3 Reasons the Mets Can Still Turn Things Around in 2014
Baseball seasons are long and include 162 games. It takes a lot more than one week to judge the possibilities of each team having a winning record and maybe even contending for the postseason. There is more than enough time right now for the Mets to play better and possibly have their first winning record since 2008.
Here are three reasons why the Mets can still turn into a good team this season.
David Wright Is a Difference-Maker
A full season from David Wright is one thing the Mets will certainly need if they want to have a winning record this season.
Wright is one of, if not the best third baseman in baseball. He is the face of the team and the hitter the Mets have been building around. But last season, his numbers were not as good as they usually are due to a hamstring injury that would end up costing him over a month before his return at the very end of the season.
If Wright stays healthy for all of 2014 and can put up the usual 20-25-plus home runs and 100-plus RBI, these are numbers that the Mets offense would sorely need. The Mets' pitching is definitely a strength over their offense, and they need all of the hitting they can get. It starts, though, with Wright setting the tone for the rest of the lineup. He is that critical to New York's day-to-day performance.
The Mets' Lineup Could Show Signs of Improvement
The addition of Curtis Granderson gives the Mets a legitimate slugger who can drive in a lot of runs. But what would be even better is if their potential at first base could be reached by at least one of Ike Davis or Lucas Duda.
It seems like Terry Collins has decided that Duda will get the majority of playing time at first base over Davis. But if Duda struggles, Davis could easily replace him later this season. But regardless of which of the two plays, if one of them is hitting homers and driving in runs, the Mets' offense could improve that much more.
Travis d'Arnaud is another hitter who could really contribute to New York's offense if he starts to get hot at the plate. Daniel Murphy should be able to put up another good season and has a few good seasons under his belt now.
Better numbers from players like Juan Lagares, Eric Young Jr. and Ruben Tejada would be added bonuses. This Mets lineup has the potential to be better than it was a year ago, and barring significant injuries, they should be able to provide more consistent run support for their pitching staff this season.
The Mets' Pitching Still Has Very Good Potential Despite the Loss of Matt Harvey
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 this season, with Dillon Gee, Jon Niese, Zack Wheeler, Bartolo Colon and Jenrry Mejia all currently in the rotation.
Starting pitching has been a strength for the team and, unless any more significant injuries occur, should continue to be a strength.
In the bullpen, the Mets have lost Bobby Parnell for the season due to Tommy John surgery of his own. This means Jose Valverde will pretty much become the new closer, and Scott Rice and Jeurys Familia will be among those who will get opportunities to be New York's setup man.
The Mets' bullpen will not be the same without the presence of Parnell, but Valverde has been a very successful closer for many years and could more than certainly fill the void there. If the rest of their bullpen is effective, they should be able to preserve more leads this season.