A blog dedicated to the New York Mets with some other baseball thrown in.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Real Men Wear Skirts / Traschel Redux

What's that you say? They're kilts? They sure look like skirts to me.

It's St. Patricks day. The only day when it is acceptable for grown men to put on skirts and wear knee high socks and look eerily similar to Catholic school girls but with beer bellies and facial hair. Once a year a select few take their plaid skirts to the dry cleaners and drink until they forget the cool air breezing by their bits and pieces. So in honor of them, go drink some beer and eat some potatoes.

* * *

"This is not what I expected when I left last week to go to New York for X-rays," Traschel said in a statement released by the Mets. "I thought I would get a shot and be back. At least they know what the problem is. There is no doubt in my mind I'll be pitching again before the end of the season."

Out for at least three months? If the Mets had some sort of guarantee he would be back in three months, his spot could surely be held down. However, there is no guarantee and back injuries are very, very tough to come back from. These are the types of the things that could linger and just be a big pain for rest of your life. Traschel may of pitched his last game as a Met, or at least that is how Omar is going to most likely play it. He simply cannot be figured in their plans at this point. His $1m kicker with 160 IP in 2005 is out the window as is his $7m option for 2006.

"The opportunity is there for a few guys," Mets manager Willie Randolph said. "We'll see who takes the bull by the horns."

By take the bull by the horns he means gives up the fewest bombs (sorry Aaron, don't get your hopes up).

The NYPost figures Omar to look to make a trade.

As he did on Tuesday, Minaya reiterated that the options are internal (i.e., Matt Ginter, Jae Seo, Aaron Heilman, Francisco Campos). But the Mets are hunting for pitching. The problem is, this time of year, their options are limited. Available arms include Colorado's Shawn Chacon, Texas' Chan Ho Park, Boston's Byung-Hyun Kim (who still has not topped 85 mph this spring) and possibly Kansas City's Brian Anderson.

I shudder at the thought of the Mets further depleting their farm system with only four genuinely solid prospects that have a lot of value. I full heartedly think the Mets have a chance to make some noise this year, but it will be close and I would definitely classify them as a team on the cusp. They are a team on the cusp that has a bright future and that cannot be lost in a hunt to get back a mediocre starter.

Bob Klapisch said in a recent Chat Wrap on ESPN that trading Cammy is a final option.

Ricky (Albuquerque, NM): Hey Bob, with Trachsel going down, is Cameron back on the trading block for a SP? Go Mets! Oh thanks, by the way

Bob Klapisch: The Mets will give Ginter a long look. Then they'll give Jae Seo on more audition. If all else fails, they'll look to make a trade (involving Cameron) but that's a final option.

Out of the above names, only Chacon should cost some premium talent. I certainly hope Omar is smart enough to know when to hold and go with what he has rather than do something rash. Losing Petit or Milledge right now would be a dumb move as any pitcher they pick up would most likely be marginally better than their current options. Other GMs know they would have the Mets by the proverbial balls in any transaction. Why not go for the gold? Why not insist on their top prospects or nothing at all? You definitely get the feeling that if Zambrano had been lights out this spring, things would be a little more relaxed about this situation. Depth is the key here and that is what is lacking. You never want to be on your backup option before the first pitch of opening day is even thrown.

* * *

  • Rob Neyer had listed out five guys who should fall off the cliff in terms of their production from 2004 to 2005. Al was one of them.

    Al Leiter


    That projection looks a tad simplistic, and you might be wondering why everything's the same but the ERA. Well, most of Leiter's fundamental numbers didn't change much from 2003 to 2004, so it's hard to predict a big change from 2004 to 2005. You might also be wondering why the big jump in ERA. There's a simple explanation: In 2004, Leiter was extraordinarily lucky. To compensate for his aging stuff, Leiter has been working around hitters; thus, 97 walks in 174 innings last season. But he avoided a bloated ERA by allowing only 138 hits; his .218 batting average allowed ranked fifth in the National League, between Cy Young candidates Roger Clemens (.217) and Carlos Zambrano (.225). That won't happen again, and in 2005, Leiter will be a profoundly ordinary pitcher.

    He also listed Doug Mientkiewicz as one of the players most likely to improve. However, hitting .245 would be an improvement over last year so I cannot get too excited about that vote of confidence by Neyer.

  • You can watch the steroid hearings today online at C-Span.org if that strikes your fancy. It is on C-Span 3.

  • Pedro was pumped.

    "Without a doubt, when you see a hitter like Delgado, you get more pumped, you get more blood flowing if you're pitching in a real game," said Martinez, whose last outing was a simulated game in Port St. Lucie.

    The pitcher also denied staring down Delgado, who had fouled off a pair of good 3-2 pitches before swinging through a fastball.

    "I was looking at a fan who was talking some (trash)," Martinez said.

    Whatever. Despite the havoc the weather has played with his schedule, Martinez -- who reached 94 mph on the radar gun yesterday -- looked as ornery as ever on the mound.

    Right, staring down a fan.

  • Baseball America goes over the top first and third baseman in College baseball. The Mets will certainly be eyeing up the top two at either position and will get their choice of least two of them at the minimum.

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