Can we please have a reality check in the wake of the New York Mets losing Matt Harvey for the remainder of this season and possibly all of 2014?
In some ways the Mets overachieved this year, but not to the point where they should be considered favorites next summer, or the following one, even with Harvey.
HARVEY: Even with him, Mets have issues.
The Mets are a flawed team, and considering they just traded their two of their top three home-run and RBI leaders in Marlon Byrd and John Buck, they are even more scarred.
Without Harvey, and with Jenrry Mejia and Jeremy to have surgery, Dillon Gee, Zack Wheeler and Jon Niese are the only givens in next year’s rotation. And, Niese is coming off a slight rotator cuff tear and Wheeler will have only half a season experience on his resume.
It is imperative the Mets go on with the belief Harvey will be out indefinitely and add one or two starters. Please don’t say Daisuke Matsuzaka is enough, and even in jest, don’t suggest bringing back Johan Santana.
The Mets like catcher Travis d’Arnaud’s future, but he’s only played a handful of games. They’ll miss Buck, not only for his bat, but his ability to handle pitchers.
First base has the unappealing options of Ike Davis, Lucas Duda and Josh Satin. There’s also a hole at shortstop, with Ruben Tejada fading into past tense and Omar Quintanilla a reserve.
Second baseman Daniel Murphy could be gone, especially if the Mets opt to go with Wilmer Flores.
Left and center, as of now, appear set with Eric Young and Juan Lagares, with neither having much power. Right field, as it was this spring, is wide open. Maybe they’ll bring back Byrd. Who knows?
The bullpen has pitched well for the most part in the second half, but with Bobby Parnell facing surgery on his neck, it will be patchwork all over again.
General manager Sandy Alderson has been pointing to 2014 since he got here, saying once several bloated contracts were off the books the team will have liberty to spend.
The timetable has been pushed back at least a year with Harvey’s injury, but that’s no excuse for him to sit on his hands this winter. The Mets have at least two winters of spending before they’ll have a competitive team around Harvey and Wheeler.
They must, even if it is just in keeping with the appearances of their 2014 timetable, be aggressive this off-season.
It’s the least they can do considering all the talking they’ve done.
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