SI’s Tom Verducci addressed the Mets in his “Spring Training Post Cards” series today. I really like Verducci and he nailed the Mets first couple of weeks of spring training perfectly. Here’s a quick summary of the issues he addressed:
- Jerry Manuel has brought a looser feel to the team this season than Willie Randolph had in the past.
- Jose Reyes batting third is an interesting experiment and meant to push Luis Castillo, not Reyes. He suggests that Castillo may be best served batting ninth in the order.
- The Mets outfielders don’t have a lot of high-ceiling guys. And they don’t know what to expect out of Ryan Church after he couldn’t get it together after his second concussion.
- Livan Hernandez could really help the Mets if he can get about 15 starts in this season.
- The daily roller coaster of Johan Santana’s health is hanging over the team like a cloud right now.
I’m surprised that he didn’t mention Carlos Beltran in his discussion of the Mets outfielders. Beltran gives the Mets a lot of flexibility to play guys that don’t have outfield experience. He covers a ton of ground in the outfield and leads the other players positioning.
I’m also surprised that he didn’t mention what a bust that Freddy Garcia is turning out to be. Livan Hernandez is fine, but the Mets need to find someone that solidify the number five spot in the rotation.