Well, first I would like to congratulate Omar Minaya on his job as general manager. He has somehow made Washington a more desirable place to play then New York.
As the 2009 baseball season ended, Mets fans knew that they had seen the worst; surely players would swarm to play in New York. I hoped, like many others, that the Mets could get a decent second or third starting pitcher to bring some sort of solidarity to the starting pitching staff.
Well, that didn't happen. But what happened? We signed an old, star hitter instead...sound familiar?
This makes me think of the Mets article I read in the Daily News two weeks ago. It had five questions surrounding the Mets. One question in particular was so funny that it brought back the image of Luis Castillo walking down the stairs to the clubhouse and injuring himself.
Who will be the Mets fifth starting pitcher?
My answer was this: Who is the Mets second, third, fourth, or fifth starter?
Our rotation is led by Johan Santana, the superstar of the pitching rotation and the best acquisition that Minaya has ever made (to this trade I will give Minaya due credit).
However, after Santana, we find ourselves left with Pelfrey, Maine, Perez (just shoot me now), and a mess of others.
Pelfrey is a good young pitcher who I expect to rebound from possibly the worst SP year in the major leagues.
Maine is...made of glass. For the past two years his highest amount of games started was 25, and he hasn't gone past 140 innings. I would be happy if I got 25 games out of him with 150 innings, and those are figures which no one should be happy about getting.
Perez is garbage. Last year he came to spring training out of shape and overweight. Perez is lazy, and at this point is being paid about 12 million a year for something and after showing a glimpse of great pitching in 2007, he has hit a 4.3 era and...I won't even mention last year.
Well, now we get to the fifth starter. Honestly, most of these pitchers are enough to challenge for the second spot.
So...we come into the 2010 season with a worse offseason then the Nationals. I mean honestly, Minaya didn't go after Marquis, who in all likelihood would have had a year with a 4.00-4.20 ERA, but would win us 12-15 games and give us 200 innings (something along the lines of a Steve Trachsel).
Now, why would Marquis want to pitch for the Mets?
Well...he grew up in New York, wanted to pitch for New York, but wasn't offered a contract by....New York.
Along with Marquis, we lost Wang to the Nationals (he went for two million dollars for a season), Bedard, Sheets, Garland, Piniero, etc.
What do the Mets bring to the 2010 season?
The same SP staff which has performed so well the past two seasons.
A team built around aging stars who are finally showing age with injuries (Beltran).
For the first time in a while, a decent RP (I am actually being serious here).
So...how will we do this season?
78-84, Fourth Place in the NL East
I'm expecting a fourth place finish in the NL East. People can argue that we are better than this, but we really don't have a better team than last year and we're already playing hurt.
And while we are at it, we have to remember that even though the Mets got Bay, the other teams in the NL East also improved.
Atlanta has a pitching staff of Hanson and Jurrjens who are both under 25 (legitimate 1-2 punch in a couple years) while they have upgraded offence with Glaus while also having a great prospects in Schaffer and Heyward. Philly has at least 3 more years with the team they have know while the Marlins have got major league prospects in Maybin, Morrison, Dominguez, etc. Finally, the Nationals are going to improve while adding Marquis and Wang in the SP staff and Matt Capps as the closer.
In fact, at the rate the Mets are going, the Nationals could come out of nowhere and steal fourth place from the Mets, giving them a much deserved fifth place.