Friday, March 28, 2014

Milestones Within Reach for Members of the 2014 Mets

On Monday, the Mets will begin their 53rd season of play, looking to begin the season with a 1-0 record for the 35th time.  New York's .654 winning percentage in season-opening games is tops in the majors, ahead of the Baltimore Orioles, who are second with a .580 success rate on Opening Day.  (For the record, the Mets are 27-25 on Opening Day II, a dropoff from their won-loss record in Game 1s, but still not bad for a team that's nearly 400 games under .500 in all other games played.)

The Mets would like to continue their team success on Opening Day in 2014, and obviously would like that magic to spread to all other games throughout the season, unless if the Wilpons have been secretly replaced by Rachel Phelps, the "owner" of the Cleveland Indians in Major League.

While the team attempts to put big numbers up on the scoreboard and the win column, several of its players are also close to reaching significant individual milestones.  Some of the milestones will get honorable mentions on the Citi Field scoreboard and will cause the players who reached them to receive standing ovations.  Unfortunately, some other milestones will be embarrassing to the players and will cause them to send me direct messages asking me not to share those moments with their friends or loved ones.  To which I say, "Stop striking out so much, Ike, and I wouldn't have to write about you approaching the 500-strikeout plateau in well under 2,000 at-bats!"

But I digress.

Anyhoo, here are the milestones that your favorite Mets players should have no problem reaching at some point during the 2014 season.  And once those players reach those numbers, please feel free to share them on Twitter before anyone else gets a chance to do so.  That way your friends can either marvel at your Mets knowledge or call you the biggest geek they know.  Enjoy!

Attainable Individual Milestones (Position Players)

Ike Davis better not set any new club records for striking poses with his eyes closed after striking out.

David Wright:

  • Needs 31 home runs to surpass Darryl Strawberry as the Mets' all-time leader.
  • Needs 53 plate appearances and 263 at-bats to knock Ed Kranepool down to No. 2 in both categories.
  • Needs 17 stolen bases for 200 and 19 steals to be ahead of every Met not named Jose Reyes or Mookie Wilson.
  • Needs 1 hit-by-pitch to end Ron Hunt's four-decade reign as the team's top punching bag.

Daniel Murphy:

  • Needs 11 home runs and 8 steals to become the 11th Met to attain 50 HR and 50 SB.
  • Needs 18 doubles to enter the Mets' all-time top ten in that category.
  • Needs to reach double digits in homers and steals to prove 2013 wasn't a fluke season.

Ike Davis:

  • Needs 33 homers to reach 100 and to set a single-season career-high.
  • Needs 19 doubles to reach 100 and to still be well behind Daniel Murphy and David Wright in two-baggers.
  • Needs 89 strikeouts for 500 and just as many boos.
  • Needs 1 good season to avoid being traded or demoted.

Curtis Granderson:

  • Needs 20 runs scored for 800.
  • Needs 1 double for 200.
  • Needs 1 double to become the 11th MLB player in the last 50 years to reach 200 doubles, 80 triples and 200 homers.
  • Needs 1 decent season to have a better Mets career than Jason Bay.

Ruben Tejada:

  • Needs a whole lotta luck.

Attainable Individual Milestones (Pitchers)

Bartolo Colon almost fit within the borders of this photo.  Almost.

Jonathon Niese:

  • Needs 7 wins for 50.
  • Needs 97 strikeouts to enter the Mets' all-time top ten.
  • Needs to stay off the disabled list, please.

Dillon Gee:

  • Needs 19 starts for 100.
  • Needs 130 strikeouts for 500.
  • Needs to repeat his second half of 2013 and stretch it out for both halves of 2014.

Bartolo Colon:

  • Needs 11 wins for 200.
  • Needs 50 strikeouts for 2,000.
  • Needs to turn Harvey Day into Día de Colon.
  • Needs to stay as far away from Shake Shack during his bullpen sessions.

Zack Wheeler:

  • Needs 6 wins to have more career victories than Matt Harvey.  (For that matter, Noah Syndergaard needs 13 victories to join Wheeler in that respect.)

Bobby Parnell:

  • Needs 2 games for 300.
  • Needs 14 saves for 50.
  • Needs 22 saves to finally knock Braden Looper out of the Mets' all-time top ten saves leaders.
  • Needs to not turn his neck whenever he gives up a long fly ball.  (It's probably not leaving the park anyway and he's still recovering from neck surgery.)

With just 22 saves in 2014, Bobby Parnell will cause Braden Looper to walk right out of the Mets' top ten.  Let's go Bobby!!

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