It's always sunny in Philadelphia recently, but the prediction in New York is stormy weather for the foreseeable future. There are a lot of holes in the Mets organization, and the fans are sick of being rained on, over and over again. This list encapsulates the top nine ten players, theoretically an entire team, that the Mets need to replace during the 2011 season.
Well, the Mets kept one of our Japanese relief pitchers. Unfortunately, Ryota Igarashi, the right handed hurler, is the less productive of the two. In 2010, he made over one million dollars in spite of his 7.12 ERA. Meanwhile, Hisanori Takahashi was paid slightly less, is left handed, and was more productive with a 3.61 ERA and the ability to fill in as a starter when needed.
The void left by the multi-tasking left-handed hurler is larger than most people realize. Takahashi was versatile, but more importantly, when he wasn't filling in for an injured or lousy starter, he was a very decent set-up man. And when K-Rod was out, he even spent a few games as a closer. Rarely did he get the chance to play his "assigned position" (as assigned as one can get under the reign of Jerry Manuel) as 8th inning relief, but when he did he was very reliable. Now, while he would have been missed either way, the Mets find themselves in dire straights as they've also lost southpaw Pedro Feliciano for the 2011 season.
Pedro was a Phillies killer. But overall in 2010, he held left-handed batters to an unimpressive .211 batting average. In his eight year career (all with the Mets) he only allowed lefties to hit .214 against him. He was a stud in the bullpen when facing a tough situation with a southpaw at the plate, but did well overall with a career ERA of 3.31. With Takahashi gone as well, the Mets will be desperate for a lefty in the bullpen that can provide the consistent stats of these two players.
Remember John Maine? Who's R.A. Dickey? The big Pelf is the star going into the 2011 season?
Now, a No. 5 starter might not seem that important to other teams, but other teams have a solid one, two and three. Some teams, who will remain nameless, have a solid four as well. But alas, the Mets don't.
Chris Young, Jeff Francis, Freddy Garcia, Brandon Webb? Knock, knock....
Mr. Negativity in the flesh. This man chose to take up a precious roster spot rather than allow it to go to someone more productive, in a selfish attempt to avoid being rendered superfluous. Instead of heading to the minors, where at least there was a chance he could improve, he spent his days wasting away in the dugout, bringing the energy of the entire team down with him. Yes, his contract is slightly ridiculous and almost entirely unearned, but there is no place for an attitude like this in any organization, let alone a faltering one. Cut your losses, even if they may be multi millions.
In a league where Chase Utley and Dan Uggla play second base, Luis Castillo just does not cut it. Batting a mere .235, he's a waste of a roster spot on and off the field. With runners on base this past year, with 83 at bats, he's batting .193.
Negative, slow and unproductive, he's constantly booed, and this causes people to see him as a player with a negative vibe. Forget the dropped pop-up in the Subway Series, his fielding overall is weak and the competition knows it. It's time to cut him loose.
The former Twins ace will not be back for the first half of the season due to shoulder surgery to repair a tear in his anterior capsule. This forces Pelfrey into the No. 1 slot most likely, and leaves the Mets with a huge hole in the rotation. A rotation that overall is already considerably weak. The Mets always bank on someone "stepping up", but with such a dismal rotation, it would behoove the Mets to seek new talent elsewhere and deal with "cutting" someone from the rotation later.
Beltran does not make this list due to his lack of ability. The man is obviously talented. Why else would Angel Pagan have had a poster of him hanging in his room in the Dominican Republic? However, Beltran's mindset is not necessarily team oriented. This season is a big one for Carlos, and for the Mets. If he performs well, which he needs to for his own financial benefit, the Mets can dish him off at the trade deadline and get some real talent in return where they need it most: pitching. A team that's in the running and could use a stud outfielder could pick him up, and it's win-win for everyone involved. Beltran's obviously not pleased with the Mets organization as he's made clear in various interviews, and the move from center to right field is not sitting well with him. So trade Beltran while the organization can still get something in return.
Surprised? The baby-faced third basemen, image of the Mets organization, is No. 1 on this list. Why? Simply because right now, he is still viewed as a talent, as someone worth something in a trade. But if someone studied his numbers a little more closely, they would notice that he's not the man people stack him up to be. Yes, he's done his situational training, but take a look at his situational stats. His batting average for 2010 was .283, but it goes down to .250 with the bases loaded. Then, it drops further to an abysmal .236 with runners in scoring position and two outs. While he may be double clutch in the field, he certainly has not been clutch at the plate.
Too much pressure in New York: it's tough being the face of the organization and on a team under constant scrutiny that is not performing. Plus, the depth of the outfield has been rough on David. He'd do better somewhere else, and the Mets could use a complete overhaul—new management, new face. Fans are tired of "rebuilding" years. There's no time like the present.