The New York Mets 2013 Roster: State Of The Union
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Monday December 31st, 2012
(There’s a still reason to come to
Shea Citi this year (or why you should watch the 2013 Mets)
Stephon Johnson ( Baseball Writer and Mets Correspondent): Follow @stephonjohnson8
–You knew someone had to go:
The Mets had a few decisions to make during this current offseason regarding personnel. Stick with Cy Young Award winner (and franchise folk hero) R.A. Dickey or stick with franchise face and soon to be Mr. Met David Wright. While general manager Sandy Alderson might have tried as hard as he could to keep Dickey at Citi Field for a price that would appease the cash strapped Wilpons, the situation ended up like the plot to Highlander: there could be only one.
But where does that leave the team and the fans who make the trek out to Flushing? Playing in a NL East that features a World Series contender in the Washington Nationals, a perennial playoff team in the Atlanta Braves and the “not-as-good-but-still-better-than-you” Philadelphia Phillies, the Miami Marlins are the only team standing between the Mets and last place in 2013.
But Mets fans should still come to Citi.
The young infield of Ike Davis at First Base, Daniel Murphy at Second Base, Ruben Tejada at Shortstop and David Wright at Third Base should be interesting in their development as a unit. While Tejada could never replace Jose Reyes’ defensive and offensive acumen, his consistent good average, decent on-base percentage and solid defense (.289 Average, .333 OBP and .974 Fielding Percentage) is something to build on. Manager Terry Collins should expect nothing more than a slight improvement with on-base percentage and a slightly better batting average. The hope is that he stays healthy for a full season as Tejada’s 114 Games Played in 2012 was the most in his young Major League Career.
Despite a slow start, Ike Davis finished with 32 Home Runs, 90 RBI, a 110 OPS+ and .462 Slugging Percentage. But Davis needs to cut down on his 141 Strikeout total in 2012 to take the next step. And let it be known that 2013 is all about the Mets infield (excluding Wright) taking the next step. Daniel Murphy needs to find the power he is capable of displaying when needed. Six Home Runs in 156 Games simply won’t work.
While there’s something to look forward to with the Mets’ infield, the Mets’ outfield, on the other hand, is a wash from last season. Lucas Duda, Mike Baxter/Collin Cowgill and Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Excluding recent acquisition Cowgill, the Mets outfield achieved an OPS+ of 98, 115 and 91 respectively. But many Mets fans might consider the outfield addition by subtraction with Jason Bay no longer in the orange and blue. Unless Alderson has something up his sleeve, this Mets outfield will be the one fans are stuck with.
The acquisition of catcher Travis d’Arnaud from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Dickey was widely seen around the league as a great deal for both teams. With d’Arnaud (and catcher John Buck) coming to New York, the Mets got top prospect who’s major-league ready and catcher who can hold the fort before d’Arnaud’s called up in late April/early May. Hitting .333 with 16 Home Runs and 52 RBI in 279 At-Bats in Triple-A last season should get Met fans excited to watch the beginnings of a potential franchise player well after Wright’s skills have entered the downward spiral in his mid-30s.
Johan’s No Hitter Highlighted the 2012 Year
And that leaves the pitching. Even in some of the franchise’s worst years, good pitching could be found somewhere and with a rebuilding team looking to show improvement in 2013, these years Mets are no exception. Yes, R.A. Dickey is gone and Johan Santana is a shell of his former self due to surgery, but young upstarts Matt Harvey and Zach Wheeler should give the fan base hope for 2014. While Harvey already had a taste of the Major League life as a late-season call up, Wheeler should make his debut in 2013.
It’s going to be rough at times (again) to be a Mets fan in 2013, but if we’re to trust the Wilpons (fat chance), 2014 is the season that will turn things around. With big contracts coming off of the books (like Bay’s and Santana’s) and a buildup of the farm system, the team will look to trade for or sign outfielders, which are at a premium. Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury, Hunter Pence and David Murphy are all free agents after the 2013 season. But this upcoming year could go a long way for tempting any potential talent to see how close the Mets are to doing anything of significance. Now the Wilpons could be selling Met fans yet another pipe dream, but they have no choice but to trust them.
So what’s the state of the union regarding the Mets? It exists and shows signs of life. That’s all you have for now.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com ***
A big thank-you goes out to Stephon Johnson for preparing today’s featured article. Stephon is a staff writer for the New York Amsterdam News where he’s covered news, politics, education, union issues, sports and art & entertainment since 2007. He’s covered the New York Yankees, local College Basketball and the New York City Marathon. His work has earned him awards from the New York Association of Black Journalists and the Ippies (which awards New York’s independent, community and ethnic media). His work has appeared in various publications and websites like Beyond Race Magazine and Baeble Music.com. A native of The Bronx, he now resides in Astoria, Queens. Feel free to follow Stephon on Twitter and talk the game of baseball Follow @stephonjohnson8
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Posted on December 31, 2012, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged @stephonjohnson8 on twitter, Atlanta Braves, colloin cowgill, curtis granderson, cy young, daniel murphy, david murphy, david wright, hunter pence, ike davis, jacoby ellsbury, jason bay, johan santana, john buck, jose reyes, kirk nieuwenhuis, lucas duda, matt harvey, mets ownership group, Mets Payroll 2013, Mets Roster 2013, miami marlins, mike baxter, new york mets, NL east, philadelphia phillies, r.a. dickey, ruben tejada, sandy alderson, terry collins, travis d'arnaud, washington nationals, wilpons, zack wheeler. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.