For the decade of the 2000’s, the Mets were 815-803, good for a .504 winning percentage. That’s strange, because for much of the decade the team was either really good (2000, 2006-2008) or really bad (2002-2004, 2009). But even when they were good, the teams left Mets fans wanting more, they still felt like they were underachieving, thanks to some sort of fatal flaw that showed itself at the wrong time, thanks to faulty roster construction.
Archive for the ‘Daniel Murphy’ Category
Since grading the Mets’ hitters first half was such a rousing success, I thought I would grade their whole season now that it has mercilessly ended. This is still a very, very hacky thing to do, but with the World Series possibly shaping up as an Alien vs. Predator-esque Phillies/Yankees finale, I need to distract myself from that impending doom somehow. I will grade the pitchers tomorrow.
The Mets’ outfield situation for next season begins and ends in left field. Carlos Beltran and Jeff Francouer will likely be back to start in center field and right field, respectively. Angel Pagan has played well enough to replace Jeremy Reed as the team’s primary backup outfielder. I’d like to think that they aren’t bringing back Cory Sullivan, but I’ve been wrong before. And Gary Sheffield is unlikely to return as the team’s starting left fielder, as it’s doubtful he can handle playing a full season in the field. Let’s take a look at what’s out there and what the Mets can do to try to add a few wins next year.
Second part in a series. For my plan for the catcher’s spot, go here.
There aren’t as many decisions to make in the infield as there are at catcher. The team is set at shortstop and third base, and likely second base as well. First base is a different story, as they will not have a starting first baseman under contract for 2010. I do think they have good options for the bench already under team control, but it remains to be seen if they view those options the same way I do. Let’s take a look at what they have.
Thirteen months ago, the Mets found themselves noticably thin in the outfield corner spots. Moises Alou had appeared in a mere 15 games, and would not play again this season (and perhaps ever; he has not played in the majors since). Ryan Church was still battling the effects of post-concussion syndrome. Endy Chavez had been an absolutely dreadful hitter, and his all-world defense was not appreciated by the front office (full disclosure: after every single Endy Chavez at-bat, I wished to never see him bat as a Met again, so I didn’t appreciate him at the time either). Even Marlon Anderson was hurt, robbing the Mets of their worst possible choice to play left field regularly.
Before the season, I started writing a draft of something called “Are Mets fans setting expectations too high for Daniel Murphy?” I never finished it, mostly because I didn’t see the need to be overly negative before the season started; after all, spring training is a time for optimism, there’s plenty of time for negativity during the regular season. But the jist of my point was that Murphy was probably a little bit lucky in 2008, that he probably wasn’t as good as he played in August and September, and would probably see a little regression, and that Mets fans who saw him as the team’s next David Wright should probably lower their expectations.
Yes, I am doing the hackiest of hack ideas, the first half “grades” for each and every player. It will give me a chance to sort through the damage, and figure out exactly how we got to this point and if there is anything we can do about it (the answer: probably not, no). I will start with the hitters today and tackle the pitchers tomorrow. In order from A to F…