With spring training starting in a few days, you can expect to hear the names Johan Santana, David Wright and Jose Reyes being thrown around. Rightfully so, as these players play crucial roles for the ball club.
One name you will be hearing less frequently, if at all, is Marlon Anderson. Many fans remember Marlon for his subpar play last year where he hit a little over .200.
What most fail to realize is that prior to all the injuries Marlon was an above average pinch hitter, who always seemed to come up with that big hit.
Many Met fans will remember Marlon from his first stint with the team back in 2005, in which he hit an inside-the-park home run off Angels closed an newly acquired Met, Francisco Rodriguez.
Two years later, the Mets would sign Anderson again for a second go around.
However, last year like so many of his fellow teammates, Marlon was bit by the injury bug. After injuring his hamstring in a game against the Rockies in May, Anderson never seemed to recover.
Following the injury he had a total of zero home runs and only seven RBI. To make things worse, his batting average for the crucial month of September was a grizzly .083 batting average (1 hit in 11 AB).
When healthy Marlon Anderson can be a major difference maker. In 2006, while the Dodgers were in the running for the playoffs, Anderson was able to step in and relieve a struggling Andre Either of his starting duties. As a result the team made it into the playoffs that year.
Mets fans should take solace in the fact that this year Anderson is healthier this year, and has shed 17 pounds over the offseason to bring his weight just a hair above the 200 lb. mark.
Anderson, who is due to make around $1 million this upcoming season, will be entering his contract year and will certainly pull out the stops to ensure that he does not get forgotten in the 2010 free agent class.