NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — If the Mets hope to return to the postseason in 2015, they’ll need a bounce-back year from David Wright.
New York’s captain, who is coming off a disappointing season, has been preparing for the upcoming campaign at the Barwis Methods training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
After being hindered by a left shoulder injury, the seven-time All-Star insists he’s in great shape and is swinging pain-free.
“I feel really good,” Wright told the New York Post. “I’m 100 percent confident that I will be physically ready to go.”
The superstar third baseman was rather pedestrian at the plate last season, hitting .269 with eight homers and 63 RBIs in 134 games.
Echoing others within the organization, Wright believes that his Mets are a playoff team.
“I fully expect us to be in the playoffs,” Wright told the newspaper. “It’s not coming out here and boasting, but I think where we stand right now, we’re a much better team than we were last year and in years past. You win with young, dominant pitching, and we have quite a bit of that. And offensively, we are going to be better than we have been.”
The Mets’ offense should benefit from a shortened fence in right-center field and the free-agent addition of Michael Cuddyer, who hit .332 with the Rockies last season.
It’s been a quiet offseason for general manager Sandy Alderson, however. In addition to Cuddyer, the only other free agent to sign a major league deal with the club was outfielder John Mayberry Jr.
“We should have one of the more dominant starting fives or sixes or sevens in baseball,”
Wright told the New York Post. “Offensively, with Cuddyer, that obviously helps, and I expect a lot more out of me this season. I think (Curtis Granderson) would say the same thing.
“Continued progress from (Juan) Lagares, (Wilmer) Flores, (Travis) d’Arnaud, so there are a lot of things to be optimistic about offensively. But ultimately we are going to win with our pitching.”
The pitching staff will include ace Matt Harvey, who is returning from Tommy John surgery, Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom and Zack Wheeler. Veterans Jon Niese, Dillon Gee and Bartolo Colon are also on the roster, though one of the tree — most likely Gee — might get traded. Top prospect Noah Syndergaard is projected to make his big league debut.
“The thing that solves all problems is winning,’’ Wright told the newspaper. “The burden is on us as players and as an organization to go out there and win baseball games. If we start winning baseball games in April, the fans will come out, but we have to prove we have a good product on the field.”
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