I can just hear Nat King Cole eloquently singing his classic hit now.  Of course, when those lyrics came across my head today, it was extremely simple to replace one key word to label what the 2011 Mets really are.  Forgettable.

Nat King Cole should sing about how forgettable the 2011 Mets are

The Mets find themselves in a rather predictable place today.  They are currently tied for worst record in the major leagues at 4-9 with other predictably bad teams (Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners).  If you were hoping, or even worse, believing that the Mets would be better than this, then all I can say is shame on you.  Foolish optimism will get you nowhere with this franchise.

I haven’t written a thing in quite some time simply because there is absolutely nothing to write about.  I could break down how the Mets are severely deficient in the pitching department, but that was obvious from the start.  I could illustrate how the Mets, with new fiery manager in hand, still can not seem to catch, throw or run bases with any level of proficiency.  The only question that would come to mind is this.  Why bother writing about this team?

Folks, the Mets are an inferior product, and there is no sugar-coating it.  Why delude ourselves with anything other than the facts?  The Mets are as irrelevant as a VCR right about now.

The Met hierarchy is in a no-lose situation this year, their first under the Wilpon employ.  If the Mets compete at all, it would be looked upon as being a tremendous achievement by all.  If they do not compete, then the finger of disappointment will be pointed towards the prior regime’s mistakes.  Either way, they come off looking peachy, from the GM down to the manager.

What do we have to look forward to you may ask?  Let’s think about it.  Nothing.

Jose Reyes will be traded by the deadline if he stays healthy.  Carlos Beltran will finish up his Met career after this season.  Johan Santana, fresh off his latest surgical procedure, will not pitch until September at the earliest.  That is true only if the Mets actually make a good decision about how to rehabilitate him properly (a long shot I know).  When he returns in 2012, he will likely be a different pitcher all together, one that is no longer worth what he earns annually.  The Met payroll next year will likely be significantly lower than it is this year, as whispers of a 75 million dollar payroll are being heard throughout the blogosphere.  That means that there is no help on the way for next year either.  Ouch.

Other than that, the future looks bright Met fans.  Long live the Wilpons!

I now embark on projecting the production from each position for the upcoming season (starting pitching has  been discussed previously).  We begin with first base.

Daniel Murphy – Daniel has essentially been given the keys to the ignition here.  This became undeniably true once the Mets decided to close the book on the Carlos Delgado era.  I for one believe that this was a good move.  I say this because I was only given two choices here.  Murphy or Delgado.  Of those two, Murphy is the better choice.  He is young.  He is healthy (a rare attribute for a player on this team).  He has some measure of untapped potential.  These are all characteristics that Carlos Delgado does not possess.  My reasoning is fairly simple to follow.

Will Daniel Murphy develop into a quality first baseman?

As far as what can be expected from Murphy, I think it is safe to say that he will hit for at least a respectable average.  Would anyone call me nuts if I thought his low water mark would be around .270?  Probably not.  I also like his 40 double potential.  He did hit 38 of them last year.  Not bad.  I like the double.  It is a very underrated statistic.  Power is certainly never going to be a large part of his offensive game.  He is all about contact as he put the bat on the ball a tick below 80% of his plate appearances last season.

The negative here is that his on-base percentage needs to improve, which it may as he gets more comfortable facing big league pitching.  He is not a guy who gives you much else, as his foot speed is only average at best.  His splits are not very encouraging in that his numbers really bottom out versus left-handed pitching.  This is the reason why many believe he needs a right-handed compliment to face the toughest of the left-handed starters he will face this year.

He either projects long term as a number two hitter (if his average and on-base percentage improve), or as a guy who hits down in the order.  This season he will see most of his time in the seven hole due to the presence of Luis Castillo in the two spot.

As far as defense goes, this is where we run into an area of concern.  I realize that Murphy had to learn a new position on the fly last season.  Fair or not, he still worries me as he looks considerably uncomfortable out there in certain situations.  You do not have to be a baseball expert to see this from a ballplayer.  You can just sense it.  His movement is not fluid, nor is it precise around the bag.  There remains the possibility for him to improve, but I am fearful that he may be a guy playing out of position for the majority of his career.

Fernando Tatis – As I previously wrote, I am not sure why the Mets decided to bring Tatis back.  There were better and younger options to back up Murphy in the free agent pool this year, namely the likes of Ryan Garko, whom the Mariners recently signed.  I happen to respect the hell out of the Mariners and what they have done to better their team this off-season.  However, I digress.

Tatis will get his 150-200 at bats this season if he stays healthy.  The positive is that he can play a myriad of positions.  I can not take that away from him, although I struggle to find much else to compliment him on.

Let’s pull for Murphy.  After all, he is the only choice we were given for first base.

In yet another ex-player’s excerpt regarding his experience with the Mets,

Who is the real Putz?

J.J. Putz reveals all in his interview with Comcast SportsNet Chicago.

I don’t believe that any of this will astonish any true Met fan here.  If the interview had not come out, would it have surprised anyone to learn that the Mets did not look into his medical condition prior to making the trade with the Seattle Mariners last season?  (Does anyone remember Victor Zambrano?) I would have assumed that the answer would have been a resounding “NO”, regardless of this news.

Hey, let me be honest here.  I am nothing if I am not honest.  When it comes to the Mets, they are nothing if they are not consistent.  However, this consistency always seems to be on the wrong side of competence, unfortunately.

Regardless, J.J. had nothing to prove in this interview.  He was just being honest.  He does not even have anything bad to say about his former team.  There is no sour-grapes Met bashing going on here, as opposed to countless others who seem to get off on ripping the Mets after they leave.

With no real motive behind his story, doesn’t it stand to reason that this interview only highlights the inept decision making that rules the Mets as an organization?  Will it ever change?  I do not see the Mets coming back with an explanation in regards to Mr. Putz.  Do you?