Mets Season Preview with Joe Janish of Mets TodayBy
Joe Janish, manager and founder of Mets Today, the New York Mets blog on the Sweetspot Network, stopped by to answer a few questions similar to the ones that we asked Bill Baer just yesterday. After stealing Jose Reyes during the off-season, I’m rather surprised that Joe was so willing to answer some questions, but he did. Also, be sure to check out Mets Today and Marlins Daily throughout the season when the two teams match up as we’ll be collaborating or at least swapping interviews.
Can you talk about the Mets’ off-season as a whole and how it’ll either benefit or hurt their chances of making the post-season this year?
The Mets have no chance whatsoever of making the postseason this year. Their decision during the offseason to cut as much payroll as possible as quickly as possible made it impossible to improve the club.
Now that Spring Training is well under way and we have all have a clearer picture of our teams heading into the year, are there any stories in particular that we should keep an eye on?
One story to follow is the performance and contract situation of David Wright, who is in the final guaranteed year of his deal. The Mets have a club option they can exercise for 2013 that would pay him $16M. However, that option disappears if he’s traded. If Wright performs well in the first few months of the season, it’s possible he could be dealt — or extended. Considering the Mets are in a rebuilding phase and in financial straits, many believe he’ll be in another uniform by August 1. Because he has been the “face of the franchise” and a fan favorite, it will be interesting to see how the Mets handle this situation.
Which potential 25-man roster players should we be keeping an extra on this year and why?
Lucas Duda is the young man to watch this year. He showed good plate discipline and hinted at his power potential in a half-season audition last year, and has followed that up with a strong spring. Lack of confidence held him back in the past, but he seems to be brimming with it now. If he continues to develop, the Mets may have an Adam Dunn-like slugger stationed in right field.
What kind of success do you see the Mets having this year? What can get them over the top?
Is there a “top” to the basement? Success would be reaching .500, but I don’t see that happening. For the Mets to finish above last, Johan Santana will have to make 30 starts and return to the form he showed prior to his shoulder injury; David Wright and Jason Bay would have to be the players they were before 2010; Daniel Murphy and Josh Thole will have to hit enough to make up for their defensive shortcomings; and the bullpen will have to have near-career years. If all that happens, and the Phillies, Braves, Nationals and Marlins all regress, the Mets might finish fourth, or possibly third.
Lastly, where do you see the Mets finishing in the NL East this season?
If all goes as expected, I think the Mets have a great shot at finishing fifth.
Special thanks to Joe for answering the questions. Make sure to follow him & Mets Today on Twitter @MetsToday