Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Predicting the Mets: Bullpen

Ok, so the next group of Mets to look at is the bullpen. This group could be a real strength for the Mets this year, but it could just as easily become a liability. Either way, there are a lot of questions that remain to be answered.

The one player with the best guarantee of a spot is the closer, Francisco Rodriguez. Frankie is coming off a 2010 year that ended premature with his tearing a ligament in his thumb during a scuffle with his girlfriend's father. While the legal fallout from that incident hasn't yet resolved (and hopefully won't be a distraction during the year), his thumb is reported to be fully healed, and shouldn't affect him too much. While Rodriguez is technically in the last year of his contract, he has a vesting option for 2012. The vesting option, which would result in him being paid $17.5 million for 2012 (more than Mariano Rivera ever earned in one season), come into effect if Rodriguez finishes (not saves) 55 games. Games Finished is an MLB statistic that is awarded to the relief pitcher who is last to pitch for a team in a given game. If used as the closer all year, Rodriguez is likely to hit the 55 games number, as the only year in the past six that he hasn't was his injury-shortened 2010. Either way, Rodriguez will be the closer at the beginning of the year, and, he still is one of the best closers in baseball.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Predicting the Mets: Starting Pitchers

Update 3/22 - Added SP spring training statistics at the end of the post.

So, maybe the easiest group of Mets to predict, at least when it comes to who's going to be on the opening day roster, is the starting pitchers. With Johan Santana sidelined for much if not most of the year (if he returns at all), the burden falls to Mike Pelfrey to be the ace of the staff. Pelfrey showed flashes of dominance last year, but what remains to be seen is whether or not he can maintain the level of excellence necessary to be a number one starter throughout the whole year. That being said, if the Mets can get another year like last year's 15-9 with a 3.66 ERA, they'd be happy, especially if Big Pelf can improve his strikeout to walk ratio, and work with fewer men on base.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I'm Back! Predicting the Mets Opening-day Roster.

Well, given the time that's elapsed since my last post, I figured there wasn't really a need to go back and finish out my "State of the Team" series. Instead, I'm going to look forward to opening day and predict the Mets roster as it will look on opening day. I'll start with giving an overview of who I think, and then give some analysis of each group of positions.

So here goes:
C - Josh Thole
1B - Ike Davis
2B - Luis Castillo
SS - Jose Reyes
3B - David Wright
LF - Jason Bay
CF - Angel Pagan
RF - Carlos Beltran
C - Mike Nickeas
IF - Daniel Murphy
IF - Chin-lung Hu
OF - Scott Hairston
OF - Willie Harris

SP - Mike Pelfrey
SP - R.A. Dickey
SP - Jon Niese
SP - Chris Young
SP - Chris Capuano
RP - Francisco Rodriguez
RP - Bobby Parnell
RP - D.J. Carrasco
RP - Jason Isringhausen
RP - Taylor Buchholz
RP - Tim Byrdak
RP - Pedro Beato

Note - Nickeas makes the team due to the 8-game suspension remaining for C Ronny Paulino.

Also in the mix - 2B Brad Emaus, IF/OF Nick Evans, OF Lucas Duda, RP Manny Acosta, RP Pat Misch, RP Oliver Perez, RP Boof Bonser, SP Dillon Gee, RP Blaine Boyer, RP Michael O'Connor.

As I noted, more analysis to follow.