It’s now down to four days to the official date when New York Mets pitchers and catchers are supposed to report to Port St. Lucie for that annual rite of passage known as spring training. I’ve been scouring the internet looking for stories regarding my beloved Mets and came across this piece that I would like to interact with a bit.
Forget all the lamenting about who isn’t around any longer but what I liked most about this article is what Mets third sacker David Wright said;
“It’s going to be a huge challenge,” Wright said. “And I think we understand that everyone in our division got better. We have to do the little things right. We’re not going to be able to outslug teams or outpitch these teams with a lot of number one starters. … A lot of these teams, we’re not going to be able to match them pitching-wise or run-for-run, but I think we can outwork or out-prepare them.”
David is exactly right. It will be a “huge challenge” as it is for the other 29 teams who are supposed to be competing to see who holds up the Commissioners Trophy at the end of the season.
Unfortunately for the Mets their challenge is a bit different then their NL East counterparts.
Doing the little things right is something the Mets haven’t done a very good job of these last few seasons.
One of those little things the Mets could use some work on would be picking up the ball…. In 2011 the Mets were one of the worst defensive teams in all of baseball and with the question marks surrounding the pitching staff defense would and should be a little thing the Mets spend a TON of time working on this spring.
Another little thing the Mets could use some work on would be stolen bases. In 2011 the Mets had 133 stolen bases with Angel Pagan and Jose Reyes accounting for over half of them. Now that Pagan and Reyes are no longer on the club the responsibility falls on newly acquired center fielder Andres Torres.
Why are stolen bases a “little thing” the Mets could use some work on? For starters the Mets led the National League in fly balls. They also finished near the bottom of the National League in grounded into double plays. Getting runners in scoring position will be crucial if the Mets are to succeed in 2012.
Those are just a couple of little things I think the Mets should be working on and if they do clean up these areas then that ‘huge challenge” doesn’t seem so huge.