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New York Mets TBLA Preview - The Wright Stuff

Wright Stuff - Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
Wright Stuff - Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

When I looked at the Mets roster in spring training I felt this was sub five hundred team with the possibility of being really bad for the following reasons.

  • They had lost Jose Reyes to free agency
  • They had traded Carlos Beltran the previous summer
  • They had an expensive and injury prone 3rd baseman left as their only marque position player
  • They were paying an enormous amount of money to Jason Bay who had quickly gone from solid to terrible
  • They had swapped Centerfielders with the Giants and I felt they had gotten the lesser player
  • Their rotation was anchored by a broken Johan Santana
  • Their solid first baseman had contacted Valley Fever during the winter
  • RA Dickey was just another name in a rotation that looked suspect from most angles

The lineup on opening day was:

Andres Torres CF, Daniel Murphy 2nd, David Wright 3b, Ike Davis 1b, Jason Bay LF, Lucas Duda RF, Josh Thole C, Ruben Tejada SS, Johan Santana SP.

Baseball started and the Mets swept the Braves, and have played over five hundred ball every month until July. Only a few things really went wright for the Mets but when your super star is sitting in the midst of a career season, and you find a Cy Young candidate when none existed, that can make up for a lot of shortcomings.

David Wright has been unbelievable, almost hitting .400 in April he has not really slowed down. There was a time when David Wright had the numbers to back up being one of the greatest young third baseman in a historical context through the age of 27. Using OPS+ looking at all 3rd baseman up until age 27 this is the list of 10 best. I have removed Jim Thome and Gary Sheffield from this list as they both stopped being full time 3rd baseman well short of their 27th birthday. Everyone but one above Wrigth is a HOF and one who should be.

Rk             Player OPS+    G From   To   Age   PA   BA  OBP  SLG  OPS
1          Dick Allen  163  866 1963 1969 21-27 3691 .300 .380 .554 .933
2       Eddie Mathews  152 1177 1952 1959 20-27 5138 .281 .383 .548 .931
4        Mike Schmidt  141  779 1972 1977 22-27 3215 .256 .374 .515 .889
6        George Brett  138 1002 1973 1980 20-27 4330 .319 .368 .497 .864
7       Chipper Jones  137  779 1993 1999 21-27 3386 .301 .394 .529 .923
8        David Wright  136 1004 2004 2010 21-27 4336 .305 .383 .516 .899
9    Heinie Zimmerman  133  776 1907 1914 20-27 2993 .313 .353 .459 .812
10          Ron Santo  132 1214 1960 1967 20-27 5162 .285 .365 .485 .850

Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/19/2012.

Problem was David Wright turned 28 and seemed to have back problems that would limit his career. Not only back problems but K problems. David Wright was on quite the strike out path. How is this for progression?

118/736/16% , 140/618/24%, 161/670/27%

His K rate did stabilize in 2012 in only 447 plate appearances, 97 K's, 21.7%

2012 David Wright is a beast the NL has never seen before. His highest OPS+ headed into this year was 149. It currently stands at 179.

The other super star on the team Johan Santana threw the first NY Met no hitter in history on June 1st. It was a great one game story, and the come back of the 33 year old two time CY Young winner is a great story. Yet he's not pitching like a Cy Young, that honor belongs to RA Dickey. RA Dickey did not come out of nowhere, he had a great 2010 season, a solid 2011 season but as a knuckleballer who knew what to expect in 2012. His six game stretch between May 22nd - June 18th is how legends are created. Six starts, Six Wins, Forty Eight innings, ONE earned run, five walks, sixty three strike outs, twenty one hits allowed. Youza

However it is now July and the Mets are struggling to a 3 - 9 record, and are on a six game losing streak which has seen them move from only 3.5 games back to 8. Johan Santana has been crushed in his last two starts. He gets the call on Friday. Dillon Gee has been lost and Miguel Batista is getting the start on Saturday. Miguel Batista is 41 and terrible. The Mets could have chosen two fine pitching prospects in Matt Harvey or Zach Wheeler to start this game but instead they are giving the Dodger offense a break they sorely need. The best pitcher the Dodgers will face this weekend is probably Jonathon Niese on Sunday. The young lefthander has the goods to keep the Dodger offense sputtering.

Besides David Wright the rest of the team flushes out this way.

1st - Ike Davis had a terrible start to the year with his season OPS sitting at .695. It appeared he had broken out of his funk when he slugged in June to the tune of a .926 OPS, but in July he's back to struggling.

2nd - Daniel Murphy is adequate, nothing special, but he does not hurt you.

SS - Ruben Tejada - the twenty two year old has been a pleasant surprise putting up a .760 OPS and is out hitting and out fielding the guy making 92 Million over the next six years. I thought he was a utility guy. Oops. On the other hand this OPS is higher then anything he posted in the minor leagues after he left rookie ball so the pumpkin could still strike midnight.

C - Josh Thole - he's basically what I expected AJ Ellis to be. He's not terrible, his four year OPS trend is however going the wrong way from 101 -> 99 -> 95 -> 82.

LF - Jason Bay had another concussion and missed a good chunk of time. He's back but the Mets wish he and his contract would just go away. He's terrible, the Mets were so much better when they had Scott Hairston ripping left handers.

CF - Andres Torres - he's still looking for the magic of 2010, but some rabbits refuse to leave the box.

RF - Lucas Duda / Scott Hairston - seem the likely players to inhabit this spot. Hard to find a better platoon then these two.

The Dodgers are reeling, the Mets are reeling, someone has to get straightened out. The Mets took three of four at Dodger Stadium at the end June. Expect the Dodgers to take two of three at Citi field thanks to Miguel Batista giving us a gimme on Saturday.