It didn’t happen until the World Series, but finally the New York Mets below average defense finally reared its ugly head against the Royals.
By Kevin Wiltse
The New York Mets looked good while rolling into the World Series, but choked too many times late in games. Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda had key errors that cost the Mets victories on the biggest stage.
Ironically, although for years the Mets struggles have been offensive, what burned them this time around was defense. As they move to next year, look for them to implement more speed and defense into the scheme.
Now that the season is over, Daniel Murphy, Yoenis Cespedes, and Lucas Duda will all hit the free agent market. As of now it looks as though Duda will be back in a Mets uniform, but Cespedes and Murphy will most likely be gone.
Considering that, the almighty question then becomes: How will they be replaced both defensively and offensively?
Murphy has been a great hitter his entire career, but has had his moments where he has been sub-par defensively. Assuming Murphy does not return, the Mets options will be to either move Wilmer Flores to second base or make DIlson Herrera the everyday second baseman. With Flores playing solid defense of late, while showing that he has enough range to be an everyday major league shortstop, look for Dilson Herrera to be the everyday second basemen. Known for his tremendous glove, but ot for his bat, the Mets will give him a chance to see how he will hit with more at bats. It is also worth noting that this man is only 21-years of age, and the sky is the limit with his potential.
With Cespedes most likely becoming a free agent, Juan Lagares will most likely be placed back into the everyday center-field role. We all know how capable he is defensively, having won a gold glove, but his bat was inconsistent against righties all season. However, late in the year he turned it on when coming off the bench and has shown enough to tell coaches and fans that he is ready for a breakout season at the plate.
Although he struggled in the field during these playoffs, look for David Wright to have a bounce-back year defensively. This is a man who has won multiple gold gloves and has been known to play a splendid hot-corner. This year’s trouble can most likely be related to the injury he had, along with not being in rhythm and only playing for only a month before the layoffs.
Michael Conforto showed not only fans and coaches, but the entire world that he is ready to be an absolute star in this league. He is a going to be a centerpiece of this team moving forward offensively.
Although the heartbreak of the World Series was devastating for Mets fans everywhere, there is actually legitimate hope for the future. With the defense getting better, Conforto getting ready to blossom, and the return of Zach Wheeler the Mets will be a legitimate force to be reckoned with come 2016 Opening Day.
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