Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Mets Have Room For Improvement Over 2011

Yesterday afternoon, New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson spent the better part of an hour on the air with Mike Francesa on WFAN. Their topics varied in what I would describe as a pretty good interview on Francesa's part, ranging from the team's lineup, to their finances, to the outlook for 2012 and even Sandy Alderson's recently foray into the realm that is Twitter. A lot was said, but there was one exchange that stood out to me.

After Alderson remarked that he believes this year's team could post a better record than last season, Francesa correctly queried the notion that the Mets had overachieved for the majority of last season. Alderson said in defense, that if you look back at the Mets roster from 2011 that no one, with the exception of Jose Reyes, had a career year and everyone has room for improvement entering 2012.

To be fair, its an interesting notion and one I hadn't thought of prior to hearing it this afternoon, but here is a quick look at where some of the major players on this roster can improve.

Lineup - The void left behind by Reyes and Beltran is not one that will be easily filled by the players that remain, however consider this:
- David Wright, who missed significant time with injury, had without question the worst season of his career (.254BA/14HR/61RBI).
- Jason Bay hasn't been right since the day he arrived in Flushing, but went on a solid tear in the month of September. Can he build on it?

Rotation - The addition of a healthy Johan Santana, at even a moderate level of effectiveness will greatly aid the Mets 2012 rotation, but there is plenty more to be gained there.
- Mike Pelfrey has proven he can win 15 games and just as quickly proven that he is his own worst enemy. We may never know how good Mike Pelfrey really is, but I feel confident in saying he's better than the seven win season he posted in 2011.
- RA Dickey had a hard luck season in 2011. After a tough April he pitched well for the remained of the season, but received no run support for his efforts. Fact is, he pitched much better than his record.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not buying into the notion that this group of players is a playoff team, but that doesn't mean Alderson's point isn't valid. If some of these players can rebound and the team as a whole can be a healthier group, there is no reason the Mets can't claw their way to a moderately successful season.

What I'm getting at is, I didn't really think this was a 65 win team before the Alderson interview and I definitely don't now. While they have more questions than answers, there is plenty of talent on this team. Can they put it all together? I suppose we'll see, but in the meantime it is nice to see the team through a not so negative lens, even if the moment is fleeting and the notion that the team has enough depth to put together a quality season is an erroneous one. And as they say, that's why they play the games...

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