The 2010 campaign for the the New York Mets will begin this spring in Port St Lucie, Fla., for Spring Training and many changes are expected from prior years.
Here is my list of things that will be different about the 2010 season:
1) No WBC this year, last year the Mets sent 16 players to this 21-day tournament in March, and it was a disruption to both the league and the Mets as a team.
Many players who participated saw limited playing time during the regular season due to injuries that were pre-existing, JJ Putz (elbow), Carlos Beltran (knee), and Carlos Delgado (hip).
David Wright was injured in the WBC with a knee to the head and a smashed toe, but he finished the tournament and would have played 155+ games if it had not been for the concussion in mid-August.
2) The players have a lot to prove, not only on the field, but they have to show that they are healthy and valuable, especially Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and Jose Reyes.
Santana had elbow surgery in September, Delgado had hip surgery in May, Reyes had leg surgery last month, and Beltran has yet to show that his knees can hold up during the long season.
3) Jerry Manuel has said that fundamentals and defense will be stressed for 2010, two areas that were severely lacking in 2009.
In 2009, he stressed the importance of the batters hitting the pitch to the opposite field and implemented hitting drills that exhausted and challenged the hitters, and I do think that this approach hurt the team's power numbers.
4) Omar Minaya and Jerry Manuel both know that their jobs are on the line if the Mets do not contend in 2010, so there will be little to no tolerance for off-field distractions or lack of performance by the players.
5) The coaching staff has been changed enough to show that people are valuable but perhaps not being utilized correctly.
Razor Shines was not effective as third base coach, and Sandy Alomar Sr was the defensive coordinator who did not manage his team well on the field.