By Brad Kallet
» More Columns
Earlier this month, with absolutely nothing happening in Mets land, I decided to come up with 15 reasons to be excited about the upcoming season.
Here we are with February around the corner, and there’s still nothing of note to break down. (This has been an especially boring offseason, hasn’t it?)
So in light of that fact, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s as good a time as any to get out the crystal ball and look into the future.
So without further ado, I present 15 bold Mets predictions — some, admittedly, aren’t so bold — for the 2017 campaign.
— David Wright, as valiant as his comeback attempt is, suffers another disappointing setback and play 50 games, at most.
— Jose Reyes starts at third base for the majority of the season.
— Noah Syndergaard becomes the first Met since 2012 to with both 20 games and the National League Cy Young Award.
— Matt Harvey, the forgotten man, has a resurgent 2017 and reminds the league how nasty he is. Now healthy, he wins 15 games and has a sub-3.00 ERA.
— Jay Bruce does not get traded before the regular season opener and comes into camp as the starting right fielder. He hits some towering home runs, but posts a low average and struggles mightily against lefties. In June, Michael Conforto starts some games for Bruce and never relinquishes the job, rebounding nicely after a nightmarish sophomore campaign.
— In May, the Mets lose six of seven games and fans call for Terry Collins’ head after some questionable decision-making. New York proceeds to win three of four, the commotion ceases and Collins remains in the dugout.
— Yoenis Cespedes goes into one of his trademark slumps where he can’t hit a thing and looks clueless, and then talks about his golf habit and that perceived lack of desire resurfaces. All is forgotten when he hits four home runs in a week and throws out a runner at third from the warning track. Despite not being in a walk year, he lives up to expectations set by his mega-contract. Yo hits .284 with 34 home runs and 97 RBI.
— Jeurys Familia’s luck runs out. The closer, after returning from a brief suspension, can’t find his command and blows seven saves after June. He pitches well enough to keep his job, but is no longer considered elite.
— After two seasons on the shelf, Zack Wheeler comes out of the bullpen and pitches brilliantly. By August, with some innings under his belt, he returns to the rotation as one of the better No. 5 starters in baseball.
— Neil Walker is the MVP of the position players, after Cespedes. He bats .287 with 26 home runs, all the while forming a solid up-the-middle combination with Asdrubal Cabrera.
— Speaking of Cabrera, his production reverts to the mean in his second season in Queens. Age catches up with the veteran shortstop, and while his defense isn’t affected, his offensive totals fall to .258/14 HR/54 RBI.
— In need of an impact bat to put the Mets over the top, general manager Sandy Alderson makes a splash at the trade deadline for a third consecutive season. Alderson ships outfielder Brandon Nimmo, top prospect Amed Rosario, starting pitcher Robert Gsellman and cash to the Pirates for Andrew McCutchen. Bruce is subsequently dealt, Granderson moves to right field and Conforto sees time at first base with little room in the outfield.
— In a make-or-break year for Travis d’Arnaud, the catcher underachieves at the plate again, posting a .256 average with 13 home runs. Rene Rivera and Kevin Plawecki get a fair amount of starts behind the plate.
— The Braves put Bartolo Colon on waivers, and the Mets pick him up off the scrapheap for the stretch run. He’s slotted in the back of the bullpen, pitching the seventh and eighth innings, and long relief, when necessary, and helps New York secure a playoff berth. (OK, this one is just me dreaming…)
— The Mets are beat out by the more well-rounded Nationals for the division title, but they clinch the first wild card spot to reach the postseason a third consecutive season.
— Unlike last year, the Mets win the Wild Card Game, defeating Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, 2-1 at Citi Field. But in the Division Series, their run ends in four games at the hands of the league-best Cubs.
Brad Kallet is the managing editor of TENNIS.com and a frequent contributor to WFAN.com. Follow him on Twitter @brad_kallet