Does Sandy Alderson really believe the New York Mets are capable of winning 90 games this season?
Reportedly, that’s what Alderson told his staff in an internal meeting this week. He has not made such a decree to the media.
ALDERSON: What’s he thinking?
Ninety wins last year would have tied the Mets with Cincinnati for the last wild-card spot. It would have put them in the playoffs in 2012; tied them with St. Louis for a wild card in 2011; tied them with Milwaukee for a wild card in 2008; and tied them for the NL East lead with Philadelphia in 2007.
That last season, you’ll recall the Mets coughed up a seven-game lead with 17 remaining, losing in the season finale to Miami at Shea Stadium.
David Wright doesn’t mind the projection.
“I love the fact that Sandy is confident in us,’’ Wright said. “I think 90 is challenging, it’s attainable and it’s a good starting point for us.
“You know, number goals, it’s tough to come out and say, ‘I’m going to do this. I’m going to do that. We’re going to do that.’ But I think 90 is a good starting point for giving us something to shoot for and getting guys to understand that mediocrity is not going to be acceptable.’’
A lot of things must break right for the Mets to win 16 more games than last year, which is roughly a 20-percent improvement, despite the loss of Matt Harvey:
* They must remain injury free with their key players.
* Jonathon Niese, who already has a shoulder issue, must win a lot more games than the eight he did last year.
* Zack Wheeler must continue to develop.
* Dillon Gee can’t afford a drop for last season’s 199 innings.
* Bartolo Colon needs another solid year.
* There must be consistency from the fifth starter.
* There must be stability in the bullpen, beginning with Bobby Parnell’s recovery.
* It would be nice to see something from Travis d’Arnaud.
* Ike Davis needs to show he can play this game.
* There must be dramatic improvement at shortstop, whether from Ruben Tejada, or whomever they might bring in.
* Wright needs to re-establish himself as a dominant run producer, so .300, 30 and 100 has to happen.
* Curtis Granderson can’t afford to morph into another Jason Bay.
* All those homers Chris Young used to hit, well, he has to hit them again.
* There should be a breakout years from either Eric Young or Juan Lagares.
* They must have a winning record at home, in one-run games and within the division, all areas in which they struggled the past few years.
Ninety victories is a bold prediction. Meanwhile, I was thinking .500 – which is one more win a month –would be substantial improvement.
With all the variables listed above, I wonder what gives Alderson confidence to think 90 wins are possible. I also wonder what Terry Collins must think.
ON DECK: Mets Wrap.