A few years back, the Mets were projected to win the World Series. They then went on to have one of the most disappointing season's in history. They lost players one by one to the injury bug, until David Wright was the lone star left in the lineup. That didn't even last, as Wright took a Matt Cain fastball to the head and hit the disabled list as well.
Since then, the Mets have been a complete disaster. Whether it is the Bernie Madoff trial, the Jason Bay experiment, or the repeated injuries, the Met's just always seem to be on the losing end. Luck is never on their side, and the continue to suffer for it. Sandy Alderson is trying to usher in a new era, but it may take some time.
This year may not be a good one for the New York Mets. Nonetheless, here are my predictions for the Mets this upcoming season.
Rumors have been dismissed that Sandy Alderson has been looking to find a destination for the young lefty. He has proved himself to be a good man in the middle of any rotation. I'm a big fan of John Niese, and at first was unhappy to hear the false rumors.
However, after thinking about it as if the rumors were true, I understood where the Met's were possibly coming from. John Niese does not fit the mold of the team Sandy Alderson plans to create. Not to mention, after all this trade talk, John Niese may not be happy with staying in the big apple.
I think Alderson will find a place for Niese. It is just a matter of when and where. In the end, I don't think the Mets 2012 starting rotation will involve John Niese.
Last year was a down year for David Wright. He struggled in the beginning of the season, and then hit the disabled list. When returning, David Wright did not look like himself. He struggled to return to his '08 form, which he has been trying to do for the past three years.
Right now, David Wright is another guy who doesn't fit in with the Mets new plan. He is a star of the present, and Sandy Alderson needs to be looking towards the future. Wright is a stud and can be worth a lot on the trade market.
That being said, after Wright's down year, his value is lower than ever. If Wright can stay healthy, I think his stock will once again rise. If the Mets are falling out of contention at that point, Sandy's best move would certainly be a trade.
In 2010, Mike Pelfrey came into his own. After being a premiere pitcher for the first half of the year, Pelfrey struggled somewhat, but stayed pretty constant until the season's end. He was even named the starter on Opening Day last season. However, he lost the game, and would lose many more after it. His season was one of many depressing issues that hurt the Mets last season.
I just don't see him coming back to his 2010 form. I was there for his debut, and he really excited me (won 17-3). However, since then, he hasn't done much to impress me other than one good year. I like Pelfrey, but he just doesn't cut it as a consistent starter.
As much as I hope 2012 brings nothing but good to Mike, I predict he will have an off year once again. We continue to talk about his potential, but he will never be more than a middle-of-the-rotation guy. I wouldn't even doubt a trade involving him at the deadline this year.
Unlike most people, I am a huge fan of R.A. Dickey. He has been a consistent starter since joining the Mets. In 2010, he was actually a top pitcher in the league, posting an ERA in the 2's. Last year was thought to be a down year for Dickey. I don't see why though. His record was off, but that should be blamed on a bad offense.
Dickey posted an ERA around 3.25 last year, which is great. It is even better when you hear all the hype for a guy like Ivan Nova, whose ERA was 3.75. I know Ivan Nova was a rookie, but people were treating him like a Cy Young candidate. Dickey should continue his success into this year, and prove why he is a consistent performer at the MLB level.
Poor Jason Bay. When the Mets first signed Jason, he had a lot of hype surrounding him. He had an amazing year in Boston and looked to be a potential MVP candidate. However, after having a down first half of the year, Bay got a concussion and was out for the remainder of the season. Last year, Bay was still down. He had some bright spots, but could never keep a consistent pace.
However, those bright spots showed me what Bay can still do. I still don't think he will live up to the hype he once had, but he may start to change for the better. Jason is a great guy off the field, and he may start to get better on the field. While we all hope for an amazing season out of the former All Star, I expect an average year for him.
As of now, Johan may not even be in the rotation come Opening Day. However, he will return eventually, and when he does he will make an impact. In 2008, Johan came to the Mets in a huge deal. He really performed well that season, but injuries hurt his statistics in the following year. However, Johan is still an ace who can lead a pitching staff.
Due to the severity of Johan's injury, I think it may take some time for Johan to adjust back to old form. Many fans will give up on him him after a few bad outings to begin his comeback, but they should stick with him. The more Johan plays at the MLB level, the better he will get. Although it will be hard for him to go back to 2009 form, or his Triple Crown form, he can still become a force to be reckoned with.
This year's winter meetings started out upsetting for the Mets, losing their top target in Jose Reyes. However, the Mets still left the meeting better than they did going in. They acquired Frank Francisco and Jon Rauch through free agency, as well as Ramon Ramirez in a trade that also involved Andris Torres and Angel Pagan. I think all three men will help add depth to the once weak bullpen.
With these three men at the back end of the bullpen, the Mets can finally finish out games. It has been a consistent issue for the Mets over the years that seems to finally be fixed. The Mets bullpen looks primed and ready. They should make a big impact on the upcoming season and will help the team win important games down the stretch.
I feel like this year will be like many other for the Mets. At the beginning of the season, they will surprise everyone by coming out strong and in contention for the majority of the first half. However, as usual, injures or other issues will arise and lead to the downfall of the entire team.
I still think the Mets will beat out the Washington Nationals. The Nats have a promising future, but aren't nearly ready yet. The Mets will most likely come close to last, but will miss it by just a hair.
Being a Mets fan is a difficult process, and I believe this year will be no different. We will have hope injected into our minds, only to have it ripped away. It has become a tradition, and as much as I wish for something different this season, I know I'm just dreaming.