The New York Mets haven't had the best spring training to say the least. Injuries and sloppy play have lead to one of the worst Grapefruit League records and a good amount of disappointments. With that said, there are a few silver linings to the New York Mets' spring.
One would be crazy to say that Santana's performance hasn't been the greatest part of the Mets spring. Santana's health was a huge question mark coming into spring training, but his rehab has gone better than anyone could have expected.
Many doubts followed Santana this spring, but he has done his best to dismiss most, if not all of those doubts. Santana has managed to gradually increase his arm strength through his increasing pitch counts. He also was able to maintain great control and velocity.
Santana's stuff may not be where it used to be, but he has showed that he can still pitch extremely well. He was stingy when it came up to giving runs this spring, and he has compiled some impressive statistics coming into the season.
Santana was also recently announced to be the New York Mets Opening Day starter. That was something that many fans though were out of reach, but Santana's hard work paid off for him. If there is anyone that can overcome as tough a injury as a torn interior capsule, it is indeed Johan Santana.
It is still far-fetched to expect Santana to put together a 200 inning season, but I fully expect him to lead the New York Mets rotation this season. He will find ways to continue his success in this league, all while helping the younger pitchers around him. Johan Santana is truly a model player, and the New York Mets are elated to have him healthy and ready to go.
2. The rest of the New York Mets pitching staff (except Mike Pelfrey of course)
Johan Santana has deservedly stole all the attention this spring training. Due to the large media cloud surrounding Santana, the rest of the Mets pitching staff has been laying low. That doesn't mean that they haven't been performing though.
R.A. Dickey, Jonathan Niese, and Dillon Gee have all put together fantastic springs. They have all managed to improve in the spots that they needed it the most, and they have all put up good numbers.
The pitching staff seemed to be a weakness going into the season for the New York Mets, but spring training would suggest otherwise. If the New York Mets pitching staff can keep up the great work, then the Mets will most definitely be in contention this season.
3. Lucas Duda
Lucas Duda is an odd player. He never was a big prospect in the Mets organization, but he has turned out to be a possible cornerstone of this franchise. Duda's road hasn't been easy though. He endured a horrendous stretch when he first came up to the bigs, but the Mets still maintained faith in him.
Last year's injury to Ike Davis allowed Duda a chance to showcase his skills. He took complete advantage of the opportunity and put together a fantastic season. He showed flashes of gargantuan power and poise at the plate.
Many thought Duda was a fluke however. It seems as if he is proving those people wrong this spring. Duda is hitting the ball extremely hard this spring and his batting practice sessions have turned into a fan favorite.
This kid's confidence was one of his greatest weaknesses, but now he knows that he belongs in the bigs. Duda has an immense amount of potential and he will be crucial to the New York Mets this season, and in the future. It will be very exciting to watch how Duda performs this season.