Call to the Pen’s 2012 MLB Season Preview continues with the New York Mets. The Mets are in disarray and fans can thank the owner, Fred Wilpon. He is being sued in an effort to reclaim money from the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. It is a shame that a franchise is linked to such a mess. It is one thing to be ridiculed because of your play, but another to chided because the owner made a massive financial mistake. Unfortunately, it has taken a toll on what general manager Sandy Alderson can do to make the Mets better on the field. He thought he had it rough in Oakland when he was the GM for the A’s. At least then he knew going in that he didn’t have a lot to spend. Payroll was not among the issues Alderson figured to be a concern when he took control after the 2010 season. Now the Mets are in cost control mode and the future looks bleak until the ownership issues subside.
2011 NEW YORK METS SEASON RECAP
The Mets hired Terry Collins to take over the team from Jerry Manuel after he and former GM Omar Minaya were given the boot following the 2010 season. Expectations were not very high going into the 2011 season as the Mets had just wrapped up a 79-83 season in 2010, their fourth straight season missing the playoffs. The Bernie Madoff lawsuit instantly affected the way Alderson could create the roster.
The season started off without Johan Santana and Jason Bay available to play. Santana was never able to get on the field in 2011 after complications due to rotator cuff surgery in 2010. Bay returned, but was as ineffective as ever.
The biggest bright spot for the Mets was the incredible season displayed by their now former shortstop Jose Reyes. Reyes became the first player in Mets history to win the batting title, hitting .337 for the season. In only 126 games, Reyes scored 101 runs, stroked 31 doubles, legged out 16 triples and stole 39 bases.
Like Reyes, many of the Mets had a hard time staying on the field in 2011. David Wright, their all-star third baseman played in only 102 games and Bay the underachieving high priced outfielder appeared in 123. Ike Davis, their first baseman, was off to a great start when he was lost for the remainder of the season after hurting his ankle. In 34 games, Davis had 7 homers and 24 RBI while hitting .302.
One player who was healthy for a change and performing well was Carlos Beltran. He was hitting .289 with a .904 OPS prior to being traded to the San Francisco Giants for prospect Zack Wheeler. Beltran was set to be a free-agent after the season; so the trade considering the Mets position in the standings and their financial misgivings was no surprise.
The injuries allowed the Mets to give some playing time to a few of the younger players and a couple of them provided some good production. Daniel Murphy hit .320 with 6 HR, 49 R, and 49 RBI good for a 3.2 WAR. Lucas Duda showed some pop with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 348 plate appearances.
On the mound, the Mets felt the loss of Santana. Without a top flight starter the team had a hard time establishing any rhythm and there was no stopper for losing streaks. Rookie Dillon Gee led the team with 13 victories. The team was expecting good things from Mike Pelfrey, but he was disappointing with a 7-13 record and a 4.74 ERA.
The bullpen was led by Francisco Rodriguez, who recorded 23 saves for the Mets until he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers on July 12th. The Mets used a few players in the closer role for the remainder of the season with Jason Isringhausen taking the final save chances and ultimately recording his 300th career save.
The Mets finished the season with a 77-85 record and fourth in the National League East, 25 games back of the Philadelphia Phillies.