SportsPickle is previewing each MLB team in the lead up to Opening Day 2010.
Today:New York Mets (2009: 70-92, 4th in NL East)
STARTING PITCHING AceJohan Santanais as good as there is. But after Santana in the rotation it'sMike Pelfrey(5.03 ERA, 1.51 WHIP),John Maine(4.43 ERA), andOliver Perez(6.82 ERA, 1.92 WHIP). And that's it. Many have called the Mets rotation hopeless. But obviously New York's brass sees something in these guys because there is absolutely no one else. And I mean nowhere. Not in the bullpen. Not in the minors. Nowhere. Not a Plan-B. Not a safety net. Not an experimental option. Nothing. Zero. These are legitimately the four best guys the Mets can possibly put on the mound at the start of a game. Really. Mets management must beextremelyconfident in them. That's the only explanation. Right?
LINEUP New York's lineup is full of big names inJose Reyes,David Wright,Carlos Beltran,Jason Bay, andJeff Francoeur. After a 2009 season that saw the Mets wracked by injury, the trick this year will be staying healthy. Although, if they don't, with the name recognition these guys have, each of them has a shot at getting a rare disease named after them like Lou Gehrig. And that would be kind of cool.
BULLPEN CloserFrancisco Rodriguezbrought some stability to the Mets bullpen last year in what was, by far, the worst season of his eight-year career. The Mets bullpen, everybody!
BENCH Fernando Tatis,Gary Matthews, Jr.,Henry Blanco,Alex CoraandMike Jacobsmake up a crowded Mets bench. And it's especially crowded on road trips because managerJerry Manuelsits there with his suitcase in case he gets fired and is asked to leave immediately.
OUTLOOK It's not realistic to think the Mets can compete with the Phillies in the NL East. At the same time, things can't possibly go as badly in 2010 as they did in 2009. Or can they? I don't know. I don't have a big brain like David Wright up there.