With six games down and 156 games to go, let's see how the rest of the 2009 New York Mets season is going to look.
- Johan Santana- In his first two starts, Johan has looked like the Ace that every fan, coach and player wants/needs him to be. He was saved in Game 1 by the revamped bullpen and had 13 strikeouts on the losing end of a pitchers' duel today. As long as he stays healthy, Santana is the man who will make it happen throughout the season.
- Mike Pelfrey- Despite a rocky start in the 2nd game of the season, Big Pelf was able to turn it around for the rest of his outing. Mike showed us last season that he was ready to be a big game pitcher with a 13-11 record and a 3.72 ERA. His second half last year helped the team stay in the playoff race and he is being touted as a Future #1 starter. I liked that he didn't let his 44 pitch first inning get to him too much and he settled in for the win.
- Oliver Perez- It was nice to see Ollie, the free-agent that the Mets ended up 'winning out on' in the off-season, do terribly in his first outing. If he is still following his consistently inconsistent format, he'll be awful again next start, but turn it around for the next 5. One can really never tell though. After reports that he was 'out of shape' upon his return from the WBC, coupled with his final, horrible (witnessed by yours truly) outing in the Spring, I can't say I'm all that optimistic. My views can easily be turned around, just like Ollie's season...
- John Maine- In his first meaningful start since shoulder surgery ended his 2008 season, Maine got a no-decision after 5 innings pitched, giving up 2 hits and 2 runs. Not to shabby for someone who was shut down last August. Here's hoping that Johnny's shoulder holds up for the season and returns to his 2007 and late-2006 form.
- Livan Hernandez- Earning the fifth starter role during Spring Training, El Duque's half brother showed everyone that he belonged out there in the Mets' win over the Marlins on Saturday. The journey-man pitcher's (this is his 4th team in 3 seasons) job will be to keep his spot on the team by doing just what he did yesterday- have quality starts. ...just a side note- does any team ever enter Spring Training knowing who their 5th starter will be?? It seems like the Mets never do. That is all.
- The Bullpen- Say goodbye to the ghosts of blown leads past. To Heilman, Schoenweis and Smith, I wish you well (ish). To Rodriguez, Putz, Parnell, Green, Stokes, O'Day and Feliciano I wish you more than that, because if you don't succeed, you will be the bane of our existence once again and we will surely be saying 'Adios' to Omar Minaya.
The Position Players
- Jose Reyes- Batting leadoff once again, the (somewhat less) electric short stop is still great, but has a lot to prove. When he is on, the Mets are on, and in case you didn't know, he wasn't quite on these past 2 Septembers. We all know how that ended. Patience Jose, patience. It would have been nice had he not swung at the first pitch this afternoon with runners on 1st and 2nd and 2 out in a game which his team did not have that many opportunities. Patience Jose, patience. Oh yeah, and bring those handshakes back.
- Daniel Murphy- I think Daniel was the most talked-about position player in the team this Spring, mostly because of his patience (see that Jose?) at the plate. He has already had epic at bats along with 2 RBI on Opening Day. I think we're gonna have to watch his fielding though. The inexperienced left fielder had an error that lead to 2 unearned runs in today's Marlins game. I hope he learns from his mistakes quickly.
- David Wright- The face of the franchise also has something to prove. Like Reyes, his September Slumps have not helped his team down the stretch. I'm hoping that his big hit in the WBC against Puerto Rico (a self-proclaimed top three moment in his career) will get him over the hump in making big hits in big games.
- Carlos Delgado- The first baseman will need to be the Delgado of the 2nd half of the 2008 season this year in order for the team to do well. His slow start did nothing for the Mets and for the fate of Willie Randolph in Queens, but his 2nd half surge helped them get back into contention. Will the productive Carlos Delgado please stand up?
- Carlos Beltran- The fantastic center fielder makes his job look easy when the other team's up, but can he do so at the plate? It seems like Carlos is always good, but not usually great and the team needs him to be great.
- Ryan Church- The right fielder is off to a smokin start just like he was last year. Let's cross our fingers that freakish concussions don't slow him down again. It would be nice to see him for a complete season.
- Brian Schneider- The veteran catcher wasn't acquired for his offense, so its always a pleasant surprise when he hits well in big sitations. Let's hope we see more of that in 2009.
- Luis Castillo- The 2nd baseman ended an injury-plagued season last year to the tune of boos. It was also clear that the Mets were trying to get rid of him in the off-season. Louie has come back more in shape this year and doing a-ok hitting 8th in the order. A 4-4 day on Saturday will hopefully quiet his critics at Sh..Citi.
Fernando Tatis, Alex Cora, Ramon Castro, and Jeremy Reed got some late company to the bench with the addition of Gary Sheffield. Though I didn't like the idea of adding the man who used to be on both the Braves and the Yankees (puh puh), I do like the idea that he knows that he won't be starting many games and that he can get his 500th home run as a Met.
Tomorrow night, the Mets officially open CitiField when they welcome the San Diego Padres, the cast of West Side Story and the battery of Mike Piazza and Tom Seaver. Should be a good time, if they win.