The San Francisco Giants have won two World Series titles over the last three years, and on their way to the top of the baseball world, they’ve used their incredible pitching as the anchor. Manager Bruce Bochy has some offensive weapons in Pablo Sandoval, Hunter Pence, and of course NL MVP Buster Posey, but it’s the pitching staff, which includes Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, and plenty others that have made their first two championships in the Bay area possible. It’s been so successful that Sandy Alderson and the Mets are looking to do model their franchise the same way.
Kevin Kernan of the New York Post wrote the article revealing this, as there are parallels between these two teams, with both playing in pitcher-friendly ballparks and don’t a lot of home runs. There were some more reasons behind Kernan’s report, but what most Mets fans will be drawn to is that paying for home runs costs a lot of money, and that’s the exact opposite of what New York is doing. This is a sound strategy to emulate as the Amazins continue attempting to rebuild this team into a consistent competitor, but Michael Baron of MetsBlogmade a great point about San Fran’s offense; even though their 103 team homers were last in baseball, they were more dynamic overall by striking out less, stealing more bases, and obviously, scoring more runs.
Aug 12, 2012; Flushing, NY,USA; New York Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen (59) visits starting pitcher Jonathon Niese (49) during the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to building a team around solid pitching, the Mets are certainly on their way to doing that; looking at this year’s projected starting rotation, New York has three young pitchers already contributing at the Major League level that will hopefully be around for a while in Jonathon Niese, Matt Harvey, and Dillon Gee. We all know Zack Wheeler will be getting his final seasoning in Triple-A this year, and there are other solid arms within the organization in Noah Syndergaard, Jeurys Familia, and Jenrry Mejia. The bullpen still isn’t where it needs to be, but I’ll take the young arms of Bobby Parnell, Josh Edgin, and Robert Carson over what we had last year any day.
However, to get to where the Giants are at, they’re going to need some more productive offensive players, which isn’t shocking to anyone reading this article. Hopefully, Travis d’Arnaud turns into a dynamic hitter and Ike Davis continues to progress into a premiere power hitter to protect David Wright. To really turn this offense around for the better, Lucas Duda needs to make positive strides to being the hitter the organization thinks he can be, and Alderson needs to acquire some speed to turn singles into doubles, doubles into triples, and to keep opposing pitchers wary of the stolen base.
The pre-game programming for Mets games heading into this season will be altered, as SNY will move the show occupied by Bobby Ojeda, Chris Carlin, and Kevin Burkhardt to an hour before games, so a show hosted by Mets announcers Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez can air a half hour prior. I’m excited for these three to have a bigger role with the network because like many others, I truly enjoy listening to all three during games.
R.A. Dickey was in New York over the weekend to accept his NL Cy Young Award, and had some very nice things to say about his unique journey toward the highest single season individual honor given to pitchers. Also, in case any of you ladies were hoping to be swept off your feet by David Wright sometime soon, the third baseman is officially off the market, as he revealed to ESPN New York that he and long-time girlfriend, Molly Beers, got engaged during the holidays.
In an article for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo mentioned the Mets could still considering the prospect of signing free agent Michael Bourn, but only if the length of the contract he’s looking for and asking price both decrease. Bourn would be the immediate answer to making New York’s offense more dynamic with his speed, but we already heard earlier this month that Alderson had no interest in surrendering a draft pick in exchange for signing him. Cafardo gives fans in favor of acquiring Bourn some hope, but I truly doubt it will happen.
Plus, I’m tired of hearing writers and reporters saying the Mets would be willing to acquire front line free agents if their salary demands decrease.