Emmanuel Pepis, Staff Writer
Of all the teams in the league, the Mets are among the toughest to predict. Staying healthy is a priority for everybody, but no team in the Majors has as many injury related question marks as the Mets possess coming into 2017.
The short answer for me is that the Mets will be back in the postseason again after posting a record of 90-72.
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That said, the gang is mostly back together. There are very few changes of potential consequence. What we also learned at the end of last season was there are guys waiting in the wings who can step in if/when needed. Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, and T.J. Rivera all played pivotal roles in keeping the Mets’ playoff hopes afloat. As you all know, the Mets ultimately made the playoffs as a wild card and were eliminated by San Francisco.
We know what kind of hitting team this is structured as: lots of power and guys who can come up with big hits, but not as much motion on the base paths. Yoenis Cespedes has been tearing it up in spring and should certainly lead the offensive charge once again. There are several veterans who have been around the block. Travis d’Arnaud has fixed some mechanics in his swing and that’s translated in March. Can it turn around into April and beyond?
On the mound, it will be interesting to see the shape the bullpen takes early once the suspension to Jeurys Familia is announced. Beyond that, it’s all about the rotation staying intact, something that didn’t happen last year.
When you look at the competition in the division, Washington is obviously the main threat. Miami has a solid lineup that can take another step forward. Atlanta has brought in several veterans after a hot finish last year. Philadelphia has a few pieces in place, but it’s most likely going to be another tough year in the standings.
It looks to be a two-team race in the division but the Marlins and Braves are trending in the right direction. Still, the Mets have enough talent and now some depth in place to deal with most worst-case scenarios.