Saturday, March 19, 2016

Milestones Within Reach For Members of the 2016 Mets

The Mets reached a meaningful milestone as a team in 2015, making the playoffs for the eighth time in the 54-year history of the club.  They won their sixth division title and fifth National League pennant before losing to the Kansas City Royals - who had won just their fourth American League pennant - in five games in the World Series.

A return to the playoffs in 2016, especially as a division champion, would give the Mets back-to-back postseason appearances for only the second time in franchise history and would also mark the first time the team reported for duty in October as winners of consecutive division titles.

But what about the individual players and the manager reaching milestones?  When put together as a cohesive unit in 2015, they achieved incredible things.  But as individuals, they could produce some wonderful moments of their own in 2016.  And because they're still the Mets, they could also reach milestones that they would rather sweep under Bartolo Colón's dinner table since no one ever looks there.  (What's on top of the table is the only thing of interest.)

So before you try to hatch a plan to see what's under the portly pitcher's table linens, please take time out to read the annual list of individual milestones (and some things that aren't really milestones) that are well within the reach of your favorite Mets.

Attainable Individual Milestones (Position Players)

Yoenis Céspedes should give a big hand to the team's offense in 2016.  (Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

David Wright:

  • Needs 69 runs and 44 RBI to reach 1,000 in both categories for his career.
  • Needs 17 homers to tie Darryl Strawberry for the all-time team lead.
  • Needs 18 doubles to have 400 in his career.
  • Needs seven stolen bases for 200 lifetime steals.
  • Needs to reach all these milestones to give Mets fans faith in their captain.

Lucas Duda:

  • Needs 17 homers to tie Ed Kranepool for 10th place in team history.
  • Needs 18 homers to have more long balls than any lefty-swinging Mets hitter not named Darryl Strawberry.
  • Needs 124 strikeouts to have more whiffs than all but three Mets (Wright, Strawberry, Howard Johnson).
  • Needs to drop a bunt every now and then when opposing teams employ the shift.

Curtis Granderson:

  • Needs 49 runs to reach 1,000 for his career.
  • Needs 65 hits to be halfway to 3,000.
  • Needs nine games in right field to become the first man since Strawberry to play 300 games in right for the Mets.
  • Needs to repeat his 2015 campaign in 2016.

Yoenis Céspedes:

  • Needs a 100-RBI campaign to become the first Met to do so since Wright in 2010.  (Céspedes had 105 RBI between Detroit and New York.)
  • Needs a 100-run campaign to become the first Met to do so since Jose Reyes in 2011.  (Céspedes scored 101 runs between Detroit and New York.)
  • Needs to do both (and play an adequate center field) to make Mets fans believe last year was not a flash in the pan.

Michael Conforto:

  • Just keep that sweet swing.  That's all we need.

Attainable Individual Milestones (Pitchers)

Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom can never lop off their luscious locks.  (Robert Deutsch/USA TODAY Sports)

Bartolo Colón:

  • Needs 19⅓ innings pitched for 3,000 in his career.
  • Needs 12 wins to have the third-most victories for a Latin-American pitcher.  (He would only be surpassed by Dennis Martínez (245) and Juan Marichal (243).)
  • Needs 40 strikeouts to enter baseball's all-time top 50 in the category.  (Needs 57 Ks to pass Dwight Gooden.)
  • Needs to win the Silver Slugger Award to make Mets fans and his wallet happy.

Matt Harvey:

  • Needs 51 strikeouts for 500.
  • Needs 151 strikeouts to become the 14th Met to reach 600 Ks.
  • Needs 30 starts to achieve the first 30-start season of his career.
  • Needs to jump in a DeLorean and erase the ninth inning of World Series Game Five from the current timeline.

Jacob deGrom:

  • Needs 200 strikeouts to become the fourth Met with multiple 200-K seasons (joining Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden and David Cone).
  • Needs two postseason wins to become the team's all-time leader in that category (passing Jerry Koosman, who won four playoff games).
  • Needs to put a restraining order on scissors, making sure they're never within 100 feet of his hair.
  • Needs to convince Noah Syndergaard to go with him the day he gets that restraining order.

Jeurys Familia:

  • Needs nine saves to finally knock Braden Looper out of the team's all-time top ten.  (Seriously, Looper has been 10th in saves for over a decade.)
  • Needs 38 saves to crack the team's all-time top five (behind only John Franco, Armando Benítez, Jesse Orosco and Billy Wagner).
  • Needs to put those three blown saves in the World Series behind him.  (Let's just choose to remember the 0.61 ERA and 0.48 WHIP he had in the postseason instead.)

Attainable Individual Milestones (The Manager)

"I don't need to stinkin' comment on any stinkin' milestones.  I'm Terry Stinkin' Collins!"  (Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

Terry Collins:

  • Needs six wins for 400 as Mets skipper.
  • Needs a 92-win season to finally reach a .500 winning percentage as Mets manager.  (Barring any postponements, he'd be 486-486 if the team goes 92-70 in 2016.) 
  • Needs 52 losses to have the most defeats by a manager in team history.  (Not exactly a milestone to shoot for.) 
  • Needs to lead the team back to the World Series to become the only manager in franchise history to win multiple pennants.

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