There is a chance that the New York Mets could be the new baseball kings of New York. Their season looks a lot more promising with the addition of outfielder Michael Cuddyer and the return of young ace pitcher Matt Harvey.
While the Mets will not have much fun facing newly acquired Washington National Max Scherzer, the Mets rotation looks extremely powerful led by Harvey, Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, veteran Bartolo Colon and more young talent in Jonathan Niese, Dillon Gee and Zach Wheeler.
Niese, Gee and Wheeler combined for a 3.62 ERA and 419 strikeouts with Wheeler collecting 187 of them last season.
“The Mets have one of the strongest rotations in the National League,” said Ramapo sophomore Mike Denino. “They have so much depth. Matt Harvey is feeling 100 percent, they have reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob DeGrom on their side, whom I feel will have another huge season.”
The Mets players have also spoken optimistically to the media about the teams progress in spring training.
“Getting back into the routine of throwing a bullpen every other day is nice. It’s a good change,” Harvey told ESPN’s Adam Rubin. “Everything feels great.”
Denino added that right-handed veteran Bartolo Colon will be a mentor to the young pitching staff.
“This is a flawless rotation who will carry this team into a playoff contention this upcoming season,” said Denino.
However, the Mets’ offense struggled through last season and could be a cause for concern. They were 21st in the league in runs (629), third to last in batting average (.239), 22nd in on-base percentage (.308) and 27th in slugging percentage (.364).
“Batters one through nine must contribute in order for these guys to be successful in this competitive NL East,” said Denino. “They cannot rely on Wright and Cuddyer to carry the load this season. In order for these guys to compete with the Nationals, the Mets have to stay healthy and win as a team.”
Despite the low rankings, the Mets are looking forward to contributions from three key offensive players in second baseman Daniel Murphy, first baseman Lucas Duda and newly acquired Cuddyer.
Denino said Cuddyer was a huge acquisition.
“Let’s just hope he has enough gas in the tank,” he said.
Murphy will look to have another stellar season after batting a team-high .289 last year, as well as Duda, who hit 30 home runs and 92 RBIs last year. Duda will look to improve his power numbers, as Citi Field’s outfield dimensions decreased over the offseason.
Third baseman David Wright will look to have a bounce back year after struggling last season, hitting only .269 and eight homers after back-to-back .300-plus seasons.
General manager Sandy Alderson predicted an 89-win season for the Mets in 2015 in a news conference on Friday at Citi Field. The Mets are looking for their first postseason appearance since 2006.
“We have quality players at every position with the potential to improve us by 10 games,” said Alderson, whose team went 79-83 last year. “We’re comfortable and excited actually, to see whether that can translate into 10 or 12 games for us in the ‘won’ column.”