Monday, April 5, 2010

Opening Day!!

Yes, I know I've been the voice of doom and gloom on the infrequent occasions I've posted this off-season. Yes, the Mets are AT BEST a 78-win team even if everyone stays healthy - and they have the potential to be much, much worse if Johan Santana, Carlos Beltran, David Wright or Jose Reyes miss any time with injuries.

That doesn't matter today. Today is one of the best days of the year, and perhaps the last time in 2010 that the Mets won't be below .500. Put on your favorite jersey, grab a beer and root, root, root for the home team. There will be 161 more chances to weep at the futility on the field and the stupidity in the front office.

Final thoughts on the 25-man roster:

* Starting pitching: a potential disaster area. Santana will be fine, although I think his days of true dominance are over. Oliver Perez and John Maine are both a mess. Mike Pelfrey is the second coming of Jon Rauch - put him in the bullpen and he'll be reliably mediocre for another 10 years. A good season from Jon Niese would put some lipstick on this pig - I happen to think that he can be a reliable #4 starter at the MLB level.

* Relief pitching: The Mets' handling of Jenrry Mejia has been borderline criminal. He belongs in Binghamton learning how to be a top-of-the rotation starter. The Mets are stunting his development in every way imaginable - and there's simply no reason for it to happen. I weep for the future of this franchise. The rest of the pen is mediocre - including the closer, whose peripherals have been in a steady decline for several years now. One smart move - Pedro Feliciano as the "eighth-inning guy." He's been miscast as a specialist.

* Catching: Rod Barajas and Henry Blanco. Sigh.

* Infield: David Wright and Jose Reyes are still superstars (as long as they are healthy). Castillo would be a very good #8 hitter on a good team. He's tolerable as a #2 hitter on this team for as long as he keeps his walk rate up. Mike Jacobs at first base is simply embarrassing. Chris Carter should've gotten the nod while Daniel Murphy was on the DL, but I guess an .893 SLG in Spring Training wasn't good enough to unseat a "veteran" with two straight years with a sub-.300 OBP. Why isn't Ruben Tejada starting at shortstop while Reyes is on the DL?

* Outfield: Beltran's absence is crushing. Jason Bay will be fine - he's no great shakes defensively, but he has power and patience at the plate, with just enough speed to sneak a base when the pitcher isn't paying attention. Jeff Francouer will fit right in with the bottom half of this lineup - another guy swinging for the fences and grounding out weakly to shortstop when he makes contact. The Angel Pagan vs. Gary Matthews debate is hilarious - Pagan is a fourth outfielder and Matthews is a fifth outfielder. Both belong on the bench.

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