Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What-If: The New York Mets

It's fun to play the what-if game. Like what-if you were President for the day or what-if you won the lottery. How about this, what-if everything went right for the New York Mets this year. I know, I know, highly unlikely and laughable. This franchise might be better off going by New York Mess instead considering all the adversity they're facing. Bad contracts doled out by ex-GM Omar Minaya, the owners scandal and the trickle down effect on the clubhouse, the back-to-back collapses suffered at the end of the season a few years back. Things are bad, but they could turn around...ya know, what-if?

Below are listed the supposed starters at every position and their 2010 stats, along with my analysis of each, and a what-if scenario.

Catcher- Josh Thole
.277/.723, 1.4 WAR in 202 at bats. Makes good contact, but has very little power. Surprised many by gunning down 44% of would be base burglars during his MLB time last year (compared to 18% in Triple-A). Will likely split time with Ronny Paulino, who is a very competent backup. What-if Thole were able to play adequate defense and bat near .300. Helluva bottom of the order threat.

1st Base- Ike Davis
.264/.799, 73 R, 33 2B, 19 HR, 71 RBI, 2.5 WAR. This youngster could have a breakout season in 2011. He has power, plays good D, and hit for a decent average during his brief time in the minors. What-if Ike bumped his average up to the .280ish range and jacked 30+ bombs with 100+ RBI. We'd be saying hello to a top tier 1st baseman.

2nd Base- Ruben Tejada
.213/.588 in 216 plate appearances. It's difficult to get a read on the Mets plans at 2nd, as it could be Tejeda, Luis Castillo, or even Daniel Murphy there. Basically, it's going to be a hodge-podge of ugly. Tejeda has the most upside given his age and athletic ability, but his bat may not be enough to warrant playing time. Minor league line- .273/.696 in 4 seasons. What-if Murphy proves he can handle the defensive rigors of 2nd, takes over there and bats comparable to MLB slash line of .275/.768. That's good for a 2nd baseman.

3rd Base- David Wright
.283/.856, 87 R, 36 2B, 29 HR, 103 RBI, 19 SB, 3.9 WAR. The NL East is home to 2 of the best players at the hot corner in all of baseball. Wright is a perennial All-Star (5 straight years) and is an excellent batter. His defense is overrated, but his skill set is not. What-if at age 28 (typically a prime year for batters) Wright hits his stride and take his performance up another notch. MVP candidate.

Shortstop- Jose Reyes
.282/.749, 83 R, 29 2B, 10 3B, 11 HR, 54 RBI, 30 SB, 2.2 WAR. A great athlete that seemed to peak at age 23. Is a 5 tool player, but continually disappoints. What-if in his contract year Reyes remains healthy and reverts back to his early career success ('06- .300/.844, 122 R, 30 2B, 17 3B, 19 HR, 81 RBI, 64 SB). That's phenomenal!

Left Field- Jason Bay
.259/.749, 48 R, 20 2B, 6 3B, 47 RBI, 10 SB, 1.1 WAR. Something went terribly wrong for Bay in 2010, but he's a better player than that stat line. Expect a bounce back year from this Canadian born former Pirate and Rookie of the Year. What-if Bay is able to produce like he has prior to becoming a Met (first 7 seasons of his career he averaged .280/.885, 83 R, 26 HR, 87 RBI).

Center Field- Carlos Beltran
.255/.768 in 255 plate appearances. His prime years are behind him because he's practically playing with no cartilage in his knees, but his bat continues to be a threat. Should probably move to RF at this stage of his career allowing Pagan to patrol CF, but his pride is getting in the way. What-if Beltran accepted a transfer to RF which put less wear and tear on his hobbled knees and he were able to remain in the lineup on a regular basis.

Right Field- Angel Pagan
.290/.765, 80 R, 31 2B, 7 3B, 11 HR, 69 RBI, 37 SB, 4.8 WAR. Should have won a Gold Glove last season, but ironically didn't hit enough for consideration (figure that one out). This 4th outfielder finally graduated to starter because of opportunity. He's perfect for CF, but for the time being Beltran is stuck there. What-if Pagan reproduces similar #'s to last season.

Bench
Near Locks: Ronny Paulino/C, Luis Castillo/2B, Daniel Murphy/2B/OF/1B, Scott Hairston/OF, Chin-lung Hu/UTL.
Backups: Nick Evans/1B, Fernando Martinez/OF, Lucas Duda/OF, Mike Nickeas/C, Justin Turner/2B, Luis Hernandez/UTL, Willie Harris/OF/2B.
Paulino will likely split time with Thole behind the plate. Castillo should just be released. Murphy is an enigma. Hairston seems sorta pointless, as his at bats could be better spent on Duda or Martinez. This bench is lackluster. What-if Murphy becomes starting 2nd baseman, moving Ruben Tejada to a utility role; and Martinez starts living up to the hype and becomes a fantastic 4th outfielder.

Starting Rotation
Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Jon Niese, RA Dickey, and Chris Young.
Backup Plans: Chris Capuano, Dillon Gee, and Jenrry Mejia.
48-37, 122 GS, 771 IP, 3.35/1.29, 238:524.
Great earned run average from this group, but, and this is a huge Oprah in her hay-day sized but, they're injured, injury prone, or unproven. Pelfrey is good, the rest are question marks. Santana will start the season on the DL. Young hasn't been healthy since the Bush administration. Dickey could be a 1-hit wonder. Niese is...well, Niese might end up being good too. To be fair/unbiased, this staff has the ability to surprise a lot of people this year and keep the Metropolitans around sea level. What-if Johan comes back quickly and healthy, Dickey proves he's a quality pitcher, Pelfrey and Niese contrinue to progress, and Young remains healthy. That's a very good rotation all of a sudden.

Bullpen
Near Locks: Francisco Rodriguez, DJ Carrasco, Bobby Parnell, Manny Acosta, Pat Misch, Taylor Buchholz, Oliver Perez.
Backups: Chris Capuano, Jenrry Mejia, Boof Bonser, Taylor Tankersley, Tim Byrdak, Ryota Igarashi, Blaine Boyer.
K-Rod has a bad reputation and needs to win back Mets fans' hearts and trust, while the rest of the group is mediocre. Well, Ollie Perez actually sucks, but he's the exception. What-if Carrasco proves to be a dependable middle innings eater, Parnell continues to progress, Perez gains some control, K-Rod stays out of trouble, Buchholz stays healthy, and Acosta shows some of the promise he had while with Atlanta. This bullpen would then be respectable.

So, what-if everything did go right for the Mets. Well, they'd have a formidable offense, very good pitching staff, and a legitimate shot at contention (albeit for a Wild Card spot, Philly has the NL East wrapped up).

Contributions from We Should Be GMs:
1. Ranking NL East Catchers
2. Ranking NL East First Basemen
3. Ranking NL East Second Basemen
4. Ranking NL East Third Basemen
5. Ranking NL East Shortstops
6. Ranking NL East Left Fielders
7. Ranking NL East Center Fielders
8. Ranking NL East Right Fielders
9. Ranking NL East Starting Rotations
10. Ranking NL East Bullpens
11. Ranking NL East Benches

*It should be noted I am not a Mets fan; in fact I hate them because my favorite team is the Philadelphia Phillies. I just thought it would be fun to explore the best possible outcome for them, seeing that they've seemed to hit rock bottom.

54 comments:

MetsCast said...

Its Jenrry Mejia, not Jose.

And having Duda or Fernando Martinez on the bench is not good for them. Same for Ruben Tejada. They are all better off in AAA getting daily reps and coming up if there is an injury or roster move.

2B at this point looks to be a platoon of Murphy and Emaus, but that could change. Odds are, Castillo is not making the cut.

Anonymous said...

As a Met fan, I can safely say none of those things will happen.

Anonymous said...

An enjoyable read but some of your info is a outdated. Beltran said he is willing to move to RF if necessary. Tejada has no shot at 2B. And perhaps you are giving a little too much credit to the rotation without Santana. I expect third or maybe second place and no wild card. I think the Phillies however maybe counting too many of their eggs before the hatch too.

-Even-keeled Mets fan

DAVEKUSH said...

What if... this article had an editor?

Phlavio said...

You're what ifs had a few inaccuracies but not bad. Main issue is that Castillo and Perez are likely gone. Emaus will likely be on the bench and you ignored Capuano entirely... not sure why. Otherwise it was a fine write-up.

The last What-if would be if the Phillies have the injury luck for the recent Met teams.

Anonymous said...

you say "the phillies have the nl east wrapped up" but WHAT IF oswalt and halladay start to show their age at 33 and cliff lee gets injured? isnt that what this type of article is about?

Andrew said...

The Phillies' record right now is 0-0. They don't have anything wrapped up. Nice to see a fairly balanced look at things from a Phillies fan. As others said, Tejada will be in AAA all year unless injuries strike again. Brad Emaus and Daniel Murphy are the main 2B competitors. Castillo too I suppose. And don't forget Chris Capuano for the rotation!

Anonymous said...

Very nice read.

And that's coming from a Mets fan.

Anonymous said...

As a Mets fan I understand the reality of what this coming season is likely to be. That being said, there's no point in heading into a new season with your head hanging down so I'm looking on the bright side. It's sort of ironic that I've gotten more positive outlook from this post, written by a Phillies fan who hates the Mets than I have from most of the stuff I've read from actual Mets fans.

Anonymous said...

The Mets have been a what if team for 3 seasons now. For the most part, these what ifs have not panned out or have turned out even worse than expected. Instead of what if Delgado can have another renaissance season, it was what if Delgado has career ending hip surgery. What if K-Rod can put together a vintage season and bounce back from a poor 2nd half in '09, instead it was what if he breaks his hand punching his father in law in the clubhouse. I think you see where I'm going with this.

Anonymous said...

Another sad fact is that the Mets had a number of pleasant surprises last year, and still could not finish over .500. Pagan and Dickey were fantastic, Thole was good, Pelfrey was way better than expected in the first half, Niese was surprisingly good until he ran out of gas at the end, etc. My concern is that 2010 was the Mets' what-if good luck year, they just had too many other problems/injuries for people to notice. :P

GM-Carson said...

I mentioned Capuano for both the bullpen and rotation. I believe his value is in relief. Just my opinion.

My comment about the Phils having the East wrapped up was tongue-in-cheek. I am well aware that games must actually be won for this to happen.

As far as the injury bug hitting the Phils, it hit them pretty damn hard last season. Almost their entire lineup was on the DL and key bullpen figures too.

Anonymous said...

Im a long time new your mets fan,and all this team needs is some heart when things get tough,that said i like the pitching staff very much with pelfrey and niese as the young guns,pitching wasnt the issue last year for the mets slumping late in the year,no run support was the problem,that should improve with ike davis and jason bay picking up their numbers,
As for the 2011 mets a lot hinders on this season,losing assures many will not be back,look for jose reyes to have a breakout year if he can stay healthy,which really is the biggest concern for the new your mets,their ability to stay healthy,
Lack of power is in this line up,no denying it,not enough home runs to clear the bases with one swing,so its little ball for the entire lineup,batting averages will tell the tale of success their,their will be homeruns but not enough to produce runs,this group must hit to get on base,wisdom says they wont,but again winning is a good thing and the new york mets need many good winning streaks to keep the faith where it will need to be,
I see the 2011 new york mets if healthy,winning their division,a new attitude seems to have found this team,new management helped with that,but reasons to believe this will be a good year hinder on whos going to be a new york met in 2012,that should be the fire that lights the production,
If this team proves unhealthy then this will be a season to forget,not enough bench players to fill the walking wounded spots,so again everything hinges on their ability to stay healthy,i have faith in this team,

Love The Mets said...

What if, hell freezes over and Jesus returns tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

I'm a Mets fan who actually respects the Phillies. Their record and gritty wins speak volumes. All these what-ifs are indeed true. However we've been saying that 4 years straight now. Thole will surprise you, Ike is the real deal, Reyes does have huge motivation for a great season and Wright will put up his usual fine numbers. The starters are the problem. Johan wil probably not even pitch this year and the rest are huge what-ifs.

Anonymous said...

As a lifetime Met fan, I've had the paper bag on my head since college. I don't care how they finish this season. I just want their brand of ball to improve.

The men in the front office seem to get real baseball. The coach gets real baseball too. And he's bringing a small roster of (mostly) intelligent, gifted athletes to ST. Who knows? That's what's great about spring in America!

Anonymous said...

FYI: Ryota Igarashi was bought out. Brad Emaus (Rule 5 pick) is a heavy favorite to make opening day as 2nd baseman or backup 2b/3b. Also Rueben Tejada and Mejia will not play in the majors this year.

Otherwise nice job on the article. Esp on Beltran. I hope the Mets do the right thing and stick him in RF.

Anonymous said...

WHAT IF...in 2 years the phillies will be paying 20 million+ to each of halladay and lee, who will be 35 and 34, respectively. and what if the mets have 60 million coming off the books next offseason, while releasing the liabilties of castillo, perez, and beltran. sounds like this might be the last year the phillies will have the nl east "wrapped up"

Safe At The Plate said...

The difference maker for the Mets this year could be Terry Collins. Seriously.

And we should have an above average defense (admittedly with a big ? at second base). Ike's D is often overlooked, and Bay, Pagan and Beltran can all catch the ball.

I also see no reason to doubt Pelfrey, Niese and Dickey. Sure they could go south, but more likely they'll be fine.

My Mets beer mug is half full.

Anonymous said...

good stuff you're forgetting hairston and a few others

Tom Hoefner said...

Fun read. I think some of those could happen, a good number, actually (particularly those involving Wright, Reyes, Pagan, Ike, and Dickey.) BUT Santana won't be back until August. And as others have said (and you admitted this was tongue-in-cheek) the Phillies have nothing wrapped up. I mean, I think they'll run away and hide in the NL East, but don't count out the Braves. I'll be the first to admit that my Mets are the longest of long shots.

Biggest positive what-if that could happen? What if the Wilpons sell the team. To anyone.

Anonymous said...

To echo the comment a few ahead of me, you forgot Emaus for 2nd base. It's going to either go to Emaus or Murphy, but my money is on Emaus. He fits the mold of the organizational philosophy the Holy Trinity of Flushing (Alderson, DePodesta, and Ricciardi) bring to the system. I actually look to Emaus or Murphy (in that order) to be pretty decent at 2nd.

Anonymous said...

what if...you did a little research?

GM-Carson said...

My apologies for forgetting Brad Emaus. But to accuse me of not doing research is foolish on your part. I used ESPN and Mets.com' depth charts when creating this post. On neither of them did they mention Emaus.

Now on to this favored Emaus, he of no MLB experience and was left go by the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the Rule 5 draft. He will be 25 to start the 2011 season and owns a .276/.790 slash line in the minors, with only 364 plate appearances at Triple-A. He does have some pop in his bat and a bit of speed, so expecting 10+ HR & SB is pretty safe. His defense at 2nd seems decent, at 3rd he was horrible. But if Mets fans are couting on Emaus, he's the biggest "what-if" of the entire season.

MetsCast said...

Emaus is in fact on the Mets.com roster. Even if they didn't update it until after you published the article (which isn't the case), he's in pretty much every conversation about 2B for the Mets since the Rule 5 draft.

And you know what a Rule 5 selection means, right? That if he isn't on the opening day roster, he goes back to Toronto. Why would Alderson waste a pick on a guy he has no intention of using?

Anonymous said...

What if the Philliess make it all the way to the W.S. and Cliff Lee (and one of those other scrubs) loses again?

GM-Carson said...

"Scrubs"...c'mon, don't be bitter.

GM-Carson said...

MetsCast- Rule 5 selections are rarely kept. Some are, but I'm guessing about 75% are sent or offered back to their original club.

Also, I said I used the DEPTH CHARTS, not the roster. Emaus is not on the Mets.com depth chart. It goes:
1. L. Castillo
2. D. Murphy
3. R. Tejada

gbaked said...

Just sayin the mets had the 2007 NL east "wrapped up" and the Phills needed a lot of "What Ifs" to go right.

Anything can happen in the game of baseball. It would be a surprise for the mets to get it all together and the phills to fall apart, but stranger things have happened. Expectations can be a hard thing to play against.

Anonymous said...

As a DIE HARD Met fan, I have to give the cliche "this is why they play the games", although I still think the Mets are a season or two away from being a feared contender.

Having said that, the Phils have four #1 starters, 3 of which are 33 or older, and all four who've had back/shoulder/elbow issues, and the Phillie offense could be the best in the NL, or as shaky as the Met offense has been the last few years.

No one expects the Mets to do anything but fight to stay out of the cellar, and the Phils are a lock for the NL champs in most everyone's book, so this is going to be a great season for NL East baseball....BTW, the other three teams in the division are all bonafide contenders for at least a run at the Wild Card.

Anonymous said...

"No one expects the Mets to do anything but fight to stay out of the cellar"

Thats honestly a very dumb, ill-informed comment. No one knows what to expect from the Mets because it's all based on the health of the team. They have a good roster. If the team is healthy, then they're a wild card contender that can actually give the Phillies a fight for the division. Don't forget the Phillies lineup is weaker because of the loss of Werth. I actually believe that the Phillies would have been better with Werth than with Lee. If the Mets are injury riddled, then yeah, they'll be fighting to stay out of the cellar. I'm sick and tired of people counting out the Mets before Spring Training even starts, especially other Mets fans. Look where they were last year at the All-Star Break (48-40).

GM-Carson said...

I remember last year at the All-Star break. Braves and Mets were both ahead of the Phils. Phils ended up with best record in baseball though.

Anonymous said...

As a Mets fan for over 45 years, I can promise you that most "what-ifs" do not occur. The Mets management seems content to write off this season. When the contracts of Perez, Castillo, Beltran and Rodriguez come off the books at the end of 2011, the Mets will get serious about building a contender. This year, unfortunately, the Mets will finish behind the Phils and Braves and possibly the Marlins as well.

Anonymous said...

"They have a good roster. If the team is healthy, then they're a wild card contender that can actually give the Phillies a fight for the division."

No they don't. You are d elusial Mets fan. The bad press every day has gotten to you. They have one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball 1-12. It's terrible without Johan. The Mets don't even think they will be good for a couple of years. So stop drinking the kool-aide.

What's worse is that the Mets probably will have a payroll under $100 million in the future because of the Madoff stuff. This franchise is cursed!

Anonymous said...

"They have one of the worst pitching staffs in baseball 1-12. It's terrible without Johan."

I think you're overreacting a bit. For the Mets pitching staff to be decent, or even a bit above average:

Pelfrey has to perform like he did last year (or even take a small step forward - still a young pitcher)
Dickey has to prove that he's for real - has figured out his knuckleball in his late age, and changes velocity on it which is rare and hard for hitters to adjust to
Niese continues to progress - last year was a really good start for the lefty - no reason why he can't at least reproduce last year's numbers
Young and Capuano stay healthy - both have been effective in the time that they've been healthy in the last couple seasons. Will either pitch like aces? No (although with Young there's at least a track record to suggest that minute potential), but they can be dependable innings-eaters who will keep us in games.

If all those things happen - the Mets have a pretty rock solid 1-5, and that's before if/when Johan returns (hopefully to something like he was before the injury). Are all those things likely to happen? No, things often go wrong for any franchise in any sport. But are any of them inconceivable, or even THAT unlikely? I don't think so.

Pair a reasonably dependable pitching staff (in a serious pitcher's park), a bullpen with a bunch of live arms and decent potential, and an offense featuring Wright, Reyes, a hopefully rejuvenated Bay and Beltran, and improving Ike Davis, and Pagan - it's really not out of the question for this team to compete for the Wild Card. Is it likely? No. But very possible.

Anonymous said...

I was suggested this website by my cousin.

I am now not positive whether or not this submit is written
by him as no one else know such targeted approximately my problem.
You are incredible! Thank you!

Also visit my web blog :: rat rod motorcycles

Anonymous said...

I am extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog.
Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?

Either way keep up the excellent quality writing,
it's rare to see a nice blog like this one today.

my weblog :: advantage multi for dogs cheap

Anonymous said...

Heya i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to give something back and help others like you helped me.

Also visit my homepage ... multi player games

Anonymous said...

Hi there, just wanted to say, I loved this blog post.

It was practical. Keep on posting!

Visit my blog post - armstrong flooring

Anonymous said...

This post is genuinely a pleasant one it assists new web visitors, who
are wishing for blogging.

Feel free to visit my blog psd flyers download

Anonymous said...

Excellent, what a web site it is! This webpage gives useful facts to us, keep it up.



Check out my website: vinyl floor

Anonymous said...

Hi, always i used to check webpage posts here in the early
hours in the dawn, as i love to find out more and
more.

Also visit my blog post ... does phen375 work

Anonymous said...

I love what you guys tend to be up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
Keep up the terrific works guys I've added you guys to my personal blogroll.

my web site; photoshop nightclub flyers

Anonymous said...

Great article! This is the type of info that are supposed to be
shared across the web. Disgrace on Google for now not positioning this post higher!
Come on over and seek advice from my site . Thank you =)

Also visit my web site rat r

Anonymous said...

You actually make it seem so easy along with your presentation however
I in finding this matter to be really something that I feel I
would by no means understand. It sort of feels too complex and very large for me.
I'm taking a look forward in your subsequent submit, I'll attempt to get the hold of
it!

Also visit my web blog ... phen375 allows

Anonymous said...

This is very interesting, You're a very skilled blogger. I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

My web site :: companion pet clinic beaverton or

Anonymous said...

Quality posts is the crucial to be a focus for the people to visit the web page, that's what this website is providing.

my web page: paleo diet meal plan

Anonymous said...

Good blog you have got here.. It's difficult to find excellent writing like yours nowadays. I really appreciate people like you! Take care!!

Feel free to visit my blog post; armstrong vinyl flooring

Anonymous said...

I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure
whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble.
You are wonderful! Thanks!

Here is my webpage :: paleo cookbooks

Anonymous said...

Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea
shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said "You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear." She put the shell
to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside
and it pinched her ear. She never wants to
go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!


Here is my weblog ... free nightclub flyer templates

Anonymous said...

you're actually a excellent webmaster. The site loading pace is incredible. It seems that you're doing
any distinctive trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece.

you have performed a great activity on this subject!



Feel free to visit my homepage ... holiday in Vietnam

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your next post thanks once again.


Also visit my webpage: vacation in vietnam

Anonymous said...

At this time it appears like Movable Type is the top blogging platform out there right now.
(from what I've read) Is that what you are using on your blog?

Also visit my page; Traveling 2013

Anonymous said...

Awesome article.

My web-site :: trips