August 26th 2013 was a day that is unfortunately making every Met fan look forward to 2015. Now just hold on. Why are we putting off plans that were made when Zack Wheeler was dominating – that 2014 was the year to dominate? Did the Cardinals give up when Adam Wainwright went down, or years before when Chris Carpenter went down? No. John Smoltz missed all of 2000 and yet the Braves made it to the NLCS. AJ Burnett went down and the Marlins won it all. Granted, these were teams that were already good and had players to replace them. So do the Mets. There are still ways that we can contend in 2014.
Before R.A. Dickey was traded or Santana went down, Harvey was projected to be the 4th starter partially because he was considered a risk having been called up that early. Wheeler was called up on Super Tuesday and that was a risk because some didn’t think he was ready. I believe the Mets need to take more risks with their pitchers. I know what the average reader is thinking, “Harvey was a risk and now he needs Tommy John Surgery.” Well, it’s called a risk for a reason. The Mets have a bunch of starters that can be called upon to make a difference in 2014: Noah Syndergaard, Rafael Montero, Cory Mazzoni, Darin Gorski, and Jacob deGrom. Montero and Syndegaard need to be called up if the Mets struggle.
Whether fans like it or not, Sandy Alderson has built a good offense internally. The Mets will not ever be the Reds, Rangers or Red Sox; we simply don’t have a ballpark for the homeruns. The core players on this team are doubles players that hustle: David Wright, Daniel Murphy, Travis d’Arnaud, and Juan Lagares. These players are shoe-ins for next season whether because of potential or contract. The positions of need coming into the 2014 are the other four positions: Shortstop, First Base, Right Field, and Left Field. If Alderson lets Harvey’s injury affect him too much, then Ruben Tejada, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Eric Young Jr. and Matt Den Dekker will be playing every day. That is unacceptable. At first base, let Flores give it shot because that will enable him to limit the ankle. In the outfield, try signing Jacoby Ellsbury or Shin-Soo Choo and attempt a call-up from Dustin Lawley. There are many, many, many options at short, but Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes would be the best fits.
The Mets won games before Harvey, while he was here, and we can win games during his absence. If Alderson decides 2014 is a season to build off of, I will puke because we have been hearing the next season is the year since 2004. I really do appreciate what Alderson has done with an unfixable mess, but he needs to realize that potential is great, but definite is better.