December 11, 2013

Curtis Granderson Only Replaces Marlon Byrd

Mets fans are rightfully excited about the Curtis Granderson signing, and rightfully so. He is a big name player signed to a healthy contract that could prove beneficial to both the team and the player. He gives us a big bat in the lineup to afford some protection for David Wright and drive in some runs. It would be more exciting if we weren't just replacing a player from last year's team, which won only 74 games.

Photo by Michael Baron
Curtis Granderson will only serve as a replacement for the stats that were provided by Marlon Byrd last year. In fact, it would take a good season from Granderson to do so.  In 2013, compiled from his Met and Pirate statistics, Byrd hit a tremendous .291, and provided power with 24 home runs. With just the Mets he drove in 71 runs, surrounded by subpar players and provided far fewer opportunities to plate runners than he would on a better squad.

Contrast those numbers with Curtis Granderson. In the name of fairness, we'll discard his 2013 numbers. Plagued by two freak hand injuries, he never had the opportunity to really settle in and get going. In 2012, Granderson hit .232. Of course, his more important statistic is the 43 home runs he slugged, albeit in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. Even with all of those homers, he managed only 106 RBI's as a member of the loaded Yankee lineup, only 18 more than Byrd mustered over the course of last season. Byrd's OPS of .843 was higher than Granderson's by 32 points.

Clearly the Mets lineup needed some punch, especially in light of Byrd's departure. However, to hope or think that Granderson is going to make a great impact in the win column given the lineup that currently surrounds him would be foolish. There was a player of similar impact playing a corner outfield position last season, and the team stunk. Flat out, stunk. Granderson is a terrific addition, but it's important to keep adding, keep rolling the dead weight off of this roster. Last year's team did not lose because it had no good players on the field; it lost because too many of the bats in the lineup were automatic outs. A team can only field so many players with averages hovering around .200 if it hopes to compete. Plug the holes and give us competent players at each position if we can't sign stars. Make the team better, the whole team.

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