5 Reasons Why the Mets Could Have a Winning Record in 2014

Shale BriskinContributor IIIMarch 28, 2014

5 Reasons Why the Mets Could Have a Winning Record in 2014

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    Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

    The Mets' 2014 season is just days away from beginning, and the team is hoping to have a winning record for the first time since 2008. After making various moves, there is certainly reason to believe that this could finally happen.

    Here are five big reasons why the Mets could have a winning record this season.

The Mets Will Have a Much Improved Outfield

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    Jeff Roberson

    The offseason signings of Curtis Granderson and Chris Young should improve the outfield significantly compared to what it looked like last season.

    The Mets' outfield had been a weakness for years, especially after Carlos Beltran's time with the team ended in 2011. But with Granderson and Young alongside incumbents Juan Lagares and Eric Young Jr., the Mets should now be able to get more production from their outfield going forward.

    Granderson and Young should provide more power to an outfield that did not provide much power at all, aside from former right fielder Marlon Byrd.

The Same Infield Should Be Able to Improve

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    David Goldman

    The Mets will run pretty much the same infield this year as they have the past few seasons. David Wright and Daniel Murphy are the two bright spots in the infield at third base and second base, respectively. But the other two positions could be due for improvements as well.

    First base should be manned by either Ike Davis or Lucas Duda. If one of the two is able to get a full season of plate appearances without the two rotating regularly, the full potential of either Davis or Duda could possibly be seen. But this probably will not be as likely if both get an equal amount of playing time. It's up to Terry Collins to determine a clear starter and give the bulk of the playing time to whoever is chosen.

    As for shortstop, Ruben Tejada will very likely be the Opening Day starter with Wilmer Flores having been sent down to the minor leagues. The Mets will be hoping that Tejada can bounce back after a poor season in 2013. It seems like either Tejada will bounce back or, if he doesn't, Flores could get called up and take Tejada's job. Flores has more potential offensively, but he is still learning to become better defensively at shortstop.

The Starting Rotation Should Be Fine Even Without Matt Harvey

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    Matt Harvey's Tommy John surgery will most likely result in him not being able to pitch all season, which is a big loss for the Mets' pitching staff. Thankfully, they should still be able to have a solid starting rotation going into this season.

    With incumbents Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Zack Wheeler being joined by offseason signing Bartolo Colon, the Mets' starting pitching should not be a big weakness for the team. The fifth spot is still yet to be determined, but it will likely go to either Daisuke Matsuzaka or Jenrry Mejia.

    All in all, starting pitching has been a strength for the team and, barring any more significant injuries, should continue to be a strength.

The Bullpen Has a Lot of Potential

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    The Mets' bullpen wasn't half bad in 2013 and will hopefully improve this season.

    Bobby Parnell will begin his second season at closer. Jose Valverde, Jeurys Familia, Scott Rice and Carlos Torres should all be in the Opening Day bullpen as well. A few more spots could still be decided, and John Lannan and Gonzalez Germen could be among those that have a shot at making the roster.

    With a good mix of young arms and a few proven veterans in Parnell and Valverde, the Mets' bullpen has very good potential.

The Top Prospects Should Help the Mets Be Even Better

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    Carlos Osorio

    The team's farm system has improved noticeably in recent years, and some of the top prospects should be ready for their major league promotions this year.

    Rookie catcher Travis d'Arnaud will begin his first full major league season as the Mets' starting catcher, and Wilmer Flores could get called up again if Ruben Tejada does not play well at shortstop.

    On the pitching end, top prospects Noah Syndergaard and Rafael Montero both should be making their major league debuts by June or July. The two right-handers both have a lot of potential and could add to an already solid rotation.

    Their eventual additions would likely result in either Matsuzaka or Mejia going to the bullpen midseason. So in a way, the bullpen could get strengthened, too, when Syndergaard and Montero are called up.

    The future is really starting to come together for the Mets, and the sky is the limit to this team's potential for at least the next five or six seasons.