Pelfrey, Dickey and Niese. Not exactly a trio to strike fear in an opponent’s heart, except maybe a defendant in a legal case who might think it sounds like an intimidating law firm. And yet that’s the best the Mets can send to the mound to start the season with Johan Santana sidelined. An over-the-hill knuckleballer (Dickey), a very green Niese and the sometimes head case that is Mike Pelfrey. Add to that trio the likes of Dillon Gee, Chris Capuano and Chris Young and you’ve got a gang of pitchers who probably couldn’t crack the starting rotation down in Philly.
My most optimistic thought about the Mets at this stage goes something like maybe the underwhelming amazins will sneak up on some unsuspecting opponents who take us lightly. If the Mets do surprisingly compete, I feel like its gotta be because of some unexpected fireworks out of their lineup. To be more specific, at least three of the following possible unexpected sparks must come to fruition:
1) David Wright gets hot out of gate and gets his power stroke going all year.
2) Jose Reyes starts making great decisions, gets on base a lot, steals bases, scores runs and excels as the catalyst he has the potential to be.
3) Angel Pagan continues to make strides and makes everyone around him better making lots of contact in that #2 spot in the order.
4) Josh Thole not only does a great job handling the staff but blossoms offensively in to an average hitter with some power in the middle of the lineup.
5) Carlos Beltran knee heals to where he looks like the Beltran of 2-3 years ago.
6) Ike Davis hits 30 home runs and is more reliable in clutch situations.
Gimme 3 out of 6 of the above, that’s all I’m asking for. Put another way, Wright and Reyes are the keys to this team, and I think the Mets can potentially compete if they both excel and one or more of the supporting cast has a breakout year. (Or comeback year in the case of Beltran).
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Written by Mark Reichman