Green and Alou Can Break Mets Offense Wide Open
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Friday, January 19, 2007

While no one doubts the effectiveness of the Mets offense last season, getting amazing seasons from everyone from Jose Reyes to Jose Valentin, there was no doubt that injuries played a major role in limiting that effectiveness, as the boys from Flushing were forced to deal with injures to Cliff Floyd, Carlos Delgado, Paul LoDuca and Carlos Beltran over the course of the season.†

Now with the 2007 season only a few months away, the Mets have not only added veterans like Damion Easley and David Newhan to a bench that already included fourth outfielder extraordinaire Endy Chavez and Ponce De Leon himself, Julio Franco, they will now have the opportunity to see what Shawn Green can do for them in a complete season and now have Beltran, LoDuca and Delgado healthy in addition to having the ever dangerous Moises Alou join their ranks for the new season.†

Hitting a meager .257 in 34 games with the Mets last season after being traded to the team in August, itís doubtful that Green will ever be the 30-30 player he was back in his days with the Toronto Blue Jays, but nevertheless should be able to take advantage of the spacious outfield at Shea and be able to hit about 15 homers and add 80 runs batted in. In any case, considering how miserably the Diamondbacks have been the past few seasons, Green is happy to be playing for a contender and is ready to get his career back on the right track after a disappointing season last year.†

"I was impressed with the lineup and the intangible elements of the team," Green told MLB.com after he was traded to the team. "The chance to play for a playoff team and have the possibility to play in the World Series definitely influenced my decision. I feel like I can be a piece of the puzzle that can help take the team there." †

While itís a no-brainer that Green will be counted on to produce and will be extremely important to any success the team will have this season, Alou will be counted on more to give the Mets lineup the added firepower they missed when Cliff Floyd was injured most of last season. †

The only problem is can he stay healthy?†

If healthy, not only with Alou help the team hit against left-handed pitching, heíll force opposing pitchers to be extremely careful when pitching to Beltran and Delgado, considering the fact that Alou is no slouch with runners in scoring position either, hitting over .300 last season with 49 RBIís with RISP. Overall, if healthy, Alou can provide a huge boost to an already dangerous Mets offense. †

Of course, injuries can change that, but given the fact that Alou was on pace for one of the best seasons of his career before getting injured, hitting .301 with 22 home runs and 74 RBIís in only 98 games last season, either way, it seems the Mets will get their monies worth out of him. †

While fans are concerned if Alou can stay healthy or not, they have to feel great about Alouís willingness to play at Shea and what he can do if he gets enough at-bats this season. Only time will tell if Alou will become a hero to the fans at Shea or another Flushing flop.†

"I want to win this year [2007],"Alou told MLB.com after he signed with the team. "And if things work out the way I think they will, I will play two years in New York."†

If he stays healthy and performs the way many hope he does, Mets fans may want him to stay even longer than that.†