Three Mets with something to prove
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Bay is heading into his third season of a four-year, $66-million contract that is looking like one of the Mets' worst investments in recent memory. After a 36-homer, 119-RBI walk year in Boston, Bay has a total of 18 home runs and 104 RBIs in two seasons for the Mets and has struck out once every 4.55 plate appearances.
If Bay can't capitalize on the hitter-friendly alterations made to Citi Field, it will raise serious questions about whether his days as a power threat are over - if they aren't already behind him.
There's little doubt that Murphy can hit. Before his season-ending knee injury last season, his second in two years, Murphy had an .809 OPS through 109 games and was batting .320, the fifth-highest average in the National League. The Mets would love to get that type of offensive production from second base -- if he can survive at the position. Murphy will get plenty of reps there in spring training, sparing him outfield duty, but the questions won't be answered until he can stick at second base for an entire season.
With Johan Santana recovering from shoulder surgery at this time last year, Terry Collins named Pelfrey his No. 1 starter weeks before he had to -- and regretted the decision as Pelfrey took a big step backward with a 7-13 record and 4.74 ERA. Pelfrey was the ninth overall pick in the 2005 draft, but to this point, has failed to live up to that potential. If Santana is healthy this season, Pelfrey is likely to be slotted third or fourth in the rotation, and the Mets hope he'll be more comfortable -- and more effective -- in the middle.