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As a lifelong Mets fan, I have to say, as most others would, that the 2007 season was devastating. Not Wainwright-strikeout-of-Beltran in the NLCS devastating (because they really should have won the WS in 2006) - but devastating nonetheless.
Yes, Omar Minaya and Co. have made their move by acquiring Johan the Great. The Mets should have some top shelf starting pitching all around with Pedro Martinez, John Maine, Oliver Perez, and Mike Pelfrey. (Yes, I said Pelfrey and not El Duque). The bullpen should improve with the return of Duaner Sanchez and a healthy and more productive starting rotation that will pitch deeper into games than they did in 2007.
With that being said, I really don't feel that the Mets' offense is quite what is was a year or two ago. I'm worried. Here's why:
Jose Reyes - Superstar. Seemingly motivated to put last year's personal and team collapse behind. No more crazy handshakes - all business.
Luis Castillo - Now in his 30's, but still fairly solid 2b. Bad legs make him an injury risk.
David Wright - Superstar.
Carlos Beltran - All-Star and Silver Slugger when healthy - but gets banged up easily, which causes prolonged slumps.
Moises Alou - Rakes when healthy (.341/.392 /.524 last year) but they'll be lucky to have him play in 120 games, if not less.
Carlos Delgado - Heavy decline in the last two seasons in batting average, OBP, SLG, and pretty much every other offensive category. He's coming off surgery and is past his prime. Not good.
Ryan Church - Solid defender in right field and solid OPS in 470 at bats last year (.272 /.349/.464). Would expect very similar results from him this year.
Brian Schneider - Supposedly solid defender, but not much of a bat.
The top half of the order is very strong with Reyes, Castillo, Wright and Beltran. Age and injury concerns with Alou and Delgado in the 5th and 6th spots. Church is a nice 7th hitter and Schneider is who he is: a defensive catcher.
In my mind, the key to the office will be the production of Alou and Delgado in the 5th and 6th slots. And to be honest, I'm not convinced they'll be healthy (Alou) or productive (Delgado).
I'd love to hear what other Mets fans think!