With the All-Star Game now history and an extra day without baseball, now is the perfect time to review exactly how my prognostication skills are. Before the 2016 season began, I declared that the New York Mets would repeat as National League Champions by winning 94 games. Click here if you would like to read the preview in its entirety. I also made predictions on five Mets’ players and how they would fare in the upcoming campaign. In preparation for this post, I patted myself on the back for one of them and felt sick while looking at another. Which means I am no better or worse than any expert who actually does this for a living.
1-Matt Harvey will have a monster season.
Could I have been any more wrong? Or am I just a jinx? To me, all signs pointed to Harvey being a Cy Young contender. He had another year removed from Tommy John surgery and seemed primed to continue his ascension into being one of the top pitchers in the game. Instead, he is now done for the season and Mets’ fans are becoming increasingly disenchanted with him. What kind of Harvey will we see in 2017? Don’t ask me because my first go-around on making a declaration on him was a disaster.
2-David Wright will play in no more than 100 games.
Sadly, this is true. Even worse, this is something that is not going to get better. In fact, you can make the argument that we may not see Wright in a uniform again. First, it was spinal stenosis last year, a condition that is not going away. This year, it was surgery on a herniated disk in his neck. That is a lot to overcome for a normal person, never mind a 33-year old professional athlete.
With 15 home runs, he is on pace to best his career-high which is 23, set in 2014. The batting average of .254 and on-base percentage of .323 are slightly below his overall numbers in Pittsburgh. His defense is just as steady and his clubhouse presence will be needed now more than ever with the rash of injuries to the Mets. The number you worry about is 37 as in the amount of RBI’s he currently has. Like most of the Met hitters, Walker seems to be in the business of solo home runs and the run production for these Met hitters outside of the long ball is almost nothing. Walker and the rest of the crew will have to turn this around in the second half.
4-Steven Matz will not make 20 starts in the Majors.
With 16 outings already, it appears as though the rookie will exceed that number. However, he is pitching with chips in his elbow, a condition which will require surgery at some point. Hopefully for the team and the player, that time doesn’t come until the offseason. Matz hit a rough patch once it was revealed what he was dealing with but has rebounded nicely in his last two outings. Against the division rival Miami Marlins and Washington Nationals, he allowed only five earned runs in 14 innings, albeit both in losing efforts. Still, you can’t help but wonder if the first time Matz struggles will it be a sign that his season ends early?
5-Yoenis Cespedes will regress………slightly.
Is there any way Cespedes could have kept up with that monster pace he established during his first 50 games in New York? With 21 home runs, he is on pace to match or exceed the 35 he hit last year combined with the Mets and Detroit. His average is above .300 and his on-base percentage sits at .372. However, his injury right before the break calls into question how healthy will he be once play resumes. If Cespedes is out for any length of time, then the Mets will not have much of a chance to defend their National League crown. Then the next hurdle will be to determine whether or not he opts out of his contract after the season. That’s a prediction for another day.
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