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New York Mets Predictions / 2010 Season Preview

2010 MLB Predictions/Previews: N.Y. Mets

Hard to believe, as many of us watch the snow fall outside, that the Boys of Summer are almost back. But it’s true; teams have reported to 2010 Major League Baseball training camps and it’s time to start our team-by-team baseball gambling previews for the year.

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MLB Team Preview – New York Mets

Well, that shouldn’t be a tough act to follow.

I’m talking about the New York Mets’ utterly disastrous 2009 season – one in which pretty much everything that could possibly go wrong did go wrong. Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Johan Santana and Carlos Delgado all went down with injuries; David Wright’s power disappeared, and not just at pitcher-friendly Citi Field; A year after setting the single-season saves record, Francisco Rodriguez had the worst season of his career.

It’s tough to imagine that 2010 could be more horrific than last year, so there’s reason to expect improvement for the Mets. But have they really remedied all their problems?

In 2009, the Mets had a pathetic 95 home runs, 27 less than the 29th-ranked team and less than half the total of the top six teams. Given that the Mets actually do have some legit power bats, we can chalk up that stat to injury-induced anomaly. Carlos Beltran will hit plenty of homers again when he returns from injury in May and big offseason acquisition Jason Bay is a virtual lock for 30 homers every year. The bigger concern is David Wright. The superstar third hit just 10 long balls last season – five at home and five on the road. He’ll surely rebound to an extent with more protection and more men on base, but he was never a pure power hitter to begin with – more of a line-drive hitter with a nice stroke. We thus may not see a return to 30 homers this year.

Also factoring in Jose Reyes’ return from multiple leg injuries, the Mets will score more. But their injury-prone guys didn’t magically become safe bets to stay healthy; it’s entirely possible that Reyes and Beltran will get banged up again. If that happens, New York will struggle to score again.

The Mets’ starting staff isn’t exactly a saving grace. Johan Santana has plenty left in the tank and should return to ace status after having bone chips removed from his elbow last September. After that, though, the rotation is shaky at best. Oliver Perez completely lost his control last year as his ERA ballooned to 6.82. John Maine’s stellar 2007 season looks like a fluke. Mike Pelfrey is an innings eater and not a particularly good one. Looking at this rotation, I don’t see a more than 11 or 12 wins from anyone other than Santana.

In theory, the ninth inning is in good hands, but the Mets need more out of Francisco Rodriguez. He’s still just 28 but his walk rate, homer rate, ERA and WHIP have all risen in four straight seasons. His violent throwing motion may finally be wearing him down. Also, with J.J. Putz gone, the Mets may have trouble bridging the gap between their starters and K-Rod. Maybe Sean Green can step up? Maybe Kelvim Escobar can stay healthy?

The Mets made a big splash by nabbing Bay in the offseason, but I’m not convinced the move is much more than good PR for a team that still has too many holes to compete in an underrated NL East. Their offense should improve but the Mets’ pitching staff can’t hold a candle to Philadelphia’s, Atlanta’s or even Florida’s. For that reason, I see another disappointing year in store.

Mets Prediction: Fourth, National League East

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  1. You have to believe that the Mets will be much better than last year. I do not think they will be able to catch the Phillies, but could be in the thick of the wildcard race.