Will The Mets Return To The Fall Classic?
2016 can be a special season in New York.
After listening to talk radio this past week, it seems that everyone is asking the same questions, Will the Mets repeat what they did in 2015 and return to the World Series in 2016? Is the season a failure if they don’t return and win it all? Was 2015 a one and done for the Mets? Are the young guns for real?
These are just a few of the questions out there amongst the media and fans and as a Die-hard Mets fan, I have seen history repeat itself for too many years with the team flopping the next season, but this upcoming season I believe things will be different.
After the Mets won the 1986 World Series, there was a feeling that a dynasty was in the making. They won 92 games in 1987, 16 less than they won in 1986, even though most of the stars returned with some added guns, but they just fell short and finished three games in second place behind the St Louis Cardinals. The Mets did return to the postseason in 1988, but fell short again and did not return back to the series until the 2000 season when the first ever Subway Series was played and they lost to the New York Yankees 4-1.
The seasons following the Mets postseason runs, all seemed to end any chance of repeats, but history will not repeat itself in 2016 as the Mets are being built to withstand any letdown. The 2015 baseball season was one filled with many surprises and great games, but 2016 has the make-up to be even more exciting and possibly go down in history as the best year ever for the franchise. That may be a lot to ask, but after what the starting rotation did during the 2015 postseason, there is only high hopes for better days.
The Mets had many questions last year, but players stepped up and did their jobs and when they needed extra help, GM Sandy Alderson went out and supplied the perfect pieces to the puzzle.
Now this season those same pieces that were part of a playoff team that dismantled both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs before meeting their match against the Kansas City Royals in the World Series, will have a full season ahead of them to make even louder noise. The pitching staff, the young guns, all did tremendously well and all return for an encore.
That rotation includes Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz and an ageless Bartolo Colon. Not to mention that Zack Wheeler, who should be back in the fold as well, would make the Mets one of the best young rotations in baseball. What team can send out four possibly five starting pitchers with the capabilities to dominate every game they start. These guys proved that they can compete at the highest level in the World Series, so running through the season should be an easy task.
The Mets did one better when they stole Yoenis Cespedes from the free agent market. What Mets fan truly saw that coming? The clause that was taken out of the contract before the World Series, was key to being able to negotiate with the Cuban native, but actually bringing him back was genius.
There will be a missing icon on the field, as National League postseason hero Daniel Murphy chose to decline the Mets $15.8 Million qualifying offer and then signed with the Washington Nationals for 3 years/$37.5 million.
But the Mets went out and traded for Neil Walker, after sending lefty Jon Niese to the Pittsburgh Pirates and also brought in free agent shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. So at this point the infield is pretty much set with just the few questions of where will Wilmer Flores and Ruben Tejada fit in the mix and how long before Top Prospect Dilson Herrera truly gets his shot to stay win the majors. The Mets also have other viable options for the infield in their farm system with Matt Reynolds and T.J. Rivera waiting for their shot to impact the lineup.
The Mets bullpen is not set in stone and it will be key who they choose to bridge the gap between the starters and Jeurys Familia, who successfully took over the closer’s role and finished the year was 43 saves. Now I have my favorites and I feel one bullpen spot should be given to right-handed reliever Chase Bradford. He may not be on the 40-man roster at the moment, but he has the stuff to hold down the offense and be a viable asset on the team. Bradford has been with the organization since he signed out of college in the 35th round of the 2011 Amateur Draft, and has gotten better each season and grown into the roles that the organization set for him.
The Mets need to focus on what they have on their farm teams, rather than look outside the organization when it comes to pitching. So far the kids have fared really well and I feel they will continue to do so. And a lot of credit goes to the pitching coaches in the minors that are well equipping these young arms for the major league grind.
As for the rest of the offense, David Wright needs to have a big season, and enough rest throughout the year will be key to having him fresh for the big games down the stretch. Cespedes will be great again, Michael Conforto will be a bigger star, and Curtis Granderson will help lead this group to another winning season.
Teams have gotten better and will be making a run for the postseason, but the Mets will be better because of their starting rotation, which will carry them as the offense builds the needed chemistry. But that shouldn’t take too long.
It will be an exciting 2016 season of winning baseball in Queens, NY and at the end they may just do something real special and bring home their first World Series title in 30 years. The time is finally here to start a Dynasty.