First of all: I’m sorry that I disappeared from the blog-o-sphere. My life is a little too busy to devote the time needed to keep up with the Mets and their minor leagues, let alone finding the time to write about it. Someday I may have the time again. In the meantime, I wanted to pop in with some warm and fuzzy thoughts about the 2015 season. David Groveman is checking in, time to put your rose colored glasses on.
10 Reasons to Feel Good About 2015
- Matt Harvey is Returning: He’s coming back from Tommy John surgery and we all know that expectations need to be tempered but we should still be excited. Harvey was singlehandedly a reason to watch the Mets in 2013 and all signs point to him rejoining the rotation.
- Sandy Alderson’s not Sitting Idle: Michael Cuddyer is already on the team, meaning the Mets have only one more glaring need to fill (shortstop) before the start of 2015. Alderson has already added respectability to the Met outfield and lengthened the heart of the lineup significantly.
- More Pitching than Necessary: The Mets are entering 2015 with six major league starting pitchers in the stables. (Assuming one or more isn’t traded) Matt Harvey, Bartolo Colon, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom, Jonathon Niese and Dillon Gee are already proven talents. Rafael Montero, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz are in the wings waiting for their shots. That’s a lot of pitching.
- It’s Not Just Starters: Jenrry Mejia proved he could be a closer in 2014. Jeurys Familia proved he could be dominant in setup. The Mets boast Vic Black, Jack Leathersich and other young relievers ready to step up and contribute and we almost forget that Bobby Parnell is coming back.
- Lucas Duda’s the Man Now: Ike Davis is gone and not coming back. Duda can step into 2015 with the confidence he built with his strong finish to 2014 and really prove to everyone that he’s a major league power hitting first baseman.
- Better Days Are Ahead: David Wright and Curtis Granderson were expected to be the best offensive pieces in the Met lineup. Both had (to varying degrees) difficult seasons. Both Wright and Granderson could and should improve on their 2014 numbers, especially with more talent surrounding them and continued development from Juan Lagares and Travis d’Arnaud.
- Prospects So Close You Can Taste Them: We may be saying goodbye to an underappreciated star during this offseason, but the Mets are only considering losing Daniel Murphy because they feel like they have a great potential replacement in Wilmer Flores. Flores isn’t the only player in the wings. Kevin Plawecki will be in AAA ready to offer support behind the plate and off the bench with his bat, Brandon Nimmo is nearly ready to step into the outfield and Michael Conforto (who might be a better overall hitter than most scouting reports you’ll read) should be on the fast track to the majors. You can even add names such as L.J. Mazzilli and Dilson Herrera to those that might have a major impact on the 2015 season.
- The Benefit of Thrifty Living: We’ll believe it when we see it, but should the Mets find themselves in a real race for a pennant, they should be able to increase their payroll as even there early signing of Cuddyer shouldn’t hurt the Wilpons too badly.
- The End of Ruben Tejada on the Mets: This might be more of a personal victory for me. Even if the Mets are not inclined to sign a free agent shortstop like Stephen Drew, Jed Lowrie, Asdrubal Cabrera or Hanley Ramirez and even if they don’t make a trade for someone like Elvis Andrus, Chris Owings or Starlin Castro, they are unlikely to trot Tejada out as a starter ever again. There is still a chance that the Mets hold onto Murphy and give Flores a shot to nab the starting shortstop position, but no Tejada is an addition by subtraction.
- No More Excuses: Again, we can believe it when we see it, but the Mets are no longer waiting for their young talent. 2015 is now the year that Alderson needs to switch his focus from development to winning. He has the tools at his disposal to do it, we the fans should look forward to seeing it done.
Dear Met Fans,
Be excited for 2015. The alternative is lame.