04/14/2013 1:30 PM ET
Mets getting charged up with early power surge
Collins expects his club to produce its share of home runs this season
By Patrick Donnelly / Special to MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Mets haven't been much of a power threat in recent years, but when Marlon Byrd blasted a Scott Diamond pitch off the facing of the second deck in left at Target Field on Saturday, it continued a promising trend.
With 15 home runs through 11 games, the Mets entered Sunday's action tied for fourth in the NL in homers, and they're the only team in the Majors that's gone deep in every game this year. While Citi Field isn't known as a home run haven, manager Terry Collins said he expects his team to rely on a power surge to carry them this season.
"When you look at our lineup, I think that's going to be one of our strengths," Collins said after Saturday's 4-2 win over the Twins. "We don't have base-stealing guys ... David [Wright] and Murph [David Murphy] have been .300 hitters in their careers, but we don't have a lot of guys like that. We're going to have to live and die with some power, and I've said before, once we get Ike [Davis] going, we've got a chance to be dangerous."
Davis led the team with 32 home runs last year, but has just one homer through 39 at-bats so far this season. Still, he only had five homers through June 10 of last year before finishing with a flourish, so a slow power start for Davis isn't unprecedented.
John Buck's Major League-leading six home runs have been an unexpected bonus, but given that his career high is 20 in 2009, the Mets shouldn't count on him to continue at this pace. But Wright, who hit 21 homers last year to finish second on the team, has yet to enter the home run derby this year. Lucas Duda and Byrd have both shown power potential over the years, giving hope to a team that finished in the top five in the NL in homers just twice in the past decade.
"I saw it in Spring Training -- these guys work hard," Byrd said after Saturday's game. "They work on the tennis ball machine, the slider machine, taking flips, extra batting practice, looking at film, going over scouting reports to know exactly what guys are trying to do to us. We're making adjustments ... and it's showing right now."
Patrick Donnelly is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.