New York Mets: What They Need to Do to Make the 2012 Playoffs

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New York Mets: What They Need to Do to Make the 2012 Playoffs
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

With the New York Mets set to open the season tomorrow against the Atlanta, I was thinking to myself if there was any way the Amazin's could make their way into the playoffs this season. 

Now, the Mets are in a very tough division, probably the second most difficult in all of baseball, so they're obviously fighting an uphill battle, although the newly minted fifth playoff spot gives them a glimmer of hope. 

So, in order for the Mets to make the playoffs, it all starts with Johan Santana. I think that for the Mets to have any type of chance, Santana needs to win at least 20 games. That will be extremely difficult, especially given the terrible run support he's received as a Met, but for the Mets to have a shot that's what they'll need.

More importantly, Santana needs to stay healthy all season.  

R.A. Dickey also needs to step up this year and win in the neighborhood of 15 games to give the Mets a chance. Dickey has looked good in Spring Training, so maybe he has a shot. 

The Mets bullpen was absolutely horrible last season, and really cost them a lot of games. Additions to the bullpen in righty closer Frank Francisco and Ramon Ramirez should help to address those concerns. 

On the offensive side, David Wright needs to be healthy and play the way he's capable of playing, which is at an All-Star level. Wright needs to hit .300-plus with 30 HRs and 100 RBI at least in order to give the Mets a shot. 

Ike Davis, Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda also need to be healthy and have excellent seasons, and I think all three are capable of putting up excellent numbers. And I believe that Duda specifically is a future All-Star, he's got that much talent.  

Do the Mets have any chance to make the playoffs?

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You're probably thinking that most of these things aren't going to happen, and you're probably right. Such is the current situation with the Mets right now. They'll need everyone to play at their absolute best and remain completely healthy in order to even sniff the playoffs. 

Right now, I give the Mets about a 5 percent chance, but if they can have a solid April and hang around in contention, their confidence will rise and who knows what could potentially happen. 

Terry Collins has an uphill battle on his hands, but with baseball you never know. There always seems to be a sleeper team every year, and like I said earlier, with that fifth playoff spot now in play, maybe the Mets will surprise everyone and sneak in. 

They have the talent; it's just a question if they can put it all together and play to their potential. The expectations for the Mets are pretty low right now, which really works in their benefit, because they have less pressure on them. But maybe they'll surprise everyone and be over .500 in a couple of months and be in contention.

If they do that, they'll be able to prove a lot of people wrong.  

Follow me on twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/rlongo924

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