Fans of the New York Mets know all too well that the 2006 season was the last time the team had reached the postseason. The following eight seasons have been filled with collapses, disappointment, rebuilding and promise. Entering their ninth season since 2006, the New York Mets believe that this is finally the season that the team turns the corner and makes noise in the National League.
The Mets enter 2015 with one of the best starting rotations on paper in the National League. Even with the injury to Zach Wheeler in spring training, the Mets’ rotation still has tons of depth that will carry the team throughout the long season. The return of Matt Harvey will be the biggest factor of the pitching staff. In 2013, Harvey showed that he is the true ace of this pitching staff for years to come. With his return, fans are expected to pack Citi Field for all of his starts, similar to what fans had done at Shea Stadium whenever Dwight Gooden was on the mound. Along with Harvey, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom will be at the top of the rotation. deGrom will be pitching his first full season in the majors, hoping to continue the dominating success that he had displayed on the mound in his rookie season. Following deGrom will be 41 year old Bartolo Colon, who finished with a team high 15 wins last season. His durability is key to the team’s success, as he has proven that he can stay healthy over the past four seasons. Jonathan Niese and Dillon Gee are the longest tenured Mets in this rotation. Both Niese and Gee have proven that they can go out and give you quality starts as long as they can stay healthy.
The 2015 bullpen wasn’t seen to have much competition going into spring training. However, with Josh Edgin needing Tommy John Surgery, the questions facing Bobby Parnell and Vic Black nursing a shoulder injury, the level of competition has increased dramatically. Jenrry Mejia with start off the season as closer with Jeurys Familia setting him up in the eighth inning. Other than Mejia, Familia, and Carlos Torres, the other opening day bullpen spots are up for grabs. Scott Rice and Sean Gilmartin will battle it out for the lefty spot which Edgin once had. Zach Thornton and Erik Goeddel will also be battling for another spot. If none of these options work out, the Mets might also try to use other starters such as Rafael Montero or prospect Steven Matz in the bullpen to start the season.
In the field, the Mets will bring back many familiar faces along with a few offseason acquisitions. The infield will look the same as it did at the end of 2014. Lucas Duda will start at first base, looking to have another season with 30 homeruns. Daniel Murphy will be at second, looking to improve his defense and continue hitting consistently for the team. Shortstop had been a big controversy for the Mets over the offseason. Fans were hoping that the team would acquire a new player, but the Mets chose to stick with Wilmer Flores. Flores will need to step up this season and prove he is an everyday player offensively and defensively. Captain David Wright will be at third base, looking to stay healthy this year and produce more than he did last season. Travis d’arnaud will be behind the plate, hoping not to start off in a bad slump like last season. In the outfield, the three starters will be Michael Cuddyer, Curtis Granderson, and Gold Glove Award winner Juan Lagares. The bats of Cuddyer and Granderson will be extremely important to the success of the Mets this season.
The 2015 season has tons of potential for the New York Mets to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2006. If the bullpen situation can get solidified and the bats can reach their potential, there is no reason that the Mets cannot reach the playoffs this season. If not, manager Terry Collins could be without a job midway through the season.
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Featured Image via Neil Miller, Bill Kostroun