A RIVAL SCOUT SIZES UP THE METS
They keep moving the fences in for David Wright, and they'll keep doing it until he can actually hit some home runs. But with the pitching they have, I'd move the fences back as far as possible and just outpitch and outdefense teams.... Matt Harvey looks like he hasn't skipped a beat. There's going to be some normal recovery from Tommy John. I expect him to struggle a little with the feel for his secondary pitches. Next year is probably the year he becomes a Cy Young candidate—but he could still dominate this year.... Jacob deGrom is so athletic and his delivery works so well.... They have kids who could contribute down the stretch, like Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz, Rafael Montero. They can also be pieces to trade this summer if the team is in it.... It's not a bad offense. If there's a guy who's going to take the next step, it's Travis d'Arnaud. Last year he kind of strutted around, like he was saying, I'm a New York star of the future, I'm the s---. He got humbled—he went down and made some adjustments, using the field more.... Last year Lucas Duda emerged as a legitimate bat in the middle of the lineup. And new hitting coach Kevin Long should be a good influence on Curtis Granderson....Daniel Murphy could win a batting title someday (though he isn't winning a Gold Glove ever), and Michael Cuddyer is overpaid but a good fit in the ballpark—he knows how to use the big part of the field.... It comes down to the health of Harvey and Wright. If they play a full season? This team can sneak into a wild card.
Matt Harvey's return to the mound, almost 17 months after Tommy John surgery, was one of the best moments of the Mets' spring. For all the excitement about the Dark Knight of Gotham's comeback, however, New York should be cautious. The Mets are a distinct long shot to win the NL East this year, at best just another team in the deep NL wild-card mix. Their window really opens in 2016, and having Harvey put up a No. 1 starter performance with a No. 1 starter workload will be a big part of any championship plans. For 2015, they can ease off him a bit, shoot for something short of a full season—say around 27 starts—with an eye toward turning him loose the following year. There's no reason to push the 26-year-old ace, who has never thrown even 180 innings in a season, when the Mets are projected to be around .500. Save those bullets for boosting the team from 86 to 88 wins later, rather than from 81 to 83 now.
LEAGUE RANK 9
MANAGER TERRY COLLINS 5TH SEASON WITH METS
2015 PROJECTED STATISTICS BY ROTOWIRE.COM
ROB FOLDY/GETTY IMAGES (HARVEY)