Saturday, September 18, 2010

Can You Live With This Mets Lineup in 2011?

The off season is almost here and it's one of my favorite times of year as I take on a second job of becoming a virtual Mets general manager. It's an unpaid role, but I consider it to be an unwanted charitable cause that I feel compelled to undertake.

Chances are the Mets will look to pinch pennies and we shouldn't expect them to go out and make multiple big signings to improve this team. If I had to choose between pitching or hitting, I'd want the Mets to focus on a starting pitcher. A Cliff Lee. A Felix Hernandez. Some type of #1 starter that can lock up this Mets rotation.

Bullpen help would be great, but I think almost every team outside of the Padres could use some form of bullpen help. But that leaves the Mets lineup to potentially be as follows if they don't make another signing:

1. Jose Reyes-SS
2. Angel Pagan-RF
3. Carlos Beltran-CF
4. David Wright-3B
5. Ike Davis-1B
6. Jason Bay -LF
7. Josh Thole-C
8. Luis Hernandez/Ruben Tejada/Luis Castillo/Daniel Murphy-2B

The big question lies with second base. Can the Mets unload Castillo? Will Tejada be another Rey Ordonez? Can Daniel Murphy play and hit at second base? If the Mets end up with a Castillo/Tejada platoon, that's a very light hitting option at second base with potentially only one home run tallied between the two of them.

Couple that with Josh Thole as your potential starting backstop and you may only get 5 or 6 home runs for a season out of your catcher and second basemen. That's not a good thing.

The focus has to be pitching. I had been campaigning for Roy Halladay the last two season to no avail, but whether it's Cliff Lee or someone else the Mets absolutely need a #1 starter. Even so the power outage at catcher and second base could be a serious issue. Second baseman, outside of Dan Uggla and Brandon Phillips, aren't known for their home run hitting talent, but you can't have that huge of a drought from both your catcher and middle infielder.

Lots of questions need to be answered. What's your comfort level with the lineup listed above?