Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mets Staff/Line-Up vs. Atlanta, Florida: How they Stack Up and Realistic Expectations

The Mets may be the fourth best team in the division again this year. Why? Let's take a look at the current Mets line-up and rotation/bullpen as it is constructed today and I think we'll see why.

First off, the line-up as constructed today looks something like this: Reyes, Pagan, Wright, Bay, Francouer, Murphy, Santos, Castillo, Pitcher's Spot. Yikes. With Beltran back, it makes the line-up better, and could probably contend for the wild-card, but this line-up does not scare anyone.

Let's compare that line-up to the one's in Florida and Atlanta. I'm not even going to look at Philadelphia's line-up because they are so far beyond, it's not worth the calories typing it.

My projection of the Marlins line-up: Maybin, Coughlin, Ramirez, Cantu, Uggla, Ross, Sanchez, Baker, Pitcher's Spot.

Projection of the Braves line-up: McClouth, Prado, Jones, McCann, Glaus, Escobar, Melky Cabrera, Diaz, Pitcher's spot.

Of the three line-ups I laid out, (the Mets,Marlins and Braves) I would say the Marlins probably have the most question marks because no one can tell what Maybin, Sanchez and Baker will produce. Also, Coughlin is a tough call as well, he was so good last year, but I don't know if he'll succumb to the sophomore slump. However, all four of those players have some nice upside. Sanchez could turn out to be another big bat, Maybin might be an on-base stud and speedster with power, while Coughlin could keep doing what he did last year, and Baker could be more than serviceable. So, worst case scenario for the Marlins, the Mets have the better line-up, best case the Marlins do. So, I'm going to call them a wash until a see more from the young guys in Florida, and until Beltran returns, because I think that swings the balance a bit.

However, I think there is very little argument that the Braves have a very good line-up. They don't have as many question marks as the Marlins, as they have more proven hitters. They have the potential for double-digit homers from every player in that line-up, and should Glaus really be back and healthy, I would argue they have 20 homer potential from everyone except Prado, maybe Escobar and Diaz. Still, that is an impressive line-up compared to the Mets, have only about 5 guys capable of hitting 10 or more homers (6 counting Beltran), with a very generous estimate of that same group capable of hitting 20 each (Reyes, Wright, Bay, Murphy, Francouer). Most likely, you're looking at two 20 homer guys (bounce-back year for Wright), and the others being 10-plus homer guys.

Now, let's look at the same three teams rotations, once again omitting the Phillies, this time to avoid depression. Mets: Santana, Pelfrey, Maine, Perez, Nieve/Niese. Braves: Lowe, Jurjjens, Hanson, Hudson, Kawakami. Marlins: Johnson, Nolasco, Sanchez, West Volstad.

This scares me. The Braves and Marlins both has young guys in there who can be dominant. Outside of Santana, the Mets are a bunch of question marks. I'd give the edge to both Florida and Atlanta here, BUT, I do like the Mets bullpen over both Atlanta's and Florida's.

So, taking all that into consideration, it seems to me like the Mets have a good chance of finishing behind both the Braves and Marlins, again this season, unless Beltran comes back quick, and Pelfrey and Perez rebound from last year. I know I seem pretty pessimistic here, but, without another more established starter the staff worries me. Realistically, I think the Mets will be in running for the wild card, and I think that's all they are looking to do.

Considering the way the offseason has been handled, I would not be surprised that the Mets plan is to just hold out and see where they are in July, and make additions that way. It may be another up and down season, but one things for sure, it can't be any worse than last year...

No comments:

Post a Comment