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

Friday, May 27, 2005

Confidence

"Every team lives and dies with its No. 4 and 5 guys," Randolph said. "I'm going to stick with these guys [Floyd and Mike Piazza]. We don't have a lot of options."

Why must you continue to ignore the fact that David Wright is a legitimate Major League hitter?

I digress, I get sick of myself saying it daily, but what is it going to take for Willie to do something? Sure he made his way up to the sixth spot and I do not expect him to move down again, but he should be moved up further. In a future lineup shakeup, Cameron has now played himself into a leadoff candidate when Carlos Beltran returns. Jose Reyes will be used in the second, seventh, or eighth spot. So far in his career, Reyes' line in the two spot is .329/.371/.445 in 164 at-bats. Not that I think he would be on on base monster in that spot, but I think he benefits from having better protection and a guy before him on base. He bats lefty the majority of the time and a guy on base opens a hole for him on the left side, and that is a good thing because Jose is a groundball hitter. I think Reyes would excel in this spot and as much as he has looked like he has benefited from Cammy batting behind him at times, I think he would take off in the two spot.

When Matsui arrived last season, I was irritated Reyes was being moved to the leadoff spot because he just did not seem to be that guy just yet. If Randolph pulls this move, it could be the start of the Mets actually putting together their most optimal and productive lineup for what they have right now.

Cameron
Reyes
Beltran
Wright
Floyd
Piazza
Matsui
Mientceiwcz

While Cammy has got his issues, getting on base with a .343 career clip and stealing twenty-plus bases best profiles as a leadoff hitter for this Mets club. Reyes will benefit and everyone else in the lineup will benefit from him in that spot. In the off-season, the leadoff spot is something Omar is really going to have attack, but for now, Willie has to make due.

Despite my griping about the Willie's inability to actually write a lineup card, that is not the biggest problem right now. The confidence factor is at an all time low. Cliff Floyd approached Willie Randolph to say he is killing the team and maybe he should move down in the order. That is something that you do not say if you are confident in yourself. Cleary he is struggling and clearly he doubts his own abilities right now. As for Piazza, the guy is incredibly streaky right now and hardly dependable. His torrid stretches tell me he can still hit, but those stretches are far between. Could his inability to hit the second baseman and the third baseman on a fly with a throw be affecting his overall game? It could be his age, but when he goes off and looks like vintage Piazza, it is hard to think he cannot contribute a little more consistently than he has so far. As for Dougie and Kaz, they are doubting themselves so much, I'm sure it has carried over to the bedroom. The Mets have four key components to this team that stand at the plate with seemingly no confidence. A simple hot streak of three or four games could turn it around, or maybe a few days off to think. Hopefully something gets this group of guys contributing like they can because this team can ride a win streak to close the gap if everyone is firing.

* * * *

  • With the Diamondbacks interest in Craig Hansen and Brandon Lyon's possible need for Tommy John surgery, plenty of speculation will be flying around.

  • In case you missed it:

    Mets 2004 first-round pick Philip Humber continues to look for his first win as a pro, dropping to 0-4, 5.35 last night by giving up seven runs on nine hits over just three innings in high Class A St. Lucie’s 9-7 loss to Tampa. In his last three starts, Humber has allowed 14 runs in 13 1/3 innings.

    I guess his quick ticket to Binghamton when it warms up is put on hold.

    "We're pretty pleased with the way he's pitched," said Jim Duquette, the club's vice president of baseball operations.

    If not for the abdominal strain, Humber probably would be on his way to Double-A Binghamton shortly, but the Mets plan to re-evaluate his progress at the end of June before making that decision.


  • Bill Stoneman on Jared Weaver:

    “I know Scott characterizes things in a certain way,” Stoneman told the Times, “and obviously he’s going to put a spin on it to make it look like he’s made major concessions to get a deal done. But the fact remains that we’re still far, far apart, and what he’s asking us to do is bid against ourselves. We’re not about to do that.”

  • A blast from the past:

    Left-handed pitcher Billy Traber, who underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2003, has been promoted from Class AA Akron to Buffalo.

    Traber, 25, was 6-9 (5.24 ERA) with the Indians in 2003.

    In five starts at Akron, he was 3-2 (2.65 ERA), striking out 27 and walking five in 34 innings.


  • Way to prove Omar wrong Al.

    Leiter may be losing grip on spot in rotation

    I think this was the best decision by Omar all off season. Imagine Al accepted their offer and the Mets had no Pedro? I'm curling up in the fetal position sucking my thumb as I think about it.

    Leiter is 2-5. His 6.91 ERA would rank him fourth from last among National League pitchers if he had the innings to qualify. But that's difficult to maintain when you're averaging 4 2/3 innings per start.

  • Iron man in Japan. The Japanese JD Drew in the States.

  • As usual, Heath Bell pitches in a laugher or when they are behind and he is trying to hold a team. Despite striking out five batters in his two innings of work, Willie will make him earn his chops too. Willie really needs to understand older does not mean better. Older simply means older. They COULD be better, but I could also poke myself in the eye with a fork.

  • Javier Vazquez on the rumors that he wants to come back to play on the East Cost.

    "It's B.S., man."

    Insightful.

  • On a team that needs confidence bad, why not bring up a kid who exudes it? Diaz may be on his way up to help out th big club. If he tears it up again, he may never go back down.

  • Classic:

    A guy who identified himself as "Billy" called WFAN's Joe Benigno and Sid (Sidiot) Rosenberg to say they reported the wrong "turning point" of Wednesday night's Mets loss.
    "The turning point was when the (Mets') airplane touched down in Atlanta," Billy said.

    This is the way it always seems to start, right?

    Frustration turns to sarcasm.

    Sarcasm turns to whining.

    Whining turns to despair.

    Despair turns to eyeing free agents to sign in the winter.


    Story of Mets fans’ life.
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