Thursday, March 15, 2012

2012 MLB Preview: New York Mets

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-Digger's Daily-

2012 will bring another disastrous season in Flushing for New York Mets fans. All factors suggest the Mets will be rebuilding for a long time to come. Only a few short years ago New York's "other" team was considered championship caliber. Times have changed. It all begins at the top.

Years of overspending on broken down veterans cost this club dearly. Not only did the Mets trade talent for over prices duds - they also mortgaged their minor league system which was one of the top farm systems in baseball.

Not too many bright spots for fans to trek into Flushing to see firsthand. Gone is fan favorite Jose Reyes. 3B David Wright is already hurting, again. He promises to be ready by opening day. At this point he shouldn't risk taking the field unless he's 110%. Only Johan Santana returning from a long injury hiatus offers a glimpse of something cheer about.

Around the horn projections: Ike Davis returning from injury at 1B. Daniel Murphy (2B) and Ruben Tejada (SS) form a weak double play combination. Wright hopes closer fences at remodeled CitiField helps power numbers. However, a muscle injured ribcage takes time to heal and strengthen.
From LF to RF: Jason Bay has been a huge bust. Starting slowly in spring training offers no hope - and not helping to create ready, willing and able buyers/traders. Andres Torres in CF (WHO?????). Lucas Duda quickly won over fans in '11 is being given every opportunity to win RF honors.

Josh Thole is the backstop. He'll have both hands full trying to tame an erratic and soon to be overworked pitching staff. There is no staff ace. Santana returns but hasn't pitched a full season since 2008. Mike Pelfrey, Jonathon Niese, R.J. Dickey & Dillan Gee. Good luck vs NL East. Middle men aren't going to scare any hitters unless they're jumping away from wild pitches. Pitching staff is an ugly combination. Frank Francisco (3.72) will try saving games (if the Mets ever have a lead).

Prediction: Mets will have a very difficult time winning games in NL East. Phillies, Braves, Nationals & Marlins can all out hit, pitch, run and defend. 100 losses well within reach. Citifield will continue getting panned from critics (including me). It's taken a long time and hundreds of thousands of complaints to finally get "Mets" owners to recognize former "Mets" players. This is a stadium built with Dodgers & Giants themes everywhere.

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