A lot of people might look at the Mets from last year and say that they are worse on paper. It's hard to disagree. Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran and K-Rod are gone. You could also say that they didn't add too many players. Again, hard to disagree, especially since they slashed payroll by almost $50 million dollars. However, what they didn't add to the roster they made up for in progression and injury recovery.
The recovery of players like David Wright, Ike Davis and Johan Santana are undeniably crucial for the Mets, who now have power up and down their lineup and a legitimate ace in their rotation. Wright was injured almost all of last summer, and finally came back in late July when the Mets had dropped to about nine games out of a wild-card spot. Staying healthy is going to be a real key for this team as it will allow them to have some depth off the bench.
The Mets' bullpen managed to get through three games this weekend allowing only one run, a meaningless solo shot in the eighth inning by Brian McCann. The main focus this winter was to get some depth out for the relievers, and GM Sandy Alderson did just that, signing John Rauch and Frank Francisco while trading for Ramon Ramirez.
Francisco has saved a club record three games to start the season, while Bobby Parnell and Tim Byrdak have one shutout inning a piece. John Rauch has also pitched two scoreless innings of his own. Parnell struggled much of last year, but came back to throw 12.1 scoreless innings in spring training. If these guys stay consistent, their starting pitchers should feel that any lead they hand them is safe.