Manager: Terry Collins (13 - 18 ) ( 456 - 452), some may remember that back in the fall of 2005, Terry Collins was the Dodgers VP of Player Development, and was hand picked by Paul Depodesta to replace Jim Tracy. For some reason that played a part in ending Depodesta's career.
Current: Mets have six core offensive players who when healthy should keep this team competitive but it isn't working out that way. Reyes and Beltran are healthy and playing everyday, but Jason Bay and Angel Pagan have struggled when playing, and have both nursed injuries. The pitching staff currently ranks dead last in the NL using Fangraphs WAR as the defining metric.
Outlook: Dismal, their top possibility for helping their rotation twenty one year old Jenrry Mejia just found out he's headed for surgery. They have scrapped together a rotation with duck tape, hoping the arms of Chris Young and Chris Capuano can hold up but even if they do, they simply are not very good anymore. The pixie dust that Dickey was using for his knuckler is blowing away. I'd love to swap our offensive team for theirs, but I would not let one of their starters touch our rotation. Johan Santana will be back this year but probably will not help them. When you look at the names on this team: Ike Davis, Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Angel Pagan, Johan Santana, Frankie Rodriquez you see a ton of talent for a team 13 - 18 team. What you don't see are any pitchers in the current rotation. I'm very curious what this big market last place team will look like come August 1st.
Disabled List: Angel Pagan, Johan Santana, Pedro Beato, Bobby Parnell
1st Base: Ike Davis is everything that James Loney is not, a power hitting left handed 1st baseman. Quite a few 1st baseman are struggling, Ike Davis is not one of them. He is in the top five of just about every offensive category, his only chink right now is his 25% K Rate.
2nd Base: Daniel Murphy is currently the 2nd baseman of choice, which was a weird choice given he was a 1st baseman - outfielder before this year. He is hitting so maybe he was the right choice. I've yet to see him play second, the metrics say he's adequate, I'll believe it when I see it.
Shortstop: Jose Reyes is back and doing what he does best, slash and dash. Jose already has 10 stolen bases, is hitting a TSL of .315/.366/.446. Leads NL shortstops in WAR (1.3), and is 3rd in wOBA (.364)
3rd Base: David Wright is no longer the monster prodigy from 2007/2008 who put up WAR's over 7 but he is still a top tier 3rd baseman who has never had an OPS+ below 118. David checks in with a career OPS+ of 135 which would put him in some select company if he can keep that up. His K rate has jumped through the roof sitting at 29%, and the once stellar defensive 3rd baseman has been a liability at 3rd the last three years according to UZR.
Catcher: Josh Tholes had a decent debut in 2010, however he's ensnared in a nasty sophomore slump, both offensively and defensively. Right now he's the worst catcher in the NL so Ronnie Paulino might be getting some play time. Paulino was injured this spring which worked out great because he was also suspended. He was activated last week just in time for the Mets to bench Tholes and give him some time to clear his mind.
Right Fielder: Carlos Beltran is finally back on the field but instead of center field he's plying his trade in RF. I've yet to see him play the field, but the former stolen base threat is not running, and his defense has taken a huge hit so I'm expecting the speed he once possessed is gone. What he is doing is what he's always done and that is hit. His TSL is .294/.379/.520
Center Fielder: This was Angel Pagans gig but he got hurt, however before he got hurt he was a long way from the man who was one of the better center fielders in 2010. Career minor leaguer Jason Pridie got the call and so far has made the most of it.
Left Fielder:Jason Bays returns from a paternity leave just in time to face the team that caused him so much damage in 2010 when he crashed into our fence on July 23rd and never was the same. The Mets hope they are not going to be paying him 16,000,000 smackeroos to be an average left fielder but so far the deal has looked like a bust.
Hiroki Kuroda versus Jonathon Niese
Jon Garland versus Chris Young
Clayton Kershaw versus R.A. Dickey
TSL = Earned Run Average / FIP / xFIP
Niese - 4.71 / 4.70 / 4.06
Young - 1.88 / 4.24 / 4.52
RA Dickey - 4.74 / 4.16 / 4.06
Setup: Their best relief pitcher in 2011 got hurt (Pedro Beato) so he's out. Bunch of names that just roll of your tongue are filling out this bullpen. Tim Byrdak, Taylor Buchholz, and long time Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen. Jason is a great story, not sure what he has left.
Closer: Frankie Rodriquez is still the closer but we don't have to worry about him on Friday Night as he was forced to throw over 40 pitches in the 9th inning on Thursday to save the game.
Matchup Notes: The Mets average almost five runs a game at home with an OPS of .788. They also fare better against RHP then LHP. The Dodgers will need to score some runs against some very questionable pitching, if they can't do that, don't expect any success this weekend.