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Our Kings of Queens: Your 2017 New York Mets

Our First Mets Blog of the Season! Let’s Go! Our 2017 New York Mets Preview! What to expect, what to look for and how to drink away the pain!

Our Kings of Queens: Your 2017 New York Mets


Estimated Reading Time: 9 Minutes

Your 2017 New York Mets 25-Man Roster:

PITCHERS (12):

LHP Jerry Blevins, RHP Jacob deGrom, LHP Josh Edgin, RHP Robert Gsellman, RHP Matt Harvey, RHP Rafael Montero, RHP Addison Reed, RHP Hansel Robles, RHP Fernando Salas, LHP Josh Smoker, RHP Noah Syndergaard and RHP Zack Wheeler

CATCHERS (2):

Travis d’Arnaud, René Rivera

INFIELDERS (7):

Asdrúbal Cabrera, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Ty Kelly, José Reyes, T.J. Rivera and Neil Walker

OUTFIELDERS (4):

Jay Bruce, Yoenis Céspedes, Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson

10-DAY DISABLED LIST (retroactive to March 30):

OF Juan Lagares (left oblique), RHP Seth Lugo (right elbow inflammation), LHP Steven Matz (left elbow inflammation), OF Brandon Nimmo (right hamstring) and INF David Wright (cervical disc herniation).

RESTRICTED LIST:

RHP Jeurys Familia.

Your 2017 New York Mets Opening Day Lineup

1. Jose Reyes, 3B

2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF

4. Curtis Granderson, CF

5. Neil Walker, 2B

6. Jay Bruce, RF

7. Lucas Duda, 1B

8. René Rivera, C

9. Noah Syndergaard, P

Buckle up, everybody! It’s a new season of Mets Baseball in Queens! Do we have enough booze to get us through 2017? I sure hope so, because if 2015 and 2016 were any indication, the answer is a resounding YES, because we know what’s about to happen.

The 2017 New York Mets have a lot of familiar faces in the lineup, mainly due to the fact that Sandy Alderson was unable to pull the trigger on any trades or signings in the offseason. What Sandy Alderson and the Mets front office did do was solidify the contracts of guys who are important to the team and fix some mistakes. Yoenis Cespedes’ 4-year, $110 million dollar deal was not just a brilliant move for the organization on the field, but off the field as well.

After the Mets amazin’ run to the 2015 World Series, the Mets ownership made a “promise” to invest more money in the team now that the attendance numbers and fan interest were up. I am so glad we signed Alejandro De Aza to a one-year, $5.75 million dollar deal. WHAT AN INVESTMENT. To break that number down further and to help your lunch come back up, De Aza got paid $109,375 for each of his 48 hits in a Mets uniform.

But the signing of Cespedes was the opposite. For the first time since David Wright’s extension, the Mets shelled out more than $100 million in a contract. This was the first time they did it for a free agent in their 55 year history. Yoenis has earned that contract, and Mets fans have earned a player like Yoenis Cespedes. His signing has signaled to the Flushing Faithful that ownership understands what they’re doing and wants to win just as badly.

How does this 2017 team stack up to the 2016 team? You just forgot it’s the same guys, didn’t you? COME ON. The real difference here is that this team right now and this moment is completely healthy, AND IF GOD EXISTS THEY WILL STAY HEALTHY. PLEASE. PLEASE. PLEASE.

Let’s talk about a few of these guys, the ones

1. Jose Reyes, 3B

I firmly believe that this is going to be a big year for Reyes. In his career, Reyes hasn’t had a full season where he hit below .273, until his Domestic Abuse arrest. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I want Reyes to prove that he’s improved off the field.

The Mets RIGHTFULLY received a lot of flack for signing Reyes after his Domestic Violence suspension earlier in the year. I will be honest, I wasn’t for it at first. Reyes issued a statement that read: “As I have expressed in the past, I deeply regret the incident that occurred and remain remorseful and apologetic to my family. I have completed the counseling required by MLB, have been in ongoing therapy, and will continue with counseling going forward.  I appreciate the Mets organization for believing in me and providing the opportunity to come back home to New York.” Two things here: that’s all well and good, but the Mets now have a Domestic Violence problem, especially after Jeurys Familia’s incident this offseason.

I’m going to need José to step up and be the face of the Mets Anti-Domestic Abuse campaign. That’s what I’m going to need. I’m going to need José Reyes to step up on the field and off, because that’s what replacing David Wright is about, being a leader. I’m expecting big things out of #7.

2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS

I love Asdrubal Cabrera, but then again, how can you not? Asdrubal helped bring fun back to Flushing and reminded us what a double play looked like. All Asdrubal has to do is keep on, keepin’ on. I’m serious. Prior to 2016, no one was expecting Cabrera to do much of anything, except take up the spot of Gavin Cecchini or Ahmed Rosario. Instead, we got a clubhouse guy, fan favorite and grown up 7-year-old. We still need that. Don’t change, Asdrubal.

3. Yoenis Cespedes, LF

Yo took the past year to settle into Queens, and 2017 should be his coming out party. When Yoenis played for Oakland, his 3rd year there was the one where he exploded, but then got traded to Boston. There’s been so much stopping and starting in Yo’s career that finding this kind of stability in Queens will only add to his ability to produce. He doesn’t have to worry about jersey he’ll be wearing next week, next season. It’s going to be Orange and Blue for the next 4 years. Yo’s gonna sleep a lot better in 2017.

4. Curtis Granderson, CF

I want to be completely honest here… I have no idea how Curtis Granderson’s career got to this point. I mean, I know he played for the Tigers, the Yankees and now the Mets, but Curtis’ numbers have remained relatively consistent. Granderson is about to turn 36 and 2017 marks the end of his contract in New York. That’s insane to me. Curtis Granderson doesn’t seem like he’s 36 years old, or planning on quitting baseball anytime soon. Granderson even opted to play Center for the Mets this year. WHAT? HOW ARE YOU GOING TO DO THAT WITH YOUR OLD BODY, CURTIS? And then he makes plays like this:

And I feel bad for yelling. Grandy is gonna do his thing as per usual, walk a lot, hit some bombs, smile a lot, you know, Grandy Stuff.

5. Neil Walker, 2B

Hey Neil, do me a favor? Can you please stay healthy this year? That’s all I want. That’s all I require from you. Thank you, Neil. Thank you for your services. I hope they continue to move forward and that you are happy in New York.

6. Jay Bruce, RF

When trying to recreate the magic of 2015, we lost sight of what was important and traded for Jay Bruce.  In that trade we gave up Dilson Herrera, once thought to be the second baseman of the future and pitcher Max Wotell. One month after the trade deadline, Neil Walker goes out for the season with a back injury and the Mets have to scramble a bit to find someone to plug that whole. If Dilson was still in the organization, it would have been his time to shine, but instead, T. J. Rivera showed up and had a September to remember.

This is all speculation, of course, but my bigger point is that the Mets never needed Jay Bruce. The Mets offense was not producing as it should have been, but to inject it with a little Jay Bruce was not the answer. The solution to the Mets problems was never signing Alejandro DeAza in the first place. I KNOW. WHAT A SHOCKER, RIGHT? Looking back at 2016, it really shouldn’t be, but it’s not about him anymore! Back to Bruce. Jay Bruce was brought in to add to the offense, in the wake of losing Lucas Duda, Cespedes, David Wright and Juan Lagares, but what he really did was illuminate the issues in the Outfield.

Look, none of this is Jay Bruce’s fault. None of it, and I would hope that Bruce knows it. Jay Bruce had a good thing going in Cincinnati batting behind Billy Hamilton and Joey Votto, who get on base every time they touch a bat. New York was different, he was asked to be the run producer when in Cincy he didn’t have to, he just had to get those runs in. Pretty sweet gig actually. But when you hear the stories of Bruce staying in FIVE different hotels during his time with the Mets you start to remember that the guy was doing all he could.

Jay Bruce gets a fresh start in Queens. I like Fresh Start Jay Bruce. I think he’s got good stuff coming his way.

7. Lucas Duda, 1B

DUDA IS BACK…. For now. I really hope it’s 2015 Duda that comes back this year. You know! The one who hits doubles for days ,crushes dingers into the Coca-Cola Corner! That guy! I want that guy. HOWEVER, Duda was experience “Hamstring Tightness” this weekend, so he’ll be on the DL by June.

8. Travis d’Arnaud, C

“TRAVIS, if I hand you this baseball, can you throw it to second for me? Cool. Great. Now, I’m gonna put a guy on first base. Just a run of the mill guy, a country bumpkin, a victorian fop, a Mississippi steamboat worker, it really doesn’t matter. If I put that guy on first base and then tell him to run to second base, can you throw that baseball to second base before he gets there? You cannot. Okay, good to know.” – Terry Collins, probably

Travis d’Arnaud has had his fair share of injuries and that’s not his fault. He’s been out a lot, but that shouldn’t stop him from playing poorly when he’s healthy. That’s my problem with d’Arnaud. The guy just seems lost out there. The Royals literally had a scouting report that said: “Travis d’Arnaud cannot throw the ball.” That’s not good. That’s not good, y’all.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve read or heard someone say, “d’Arnaud has one more year and then he’s done. I’m giving him one more year,” I would have enough money to Cespedes for another year. While I get that putting Travis on the clock might force him into his potential, but the fact still remains: he’s all we got. Rivera is not going be the full-time guy, no way, he couldn’t be the full-time guy in Tampa Bay. Plawecki has also had his struggles, but he’s got the same issues as Travis. Plawecki is d’Arnaud Light. Forcing the kid to produce isn’t going to work, see Jay Bruce for details.

THE STARTING ROTATION

A few days ago I got an alert on my phone saying Steven Matz was scratched from his final spring training start due to elbow soreness and some stiffness. Fine. A few hours later, it’s said to be not an issue, should be fine in a week. Read that sentence again. If you’re a Mets fan you just read “he’s going to the DL again.”

This rotation is nothing if they don’t stay healthy. We saw what happened last year, this group of four is not nearly as threatening if one is missing. Now, I’m not saying that if deGrom is hurt, Syndergaard will pitch poorly. Not at all. I’m saying that going into a series facing Syndergaard, deGrom and Harvey is far different than facing Syndergaard, Montero and Gillmartin. YOU LAUGH, BUT THAT WAS A ROTATION WE HAD FOR A HOT SECOND LAST YEAR. We only have these kids for a short time, and I want that time to be special. Having the most electric young rotation in the game be injured on a yearly basis is like spending your prom in the hospital because of your friends sprained their ankle during pictures… I know that story seems super detailed, but it’s fictional… I promise.

AND NOW THE HYPE VIDEO:

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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