A few weeks ago (to my delight) I took the day off and went on my annual pilgrimage to Citi Field for opening day. I joined my brother, nephew and son. We call ourselves ‘The Faithful Four.” Opening Day is very special as it is the only day of the season where every fan in America is an optimist. For me, opening day is the official welcome to Spring and it’s a stone’s throw away from my favorite time of the year – summer and camp!
So what can we expect from the Mets in 2018? The answer lies with how healthy the team can stay this season. Once again, we’re going into the season with two of the premier pitchers in the game – Noah Syndergaard and Jacob DeGrom. I have faith that without injury these two guys can carry the team far. However, to bring us to the promised land (playoffs), we need Matt Harvey to recapture his form and confidence from yesteryear. Steven Matz needs to remain off the DL. We also need a big comeback year from closer Jeurys Familia.
We have a brand new manager at the helm, Mickey Callaway, who appears to be the polar opposite of Terry Collins. New school versus old school…analytics versus tradition. I loved Terry and I’m beginning to really like Mickey. His new unconventional lineup card and modern approach on how to play the game will keep me intrigued all season.
I predict Yoenis Cespedes will have a career year and Michael Conforto will emerge as one of the best hitters in the game. I am very excited to watch two new young dynamic players, Amed Rosario and Brandon Nimmo.
My concerns are how long Adrian Gonzalez can keep up in this young man’s game. Will Todd Frazier hit for a respectable average? Can the catching duo of Kevin Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud provide more offense then in previous years? Do they have the arms to gun down opposing base stealers? And finally-can the bullpen with Blevins, Lugo, and company keep us in the game once our star pitchers hand the ball over.
All in all I think the Mets have a great chance at securing a wild-card spot. And with a little bit of luck, battle the Washington Nationals for the top of the NL East.
I can talk baseball all day long. As a matter of fact, I have a great idea! Please join Shibley on Sunday, May 6th as we descend upon Citi Field to root for our beloved Metsies so we can continue this conversation in person!!
Please email me at Randi@shibleydaycamp.com and tell me your thoughts on this year’s baseball season. I promise to respond… even to the Yankee fans!