Michael Cuddyer Wont Be Enough to Carry Mets To Playoffs In 2015

Michael Cuddyer won the 2013 National League batting title with
the Colorado Rockies, hitting .331. His numbers were actually
better this past season, but he played in just 49 games because of
hamstring injuries. The Mets, though, signed Cuddyer in the kind of
seemingly minor move that has a bit of a fallout. First, this can
only be seen as a boon for the Rockies – even though they lost
an accomplished hitter. Colorado had the foresight to issue a
qualifying offer to Cuddyer last week, meaning he could have
returned to the Rockies and been paid $15.3 million for 2015. Any team signing Cuddyer would have to surrender its first-round
pick, and the Rockies would get a “sandwich” choice between the
first and second rounds. This is good business for Colorado, and
it also ensured that no player – in the three-year history of the
process – has ever accepted a qualifying offer. For New York, they now have a middle-of-the-order bat to help
protect third baseman David Wright – who grew up in the same
Tidewater area of Virginia as Cuddyer. One reason for the Mets’
offensive woes in 2014 was the worst season of Wright’s 11-year
major league career, a .698 OPS that was nearly 200 points below
his career average to that point (.888). But what to make of Cuddyer? Before winning that batting title
two years ago, he had never hit better than .284 in a major league
career that began in 2001 with the Twins. His OPS the past two
years (with Coors Field as his home): .929. His OPS prior to
that: .795. Even though they’re bringing in the fences at the
Mets’ CitiField (again), wouldn’t the second number seem more likely in 2015? And that says nothing about the 2016 season,
when Cuddyer will be 37. The Mets’ thinking, though, is clear. Matt Harvey, a true ace, will
likely be back from Tommy John surgery at some point early next
season. Jacob de Grom is the National
League’s rookie of the year. Throw in Jon
Niese and Zack Wheeler, and there’s the makings of a fine
rotation (though not enough to overwhelm what Washington will throw out there in the same division). And maybe top prospect
Noah Syndergaard overcomes an injury-riddled 2014 – in which he
posted a 4.60 ERA at Class AAA while dealing with elbow issues
– to provide yet another option. There are also Gaping Holes at Shortstop and their Bench is weak with not much Depth at any position except Starting Pitching. Mets are at least 2 ligit players away from a serious Challenge of Nationals.
by Ed Rivera

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