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New York Mets: New Year, New Team
- Updated: January 10, 2017
New York Mets
What began as a season full of hopes of redemption after reaching the World Series the year before only to lose to the Kansas City Royals, ended in the one game playoff of the National League wildcard round with a loss to the San Francisco Giants. The 2016 season saw the New York Mets jump off to a hot start, going 15-7 in the month of April, only to cool down for the next two months winning less than fifty percent of their games in the months of May and June combined, finishing the season with an 87-75 record. It didn’t help matters that the eventual National League East Champion Washington Nationals stayed hot throughout the season. Mets fans were left scratching their heads wondering what might have been and how a line-up that really hadn’t changed a whole lot could lose the division as well as the playoff game. It’s cliche to say “it’s baseball, anything can happen”, but with a pitching staff that had tormented hitters, and a line-up that, at times, showed real life, it was a frustrating season for the New York Mets as well as their followers.
Last season saw key Mets players have solid seasons. Second Baseman Neil Walker appeared in 113 games hitting .282 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI. Yoenis Cespedes hit .280 with 31 home runs and 86 RBI. Outfielder Jay Bruce hit .250 with 33 home runs and 99 RBI. Mets pitchers didn’t fare quite as well which contributed largely to them slipping in the standings. Matt Harvey saw his season derailed by multiple trips to the disabled list. Noah Syndegaard had a stellar season registering a record of 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA, and 218 strike outs.
During the off-season, the Mets made key moves that will surely have them in the conversation as a contender in the NL East. After it was announced that All-star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes had elected free agency, it seemed all but certain he would wind up elsewhere. Cespedes chose to re-sign with the Mets, agreeing to a four-year deal worth a reported 110 million dollars. The Mets also picked up the 2017 option on outfielder Jay Bruce, who they acquired from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline.
Expectations For 2017:
While the season didn’t end the way the Mets wanted, 2017 does hold hope towards visions of national league supremacy. The Mets pitching staff, when healthy, is among the most talented and best in the league. The outfield is loaded with power and RBI capability. The two areas of need lie in the bullpen and depth at the first base position. With Mets closer Jeurys Familia’s future uncertain due to domestic violence allegations, it would not be surprising if they brought in additional bullpen help. Lucas Duda has proven to be capable at first base, but so far the power and RBI numbers haven’t been productive. With power hitting free agent Mark Trumbo still available, he may prove to be a viable option.
The Mets are a team that’s success is dependent on their pitching staff, which has proven to be an achilles heal in years past. The pitching staff is young and loaded with top arms, but questions about how durable they will be during the 162-game grind remain unanswered.
On paper this team looks like it’s built to contend for not only a division title but a World Series title as well. Durability and production will have everything to do with the outcome of the 2017 season but the fact remains; the road to the division title runs through our nations capitol.