by Matt Trueblood
on February 15, 2010 @ 00:00:00
Citi Field's impact on the 2009 Mets and their opponents was seriously overstated. That being said, it looks like a legitimate (if not severe) pitcher's park. As David Wright showed last season, lost bombs tended to turn into doubles and triples more than fly-outs. With the team healthy, look for higher power numbers in 2010.
New York loves to run, and the low-run environment encourages that penchant. Bay swiped 13 bags for Boston last year and could do it again in New York. Jose Reyes says his hamstring feels great, so the Mets won't hold him back, as long as he's right.
The rumors of Johan Santana's demise have been greatly exaggerated. He is a flyball pitcher in a flyball park. Note that for the rest of the staff. The rotation remains weak, but perhaps consistent health will make a difference. The Mets came back to tie or take a lead only 14 times after one of their pitchers left in position to take a loss. That's the second fewest in the NL.
New York brought in Francisco Rodriguez to solidify the back end. He wasn't entirely reliable, but the rest of the 'pen was even less so. The Mets tied for third most wins lost - times a pitcher exited in line to get a W and the team lost it - in the NL. The Mets brought in a couple of unknown commodities - Kelvim Escobar (injury-prone) and Ryota Igarashi (import) - to shore it up.
Mike Pelfrey will probably benefit most from the return of Jose Reyes' shortstop prowess: Reyes is a much better defender than his replacements were, and Pelfrey has a career groundball-to-flyball ratio of 1.47. All five projected outfielders on the roster provide serviceable defense, though Bay's is shaky at times.
The Mets have no immediately intriguing bats behind the plate, but they should receive more than acceptable D, as long as their choices remain Omir Santos and Henry Blanco. The club has no clear full-time solution, though, and the rest of the stable contains downgrades defensively.
About Matt Trueblood
Matt is a journalism student at Loyola University Chicago. The guest contributor is a featured Chicago Cubs columnist on the Bleacher Report as well as a contributor to hotstove.com. Matt envisions himself as both a writer and analyst and strives to deliver pieces that are both well-researched and thought-provoking. He work first appeared on KFFL.com in February 2010.
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