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New York Mets

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SLEEPER Mike Pelfrey might start the season as the No. 5 starter, but he has the stuff to end it as the Mets' No. 2 man in the rotation.

BUST Tom Glavine, on the other hand, starts as the ace of the rotation, but could be the No. 4 man when it's all said and done.


HITTER TO WATCH: Carlos Gomez, OF Gomez is still undisciplined and survives more on his tools (he's a plus runner and has a plus arm) than on baseball skills.

PITCHER TO WATCH: Philip Humber, RHP Humber has really struggled to stay healthy, but when he's right, he throws strikes with a solid-average fastball and a sharp, downer curve.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc. Predictions

  • Peter Gammons

    1st in
    NL East

  • Jayson Stark

    1st in
    NL East

  • Jerry Crasnick

    1st in
    NL East

  • Buster Olney

    2nd in
    NL East

  • Rob Neyer

    1st in
    NL East

  • Tim Kurkjian

    1st in
    NL East

  • Steve Phillips

    3rd in
    NL East

  • Keith Law

    2nd in
    NL East

  • Jim Caple

    2nd in
    NL East

  • Eric Karabell

    1st in
    NL East



FIXED Lastings Milledge reported to camp a different guy from the one who arrived last season with both expectations and a sense of entitlement so outsized that teammates posted a sign in his locker: "Know Your Place, Rook!" Now the 22-year-old says he's all grown up, and he looks it. He shed the dreads, hit the weights and gained 13 pounds over the winter while cutting down to one burger a week. On his first day of BP, the righty hit a homer over the right-center field fence. "I couldn't go that way last year," he says. Where does Milledge go from here? Chances are, he'll start by playing every day at Triple-A. If he keeps his new attitude and hones his skills, he might make the Mets lineup more formidable down the stretch. Or, more likely, he'll get traded for a sorely needed starting pitcher.

NEEDS FIXING The club's failure to add a top starter means that behind 41-year-old Tom Glavine and 75-year-old Orlando Hernandez are John Maine (65) and Oliver Perez (313), plus Chan Ho Park (4.81 ERA), Aaron Sele (fourth team in four years) or 6-foot-7 rookie Mike Pelfrey (a potential stud). At least until July.

MIDSEASON FIX "It's not only about '07 with Pedro. It's going to be about '08." -- GM Omar Minaya.

"Hold on until the cavalry arrives." -- Pedro Martinez, to a teammate.
-- Tim Kurkjian


Depending on who you ask, the best week in Mets history didn't happen in 1969 or 1986; it happened in a four-day span last August when the team signed David Wright and Jose Reyes to multiyear, multimillion-dollar extensions. How much was keeping these two young guns in orange and blue worth to fans?

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"Tom Glavine is a lock for 14-15 wins, El Duque will be strong, Oliver Perez with the right coach -- Rick Peterson -- can be a star, John Maine has always known that he will be great, and Mike Pelfrey throws gas. ... David Wright is the king of N.Y. This is the year, their season has come ...World Champions, 2007."
-- djumpoff145

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