I'll admit it. When Terry Collins was named the manager of the New York Mets in November of 2010, my first reaction was, "Who?" Now, it looks as though Terry is here to stay for at least a few more seasons. But how effective is the sixty-three year old skipper?
During Collins' first year, 2011, New York posted a 77-85 record (.475). Last season, the Mets were 73-89 (.450). Mets' fans cannot really fault Collins' for the team's mediocre record--he hasn't had a whole lot to work with.
However, I expect big things out of Terry Collins' squad this season. If nothing else, I want the Mets to at least make things interesting. I want to be intrigued to watch baseball, something that I have not been in the last few years. It has been established that the Mets have good young talent, a decent pitching staff, and a solid, consistent offense led by David Wright. Can Terry Collins turn things around for the Mets this year?
In the three years prior to Collins taking over the managerial responsibilities, Johan Santana was a solid number one pitcher. Santana won 16 games for the Mets in 2008, 13 in 2009, and 11 in 2010. These are not Cy Young numbers by any means, but they are decent. To his misfortune, Collins had to manage the entire 2011 season without Johan Santana, who was bitten by the injury bug. Johan went just 6-9 for the Mets in 2012, but Collins can and will put him back on the right track.
David Wright will also be a key part of Terry Collins' success as manager this season. Wright, who also had a shortened 2011 season due to injury, saw some of his best numbers in recent years during the 2012 season while playing for Terry Collins. The all-star third-baseman hit .306 in 2012, smacking 21 home runs and driving in 93 runs. Since the 2008 season, Wright's numbers had been slacking. Give credit to Terry Collins. His hard work, along with his assistant coaches, has paid off for the Mets' organization.
Willie Randolph managed the Mets from 2005 through the middle of 2008. Throughout that time, Randolph led the Mets to a 302-253 record (.544). Randolph also took the Mets to the 2006 National League Championship Series, where they lost in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals. Randolph was also the manager when the Mets blew a seven game division lead over the Philadelphia Phillies with just 17 games left to play in the 2007 season.
Jerry Manuel took over when Randolph was fired in 2008. He posted a 204-213 record (.489). Nothing really exciting about Manuel's stay in New York. The team finished fourth in the division in his two full seasons and missed the playoffs three times under Manuel.
In comparison, Terry's numbers look a lot like Jerry Manuel's. But I think Mets fans have to give him at least another season to work out the wrinkles. He has now had two seasons with this group, ample time to get to know everyone. Now, it's time to focus on restoring the glory to Mets' baseball.
Collins has to bring Santana back to where he was before--a Cy Young pitcher. David Wright has to get back to 25+ homeruns, 100+ RBIs, and a batting average of at least 295. With these pieces to the puzzle in place, Collins' squad has a good chance at making some waves in the National League East.
In my next piece, I will take a look at the other teams in the National League East. Do the Washington Nationals have what it takes to win the division, or can Philly, Atlanta, Miami, or New York give the Nats a run for their money? A complete breakdown of each team is coming up next week on MLBInsideTheNumbers.com.