By: Michael Ganci

Nine Innings with Steve Gelbs

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Steve Gelbs is entering his first full season as Mets field reporter for SNY.

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?

There’s a lot to like. Obviously the pitching is there, both in the starting rotation and the bullpen. Offensively, we’ll have to see. Can Duda, d’Arnaud and Lagares build upon last season? Can Cuddyer stay healthy and be effective away from Coors Field? Most importantly, will David Wright and Curtis Granderson have bounce back years? If everything breaks right, I think this team can absolutely contend for a playoff spot.

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

They still could probably use some depth on the bench. Maybe another veteran with some pop. Obviously, we will have to see if Flores can take what he did in September last year and give you a full season of it. They could definitely use a second lefty in the pen to complement Edgin (you don’t want to run him into the ground). In terms of which guy to go out and get though? I think this is pretty much the squad they’re rolling with for now

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

Oof. That is going to be tough to do. In my opinon, the Nats are the best team in baseball. They finished 17 games ahead of the Mets last year, then when out and got Scherzer. Instead of worrying about catching up to Washington, the Mets need to worry about grabbing a few more games when the two teams play each other. Last season, Washington won 15 of the 19 games between the two. Even a couple more wins for the Mets could be the difference between the playoffs and missing out.

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?

While I understand the skepticism, I don’t think you should expect a marginalized player. He was hurt last season. Pretty simple. If he’s healthy this year – and right now he says he’s 100% — then you’re going to get more out of him than .269 and 8 HRs.

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

Wright. They won 79 games last year without him at his best for most of the season. A healthy and productive David Wright takes this team into Wild Card contention.

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

Do I hate them? No. Do I understand why Mets fans hate them? Of course! The Mets fan base is as passionate a fan base as there is in sports. Obviously there is going to be some venom for the cross-town rivals.

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

Mets. I think the Mets may have the edge at the major league level this season and I don’t think there’s a question that they have it in the farm system.

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

See I’m boring. I still don’t think there’s anything better than a hot dog and peanuts at a baseball game. It just feels right.

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

in the playoffs. Why not?! Hope springs eternal at this time of year, right? I think they’ll be relevant from Game 1 to 162. They may just miss, but if you’re asking, I’ll put them in.

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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