The Mack’s Mets season has begun. Most Mets fans and writers can’t wait for the season to start. We live for the ending.
This is my opening day 25-man squad based on who’s available to this team now. It really isn’t different than what the team was in 2014 so I don’t expect much of a different end result; however, I do expect the pitching will create a team with at least a .500 record. It will take management and a creative signing (or two) to make them a playoff contender.
This will be in three parts on Sunday mornings:
Part 1 – Players 1-10
Part 2 – Players – 2-20
Part 3 – Players 21-25, Reductions, Waiting In The Wings
The ‘A’ Team:
1. 3B David Wright – You have to assume that The Captain learned a big lesson here about keeping his mouth shut through nagging injuries. He did basically nothing to help the team he is supposed to be leading out of this fog. He won’t do this again. Oh… one warning David… your #3 slot in the batting order may not be safe for much longer, especially if Wilmer Flores keeps hitting both hits and outs as hard as he is lately.
2. SP Matt Harvey – ‘Harvey Day’ will return on opening day and everything changes immediately. Every Mets rotation pitcher will move down a slot, meaning they will rank higher than the opponent they pitched the year before. To start with, the season will have three special ‘days, led by the once and future ace that is determined to prove to everyone he’s better than ever. Sit back folks. This guy isn’t going to need many runs to win games.
3. CF Juan Lagares – My guess is Lagares will represent the Mets in the 2015 all-star game. He’s simply gotten that good. A steady hitter, a premier defender, and now a ++ base runner. I’m so proud of this busted shortstop that used to frustrate Tim Tuefel so much because he couldn’t catch a ground ball hit straight at him. Just put this name down as leadoff hitter in ink until, at least, after the decade ends. And, that’s all team controlled time.
4. SP Jacob deGrom – Wow. What a pleasant surprise and boy, does this make the forming of the 2015 rotation so much easier. On ‘my team’, there are three untouchable starters and deGrom is one of them. I’m expecting a little ‘beginner’s luck’ regression, but frankly, with Harvey coming back and taking over the SP1 slot, deGrom may actually slot up better against the other team’s SP2 and SP3 pitchers. It’s going to be so much easier becoming a playoff team because of players like this.
5. SP Zack Wheeler – Jacob deGrom might have stolen all the headlines this year, but it was Wheeler that strengthened out his game and became the star pitcher all the scouts said he would become someday. This is the third of my ‘no trade’ members of the rotation and, frankly, the other two (Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz) will pitch the first half of the 2015 season in Las Vegas. There simply is no room for them until trades are made plus the Mets want to keep them there for the first half of the season so they qualify for the Super 2 additional year of arbitration. These things matter to teams on the cheap.
Anyway, back to Wheeler… 60% of the Mets games next spring will be special days… ‘Harvey Day’, ‘deGrom deDay’, and ‘Wheeler Day’.
6. 2B Daniel Murphy – (Trade Bait) – On my team, Daniel Murphy will not be traded. Why in God’s name would I trade the best hitter on the team when I have so many pitchers I can ship out?
He’s also solidly entrenched as part of my ‘A’ team. I may revisit trading him around the all-star break, depending on team standing and the progress made by Dilson Herrera in AAA, but even if I only play him until the day before he leaves via free agency, I did the right thing here. ‘Murph’ has always bled Met blue in my book.
7. 1B Lucas Duda – There’s not much more we can ask for from Duda. His only downside (batting average) seems to be made up by his excessive ability to draw a walk (OBP). And, he’s turned out to be one of only a handful of ‘sluggers’ in the National League. I pray that Sandy Alderson can sign someone of equal ability that can be slotted behind Duda in the lineup. This alone, and a little adjustment with the fences, would give him the potential of hitting 40 home runs someday. Wouldn’t that be a hoot.
8. RP Rafael Montero – This is going to turn out to be a great move. No, he doesn’t have one great pitch and his velo is mid-90s at best, but I know in my heart that Montero has the stamina and determination to take over the role Carlos Torres has played the past couple of seasons. He also gives you an emergency 6th starter that can be stretched out in case someone on the rotation goes down.
9. C Travis d’Arnaud – This is the last member of my ‘A’ team, meaning the first nine players listed here are on my ‘do not touch’ list. I don’t think d’Arnaud will ever be the perfect defensive catcher you want these days, but in the Mets world of a limited budget, he is potentially one of the 25 home run hitters of the future. Hell, forget about the future. I expect him to hit around that much in 2015 (I pray that guys like him get off to a good start this time).