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Mets preview: Finally, a sturdy Opening Day lineup

Yoenis Cespedes hit 17 home runs in 57

Yoenis Cespedes hit 17 home runs in 57 games for the Mets in 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

It’s no secret the Mets have lacked quality hitters in recent seasons. Even as recent as last July, the Mets trotted out unheralded John Mayberry Jr. and Eric Campbell as its No. 4 and 5 hitters in a disheartening loss to the Dodgers.

Incidences such as that should be a thing of the past in 2016 thanks to a well-assembled lineup that boasts the surprising return of Yoenis Cespedes, who was acquired about a week after the aforementioned loss at Citi Field.

Cespedes won’t be as incredible as he was down the stretch for the Mets last season (17 home runs in 57 games), but he should be a good source of power for a team that has lacked it for years.

He’s not the only hitter who wasn’t in Queens for Opening Day a year ago. Neil Walker replaces postseason hero Daniel Murphy at second in what’s charitably a lateral move, but it’s not a major loss. Once healthy, new shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is an upgrade.

Michael Conforto, a midseason call-up a year ago, should thrive in his first full season in the majors, especially if he improves his plate discipline.

All of the above make life easier for key holdovers Curtis Granderson and Lucas Duda. Travis d’Arnaud should be back to full strength after an injury-plagued campaign that saw the catcher hit 12 home runs in 67 games.

As for captain David Wright, anything they get out of their former centerpiece would be a bonus considering his struggles with spinal stenosis.


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