Over the 50-plus years since their inception, the Mets organization has established a tradition of drama. When they win, they seem to win big. When they lose, they self-immolate in spectacular fashion. If I were to tell you a team were Metsing themselves, you’d probably know what I mean. There are likely many reasons for this — the local media, the size of the market, the team itself — but it seems true, nevertheless.
Despite their penchant for theatrics, the Mets have made the playoffs in each of the last two seasons. They’ve done it despite an avalanche of injuries and all sorts of extracurricular nonsense. They went all the way to Game Five of the World Series in 2015, and had the bad luck of running into the buzzsaw of Madison Bumgarner‘s left arm in the 2016 Wild Card game.
They’re by no means done, of course. The Mets still have a dynamic young rotation, and they still have Yoenis Cespedes. That’s a great place to start when building a contender. They’ve also got good secondary players in guys like Asdrubal Cabrera, Lucas Duda, and Neil Walker, and a young bat with a bright future in Michael Conforto. Grizzled veteran? Have some Curtis Granderson. Local hero who’s also a capable utility bat, and can crush lefty pitching? Everybody loves Wilmer Flores. If you believe in miracles, they may even have David Wright (remember him?) back for a game or two. The Mets can play ball.
And yet, they still have so much work to do. The Mets are still on track to go into 2017 with real uncertainty behind home plate and a bullpen that leaves much to be desired — especially once you consider that they’ll probably be without Jeurys Familia for a month or so due to a likely domestic-violence suspension. Jay Bruce still doesn’t really fit onto the roster, especially since the re-signing of Cespedes and the need for Conforto to get consistent plate appearances, and the fact that the National League has yet to adopt the designated hitter.
There are still weeks to go before spring training gets into swing, and there are still plenty of free agents out there. A large number of them are relievers, and good ones at that. The Mets have time to make themselves better and ready for a true contention run. We’ll see if they do that.
We’ve not yet been blessed with Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections for the kings of Queens, nor for that matter have we asked Kevin James for his feelings on the subject. In lieu of these, we’ll turn to our Depth Charts assessment of the Mets, and to their official depth chart. Because there are so many balls in the air with their position players (the health of Wright, whether or not Jay Bruce will be on the team, etc.), let’s focus on the bullpen for now. It’s pretty good at the top! Familia, Addison Reed and Hansel Robles can hold their own. It gets fuzzy after that.
The official Mets chart lists Josh Edgin, Josh Smoker, Erik Goeddel, and Sean Gilmartin. The Mets can do better.
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