New York Mets

Manager: Terry Collins
Stadium: Citi Field
2008 Record: 89-73 (2nd in NL East)
Team Page | Roster | Schedule

LINEUP

'08: Batting | Runs (2nd in NL)
PLAYER B POS
Jose Reyes B SS
Luis Castillo B 2B
David Wright R 3B
Carlos Beltran B CF
Carlos Delgado L 1B
Ryan Church L RF
Daniel Murphy L LF
Brian Schneider L C
OFF THE BENCH
Fernando Tatis R OF
Alex Cora L INF

PITCHING

'08: Pitching | ERA (6th in NL)
ROTATION T POS
Johan Santana L SP1
Mike Pelfrey R SP2
Oliver Perez L SP3
John Maine R SP4
Livan Hernandez R SP5
BULLPEN
J.J. Putz R Setup
Pedro Feliciano L Setup
Francisco Rodriguez R Closer
 
J.J. Putz was home in Arizona working on his road buggies last December when his wife came into the garage to tell him that Seattle's new GM was on the phone. "That was the first time I'd talked to him," Putz says. But Jack Zduriencik wasn't calling to say hi; he had traded Putz to the Mets in a three-team, 12-player deal. The 32-year-old right-hander saved 40 games in 2007 (injuries derailed him in '08), but now he's the set-up man for Francisco Rodriguez, whom the Mets signed the same day they acquired Putz. Those deals may have changed the face of the NL East: Since the save rule was instituted, in 1969, no team has landed two relievers as dominant as Putz and K-Rod in the same offseason. And if any contender needed this kind of relief, it's the Mets, who had 29 blown saves and whose bullpen fell apart after closer Billy Wagner had elbow surgery in August (benching him for 2009). Putz, who has 101 career saves, claims he's fine playing second fiddle to K-Rod. "My job is to close the eighth," he says. "And if there's a ring in it for me, then I'm all for it."
-- Tim Kurkjian

ESPN The Magazine's Mets preview Insider

PROSPECTS

HITTER TO WATCH:

Fernando Martinez has been the Mets' top prospect for several years now and should start the season in Triple-A, with Ryan Church just marking time in right field.

PITCHER TO WATCH:

Bobby Parnell can touch 97 mph with an average slider, and he's likely to work his way up the relief hierarchy into a supporting role for J.J. Putz.
-- Keith Law, Scouts Inc.

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SPORTSNATION

Is Johan Santana the best starting pitcher in the National League? Do the Mets have the best rotation? Is David Wright the best third baseman in the NL? Register your vote.

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Featured Comment

K-Rod and J.J. Putz will help this team into postseason play, but it will be tight.


bigsean1698

National League fan previews

FANTASY

SLEEPER

The Mets seem set on hitting young left fielder Daniel Murphy in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, which means plenty of chances to score runs and see good pitches. Murphy batted .313 in 49 games with the Mets in 2008, and he reached double digits in homers and steals in Double-A. He is ready to emerge.

BUST

Mike Pelfrey saved the Mets' rotation in 2008 with 13 wins in 32 starts, but fantasy owners might be surprised to see a mere 110 strikeouts. Put simply, Pelfrey isn't much help in K's, and he really relied on Shea Stadium, where his ERA was 3.02 (4.76 road). If the new Citi Field isn't as pitcher-friendly, a pitch-to-contact guy like Pelfrey is in trouble.
-- Eric Karabell

INJURY TO WATCH

Some worried that Johan Santana's offseason arthroscopic knee procedure might affect him, but it was a bout of elbow pain that set off alarm bells earlier this spring. A few weeks later, those alarms have all but subsided thanks to Santana's performance in recent outings, along with his declaration that he is symptom-free. The Mets certainly have to hope so. He is set to pitch on Opening Day in Cincinnati and will no doubt be a big draw to the new Citi Field, not to mention a key to the Mets' postseason aspirations. Whenever a pitcher has elbow pain there's reason to be cautious, but in Santana's case it's not time to be overly concerned -- yet.
-- Stephania Bell

MORE

30 Questions: Can reworked Mets bullpen help starters?

PRESEASON POWER RANKINGS

  • Jayson Stark

    Stark
    No. 6 overall
    (2nd in
    NL East)

  • Tim Kurkjian

    Kurkjian
    No. 5 overall
    (2nd in
    NL East)

  • Buster Olney

    Olney
    No. 12 overall
    (3rd in
    NL East)

  • Rob Neyer

    Neyer
    No. 5 overall
    (1st in
    NL East)

  • Jim Caple

    Caple
    No. 5 overall
    (1st in
    NL East)