By Ross Sutton
The Mets are one of the most intriguing teams in the MLB as they had an incredibly disappointing season in 2017 after two consecutive playoff runs, including when they went to the World Series in 2015. As the team appears to be done making major moves after signing Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier, now seems like an appropriate time to look ahead to this upcoming season and consider what the chances are that the Mets will be able to make it back to the playoffs in 2018.
When it comes to the expectations for the Mets for this upcoming season, one of the team’s beat reporters Anthony DiComo said this on Twitter:
"I'm not trying to be cynical, but Wheeler has not had a full, healthy season since 2014. Harvey has had exactly one since 2012. Matz has never had one. The Mets are staking their season on that changing, while several dependable free agent starters remain unsigned. That's all."
This sheds light on what essentially every Mets fan knows at this point; the success of the team relies heavily on the pitching staff that has struggled to stay healthy over the last few seasons. The potential of the talented group of starters was realized when the Mets went on their surprise run to the World Series in 2015. This gave fans high expectations over the last two seasons but the Mets disappointed by losing to the San Francisco Giants in the WIld Card game in 2016 and missing the playoffs last year with a 70-92 record. I would have to agree with Anthony DiComo as it does seem puzzling that the Mets were not more aggressive in trying to land one of the many reliable pitchers that are available on the free agent market this offseason. The offseason isn’t over though, so maybe the Mets will decide to go after one of the available starters even if that seems unlikely at the moment. But when it comes to this upcoming season, Mets fans have reason for hope as the starting pitchers appear to be healthy coming into spring training and their offense should be better with the additions of Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier. So if I was a Mets fan, I would be cautiously optimistic for the 2018 season as the division is very weak behind the Nationals as the Marlins, Phillies and Braves are all rebuilding and do not look like they will be good in 2018. As the nationals have dominated the division that last few years, the Mets are unlikely to win the NL east, but the team should have decent chance at landing one of the two wild card spots since they will play many of their games against the rebuilding teams in their division. Overall, it is hard to say what a Mets fan can expect for this upcoming season because so much of the team’s success relies on the health of their pitchers and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, but if the team stays healthy under new manager Mickey Callaway, they should have a pretty good season.
Follow @Nosebleed_MLB for more!