Tom Brennan - FIFTY REASONS THE METS WILL WIN 90 (OR MORE)
Last year, the Mets won 79 games. Just 11 wins short of 90, the so-called goal for 2014.
Is a 90 or more win season in 2015 achievable? Dude, I have unbridled optimism. I can think of 50 reasons why it is achievable, off the top of my head!
1. HARVEY'S BACK...so substitute last year's 25 starts by guys not in the 2014 five man rotation with a full 162 games of starts from Met elite pitchers in 2015.
2. Wheeler ready to step up and be a big-time hurler. Possible All Star.
3. A full season of Jake the Great deGrom.
4. Jon Niese says he is much healthier than 2014.
5. Thor, Matz ready, willing, and able by mid-season.
6. Gee feels he learned from last year's mistakes and won't repeat them.
7. Colon should be Colon – which ain’t bad.
8. No Valverde dreck.
9. No Farnsworth dreck.
10. A seasoned and perhaps outstanding Familia.
11. A confident and very talented Mejia not learning relief on the job.
12. Edgin ready to go from day 1, unlike 2014.
13. Vic Black ready to go from day 1, unlike 2014.
14. Carlos Torres ready to be real solid once again.
15. Parnell will provide far better pen innings than those thrown by the worst of the other 2014 guys pressed into service due to his absence in 2014.
16. Montero will be another lethal pen arm.
17. Leathersich and Alvarez lie in wait, and will help.
18. Duda only hit his stride in June last year. He has shorter fences and a full season of full stride to show he can be better.
19. Murph is “Murph” (Mr. Consistency) unless traded...if so, Herrera could be better than Murph. Scary.
20. Flores' offense will turbo-charge shortstop. A back up caliber SS won’t be starting most games.
21. Wright now realizes he is mortal, can get hurt, is hence more careful, and has a big bounce back year.
22. Better back up at 1B for Duda in Cuddyer/Mayberry.
23. Better back up at 2B if Murph gets hurt.
24. If Flores got hurt, Herrera or Reynolds give 2015 Mets better SS options.
25. Wright has better back ups at 3B when he needs days off.
26. Grandy will be adjusted to NL, not hit .140 in April, and rejoice with shorter OF fences.
27. Lagares will improve offensively. Take it to the bank.
28. Cuddyer can really hit, while (see #’s 29 and 30).
29. Chris Young really couldn't hit.
30. Eric Young really couldn't hit.
31. Mayberry is .500+ in his major league career in slug % vs. lefties. A major improvement over 2014.
32. den Dekker had a .392 on base % in late season after a .500 on base % for 40 games in AAA.
33. Other 2014 outfield subs (other than Nieuwenhuis) could not get on base in 2014.
34. Dekker is a far better fielder than either of the Youngs.
35. Shorter fences will help our team more than visiting teams.
36. Fan excitement over a more exciting, improved team will spur on the players (Hey, they LOVE US!).
37. A bunch of players trained with Barwis, and claim to be in their best baseball shape ever.
38. Against teams they play the most, Atlanta, Philly, and Miami averaged 76 wins last year. Likely a slight downgrade for those 3 in 2015, making them more beatable for Mets.
39. Nats were 15-4 against the Mets, and only 3 games over .500 vs. other NL East teams. That aberration won’t recur. At least a 4 game improvement vs. Nats.
40. Mets were 21st in runs scored last year. That will dramatically improve.
41. Mets were 28th in batting average last year. That will dramatically improve.
42. Mets were 27th in slugging % last year. That will dramatically improve.
43. d’Arnaud was terrible in the first half, great offensively in 2nd half, playing with bone chips. He will be All Star caliber in 2015. Just watch and enjoy.
44. If Recker falters, Plawecki or Monell are viable alternatives. Last year, there were no viable alternatives.
45. Kevin Long seems to be considered an upgrade as hitting coach.
46. By mid year, there may be a slew of trade chips usable in a trade to get a marquis talent for the playoff run.
47. Minor leagues stand ready to provide quality back up when needed.
48. Nimmo and Conforto may move fast and be of use in late 2015.
49. Excitement of pennant race will spur “Ya Gotta Believe Momentum” in 2015.
50. There are more points that will help Mets in 2015 that elude me for the moment. One is that Collins will have less ability to mess things up due to the superior talent…but I’ll stop here.I’m FIFTY TIMES more optimistic now than this time last year. How about you?