After a dreadful 72-90 (wins to losses) 2017 season, injuries and disappointments are probably the best words to sum up the New York Mets. It was simply a “Mess” in Flushing, Queens that consisted of injuries to key players. The team’s future seemed to be in doubt. Their offense was just as bad and suffered just as much injuries as the team’s pitching rotation. A year later, there is a new manager in place for the Mets and the star players are back and ready to redeem themselves. Although the Mets do not appear to be contenders in a stacked and competitive National League, I believe the Mets will indeed be better than what people will think and I will tell you why.
New Mets Manager Mickey Callaway was a pitching guru as the Cleveland Indians pitching coach the past couple of years. The Indians pitching rotation was in the top five in ERA (earned run average) the past few years, something the Mets pitching rotation have had issues with as far as giving up runs to opposing offenses in bunches. Callaway’s presence will impact the team’s pitching and I believe he has the smarts to stabilize the rotation and bring a much-needed new voice in the clubhouse. As far as the team goes, there are many players on the roster whose season ended early due to injury. The team’s best player on offense, Yoenis Cespedes, has been plagued by injury the past few seasons and was shut down yet again last year. Cespedes has reported to camp in great shape, has added yoga to his off-season workout to improve his stability. If healthy, Cespedes is one of the most dangerous players in all of baseball. He has the ability to post up a 40-home run/120 RBI (runs batted in) season. However, nearly 75 percent of the pitching rotation are coming off season-ending injuries. Pitchers like Noah Syndergaard is coming off a torn lat muscle injury. As we saw 2 years ago, when Noah is right, he is a certified flamethrower and simply has strikeout stuff. Fellow pitcher Matt Harvey looks to redeem himself this year. His past two seasons have not been good. If he can capture the magic he did three years ago when he earned the nickname “The Dark Knight,” he will complement a strong young rotation with Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom.
Health will be the big question for the Mets to be amazing this year. They have the pitching rotation that can win games for them along with closer Jeurys Familia, who will be looking to redeem himself as one of the dominant closers in baseball. The acquisition of Todd Frazier will impact the team. His grit and presence will be infectious for the team. Their young guns of Dominic Smith and Amed Rosario could take their games to another level and could complement the veteran-like batting order for the Mets. Let’s not forget, they got back Jay Bruce in free agency. He still can hit 20 home runs in a season. This Mets team can very well turn some heads and can be one of 2018’s surprising teams just like the Yankees were in 2017. With the season a month and a half away, we will see what this Mets team is really made of.