- First thing's first...This season I will be attending 6 Binghamton Mets games. I hope to be able to chat a bit with a player at each game and to do as much in person analysis as I can. I also hope that the schedule falls in such a way that I will get the chance to see a different starter each time. I will be at the April 18th, May 16th, June 13th, July 18th, August 8th, and September 5th games if any readers in the Upstate New York area wish to join.
Now on to the Morning Report.
2 NL Players will rebound bigtime after missing injury time in '14; Paul Goldschmidt and David Wright #MARKITDOWN(Chris Soto: To be fair....Goldschmidt is not exactly a rebound...He was having a monster season before he got hurt. As for Wright, you guys realize that he can surpass last year's production with just 2 good months? Even if he's only 80% of the player he used to be at his best, that is still a Top 5 MLB 3B due to the position becoming so weak. After Donaldson, Seager, and Rendon [Arenado is pretty good too] the rest of the field is pretty average.)
— Rich Coutinho (@coutinho9) February 18, 2015
Adam Rubin | ESPN New York - " Bobby Parnell indicated that he has not been promised anything directly by manager Terry Collins. Still, Parnell expects to assume his former closer's role immediately after being activated from a season-opening stint on the disabled list. Collins has suggested during the offseason that the closer's job should revert to Parnell when he is ready. Parnell doesn't expect to need to be eased back into the role at the major league level, either."
(Chris Soto: Look I like that Parnell is determined to come back in Day 1 and start dominating people in the 9th inning.....but that's just not the case. Injuries take time to come back from especially elbow injuries. I personally think that Mejia's is a better fit as a closer than Parnell. We saw it last season, whenever Mejia WAS NOT in a save situation, he struggled to find that energy and bulldogness than he uses as a weapon. Parnell is more calm, cool and collected which is a better multi situational fit.)
Mark Simon | ESPNNewYork.com “The Mets are talking a good game in the days leading up to spring training. GM Sandy Alderson made news last week when he set a 10-win improvement as a target for 2015. This fits in well with our annual look at what the Mets need from their players (from a statistical perspective) to be a playoff team. The Mets finished 2014 with 29.6 wins above replacement (WAR). That ranked 19th in the majors (they ranked 16th in wins). A 10-win improvement is roughly the equivalent of a 10-WAR improvement. A 10-WAR improvement from 2014 would give the Mets 39.6 WAR this season. Nine teams got at least that much WAR from their rosters in 2014. All nine won at least 88 games. The average win total among them was 91.8. Eight of those teams made the playoffs, the one exception being the Mariners, who were eliminated on the season’s final day (a scenario Mets fans know well).”
(Herb G: Simon’s article makes an interesting read. (Click on the red link above to read the full article.) His point is that an additional 10 WAR in 2015 would likely result in the Mets making it to the post season. He then goes on to show how the Mets could do just that, defining the WAR of each member of the team required to get to a total of 40. His scenario involves both Wright and Harvey coming back healthy, deGrom and d’Arnaud merely repeating their 2014 performance, Wheeler continuing to develop, Flores doing what the pundits predict for him, Cuddyer and Granderson being better than mediocre, and a few other things. When you look at it point by point, it does not seem unreasonable. Lets Go Mets!)
Steve Schrieber | Amazin' Avenue - "What can Duda do in 2015 to improve? While a repeat of his 2014 season would certainly suffice for the Mets, cutting down a bit more on the strikeouts would likely help him push his batting average and on base percentage up to more superficially appealing levels. As it is, Duda improved his strikeout rate by 4% from 2013, a large gain in and of itself, but outside of his excellent 2011 when he struck out at just an outlier 16.4% rate, Duda has never lived below the 20% range.
(Chris Soto: As much as I want Duda to success...I recognize how difficult it is to be an offensive player in the MLB nowadays. 1B is actually the one area on the team I expect to regress in 2015. Not because Duda isn't playing well, it more based on the fact that I just don't think he gets to 30 HR again. Right handed pitchers are going to pitch around him a bit more so I would safely say 25-27 is a good number with some more doubles. I also think a healthy David Wright is going to steal some of his RBI production.)
Brian Joura | Mets 360 - "Only an extreme pessimist doubts Lagares’ defensive chops at this point in time. Not only is there seemingly no concern about his ability to hit MLB pitching, all indications are that he will serve as the team’s leadoff hitter in 2015, even with his career .295 OBP against RHP. While most of Lagares’ offensive gains in 2014 can be traced directly to his BABIP, one area where he made a noticeable improvement was in the running game. Will a move to the top of the order indicate Lagares will run even more in 2015?
(Chris Soto: Brian correctly points out that Lagares did have a .341 BABIP in 2014 and that did lead to a higher than expected batting average. The crew over there is expecting a .270/.320/.370 slash line which is a bit worse than last year. However, they are also expecting an uptick in HRs and SBs so the two ends of the spectrum balance each other out. Frankly, I'm ok with a .270 avg but that OBP needs to be a bit higher if Lagares wants to stick in that leadoff role.)