Russ’s Rants -- Note To Mets – You Have to Have Home Run Hitters To Make a Difference
The Mets are moving in the fences, the entire fan base exhaled, and when they stopped giving each other “high fives” (it used to be high tens before Madoff) they realized that Jason Bay isn’t going to be transformed into a 40-homer guy, or a thirty, or a twenty, he had 12 last year (six at home) which means he might get 15 next year. But the news is worse than that.
In 2010 the Mets hit 128 homers and that dropped to 108 last year, same park, same dimensions. David Wright hit 14 homers last season, 5 at home, just 9 on the road where the dimensions are better, so let’s give him 20 for next season, that would still be a far cry from 29 in 2010 and in the thirties before that. Ike Davis, who was hurt for a large chunk of last season has 26 dingers in his short career (13 at home and on the road) translation, a home run hitter will hit them everywhere he plays.
Now the elephant in the room that’s not being talked about, the horrendous pitching, they will now give up more home runs. Mike Pelfrey, who is expected to be on the staff next year is supposed to be a ground ball pitcher but somehow batters manage to lift his pitches out of the park. He has given up 17 so far at CitiField, although he only gave up 10 at Shea, now how many will he give up at home next year? Jonathon Niese, an up and coming pitcher has given up 16 homers in 33 home starts, now how many will he give up? The Mets team ERA was up from 3.70 to 4.19 and the staff gave up 147 home runs, 8 more than the season before. Unless the rest of their pitchers are ground ball only guys, this staff is doomed for failure before they even get started next year.
The best cure for adding home runs is to add bona fide power hitters. The best way to give up fewer home runs is to have guys who can make the batters swing and miss. The 2012 New York Mets are likely to be short in both of those areas so the only reason they are making this move is to give the fans a few more homers to cheer for because next year doesn’t have a lot of promise so far, especially since Johan Santana isn’t expected to make the start of the season.