So it seems that a lot of people doubt the Mets this season. However, their pitching staff is pretty much the same with the addition of (when he was healthy) one of the best pitchers in baseball. So with that, I say the pitching staff has improved. They lost a very solid closer in Francisco Rodriguez, but they’ve revamped their bullpen adding the arms of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Ramon Ramirez, which takes some of the pressure off of Bobby Parnell, who doesn’t handle it well. So with that, their bullpen has improved.

Most of the concern centers around the team’s offense, which took a big blow when they lost Jose Reyes. But I think their starting lineup is going to make some noise in the National League this season, especially their two through six hitters. So now I’m on a mission to go and prove myself right. So I compiled all the Mets numbers for the 2011 starting line-up and compared them to what Bill James projects for the starting lineup for the 2012 Mets.

Player HR Runs RBI SB Hits Games
Reyes 7 101 44 39 181 126
Pagan 7 68 56 32 125 123
Beltran 22 78 84 4 156 142
Wright 14 60 61 13 99 102
Bay 12 59 57 11 109 123
Murphy 6 49 49 5 125 109
Turner 4 49 51 7 113 117
Thole 3 22 40 0 91 114
Total 75 486 442 111 999 956

Player HR Runs RBI SB Hits Games
Torres 8 54 31 16 90 119
Murphy 10 60 64 6 139 122
Wright 22 86 90 17 154 141
Davis 25 80 87 1 150 141
Bay 19 73 77 10 125 143
Duda 14 44 53 1 92 100
Tejada 1 24 20 4 57 84
Thole 3 33 42 1 107 114
Total 102 454 464 56 914 964

So when you compare the line-up between the 2011 Mets to the 2012 Mets you’ll see some interesting things. First off, for numbers sake, I just acted like Beltran stayed for the Mets for the full season, which inflates their numbers a bit.

Second off, I’m going to rip on James’ projections a little bit. Not sure why he is thinking Torres is going to drop in stolen base totals (19 in 2011, 16 in 2012) when he is now on a team that tends to steal more than most teams in the league. On top of that, now that Reyes is gone they are going to try to replace his stolen bases, and Torres is going to be the guy called upon. I believe he’ll be around 30, but that’s just me personally.

I think Duda’s home run totals, as well as games played are a little low. James projects him only to play 100 games which is strange because he has no injury history. With the extra games I’d put Duda easily around 20 homers, but again, we’re comparing James’ projections and not mine.

I guess James didn’t get the memo that Tejada is going to be the starting shortstop this season. He projects him to only play 84 games and get 243 at-bats. So, yeah, just about double that and that’s about right.

So let’s compare the 2011 team to the 2012 team.

2011 – 956
2012 – 964

2011 – 999
2012 – 914

2011 – 486
2012 – 454

2011 – 442
2012 – 464

2011 – 111
2012 – 56

2011 – 75
2012 – 102

So 2012 expects to see slight more games played by this starting line-up, eight (2012’s number also only include Tejada’s ridiculous 84 which is sure to be around 120 at least).

2011 had 85 more hits than 2012, which is to be expected after the loss of Reyes and Tejada only projected to get 57. Runs is also a stat Reyes greatly increased, but I feel Torres’ projected 54 is way too low, especially if he is going to be in the leadoff spot for the Mets all season long. But nevertheless, 2011 beats 2012 in these two stats thoroughly.

The runs batted in stat is the one that really surprised me. Though the 2012 team is projected to get 32 fewer runs, they are projected to get 22 more RBIs than the 2011 team. Not sure how they figure that, but the 2011 team had more runs than RBIs, and the 2012 is projected to get more RBIs than runs… so that’s a good thing? I think?

Stolen bases is another Reyes/Pagan stat and with both of them gone there is a huge drop. But I think guys like Torres, Murphy, and Tejada will step up their stolen base efforts to compensate for the loss of the two of them. So I don’t think they are going to steal half as many bases, but there will be a drop from 2011 to 2012.

Now brings us to the last stat; home runs. The 2012 team is projected to get 27 more homers this season compared to the 2011 team. Now part of this is due to the fences being drawn in, but a lot of it depends on a healthy Wright and Davis. If they can both stay healthy I feel they have the ability to hit 30 at Citi Field, which is more than their projected numbers.

So the 2012 lineup is supposed to be much worse with the loss of Reyes, Beltran, and Pagan. And while the hits and runs are down, the home runs and runs driven in are up with the games plated being about the same. Now, do I think this lineup in 2012 is better than the one they had in 2011? No. But it’s not terribly worse.

For 2012 I believe offensively the Mets will be slightly worse. But I think Tejada and Duda are going to surprise a lot of people with their offensive production, and Wright and Bay are going to get back to their hammering home run ways. But then again I’m a very optimistic Mets fan. The main difference from the 2011 season to the 2012 season is the pitching. I feel their pitching has to improve greatly, and that is what is going to lead them to victories this season. Their offense should be able to put up just enough runs to help out what I think will be one of the better staffs in the NL. Again, this all depends upon a healthy John Santana, who is still a major question mark for the season.

7 comments on “Is the Mets’ lineup better than last year’s?

  • Metsense

    The 2012 Mets are a better team than the 2011 team for exactly the reasons you state but they will lose more games than the 2011 team. The Mets were 33-39 in their division in 2011 and their division rivals improved so to expect a better record in those 72 games would be unrealistic. They were 44-46 against the rest of their opponents and could duplicate that. The Mets season will fall apart if there is an injury (or meltdown) in the starting rotation because they foolishly did not acquire another pitcher better than Pelfry or Gee. If Torres should also falter or be injured, there would be no one else major league ready to take his place in CF. Chavez or Ankiel could have provided that insurance. Finally a power hitting LH bat to platoon with Bay if he continues to falter would have been prudent. Seth Smith could have filled that position short term. Some inexpensive,short term improvements to add some depth could have insured that the team would be able to persevere through some minor injuries or failures. Lack of depth, especially at SP may sabotage any chance of competitiveness.

    • Brian Joura

      What did the Phillies or Braves do to improve over a year ago?

      • Metsense

        Papelbon, Qualls and Thome were improvements for Phillie and the Braves nothing. These are the two teams that were already the two best in the division and didn’t regress either. Last year the best the Mets could do against any division rival was play .500 ball (Fla and Atl) and 8-10 vs Nats, 7-11 vs Phi. As of now, the Mets must at least finish 2nd in the division to have a chance at a playoff spot (isn’t that the goal each season?) The lack of depth may sabotage any hope of competing at that level and beating division rivals.

        • Brian Joura

          Madson converted 32 out of 34 save chances last year – I don’t see Papelbon being any improvement over that. Qualls’ strikeout rate has cratered the last few years. Away from Petco last year he had a 5.05 ERA, a 1.570 WHIP and an .817 OPS allowed. Thome’s 41 years old and won’t be able to play DH. He hasn’t played more than 3 games in the field in six years. And they lost Oswalt and Ryan Howard is out for who knows how long. The Phillies are an old team, their payroll is probably maxed out and their farm system is one of the worst ones in the majors. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they fell off significantly in 2012.

  • Bob

    I don’t see a comparison of On-Base-Percentages and/or walks. No slugging percentage either. Additionally, there is no comparison of bench players and what they might contribute.No breakdown of hits with two outs, with runners in scoring position, without runners in scoring position, with the wind blowing left to right, with no wind blowing, etc.
    You can, but you really can’t, predict anything by looking at numbers. Today is the 41st day of the year. On the 95th day of the year it all begins for real. Those are the only numbers I want to watch right now.

    • JC

      This site needs a comment rater so I can give a thumbs down to this comment.

  • RJZ

    Going beyond the stats a little, Reyes had a far bigger impact than may show up statistically. He was a huge distraction on the basepath and that definitely gave the hitters behind him better pitches to hit. Most starting pitchers would rather not work out of the stretch, and ALL starting pitchers prefer to not have to worry about the fastest player in the league trying to steal while trying to get out a hitter. Let’s face it, there is no one on the roster who could provide that kind of distraction.

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