The Realistic Positive Scenario: Wright returns to form, but Bay doesn’t. Torres is effective, but misses some time due to injury. Duda is an absolute mess in right field, but finds detente with his glove after the Mets call up Kirk Nieuwenhuis and move Duda to left field. Tejada and Thole lock in their gains from 2011, improve a bit. Murphy is error-prone but a solid bat. Davis plays 140 games at a level between 2010, when he was solid, and 2011, when he was a star before his injury.
On the mound, Santana makes 25 starts, but command comes and goes, and his ERA hovers around 4. Dickey is solid, Niese takes a step forward, Pelfrey is eminently hittable and Gee’s ERA lands around 4.50. The bullpen performs like a collection of known mediocrities, with Parnell stepping forward and Batista largely unneeded. Dickey’s book is well-reviewed and a niche buy.
Result: 74 wins.
The Doomsday Scenario: David Wright, hobbled by that torn abdominal muscle suffered this spring, is on and off the field all year. Jason Bay continues to hit terribly, and stays remarkably healthy and on the field. Torres struggles with performance and health. Lucas Duda is haunted at night by the ghost of Roberto Clemente until he agrees to stop shaming the idea of right field, and is moved to first base in June, since Davis hasn’t managed to hold up after avoiding surgery on his injured leg from last season. Tejada hit .220, and gets a “Jose, Jose Jose Jose” chant from fans that is not meant to be nice. Daniel Murphy, already felled twice by season-ending injuries at second base, suffers through Kirby Kyle’s fate from Radio Days. Oddly, in this scenario, Thole still hits .270.
As for the pitchers, Santana never reaches 100 pitches, and rehab does little but provide brief bits of hope in fits and starts. Dickey has a down season a la Tim Wakefield, and his ERA balloons to 5. Niese gets hurt, Pelfrey’s ERA jumps to 5-plus thanks to the awful defense behind him, and Dillon Gee struggles all season. Dickey’s book gets the James Frey treatment.
Result: 50 wins.
Posted: April 05, 2012 at 03:25 PM | 13 comment(s)
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