As baseball approaches again, it always makes me happy to look at the possibilities for the upcoming season and think in utopian terms about how the team will do, and how the players will do individually. Today I have just been thinking about personal and the batting order. Perhaps other things will crop up in later posts, but I don't see myself writing a whole lot of posts on this, so if there are any who are put off by sports, don't be discouraged.
The batting order above seems to me to be what they will likely do at the opening of the season if the personnel stays as is. Of course, there is not likely any way that Jason Phillips will start the season at first base. Nor is there much chance that both Cameron and Floyd will both be in the outfield. The rest of the lineup will likely be the same. Best case scenario in my opinion is that the Mets will go after Ordonez, NOT Delgado; trade Floyd for Byrnes (or anyone?), NOT Sosa; keep Cameron in right field; and bring in Olerud to play first, maybe Mientkiewicz from Boston.
I don't like bringing in Delgado, even with his career numbers as they are. It just smells like Mo Vaughan to me. Maybe he comes and has a great year, maybe two, but his injury last year and the long slump worries me. I also don't think that he is worth a 4 year deal for 60 mil which is what it will take to get him. His defense is lackluster as well and will continue to downgrade as he gets older. Olerud is the best to fill the void until a young hot shot can come up or they can trade or bring in a better free agent. His defense is impeccable and he has enough offense and OBP to make a good 6 hole hitter, or maybe even 3.
Speaking of the 3 hole... There is no way to put Beltran in that spot. He thrived in the 2 hole in Houston and in the playoffs and David Wright is the best average hitter in the list. You gotta keep the kid in the 3 hole and watch him blossom. The numbers he put up for a rookie were incredible, and in only 69 games. He'll hit over 30 homers and knock in well over 100 RBI.
Mike Piazza... Everyone is talking about his crappy numbers from last year. When he was healthy as a catcher he hit .337 against .221 as a first baseman. I knew it from the beginning that he would suck at first. He is a good defensive catcher but he has no arm. I think if he stays at catcher he will put up normal numbers (30hr, 100+ rbi) if he is healthy. Otherwise you trade him to an AL team for a catcher and some prospects, but I think that would be a mistake. I think he has something to prove after an embarrassing season switching back and forth between 1B and C.
Reyes finally plays a full season in the bigs without injury (he is just tearing up winter ball!).
Kaz Matsui figures out how to throw an MLB sized baseball from second to first and gets his bat out of his arse. (some of his swings were really ugly last year)
Piazza stays healthy and no longer has to worry about changing positions.
Cameron gets to 30/30 this year (missed by 4 SB last year).
Beltran is Beltran.
Pedro is Pedro (I'll take his '04 numbers).
ASIDE - with Pedro in the rotation, everybody drops a spot in the rotation. That makes Glavine one of the best #2's, Benson one of the best 3's and either Trachsel or Zambrano are easily the best 4 or 5 slot in the NL.
That of course must be weighed with Atlanta's addition of Hudson and the Cardinals addition of Mulder, both of which do similar things for their rotations, so perhaps this aside loses some of its purpose. END ASIDE
Whoever they get to play left field doesn't suck in the field or at the plate.
Get Magglio Ordonez to play left field.
Give up on Delgado, bring in Olerud or Mientkiewicz.
Don't even think about Sammy Sosa.
I believe that if these things come to pass, the Mets will be very difficult to beat in the NL East.