Believe it or not, the Mets have actually been lucky this spring.
Jason Vargas and Rafael Montero aside, things could’ve been much worse.
Consider that Vargas’ injury was to his glove hand and not his throwing hand and it wasn’t a season ending injury. Unfortunately for Montero, his season and probably his Mets tenure is over as he has a torn UCL in his right elbow that needs surgery. Not to be crass or wish injury on anyone, Montero was not a key player in the Mets’ chances this season so the injury is not devastating which seemed to be a constant theme last season.
Wait, there’s more.
Yoenis Cespedes was dealing with a wrist injury that many fans felt would prevent him from beginning the season or even worse. Cespedes has come back with a bang and looks good at the plate.
And think back to a few weeks ago when Matt Harvey had to cover home plate after a wild pitch. Harvey charged in and took a creative throw from catcher Kevin Plawecki. The play had disaster written all over it but Harvey caught the ball, made the tag and no one got hurt.
By the way, Michael Conforto is ahead of schedule and may join the team before May 1st. How are the Mets going to handle all this good fortune!!!!
As good as the Yankee offense projects to be, there will still be times when “power outages” will occur. Those are the games where the Yankees will need to “find a way” to win. Even though the Yankees had an outstanding bullpen last season, they were still 18-26 in one-run games and that was, in part, on the offense.
They have an outstanding bullpen once again so will this Yankee offense “find a way” to get that potential deciding run when the power is turned off? It could be a factor in determining how far the Yankees will go this season.
I’ve seen this more and more in recent years and it is bewildering.
Teams are giving many right handed hitters a lot of room down the left field line by playing the left fielder more towards left center field. I understand that the defenses are being based somewhat on the charts that show where a hitter will usually hit the ball. What I don’t get is why employ that defense with a left handed pitcher on the mound, who uses sliders and curves in his arsenal and whose pitches usually sail inside to a right handed hitter. Those pitches are likely to be pulled and the left fielder has to go a long way to get them. With a speedy hitter, those singles turn into doubles.
Here’s a little different way to make pre-season predictions, pick the five playoff teams in each league.
AL Playoff teams
Yankees, Indians, Astros, Red Sox, White Sox
NL Playoff Teams
Mets, Brewers, Dodgers, Cubs, Padres
BROADCAST NOTE: Fellow NYSportsday Columnist Rich Mancuso and I will be guests of Rich Coutinho this Sunday night at 830 PM, eastern time on WLIE 540 AM or on the internet. We’ll be previewing the upcoming baseball season