The Mets can only go as far as their lineup will allow despite a formidable pitching staff.
The onus falls on captain David Wright to bounce back after his worst season since 2011. The career .298 hitter posted a .269 average and a career-worst eight home runs in 2014. Something in the neighborhood of .290 and 18 homers would be acceptable, but the franchise player should be better than that.
It’s possible Lucas Duda takes over as the team’s most dangerous presence at the plate. The first baseman, who launched a career-best 30 homers a year ago, must duplicate the power numbers while improving his .253 average from 2014.
The biggest addition to the lineup, leftfielder Michael Cuddyer, shouldn’t be expected to bat over .300 as he did in Colorado the past two years, but a .280 average would be a dramatic improvement over last year’s production from that position.
Wilmer Flores, poised to start at shortstop, should be better than Ruben Tejada has been over the past few seasons. However, Flores must walk at a higher rate than he did last season — 12 in 274 plate appearances.