The Five Questions Terry Collins Must Answer In Spring Training

Spring training is finally here, and with it comes several issues the New York Mets must address. A lot of things must break right if they are to contend for a wild-card, but manager Terry Collins has five key questions to answer if they are to have a winning season, something they haven’t had since 2008:

COLLINS: Has questions to answer.

COLLINS: Has questions to answer.

Q: WHO WILL BE THE FIFTH STARTER?

A: Ideally, it should be Jenrry Mejia, but if the Mets are thinking they could have a winning season, Collins could go with veterans John Lannan or Daisuke Matsuzaka. “I’ve always said those veterans can really get you out of the blocks,’’ Collins told reporters in Port St. Lucie Friday. “Then, when those kids are ready, they’re the ones a lot of times that bring you that extra energy, especially late in the summer.’’ Perhaps one of those kids could be the 24-year-old Mejia, but the Mets have eyes on Noah Syndergaard.

Q: WILL BOBBY PARNELL BE READY BY OPENING DAY?

A: We might not know the answer until they break camp. Parnell underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck and wasn’t supposed to throw off the mound for two weeks. However, he threw 10 pitches Friday and reported no discomfort. Of course, with a pitcher recovering from surgery, it is always the next few days that count. If healthy, Parnell is the closer. If not, Vic Black gets the first opportunity.

Q: WILL THE IKE DAVIS SAGA EVER END?

A: It sure would be nice. The Mets tried to trade Davis since October, but reportedly their asking price was too high. Davis kept tabs on the rumors and acknowledged he is surprised to be in Port St. Lucie. “The articles would say I wasn’t going to be here, so [it’s] a little bit of a shock I didn’t get traded,’’ Davis told reporters Friday. Davis goes into spring training as the projected starter and Collins said he’ll get at least 90 at-bats in hope of avoiding another slow start. The Mets haven’t said whether they’ll keep both Davis and Lucas Duda on the Opening Day roster.

Q: CAN RUBEN TEJADA BECOME THE PLAYER EXPECTED OF HIM?

A: Your guess is as good as mine. The Mets soured on Tejada last year, but after his dedication in attending a fitness camp in Michigan are prepared to let him keep his job. Collins hedged on making a formal announcement and mentioned Anthony Seratelli as a back-up infielder. The Mets also plan on giving Wilmer Flores time at shortstop, where he played in 2011. Flores is potentially a better offensive threat, so if he takes to the position it could be interesting.

Q: WHO WILL BE THE LEADOFF HITTER?

A: The answer could also finalize the outfield alignment. Collins stated a preference for Eric Young, who stole 38 bases last year, but must improve his .318 on-base percentage. Tejada, Chris Young and Daniel Murphy have been mentioned, Eric Young gives the Mets a base running threat they’ve missed since losing Jose Reyes. If Eric Young gets the job he’ll play left field. There have been whispers of moving him to second and Murphy to first. However, that would entail breakdowns by both Davis and Duda. As far as second base, Eric Young has only played 56 games at the position. It will take more than a few games in spring training to learn the position. Assuming Eric Young in left, the rest of the starting outfield would be Curtis Granderson and Chris Young, meaning Juan Lagares would probably be optioned.

ON DECK: It’s reporting day; Kyle Farnsworth talks.

8 thoughts on “The Five Questions Terry Collins Must Answer In Spring Training

  1. I am not worried about 5th starter.ideally its one of the kids as they have proven to be more dependable and more effective.

    Closer- I saw that report of 10 pitches, but I would think it will take a few months or more to get his strength and control back

    Ike – I just don’t believe anymore. If he has a breakdown I would put Wilmer there and see what he can do. I don’t trust Luke.

    Ruben – I would like to see the player I saw 2 years ago. At this point I prefer Drew on a one year deal.

    The big question, outfield. Everyone likes EY’s speed and energy. I am less enthused about the bat. He is a 250 hitter. Does that get it done? Apparently with the Mets the answer is yeas as we are projected to offer an OF of 250 or less hitters which I am so pissed off about. In my mind EY is a nice 4th OF. He can come in as a defensive replacement or a pinch runner. Over a whole season he will steal some bases, but is that enough to compensate for a minor league bat? His other teams saw his weakness and he was on the bench. Why are we so hot to make him a starter? The outfield is why I hate the team. It is full of washed up , never was players with no hope. Our goal is to be a playoff team in two years. At least that is what I want our goal to be. This offseason we did not advance that goal.

    Our #1 priority was to get one outfielder who can play for us the next 5 years. We spent the money and did not do that. Instead we got rentals. We do not have the players in the minors to fund our OF. Our best hope is to put Lagares out there and see if he is legit. Put a good glove, good bat player next to him and next year get someone else for the other OF slot or hope one of the A ball players makes noise in Aa so we can wait. Or possibly hope our minor league juicer is enhanced enough to play OF.

    However the GM put out band aids as our team sucks. So we make a big deal about Grandy ( including quotes from Capt America ), and some other guy we hope will morph from a 200 hitter to someone who hits 260 or better and 20 hr or better. All in the hopes that this smoke and mirror dog and pony show will give the fans hope that we don’t suck rotten eggs. The same strategy by the way that the former GM used with success until he was run out of town.

    Our strength is pitching and I give all the credit to our GM for teaching, promoting and acquiring arms. However our position players suck. We do have some hope in middle IF as we had some nice players before he arrived ( like Wilmer) , and he has continued to get new ones.

  2. Chris Young might be this year’s Byrd or Hairston. How about 250-15 hrs- 75 rbi- 15 SB? That would be something.

    • Yes. He could be. Hairston wasn’t that good. He was a passable OF, but just barely with a bat that didn’t suck.

      How did he do with his new team?

      This guy Young hit 200 last year. He is supposed to jump up 50+ points? That’s hard to believe.

      He might surprise me but I doubt it. I think its possible for pigs to fly but I can’t prove it.

      • I still think a major league player with a 250 avg sucks. The only players with that avg should be a slick fielding ss or a stud defensive catcher.

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  4. When will ownership wake up and realize that the fan base is irate. Attendance will continue to decline until Fred & Jeff allocate the necessary funds to build a winner. The team imported some decent pieces but payroll has remained flat. The Mets will not win with these payroll restrictions. This whole offseason has been about bait and switch. I have been a met fan for over 30 years and I am amazed at the way this team is run. How can they think they will contend with minor leaguers at 1B, SS and the outfield?. The only legitimate outfielder is Granderson. We are built around pitching but we are not going to play Lagares, the best CF on the team. We don’t have money to spend but the GM spends $7 million on Chris Young? I really feel sorry for Terry Collins. He is going to be the scapegoat when this whole thing falls apart. Fred needs to realize that until he reinvests back into the payroll the fans are not going to buy this product. If Fred is still unable to financially support this team then just be honest with the fans.

    • james: As for Collins, all managers are hired to be fired. Collins knew what he was getting into. … No argument from me on C. Young. … I understand the payroll restrictions, but their financial hole has been so deed and it has taken time to crawl out of it.-JD