We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2009 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2009 Mets Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of MetsBlog.
1) Carlos Delgado seemed done in 2007, then he wasn’t done in 2008. In 2009, done or not done and why?
I bet, like in 2008, heâ€™s some place in the middle again. Heâ€™s not getting younger, so to expect an improvement from last season would be unrealistic. He and the team will tell you he had mechanical and mental hitches that hurt him in the start of the season, it wasnâ€™t physical. Frankly, I prefer it be physical, because, if healthy, heâ€™d be all set. However, whatâ€™s to say he doesnâ€™t slide back in to those mechanical mistakes again.
2) John Maine battled some injuries in 2008, can we expect a bounce back in 2009 to a sub-4 ERA?
Heâ€™s struggling in spring training, but he says he is working on different things, from different pitches to adjustments in his delivery.
Maine is very hard on himself, and he goes in to mental funks, that translate in rough stretches during the season. He knows he needs to stop thinking, and just let the ball rip, like he was doing at the start of last season.
The key for him will be whether he can focus, stop overthinking, and create a better out pitch to keep batters from fouling off so many pitches, which often leads him to 90â€“pitch counts in the fourth inning.
3) Not sure if you play fantasy baseball, but even if you don’t you should be able to answer this. Reyes or Wright?
Funny you should ask, because I was in this exact position on Sunday during my leagueâ€™s draft. We have an extensive prospects and keeper system, that has allowed me to carry Ryan Zimmerman since he was in Double-A. I am using him, finally, as my starting third baseman â€“ in a head-to-head league with 16 teams, and 16 roster spots. So, because I do not have a starting shortstop, I selected Reyes with second overall pick in the draft, ahead of Wright and Hanley Ramirez. Wright was taken with the next pick.
4) How do you think Citi-Field will play? Pitcher’s park? Hitter’s park? Why?
I have no idea, and neither does any one else. I asked Jeff Wilpon this very question, when I talked with him during spring training, and he said there have been no indications yet, and nobody will really know until the team starts playing in April – and even then it will likely change as the weather warms up, the wind patterns change and it gets more humid in the summer. I believe, however, they want it to be a pitcherâ€™s park, consistent with the teamâ€™s history.
5) Luis Castillo is projected for 490 ABs and 0 HRs. That would be a sub-Herculean achievement. Think he can pull it off?
My readers at MetsBlog.com like to call him Slappy McSingleton, but, like Clark Kent in a phone booth, turning in to Superman, he becomes Slappy McHomerton at least once or twice per season when batting from the right side of the plate â€“ I expect the same in 2009.
I am far more concerned with his OBP than his home run totals, though.