Let's walk through the 2009 New York Mets and give everyone the best case scenario.
In what will likely be his final year as a Met, the super-motivated Delgado will choose not to play bad in April and produce a 40 home run, 120 RBI year. They’re off to a great start.
Castillo's going to hit .334 and steal 62 bases like he did in 2000 as a 24-year-old.
Reyes will prove he's not overrated. He will win the NL MVP and hit a career-best .330, score 120 runs, and hit 20 homers with 80 RBI.
Wright will replicate his 2007 numbers, hitting around .325 and smacking 30 home runs. That's some infield!
I'll give Murphy a .313 average, but I can't give him more than 10 home runs until he shows me some pop.
Beltran will follow his 2006 line with 40 home runs, 120 RBI and hit .280. Beltran has only batted .300 once, so the team’s run of .300 hitters ends here.
Church will play all 162 games, which should give him around 18 home runs with a .275 average.
Well, they'll catch the ball and throw it back to the pitcher. Anything more will be asking a lot.
Santana will win the NL Cy Young. His best W-L season was when he went 20-6, but I’ll give him 21 wins with an injury-free summer.
I think Maine will find his way out of his funk and go 15-10. He's done it before.
Perez will learn that every game is a big game and and win a sneaky 18.
He won 13 games at age 24 and looked like he learned to pitch. Let's give him 16 wins.
The No. 5 pitcher is going to eat innings for the team. He'll only go 10-10 but that's a solid 80 wins from the Mets’ starting pitching. That's four more than the 1986 Mets.
63 of the team’s wins will be saved by K-Rod, with 63 holds from J.J. Putz.
The above looks amazingly promising. But what if Santana misses a game or two? What if Castillo is the 2008 version of himself?
What it there's a book on Murphy now? What if Maine is funky and 15 wins become 10? What if Perez wins 18 not 15?
I think this team has enough to win, but it's not a lock that they'll out-hustle the Phillies. I would love one more decent bat in there. Maybe not Manny, but I wish the team knew what they actually have in left, right, second, and behind the plate.
There's a lot of wishful thinking with how this team is put together. It seemed like everything broke right in 2006 and broke wrong in 2007. Maybe something in between and some number less than 30 blown saves might do the trick.
After the last two seasons I'm not ready to declare this team better than the defending World Champions. I’m going to need to see it to believe it, and I won't believe it until the Mets are in the NLDS.
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