Along the line of imagination, which is what April Fools day is all about, lets picture the untimate scenario where almost everything works out the way Sandy Alderson, Terry Collins and the Mets are hoping. This is what they are selling to the fans, so before the season starts, lets have something to compare the actual product that we will see starting Thursday, April 5th against the Braves. Lets take a moment and forget about the expectations, or lack there of, and have a little day dream on a day that is known for its lack of reality.
The Mets have a team essembled with very little margin for error. There is little depth and obviously, they cannot afford for many injuries or subpar play. So, the first part of this fantasy is for there to be no major injuries affecting anybody that is making a major contribution to the 2012 New York Mets, something that rang true from 2005-2008. This is an organization that is due a break as they have been plagued by a series of injuries from 2009 until last season. Of course, they have key players returning from 2011 injuries and lets put together some healthy stat lines since they will be healthy for the entire season. Johan Santana, who has shown some very good signs in his spring starts, starts opening day and makes 30 starts and has a season that reminds fans how solid an ace he can be. He goes 15-8, with a 3.40 ERA in 29 starts. I, for one, would sign up for that in a heartbeat. David Wright recovers his power and all around game and puts up a .285, 25, 100 season, while Ike Davis has an even bigger season, hitting .305, 32, 109, becoming one of the better all around first basemen in the National League. Andres Torres contributes almost right away, despite his spring injury, and hits .275, 11, 61 with 8 3B and 25 SB, while playing a very good centerfield. Tim Byrdak, the other player who may not be ready for opening day, pitches to a less than 2.00 ERA, doing an even better job than last season.
Now that the injury concerns are not concerns (in this daydream, at least), lets move on to some of the question marks going into the season. Jason Bay, who to this point has not found his stroke since he left Boston, regains his power, and confidence and has a bounce back season (.268, 23, 79). Mike Pelfrey, the other current player who fans have turned on, does a more than adequate job going 13-10, 3.89 in his usual 32 starts. Closer Frank Francisco, who has not pitched well at all this spring, turns it up once the season starts and saves 38 out of 41 games for the Mets, finishing with a 2.15 ERA. Catcher Josh Thole hits .309, 7, 61 while mysterously improving drastically on his defense.
So, injured players and players a lot of fans have given up on have come through in this near perfect 2012. What about the players fans are hanging their hopes on? Daniel Murphy continues to be a solid hitter at 2B and plays good enough defense that does not distract the team. He hits .310, 13, 81 and Ruben Tejada quietly has himself a good season replacing Jose Reyes (.280, 2, 58). Lucas Duda finishes with .275, 27, 82 in his first full season in RF and the Mets offense is among the strongest in the National League.
The other pitchers stay healthy and pitch well with RA Dickey going 13-9, 2.67, Jonathon Niese going 14-12, 3.41 and Dillon Gee going 12-10, 3.89. All five starters win 12 or more games!
All of this makes the team a contender, right? So while fans have the attitude of expecting only the worst, is it possible to take a moment and imagine a season where everything goes completely right? How about just for one day, on April Fools day, where people like to take a day off from reality.