By: Michael Ganci

Nine Innings with Jim Callis

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Jim Callis is a senior writer for Senior writer for MLB.com and MLBPipeline.com.

Today, he plays the roll of Mets critic as he looks at the Amazins’ and their season ahead and gives us his take on today’s edition of #9innings.

For previous editions of #9innings, click here.

Here are his thoughts:

What do you make of this Mets’ team as currently constituted? Are they ready to contend?

I think I see the Mets more as being respectable than being a contender. They look pretty average across the board to me. If their young guys develop and improve as hoped, I could see them being in position to contend in 2016.

If they’re missing something, what is that piece? Who would be the guy you’d go out and get and why?

I’ve never spoken to a scout who thought Wilmer Flores had a chance to be a big league shortstop. Flores can hit, but the Mets will be giving up a lot defensively if they play him regularly at shortstop. I’d try to deal some of my starting pitching depth for a shortstop.

How do the Mets compete with the Nationals with that superstar rotation? Is the NL East title a distant pipe dream?

The Nationals are not only the best team in the NL East, they look like the best team in baseball at this point. I could see the Mets overachieving and stealing a wild-card spot this year, but not the division title.

David Wright had a career-worst year in 2014. Do you think we should expect a marginalized player moving forward or do you have hope in a resurgence?

He is getting older, but what really jumped out at me last year is that he didn’t control the strike zone nearly as well as he had in the past. I bet he bounces back some, but his days as a star may be over. I could see him being a .280/15-20 HR guy for the next couple of years.

Who’s the guy who needs to step up to put the Mets offense over the top?

I don’t really see a guy who is going to carry the offense on his back and make it one of the best in the NL, unless David Wright gets all the way back to where he was in 2012-13 and stays healthy. What the Mets do have going for them is an offense that can be pretty solid 1 through 8. Having Travis d’Arnaud and Wilmer Flores deliver on their potential would help a lot.

What are your thoughts on the Yankees? Do you hate them? 

Ha, I don’t hate the Yankees. But I can understand why many Mets fans might because I live in Chicago and see the same thing going on between Cubs and White Sox fans up here. From my viewpoint, the Yankees have an old, expensive team and a lot of questions in their rotation, even if Masahiro Tanaka stays healthy. The AL East is pretty tight and I don’t see a juggernaut there, but I could see the Yankees finishing toward the bottom of the division.

If you could have one team as currently constituted, farm system and all, would you rather have the Mets or the Yankees? Why?

The Mets, though I’d love to have the Yankees’ financial wherewithal. At the big league level, the Yankees have more albatross contracts and an older team while the Mets have more athleticism, a deeper lineup and a deeper pitching system. In the minors, the Mets have one of the top five farm systems around while the Yankees are in the middle of the pack.

What’s the best thing to eat or drink at Citi Field?

I’ve never been! Was going to come out for the Futures Game in 2013, but wound up doing the Triple-A All-Star Game broadcast instead.

Finish this sentence. By the end of the season, the Mets will be…

…in second place in the NL East at 85-77 but a couple games out of the second wild-card berth.

About Michael Ganci

Michael Ganci is the Co-Founder of the Daily Stache, along with Matthew Falkenbury. Since 2008, Ganci has eat, drank and dreamt all things Mets, and he’d have it no other way. Feel free to follow him on Twitter at @DailyStache.

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