2010 New York Mets Preview

Rotation
Johan Santana, LHP
John Maine, RHP
Oliver Perez, LHP
Mike Pelfrey, RPH
Jon Niese, LHP

Closers and Setup
Francisco Rodriguez, RHP
Pedro Feliciano, LHP

Starting Lineup
Jose Reyes, SS
Luis Castillo, 2B
David Wright, 3B
Jason Bay, LF
Jeff Francoeur, RF
Beltran/Matthews, CF
Daniel Murphy, 1B
Omir Santos, C
Pitcher

Player in Decline

People have been talking about the declining peripherals of Francisco Rodriguez for several years and it all came home to roost last season. His 1.92 K/BB was the lowest of his career.

Player on the Rise

In his final 266 plate appearances on the year, Daniel Murphy had a .294/.321/.504 line. In the final month of the season, he had a .580 slugging percentage.

Top 5 Fantasy Players
David Wright: Elite
Jose Reyes: Elite
Jason Bay: Elite
Johan Santana: Elite
Francisco Rodriguez: Average

Top 10 Prospects
1. Fernando Martinez, OF
2. Ike Davis, 1B
3. Jenrry Mejia, RHP
4. Wilmer Flores, SS
5. Jon Niese, LHP
6. Brad Holt, RHP
7. Ruben Tejada, SS
8. Josh Thole, C
9. Kirk Nieuwenhuis, OF
10. Jeurys Familia, RHP

Overall team outlook: A staggering number of injuries transformed the Mets from a playoff contender to an also-ran last year. The uncertainty surrounding nearly every key player in 2009, whether due to injury or ineffectiveness, makes the Mets the hardest team to predict in all of baseball. The organization has the talent to win 90 games yet enough question marks to make another 70-win season a potential outcome.

The Starting Rotation: For the Mets to have any chance at all, Johan Santana has to return from elbow surgery to be the elite pitcher he was for them at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009. In a 27-game stretch over the two years, Santana was 16-2 with a 1.98 ERA. They need a dominant Santana because there is so much uncertainty with the rest of the staff. There is no clear-cut order among John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, and Oliver Perez. Maine and Perez each have 15-win seasons under their belt, but both are coming off injury-plagued seasons.

Maine has thrown just 221.1 innings the past two seasons combined and needs to be healthy enough to throw his slider on a consistent basis to be an effective pitcher. Perez has outstanding stuff but is plagued by wildness. The two seasons when his BB/9 was beneath 4.50, Perez combined for a 3.26 ERA. Overall he has a 4.54 career ERA. He is also coming off knee surgery. Pelfrey was the lone starter to remain healthy in 2009, but he posted a 5.03 ERA. Barring a last-minute trade, the Mets will have Fernando Nieve and Jon Niese battle for the fifth starter’s job. Both players had their seasons end with injuries last year. Nieve had an impressive 2.95 ERA last year but that came with a 5.41 xFIP.

The Bullpen: After bullpen meltdowns cost the Mets a playoff berth in 2008, they imported Francisco Rodriguez last season. He had a fine first half but suffered a post All-Star break meltdown. Rodriguez had a 5.52 ERA and a 1.50 WHIP in the second half last year. With his high walk rate, Rodriguez has little room for error and last year everything came crashing down. Rodriguez has made a career out of stranding base runners, with a lifetime 80.4% strand rate. His LOB% was 69.8% last year. Only a .270 BABIP kept things from being even worse. The Mets club needs the first half Rodriguez if it plans to contend in 2010.

The Starting Lineup: The Mets organization hopes the return of Jose Reyes will reinvigorate the lineup. After suffering through various leg injuries last year, Reyes had surgery on a torn right hamstring tendon in October. It remains to be seen if Reyes can once again be the player that averaged 64.5 steals from 2005 to 2008. Luis Castillo had a bounceback season in 2009. His 107 wRC+ was his highest since 2005. David Wright is working with hitting coach Howard Johnson to rediscover his home-run swing. Wright hit just 10 home runs last year after averaging nearly 29 homers the previous four years.

Jason Bay was targeted as a free agent because the Mets thought his pull tendencies would allow him to hit homers in Citi Field. Bay has hit more than 30 homers in four of the past five seasons. A .343 BABIP helped Jeff Francoeur to a .350 wOBA last year with the Mets, and the club hopes that is the real Francoeur, instead of the one that had a .286 wOBA in 2008 and a .278 in 2009 with Atlanta. Carlos Beltran will miss at least the first month of the season after undergoing knee surgery in mid-January. Angel Pagan and Gary Matthews Jr. will fill in during his absence. Daniel Murphy and Fernando Tatis will form a platoon at first base. Murphy led the team with 12 homers last year while Tatis had an .822 OPS versus LHPs. After spending most of the season in a pointless chase for free agent Bengie Molina, the Mets have an unsettled catching situation. Josh Thole is likely to start in the minors to work on his defense while Omir Santos and Henry Blanco battle to see if either can post a .700 OPS.

The Bench: Matthews replaces Jeremy Reed as a reserve outfielder, and brings a 92-point increase in OPS. Alex Cora returns as the primary middle infield back-up. Blanco was brought in mainly for his defense. Pagan was a pleasant surprise last year in his most extended playing time in the Majors. He opens the year in center for Beltran and may see time in right if Francoeur struggles. Tatis is a solid backup at the corner infield and outfield positions and can even play second base in an emergency.




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vileviesher
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bellerosedmu
Member

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