Mets Get Ready for Opening Day

With the NFL season behind us, now is the time to start getting ready and prepared for Major League Baseball. With pitchers and catchers reporting and position players soon to follow, now is a great time to be a baseball fan as seemingly anyone can get excited about it. One team that people are excited about this year is the New York Mets.

During the 2017 MLB season, the New York Mets were considered to be a bit of a disappointment. While the team was not expected by many to compete for the division title, they ended up winning just 70 games and finished 27 games behind the first place Washington Nationals. Now that the offseason is nearing completion and rosters appear to be set, there are plenty of reasons why someone could thing that the Mets could be much better in the upcoming year.

One of the main reasons why the Mets are looking like an exciting team is that they have a lot of talent coming back. The Mets are considered to have a lot of talent on their team. Offensively, the Mets are led by shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera. Last season, Cabrera led the team by hitting .280 with 14 homeruns and 59 RBIs. The team also has power hitters in Jay Bruce, Yoenis Cespedes, and Michael Conforto.

While the team has the ability to put up a lot of runs, they also have a pitching staff that can help to make winning even easier. While the team has had some injuries in the last couple of year, their starting rotation is still considered one of the best in MLB. The team’s staff is led by starting pitcher Jacbo deGrom who led the team with 15 wins and 239 strikeouts last year. If starters Matt Harvey and Noah Syndegaard can be healthy, they should have a very dominating rotation that could also well into the playoffs.

While there is a lot of reason for optimism with the team, there are also many questions that need to be answered (http://www.nj.com/mets/index.ssf/2018/02/10_questions_the_mets_must_answer_in_spring_traini.html). The team will have to understand what the current injury situations are in order to fill out the full roster. There are also a number of very promising prospects that could make the team and even start on opening day.

John McEnroe Blazes a Fastball to Start Subway Series

To get the latest edition of the Subway Series between the New York Yankees and New York Mets started, the Mets brought out tennis legend John McEnroe to throw out the first pitch for the August 1st contest at Citi Field. As opposed to others that have tried their luck at this baseball tradition, the 57-year-old McEnroe offered up a quality pitch.

A native New Yorker, McEnroe wore a blue Mets jersey and cap as he went to the mound. Showing that his athleticism was still in evidence, he threw a fastball and then quickly bounced off the mound to shake hands with the Mets’ catcher.

McEnroe’s effort was in severe contrast to some of the other individuals who have attempted to offer a first pitch from the same mound. One of the more notorious instances came in 2009 when Gary Dell’abate, a producer for the Howard Stern’s satellite radio show made his attempt. Dell’abate came to the mound and offered a pitch that didn’t come close to the plate and instead hit an umpire who was waiting for the ceremony to end. The effort resulted in a huge amount of ridicule from Stern and his staff.

McEnroe ended his singles’ tennis career in 1992 after winning three Wimbledon titles and four U.S. Open championships. However, he still competes in doubles competition and some senior events. Later this month, he will serve as a color commentator for the U.S. Open, which will take place just next door to Citi Field.

Kelly Johnson Once Again Finds His Way Back to Flushing

The New York Mets have acquired infielder Kelly Johnson from Atlanta for relief pitcher Akeel Morris, welcoming Johnson back after letting him go in 2015.

The Braves traded Johnson to the Mets on July 24, 2015. But the Mets released him 2 months later, and he signed back on with Atlanta. Now, due to injury concerns on the Mets squad, he’s as welcome back to NYC as the flowers in May. Third baseman David Wright will probably be out 6 to 8 weeks with a neck injury, as well as spinal stenosis.

The Mets even wonder if the 33-year-old Wright can still be productive. “It’s pretty shocking to hear about the length of time,” Mets manager Terry Collins said, referring to Wright’s long recovery period nytimes.com.

In addition, first basemen Lucas Duda is nursing a stress fracture in his back, and outfielder Juan Lagares has an injured thumb. Although Johnson will start at third base, he may also be called on for duties at first and some outfield.

That’s why Johnson has found a home once again with the Mets. He has the ability to play multiple positions. Johnson can play first, second, third, and outfield and even played shortstop for the Mets once last year.

Johnson’s a crafty 34-year-old veteran who, although he’s only hitting .215 now, has been around. He’s played for 8 clubs, including the whole AL East. Wow!