2011 New York Mets: 6 Things to Look Forward to in Spring Training
Spring Training is only nine days away and a lot of questions will be answered for the New York Mets in the upcoming months. The Mets have a lot of new faces coming into spring training this year. There will also be a lot of roster spots up for grabs.
This spring training will be very competitive for the Mets. Mets fans can't wait for spring training to begin. Here are six things to look forward to for the Mets this spring.
1. How Will New Manager Terry Collins Handle the Team?
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Terry Collins is making a return to the MLB and it will be interesting to see how he handles the team. He has a history of being fiery but some people have said that he has calmed down a little bit. Collins has said that he wants the Mets to have a family environment. I am looking forward to seeing how Collins handles the Mets.
2. Who Will Win the Second Base Job?
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The two main competitors for the second base job are Daniel Murphy and Brad Emaus. Murphy suffered from a flurry of injuries last year and he didn't even play a game in the majors. Murphy is a very hard worker, though; he has been working extremely hard to become a better fielding second baseman. If he becomes a decent fielder at second base he will have a great shot to win the job because of his solid bat.
Emaus was a Rule V draft pick for the Mets. Emaus is a righty and the Mets are very high on him. Being a right handed player would help balance out the Mets' batting order. Emaus has some pop in his bat and scouting reports say that he is major league ready. Emaus seems like a lock to make the team because he is a Rule V draft pick. That means that if he doesn't make the team then he is going back to the Toronto Blue Jays. The loser of the competition between Murphy and Emaus will most likely be a key player on the bench for the Mets.
3. Will Jason Bay Look Like His Old Self?
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Jason Bay had a lost season last year. He just seemed lost all year and he couldn't get into any sort of groove. Bay is coming into spring training with a lot to prove. He hasn't lived up to his big contract and I'm sure that he trained all off-season so that he could.
It will be interesting to see how Bay performs. Collins knows what Bay is capable of doing and he should work with him a lot. Bay is an early candidate for the Comeback Player of the Year award. Mets fans are really hoping that he wins it, he will be a much needed boost in the Mets' lineup.
4. How Long Will Oliver Perez and Luis Castillo Last?
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It seems there is a very small chance that Oliver Perez or Luis Castillo make the team. Both players are getting paid too much money and they symbolize bad things for the team. If they get cut then it will give the Mets a new, no nonsense look.
The question is how long will it take until these guys get cut from the team. I'm not saying it's impossible for them to make the team, but as of now it looks like they are most likely not going to be on this team. They will be given a chance in spring training to impress Collins, but that won't be easy. Look for them to be off the team before Opening Day.
5. Who Will Win the Fifth Starter Job?
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Chris Capuano and Dillon Gee will be battling one another for the fifth starter spot. Capuano is a lefty and Gee a righty. Both players have a lot of potential and they can make solid contributions as the fifth starter.
6. Who Will Win the Center Field Job?
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Both Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran will be competing for the center field job in spring training. Beltran is aging and he will have to prove to Collins that he can still patrol center field. Pagan did a great job in the field last year and he is looking to take a huge step and take over center field. I think that Collins can't go wrong with who plays center field. If Beltran impresses enough to win it then that means that he is still on top of his game, and if Pagan wins it then it will be great to have his young, quick body manning center field.