2017-04-05 / Sports

Mets Preview

BY ANTHONY RAMOS

The New York Mets have headed back to Queens from their spring training home of Port St. Lucie, Florida and played their home opener at Citi Field on the afternoon of Monday, April 3rd.

The Mets 2016 season ended in Flushing during the National League Wild Card game, where they lost 3-0 to the San Francisco Giants.

Noah Syndergaard started that game and was electric, throwing seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters and leaving the game to wild cheers from Mets fans, hoping he was about to keep the Mets season alive.

Syndergaard, the big 6’6” righty, picked up right where he left off last season, and started on Opening Day for the Mets against the Atlanta Braves, which the Mets swept, 6-0. Syndergaard, if he can stay healthy for the entire year, is a favorite to win the National League Cy Young Award, given every year to the league’s best pitcher.

The Mets’ pitching rotation has been the bread and butter of their team the past few seasons, and this year is no different. In the rotation following Syndergaard are Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Zach Wheeler and Robert Gsellman. Harvey and Wheeler are coming off injuries last season but are former top prospects who have a history of performing. Harvey had surgery because of thoracic outlet syndrome while Wheeler had been on the shelf for parts of two seasons because of Tommy John surgery on his elbow.

Steven Matz was penned in to start the season on the roster, but he will miss some time with a sore elbow. The injury is thought to be minor, and the Mets are hopeful he will be back sooner rather than later.

The lineup that will line up defensively behind the pitchers are all returners from 2016. The bright spots from the team who hit 218 home runs last year include newly signed Yoenis Cespedes, who inked a 4- year, $110 million-deal this off-season to return to Queens. Cespedes batted .280 and knocked in 31 homers in 479 at bats to earn himself a great contract and the love of Mets fans everywhere.

Also in the high-powered outfield are Curtis Granderson and Jay Bruce. Granderson was a revelation last year, hitting 30 home runs – his most since 2012, when he hit 43 with the Yankees, while Jay Bruce was a disappointment after being traded over from the Reds at the trade deadline last year.

In the infield, the Mets are bringing back Lucas Duda as their first baseman, Neil Walker at second base, Asdrubal Cabrera at shortstop and Jose Reyes at third base. There is some hope that the Mets captain and third baseman David Wright could be back this season, but he continues to battle a litany of injuries to his back and shoulder.

This should be another excellent season for the Mets as they continue to try to push to win a World Series for the first time since 1986. The Mets will compete as a top team to win their division and make the playoffs and bring October baseball back to Queens for a third consecutive year.

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