The New York Mets will attempt to hold onto a playoff spot should they have one in late September. The previous two years the Mets have lost a possible playoff spot on the final game of the season. The Phillies stole the division at the end of 2007, and the Brewers took the Wild Card at the end of last year.
The Mets tried to change that when they went out and fixed their bullpen, the biggest problem of 2008. After finding out that Billy Wagner would miss the entire ’09 season, the Mets went out and acquired Francisco Rodriguez and JJ Putz. After that, they kept the rotation strong by resigning Oliver Perez and adding starters Freddy Garcia and Tim Redding. The team has some quality pitching depth in both the rotation and bullpen, something that wasn’t there last season.
With Jon Niese lurking in the wings, the Mets are 7 deep in the rotation. It’s talented, too. Johan Santana is obviously one of the top 3 pitchers in the MLB if not the best. Pelfrey, Main, and Perez are solid middle-of-the-rotation types. And then there is all that depth in the 5th spot. The lineup is just as good as it was last year. There have been no changes at any position. They are looking really good.
It’s obvious that the Mets are much improved. Their bullpen has gone from a huge hole to a huge strength. Garcia and Redding add some nice depth to the rotation, and New York brought back Perez as well. The New York team in the Queens is in a great position to get to the playoffs. The only question is, will they be good enough to get past the World Champion Phillies? I have no idea. Everyone keeps talking about how great of a race the AL East is going to be, but the NL East is also up for grabs. The Mets and Phillies could get in, but the Marlins and Braves will also be competing. This should be an awesome race.
I have no idea who is going to win this division, but it will be a lot of fun to watch. It might not matter, because the second place team could easily take the Wild Card. I actually expect two playoff teams coming from the NL East. I just can’t wait until the season starts.