Wednesday, July 11, 2007

10 Things Mets Must Do in Second Half

With the season resuming tomorrow night (love it!), I thought I'd drop a Top 10 list on what the Mets need to do in order to repeat as NL East Champs.

10). Designate Scott Schoenweis for assignment
Nickname: Blowenweis. Enough said.

9). More extra base hits from Jose Reyes
While he’s still awesome, his power numbers are down from last season; potential is there to be even better than he’s been.

8). Improve Second Base Position and #2 Spot in Lineup
Jose Valentin was great last year. Unfortunately, he got hurt and now looks like a liability. Randolph might want to think about a platoon, using Gotay (.429 with RISP, in 21 Abs) against right handers and Easley (.323 with RISP, in 31 Abs) against lefties. Gotay is nice in the 2 hole, and Easley’s patience could work here as well.And unless Lo Duca can find last season's stroke, he should bat 7th or 8th.

7). Solidify left field; Milledge, Alou, Chavez, Gomez – anyone will do.
Left field has been an enigma all season; primary reason why Randolph has had to juggle the lineup day in, day out.

6). Drive Reyes in from third when there are no outs.
How many times have we seen Jose stranded at third? He should have at least 10 more runs scored; could have been the difference in a few games.

5). Get/Keep their starters healthy; Perez, Sosa…and the Return of Pedro
Starting pitching has been their strength all season, thanks to John–should have been an All Star-Maine and Oliver Perez, as well as a surprising Jorge Sosa. It will be critical to have a healthy staff in the second half to minimize appearances from the Dave Williams’ and Jason Vargas’ of the world. And don’t forget the great Pedro Martinez, Coming Soon! This alone, could be the best “acquisition” the Mets could make.

4). Bullpen must improve. (see #10)
While their offense crunched teams last year, their bread and butter was a “lights-out” bullpen. This could be #1 or #2 for me, but see next three.

3). Need consistent production from David Wright & Carlos Beltran
Lineup is lethal when these two guys are on top of their game; division is theirs if they duplicate last season’s production.

2). Delgado has to get better.
His lack of production is #1 reason for Mets’ offensive woes. Wright and Beltran haven’t been great, but Delgado has been downright brutal; signs of progress emerged during this last road trip. Mets are close to unbeatable when the big 3 are mashing.

1). Hit with runners in scoring position. (see #’s 2 and 3)
If numbers 2 and 3 improve, this issue becomes a moot point; but this is critical. They've been horrible all season.

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