It’s a new year and a renewed hope in the New York Mets organization for 2015. Gone is the mentality that this team is “building for the future”. The future is now. In 2014, the team was considered up and coming and finished in second place.
This year, they will take no one by surprise. With that said, there are many things to look forward to in the upcoming year and not just during the season. As the calendar turns, so does the MLB schedule of events. It will be a very busy next few months before the team even takes the field.
First, on January 6, the Hall of Fame announces their newest inductees. At the top of the short list of players that just missed out last year and are favored to make it in this year, is Mike Piazza. If he makes it in, there will be plenty to talk about. For example, which team will he go in representing?
As we all learned a few years ago with Gary Carter, the player doesn’t have the final say in that. If he goes in as a Dodger, it will spark quite the controversy. If he does make it in, it should make for a very fun summer for Mets fans.
Then again, if he doesn’t make it this year, there will, also, be plenty to talk about. I’m sure PED’s will be at the top of that conversation and I’m sure that debate will go on for yet another year.
Secondly, is the offense. There are several things to consider when talking about the offense. With the highly anticipated return of team captain, David Wright to the lineup, the offense seems once again balanced. If he is completely healthy, can he rebound back to the player he once was?
It, also, will be interesting to see how Wright’s pal Michael Cuddyer adjusts to the confines of Citi Field as opposed to hitter-friendly Coors Field. Is Daniel Murphy going to be the same hitter he was prior to his injury last year? Was last season a fluke or a coming out party for Lucas Duda and Travis d’Arnaud? Can Curtis Granderson build off of last season and be the strength at the top of the order that the team needs?
In addition, a healthy offense with a new hitting coach will be a refreshing sight. For example, and speaking of Granderson, new hitting coach Kevin Long has been credited for helping Curtis Granderson improve in his career against lefty pitchers.
If he can do the same with Granderson again, Lucas Duda and the others, this offense could be lethal. Of course, that is predicated on him helping them adapt better to Citi Field. He’s not in small Yankees Stadium anymore, after all.
Finally, is the complete pitching staff. With two major pitchers returning from injuries and adding to a young, dominant starting staff and bullpen, the culmination could be special. Matt Harvey is most likely going to be ready by the team home opener.
Add him to Zack Wheeler, reigning Rookie of the Year winner, Jacob deGrom, Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon (most likely), you have an imposing rotation for the National League to face. If they continue to go deep into games and give quality starts, they can hand the ball over to a lethal bullpen to close out the final three innings and secure a win.
This staff and bullpen combined could be on auto-pilot when given a lead. That can result in a lot of wins. Shortly after the return of Harvey, the team will see the return of Bobby Parnell to the back end of the pen. Add him to a confident Jenrry Mejia and Jeurys Familia, the last three innings are all but secured.
All we have to do is go as far back as last season’s Kansas City Royals to see what a dominant bullpen can do. The concept can and, most likely, will be the same in Queens, thanks to these three.
In closing, the 2015 version of the New York Mets and baseball, in general, should give us a lot to look forward to in the coming year and it all starts in just a few days.
Happy New Year, Mets fans!