David Wright, Travis d’Arnaud Will Stay Healthy
2015 was an injury riddled season for both David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud, but when they were both healthy it was big for the Mets offense towards the end of the regular season and the playoffs. It will be even bigger next season without Yoenis Cespedes and Daniel Murphy.
Lets start with Wright. We all know his injuries last year, especially with the spinal stenosis that forced him to miss a large chunk of the season and raised questions about his future. Wright did come back at the end of the season, and while it was up and down for him in terms of his performance, his presence definitely helped the Mets late season push. We all know Wright won’t be the same feared slugger that he once was but he can still be a decent hitter who will still provide pop. Plus his experience and leadership will also provide much needed help too.
d’Arnaud has been injury prone so far in his early career although last season’s injuries were sort of freak injuries that he didn’t cause. Hopefully better luck in 2016 because d’Arnaud will add extra pop to this lineup and his hitting has improved and should still go up as he still develops.
Lucas Duda Will Prove More Consistent
Duda was clearly the Mets streakiest hitter and one of the streakiest in baseball last season. After hitting 30 home runs in 2014, Duda followed with 27 homers in 2015 but it was an up and down stretch. Duda went through a few long stretches where he barely hit but he also went through a few stretches when opposing pitchers couldn’t get him out. When Duda was on, he can clearly carry the Mets offense on his own with his power. None so more evident then back in late July and early August when Duda hit nine home runs during an eight-game stretch. The Mets need more of that consistently in 2016.
Walker, Cabrera Will Form Solid Middle Infield
The Mets will have a new look middle infield in 2016 with second baseman Neil Walker and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Gone is Daniel Murphy, and Wilmer Flores has been relegated as a backup, although Flores should still get some starts when Walker, Cabrera and Wright need days off. Walker can manage this with his versatiliy.
Walker’s offense is expected to be pretty similar to Murphy’s, but he’s also expected to provide better defense there. While Cabrera may not have the same range as he used to have at shortstop, he is still expected to provide better defense there than the less experienced Flores. So in short, the hitting could be similar but the defense should and hopefully be better.