February 06, 2007

It'll be close, but the Mets should take the NL East

Tom Singer at MLB.comwrites about the NL East and who he feels will take it:

The favorite

Mets Perhaps encouraged by how their makeshift rotation carried them deep into October, the Mets took only some low-profile measures to compensate for Pedro Martinez's expected half-season absence. It's a big load to lay on the offense -- especially with uncertain production from new corner outfielders Moises Alou and Shawn Green.

Projected regular-season finish: NL East champions

Biggest ST challenge: Find enough innings for the nearly dozen candidates to join Tom Glavine and Orlando Hernandez in the season-opening rotation.

Best position battle: Right field. Credentials aside, Green may not be able to keep Endy Chavez out of a lineup that needs his speed, or out of an outfield that needs his defense.

Wild card: If general manager Omar Minaya guessed wrong on the available starters' ability to stay the course, the Mets may already be off course by the time Pedro gets back in gear. But if Martinez does return with the health and stamina to go six innings every five days, they should have a better finishing kick than last season.

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