February 09, 2007

A Look At 2007

Rob Blackstien at Rotoworld takes a look at the 2007 Metsand asks the question if the offense can carry the team:

The Mets not only improved by 14 games last year, they were able to accomplish something no other team has done since 1990 in a non-strike season, namely wrestle a division title away from the Braves. Only a 3-1 setback to the eventual champion Cardinals in Game 7 of the NLCS kept the Mets from advancing to the World Series for the first time since 2000. The club is paced by a quartet of MVP candidates (offensive sparkplug Jose Reyes, multi-talented Carlos Beltran, slugger Carlos Delgado and young stud David Wright, who will look to bounce back from a weak second half and poor playoff performance) and features a pitching staff that boasts both veterans and young arms alike. The rotation may be one steady starter shy (thanks to an injury that will knock Pedro Martinez out for half the year) unless there are some surprise heroics. Of course, rumors persist that the team will use prospect Lastings Milledge to strengthen the rotation. The bullpen was superb in the postseason, but took a hit with the suspension of Guillermo Mota. However, the return of a healthy Duaner Sanchez will offset that loss.

Strengths: Team speed, bullpen and power. Thanks in large part to leadoff hitter extraordinaire Reyes, the Mets paced the NL in stolen bases. Billy Wagner, after finishing second in the NL last season with 40 saves, is back to finish out games for a pen that had the best ERA in the league. But make no mistake, despite the steals, this is no small-ball team. Not with power threats like the Carloses, Wright, Reyes, Jose Valentin, Shawn Green and newcomer Moises Alou all in the fold. The Mets led the NL in extra-base hits in 2006 and figure to do plenty of bashing again this season.

Weaknesses: The Mets were extremely vulnerable to lefties last season, batting just .254 against southpaws, second-lowest in the Senior Circuit. It's a figure that helped drag their overall team BA down to .264. Also, with a composite .187 BA from their pinch hitters, the Mets' bench wasn't exactly a dependable source of offense in 2006.

To read the full article use the link in the header.

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