anxiety level of several New York Mets, all understanding this can be a make-or-break season for at least four of them.

* Let’s first start with the obvious, Ike Davis, whom the Mets had been trying to trade this winter. The Mets’ inability to trade Davis stems from their highly publicized efforts to do so, their high asking price and the glut in the first base market.

Davis struggled through two miserable first halves, and knows his high-propensity for striking out and poor overall hitting approach is wearing thin with GM Sandy Alderson. He knows he can’t produce another .205 average, nine-homer season won’t cut it and the Mets won’t offer arbitration again.

* Ruben Tejada was on the way out as the starting shortstop, but Jhonny Peralta and Stephen Drew wanted too much. Alderson said despite speculation Drew is out of their plans.

Tejada ended the season with a fractured leg, but recovered and worked out twice at a Michigan fitness camp. His effort in Ann Arbor impressed manager Terry Collins, but Tejada needs to show it at the plate and not let his concentration wander in the field.

* Jon Niese as last season’s Opening Day starter. He won his first two starts, but things quickly unraveled following back-to-back sub-32 degree starts in Minneapolis and Denver. Tightness in his back led to shoulder discomfort that forced him on the disabled list.

Niese made only 24 starts and finished 8-8 after winning 13 games in 2012 while pitching while throwing 190.1 innings over 30 starts.

Niese is signed through 2017, and while the Mets have an investment in him, they do get the occasional phone call inquiring.

* Travis d’Arnaud was supposed to get the starting job early last season, but an injury pushed his promotion back. He was one of the key pieces in the R.A. Dickey trade with Toronto.

There are issues with his ability to call a game, block pitches, and above all, his offense.

He had such a small window of opportunity in 2013 that the Mets wouldn’t pull him after a Davis-like start. At least, you wouldn’t think so.

However, if d’Arnaud has a miserable season wire-to-wire, the Mets would listen to proposals, but by that time his value would have dropped.

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5 thoughts on “Four Mets Facing Make-Or-Break Seasons

  1. I disagree with most of these players

    I think Ike is just as good ( bad) as these guys we just got. So while I am upset with him, the team feels his type of player is an improvement

    Ruben – if he plays like he did 2 years ago we will forget all about these ss free agents

    Niese – he is still a quality lefty. I think he is a good #3. There is nothing wrong with that

    D’Arnoud – this is his first year. Everything I read says he is one of the better young catchers in the game. How can we give up on that? Also the guy in the minors is criticized for being too big.

  2. Personally I would have preferred having AJ Piersinsky as our catcher. Young pitching/ veteran catching is what I have liked as a mix. Would have helped DA grow into position. Also great teammate, but brings attitude vs opponents. Would have given this team a little bit of nasty. Just as Ray Knight did in ’86. Yet with Collins DA would not have seen the field with his veteran preferance well known. Young cathers learn from veteran catchers and pitchers.

    • Metfan62: It would have been interesting to have AJ. Veteran catchers are a must and much of Harvey’s development can be traced to working with Buck. Wonder if they would have made a push for AJ if Harvey was healthy. His price wouldn’t fly with the Mets in a building year. If they were on the verge, well, maybe.-JD

  3. • The Mets used 10 pitchers in Thursday’s loss, a franchise record for a nine-inning game. Philadelphia had not swept the Mets in a three-game series in Queens since Sept. 14-16, 2007 — when Jimmy Rollins ‘ “team to beat” prognostication began to be achieved. The official attendance was announced at a season-low 20,100 tickets sold, although no more than a few thousand appeared to actually have attended last night’s game. The Mets failed to exceed three runs for the 16th straight home game, two shy of matching the 1915 Yankees’ major league record. R.A. Dickey told Mike Puma in the Post : “If you think we’re just a piece away, then you are fooling yourself. We’ve got to do a lot of things better.” Read game recaps in the Times , Star-Ledger , Newsday , Daily News and Record . • Left-hander reliever Josh Edgin , who surrendered a homer to Ryan Howard for the second straight day, is being shut down for the season . That was resolved before Edgin allowed Thursday’s ninth-inning grand slam to Howard in the series finale. While his overall innings count is comparable to 2011, Edgin has made 26 more appearances than a year ago. Read more in the Star-Ledger . • Dickey, who is sitting at 18 wins, will face Miami on Saturday rather than Sunday . Dickey and pitching coach Dan Warthen made the suggestion to Collins. It will allow Dickey to pitch next Thursday’s home finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates rather than the follow night at Turner Field against the Atlanta Braves , against whom the knuckleballer has struggled. Overall, Dickey has three starts remaining. Read more in Newsday .