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

Saturday, June 04, 2005

What Else Is New?

Mets fans are used to abuse. They are used to abuse from Yankee fans and abuse from the media amongst other people and places. In ESPN's latest, and very pointless, power rankings, they had nothing to give them credit for after turning around a dismal series with the Braves so they inexplicably picked on Phil Humber after his numbers got bloated after returning from an injury.

14. New York Mets: Prospect Watch: Philip Humber, the No. 3 overall pick in last year's draft, is an ugly 0-4, 5.06 in nine starts in the Class A Florida State League.

If anyone can tell me what this has to do with Major League power rankings, please do. Picking on 21 year olds in their first exposure to professional baseball makes absolutely no sense when you are reportedly ranking the Major League squad.

It'd be cool if they showed San Diego's #1 pick, Matt Bush who's batting .247 with only 2 homers and 18 RBI's.

OR Wade Townsend who didn't even get signed by their highly ranked Orioles.

Or how about the highly ranked White Sox, why don't we catch up with their #1 pick, Josh Fields. He has a .207 AVG, has struck out 64 and only walked 19 times. Pretty bad.

What does this have to do with anything? NOTHING AT ALL, and that's why mentioning Humber has no business in being commented on in the power rankings. Fucking assholes.

Benny contributed the above thoughts in the comment section after Mikey H. pointed out ESPN's pure lunacy. What they have against the Mets is beyond me, but how about giving them credit for solid pitching and solid play over the last two series? Probably because that would make too much sense and actually be something positive to write about the Mets and we all know that would be too hard for them to do. Instead, they have to put things in like 'how long will they keep Reyes in the leadoff spot', 'when will Cairo get a chance to start full time', and 'Humber is stinking up the joint'. Some may be true, but they rarely focus on any positives of the Mets. Why don't we all laugh at Jeff Neiman and his shoulder injury as well? I guess it is just too hard for them to give credit to the Mets and they would rather employ Met haters to be completely biased and ridiculous while continuing writing crappy stuff. I really do not need to be reminded why I read blogs instead of ESPN.

* * *

  • The D-Backs want Upton and that sets in motion what could be a rather predictable first ten picks.

  • Minor update:
    • Matt Durkin got roughed up in Hagerstown's 8-5 victory over Lexington. Durkin went 4.2 innings and gave up seven hits, four runs, two walks, and two long balls while striking out six. Carlos Gomez, Ambiorix Concepcion, Mike Carp, Grant Psomas, Derren Watts, and Aaron Hathaway all had two hits and Wilson Batista had three hits. Carp went deep for hits thirteenth homer of the season.
    • The Tides lost 3-2 and Jae Seo had his worst start since returning to the minors by giving up three runs on eight hits in six innings. Even his worst start was pretty decent and he has been very, very solid since getting demoted. Prentice Redman was promoted and went 2 for 4 in his first AAA game this year.
  • The Mets picked up a half a game on both the Marlins and the Braves while not playing yet again. Now the Mets sit one game out and things look rosy....for now.....

  • The Yankees lost again. Can we all just take a moment out of our day and laugh at them please?

  • The Mets continue to show interest in Danny Graves.

    Graves, 31, is expected to choose by Monday from a list of teams that includes the Mets and their division rivals, the Florida Marlins. A person with knowledge of the situation said the Cubs and Diamondbacks also are among the teams that are in the hunt for Graves, who was 1-1 with a 7.36 ERA and 10 saves in 12 chances for the Reds before being designated for assignment last week.

  • I thought this was interesting on Hanson from Baseball America.

    In recent draft history, college closers have tended to be the fastest players to the big leagues and Hansen may as ready as any player in the Class of 2005. There's talk that he could be in the big leagues by September if he signs quickly, but as Scott Boras client he's not sure to do that. Some teams have also talked about trying him as a starter because they see a pitcher with No. 1 stuff. He was used in that role in high school when he wasn't drafted despite going 8-0, 0.00 with 119 strikeouts in 69 innings and as a freshman at St. John's. But he would have to develop his changeup, which he showed this spring in brief glimpses. It has the potential to be a third plus pitch. But the sentiment is clearly for him to be a closer, and he was on a short list of four candidates by the Diamondbacks to be the No. 1 pick overall.

    Starter? Hmmmm.....

  • Chris Woodward will get more starts at first and that is fine by me.
  • Friday, June 03, 2005

    Mock Draft

    What happens when beat writers from MLB.com get together? Mayhem, complete mayhem...and a mock MLB draft.
       Team         Beat Writer          Pick
    --------------- ------------------- -----------------
    1 Diamondbacks Doug Miller Justin Upton
    2 Royals Dick Kaegel Alex Gordon
    3 Mariners Jim street Troy Tulowitzki
    4 Nationals Bill Ladson Ryan Zimmerman
    5 Brewers Adam McCalvy Cameron Maybin
    6 Blue Jays Spencer Fordhman Ricky Romero
    7 Rockies Thomas Harding Luke Hochevar
    8 Devil Rays Bill Chastain Wade Townsend
    9 Mets Marty Noble Craig Hansen
    10 Tigers Jim Molony Mike Pelfrey
    11 Pirates Ed Eagle Andrew McCutchen
    12 Reds Anthony Castrovince Jacoby Ellsbury
    13 Orioles Gary Washburn Jay Bruce
    14 Indians Justice Hill Ryan Braun
    15 White Sox Scott Merkin Brian Bogusevic
    16 Marlins Joe Frisaro Jeff Clement
    17 Yankees Mark Feinsand Mark Pawelek
    18 Padres Lyle Spencer Trevor Crowe
    19 Rangers Jesse Sanchez Mark McCormick
    20 Cubs Carrie Muskat Tyler Greene
    21 Athletics Micharl Irving Travis Buck
    22 Marlins Joe Presaro Cesar Carrillo
    23 Red Sox Ian Browne Matthew Torra
    24 Astros Jim Molony Jacob Marceaux
    25 Twins Mark Sheldon Brandon Snyder
    26 Red Sox Ian Browne Taylor Teagarden
    27 Braves Mark Bowman Chaz Roe
    28 Cards Matthew Weeks John Mayberry Jr.
    29 Marlins Joe Frisaro Colby Rassmus
    30 Cards Matthew Weeks Cesar Ramos

    All was rolling along fine until Anthony Castrovince broke the format and instead of going with what the rumblings are for the Reds pick, he picked who he thought the Reds should pick in Jacoby Ellsbury. Then it was a free for all and the Marlins landed Jeff Clement who has a snowballs chance in hell in falling that far after his breakout season in what was already a possibly top ten pick career from his first two years in college. It is hard to pick the second half of the first round with accuracy, but one through eleven look pretty solid. Of course this all means absolutely nothing, but it is interesting anyway.

    * * *

  • Two different worlds.

    Willie Randolph was amused to see Jeff Wilpon, the Mets' chief operating officer, frantically dialing his cell phone as sprinklers soaked the infield in the first inning. Randolph knows how his former Yankees boss, George Steinbrenner, would have reacted. "George would have fired the whole staff," Randolph said.

    And people want to be Yankees?

  • Should the Mets see if they can take a flier Carlos Pena?

    If Pena leaves the Tigers, some team will take a chance on him. He's still only 26, but nowhere near worth the $2.575 million he's getting this season.

    I say yes.

  • Billy Beane's magic is wearing off. Dotel may be out of baseball for two years, so Beane cannot get anything for him at the trading deadline, Calero is injured, Juan Cruz is not good at all, Danny Haren is a decent pitcher, but probably is a mid to back end starter, and now his hopes of making the trades with Mulder and Hudson good lie on Dan Meyer and Daric Barton being good. Either way, things do not look too good.

  • Any team looking for a discounted rate on Carl Pavano for the next three seasons? You think he curls up in a ball and cries while wishing he was back in the NL East? His .314/.347/.514 line hitters are putting up against him is ugly. The good thing is that he only has given up one walk per start, but he has give up more homers than walks. At least Javy made it through the first half as an All-Star. If the Yankees simply consulted me I could of told them Pavano was not worth it and that Clement is much, much better.

  • It's getting silly how Beltran has not homered in a non-Pedro start. Newsday has the numbers.

    Beltran in Pedro's starts vs. non Pedro Starts:
    Pedro        Non-Pedro
    39 At-bats 141
    7 Runs 18
    17 Hits 36
    7 Homers 0
    17 RBI 10
    .436 Average .255
  • Koo to the DL and Ring is back in. Now Willie has another guy to bury in blowouts and games in which they are behind by a few runs.

  • Cammy's play last night in right field was on of my all-time favorite catches.

    "As I was slipping I could see a little blur. It was a little blur and I stuck my glove right there," said Cameron, a two-time Gold Glove outfielder. "I looked up and everybody was screaming. ... It was a lot of luck and a whole lot of glove."

  • "Come on, boys," he implores them. "Two big naked men. Let's get ready to rumble."- Pedro Martinez

  • Pedro is flat out nasty. He may not win 20 games this year, but it won't be his fault. He is 6-1 with a 2.62 ERA and a .159 BAA, 0.71 WHIP, and a 10.48 K/9. In his last three starts after the cortisone shot, he is 2-0 with a 0.78 ERA, .202 BAA, 25/1 K/BB ratio, and has a 9.78 K/9.

  • Minor update:
    • When is Yusmeiro Petit coming back? I have no idea, but the B-Mets need him. They lost 12-9 to Akron and Mike Jacobs went 4 for 4 with two homers, two runs scored, and six RBIs. He's up to .316 with nine homers, and thirty six RBIs.
    • Lakewood beat Hagerstown and nothing special happened.
    • St. Lucie got rained out.
  • Thursday, June 02, 2005

    It's Go Time

    When things start getting hot, good players rise to the occasion. When the rumblings of Cammy to leadoff and Tracshel on his way back and ahead of scheduled start to disseminate, it reminds certain people that they cannot take what they have for granted and some people need to prove themselves and prove they want to be where they are.

    My biggest criticism of Jose Reyes this season was his ability to get on base and create for the baseball team. Lately he's has been doing just that and the Mets still are not having an easy time scoring runs which brings up a much larger problem. Since May 1st, Reyes has played in all 29 games. In the first fourteen, he put up a line of .236/.300/.255 with five runs scored, one double, no triples, one RBI, three stolen bases, and five base on balls. Since that time in the next fifteen games, Jose has gone absolutely off. He has put up a .344/.373/.594 line, with nine runs scored, two doubles, seven triples, nine RBIs, three base on balls, and seven stolen bases. With his stolen base binge, he is on track to swipe 40+ bags, but the way he is going, he is going to be stealing a base or two every game and could easily eclipse 50 or maybe even 60. Is this another hot streak for Jose like he had at the beginning of the year? Or, has Jose turned a corner and learned something. At some point, it is going to click for Jose.

    Last night's game was great. Good defense, especially on Doug Mientkiewicz's double play in the seventh inning. Victor Zambrano faced one batter in the ninth and left with 99, yes, 99 pitches and he threw 60 for strikes. The Diamondbacks will have to face Pedro Martinez tonight and face the second filthy pitcher in two days. Also, as Jeremy pointed out on Metsgeek.com a few weeks ago, Victor has not been as bad as people make him out to be. Sure his WHIP is Joe Torre ugly, but if you take out his one start that he got shelled, he's 3-4 with a 3.46 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 6.58 K/9, and an average game score of 50.4. He basically has been giving the Mets a chance to win in nine of his ten starts. He gave up two runs or less in five starts, three or less runs in nine starts, and got shelled in only one start. The problem is the innings he gives, but he has not been as bad as people make him out to be. Yes, he was not worth Scott Kazmir who should have only brought back an ace that was already established, but that is not the point. Victor belongs in the rotation by his performance this season even without the gem last night.

    However, no one is more under the gun than Kaz Matsui. This is probably his last shot to stick in the starting lineup. The Mets are 13-7 when Miguel Cairo starts and those numbers are going to be hard to ignore for Willie Randolph who definitely has a soft spot for the former Yankee. Cairo came up lame with an injured hammy and Kaz will most likely get a string of starts that he might not have gotten otherwise. Being the Randolph has unofficially decided Cairo is his starting second baseman no matter what he says, Matsui has a last chance to impress. He has one last chance to be the guy that hit .282 in the second half of the season and smacked over thirty doubles in only 114 games. If Kaz has any guts and has a competitive streak, now would be the time to show it. Now would be the time so eschew the boos and start being a productive player and claim his rightful spot in the starting lineup. If he falls on his face again, he may never get another chance to get up. I guess it is time to see what Kaz Matsui is made out of.

    * * *

  • The D-Backs could not be happier about the move that sent Randy Johnson to the Yankees for Javier Vazquez, The Admiral Halsey, and Dioneer Navarro, who helped them land Shawn Green. You think George is asking his baseball people how they can let this happen?

  • Though another article said Royce Ring may be the next call up for the Mets, Adam Rubin thinks it could be Steve Coyler.

  • From NY Daily News:

    EARLY LEADERS: Mike Piazza and Carlos Beltran lead NL players in voting at their positions in the first totals released for the July 12 All-Star game in Detroit. Piazza leads Paul LoDuca of the Dodgers, 447,259 to 291,123, while Beltran leads Jim Edmonds of St. Louis, 527,433 to 402,419. Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols (570,004) leads all NL vote-getters. Doug Mientkiewicz (185,924) ranks third at the position, two slots ahead of Florida's Carlos Delgado (106,632). ... Backup catcher Ramon Castro is expected to be activated today.

  • The Mets are cursed. That is all there is to it.

  • What the hell is wrong with fans when an injured Nomar Garciaparra is first on the list of shortstops on a team he barely played for in a new league? We all know it is not his old town's team voting for him, so it is really, really confusing. Sure, there are other things like Mike Piazza first in the balloting for national league catchers and plenty other things that are out of whack, but is it so hard for fans to vote the right people in?

  • The Kazmir deal just got worse with Fortunato out for the year, but at least Heredia can be taken off the 40-man roster.
  • Wednesday, June 01, 2005

    Does Piazza Still Have The Desire?

    Is Piazza simply sick of and not interested in playing baseball? Buster Olney seems to think he is.

    Went to Shea Stadium on Tuesday night and spent the first few innings astonished by the play of Mike Piazza.
    Some day, he will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, probably on the first ballot; he's got my vote. Sometime later this year, or maybe early next year, he'll hammer his 400th home run. The Mets probably wouldn't have made the playoffs in 1999 without him, or reached The Subway Series in 2000, for that matter. His legacy is secure.

    And, in 2005, there may not be a player who has less life in his actions – in how he moves, in the energy he projects – than the Mets' catcher.

    He walks everywhere. After drawing a base on balls in his second at-bat, he walked to first base, and when Cliff Floyd hit an inning-ending chopper toward second baseman Craig Counsell, Piazza barely jogged to second – and then slowed to a walk and then stopped, as Counsell threw to first. Had Counsell juggled the ball and botched the play at first, he could have thrown to second for a force play.

    Piazza walks out to his position; he walks back to the dugout. Not in a steady amble, either; it's a slow my-knees-are-killing-me or oh-man-do-I-have-to-catch-another-inning stroll. Some hitters stride purposefully toward the plate as they are announced, like they can't wait to hit. On Tuesday night, it was as if Piazza dragged his bat to the batter's box.

    Watch Boston's Jason Varitek catch, and you will see how much he works at deceiving the hitters on pitch location, shifting at the last second, moving his glove, as the target, from the inside corner to the outside corner just as the pitcher starts his delivery. He bounces back and forth, and even if he weren't fully engaged – he is, by the way – the pitcher would think he is, simply by his actions and body language.

    Uninspiring Baseball

    The Mets left four less men on base than the Diamondbacks and they still lost 7-0. It was just one of the games, but it was horrendous nonetheless. The game was so bad, I thought a riot was going to break out as Koo left the mound because the fans must of been rabid. I seriously hope he does not know English to well. Despite the bullpen meltdown last night (by bullpen meltdown I mean Koo meltdown), they are still 8-6 with a 8.29 K/9. They are not the problem despite being the target of many media outlets. The problem is one big bat in the middle of the lineup that can consistently produce.

    Kris Benson really pitched well, but Jose Reyes' non-error in the sixth killed him that inning and he was unable to pick Jose up. Being 21 he will make these mistakes, I just hope he is learning from them.

    * * *

  • Lynn Henning says the Mets are on Mike Pelfrey for their first pick should he be hanging around the draft board.

    Best indications are they would go for Wichita State right-hander Mike Pelfrey, if he's available. But it's looking less and less as if Pelfrey -- a big, power pitcher with college polish -- will be around. The New York Mets are on him, as well, and they pick ninth, one spot ahead of Detroit.

    While we are on draft buzz, the Mariners are seriously eying Troy Tulowitzki, the Pirates are looking towards Andrew McCutchen should he slip past the Mets, and Wade Townsend might be the Devil Rays top choice.

  • Minor update:
    • Hagerstown lost 8-4 to Lakewood and Mike Carp went deep for this twelfth homerun of the year.
    • Binghamton beat Akron 6-2. Mike Jacobs had an off night and only went 1 for 4 with two RBIs. Anderson Hernandez went 3 for 5 with a run scored and one double.
    • Pawtucket beat Norfolk 4-1. Angel Pagan went 2 for 5 with a one scored to bring his average up to .283.
  • Tuesday, May 31, 2005

    Good Times

    With Carlos Beltran retiring to the lineup, it seems like a good time to look back at Richard Justice and his general stupidity and bitterness. If you remember, Richard Justice had written a few articles completely making fun of the Mets and taking some digs on Met fans during the negotiations and basically saying Beltran would be/is nuts to go with the Mets because Houston is a far superior team.

    No matter what happens this weekend, whether he stays or goes, he has made it clear the last two months were about nothing else (money).

    If he was concerned with winning, he wouldn't be talking to the Mets.


    If Beltran signs with the Mets, he will have revealed himself to be a fraud.

    The Mets are about nothing.

    The Mets are a bad team with a stupid front office. Despite throwing millions at a few high-profile free agents in recent years, they aren't close to being competitive.

    They're promising they'll do things right under new general manager Omar Minaya. But even if Minaya is allowed the autonomy his predecessors never had, the Mets are years away from being competitive.

    All the Mets can offer Beltran is money. That's apparently all that ever mattered.

    There are a few more gems in there, but it is really funny article. How someone who would call themselves a baseball expert could actually think the Astros had a brighter future and a better team in 2005 than the Mets has an IQ of a pile shit. As it stands now, the Mets are one game over .500 and 2.5 games out of first place and has the third best home record in the National League and the Astros are fourteen games under .500 with a .360 winning percentage. They are more than a Carlos Beltran away from competing. Jeff Bagwell is done and Biggio will be 40 next season and the Astros have farm system that was given a D for impact potential and a D for depth by Baseball America. On top of that, there are rumblings in Houston papers that they would be willing to trade some of the grade D farm system for this season further damaging their already bleak future.

    In repeated articles he mentioned that if Beltran was concerned about winning, he would only be looking at the Yankees, Astros and Cubs. Maybe that list should have been pared down to the Yankees and Cubs. The reality is, the Mets were moving in the right direction in spite of their bad seasons and were on the up and up and have potentially the best, under 30 core of players on the horizon with Beltran, Diaz, Wright, and Reyes already on the major league squad. If you were going to bet on a horse for the long term, would it be the aging Yankees and Astros with bad farm systems or the Cubbies and Mets? The answer seems elementary this Met fan and Beltran did make the right career for the life of his contract and in my opinion.

    Sure the Mets were 66-95 in 2003, in 2002 they were 75-86, and were 82-80 in 2001 after consecutive years on the playoffs and would seem like a team going in the wrong direction if you did not pay attention to farm systems, young players, and baseball. Sure the Astros were in the playoffs five times the last eight years, with divisional championships in '97, '98, '99, and '01. Sure they finished 2nd in 2002 and 2003 and the only losing season since 1991 was in 2000 when they went 72-90 and the Astros were one game from the World Series last year, but it was clear by their current team and their farm system they were D-O-N-E, done.

    Then he proceeds to write things like this:

    When Beltran signed with the Mets, I praised McLane for not going any farther with Beltran. I'd like to have that column back. If you're going to go so far with one guy, if you're going to hinge your off-season on one guy, why quibble over a no-trade clause and a few dollars at the end? The contract had already reached outrageous levels.


    2. The Mets -- OK, so they overpaid for Beltran and Martinez ($172 million combined). They finished second in the Carlos Delgado sweepstakes. Don't go getting picky on me. They already had a decent core of players and all they did was add the best free-agent starting pitcher and the best free-agent everyday player. They're not yet a great team, but if management gives new general manager Omar Minaya the freedom to do his job, the Mets will again be what they should be very quickly.

    I know most of stuff was said out of bitterness and pettiness, but it is still funny to see how contradictory he can be.

    * * *

  • A day off and the Mets gain a half a game on Florida and Atlanta. The entire division is at least within 4.5 games of first place. No other division has the last place team within single digits of first place.

  • Minor update:
    • Hagerstown beat Lakewood 12-5 behind another stellar performance by Gaby Hernandez. Gaby went 5.2 innings, gave up five hits and one walk, while surrendering one run and struck out six batters. He is now 3-1 with a 2.63 ERA. Is he the best prospect from the 2004 draft that the Mets took? Carlos Gomez went 2 for 5 with two runs scored, a double, and one RBI. Dante Brinkley went deep on 2 for 3 day in which he scored two runs, knocked in two RBIs, and walked twice.
    • Norfolk lost to Pawtucket 12-2. Brazell and Garcia both went deep for the Tides only two runs. Two of the lefty options in the pen the Mets had in the minors took a big step back after rough outings and giving up a combined twelve runs in two innings. Mike Matthew gave up seven runs in 1.1 innings and his ERA ballooned up to 12.10. Steve Coyler took his sub 3.00 ERA and gave it back by giving up four runs in 0.2 innings and bumped his ERA up to 4.91.
    • Binghamton beat Trenton 12-5. Mike Jacobs pushed his batting average over .300 with a 4 for 4 game with four RBIs. Matt Lindstrom went four innings giving up two runs and seven hits.
    • St. Lucie beat Clearwater 4-3 and Humber pitched 5.2 innings, gave up seven hits, two runs, one walk, and struck out three.
  • Stephen Drew is a Diamondback. There is a chance the deal could still fall apart on some details still being ironed out, but it looks like it is done. The Drew deal is identical to the one rejected in April and Boras and Drew seriously wasted a lot of time to get nothing done, but The D-Backs got their guy and solid player.

    Weaver inked as well for a straight bonus offer instead of a major league contract and since Boras did not win and get more money for his guys, one has to wonder how this will affect this upcoming draft and his clients. Will they be more apt to take realistic deals instead of holding out for the unrealistic and underserved dollar amounts while wasting development time?

    Although it is hard to see a top Boras client signing early, it will be interested to see if it does have an affect on Pelfrey, Hochever, etc. One thing is clear though, this muddies the situation for the Mets draft. With Brandon Lyon's arm problems and the B-Backs having two first round picks next week, Craig Hansen could be off the board on the first pick since the D-Backs could be skipping Justin Upton. This increases the likelihood that the Mets will be taking a prep outfielder or a college starting pitcher in my opinion.

  • Wright is good. Not only is he wildly talented, but the kid gets how to be a leader and will be the face of this franchise and not Carlos Beltran.

    It always seemed like the Mets didn't get along with each in other years. Is that still the case now that they've changed the team so much? -- Marie O'Neill, Atlanta, Ga.

    Not at all. The Mets may not order a table for 25 when they dine. But they are a far cry from the old Red Sox teams -- 25 players, 25 cabs, according to Frank Duffy, the Sox's former shortstop.

    They seem to fit together, and it seems they try to fit together. With John Franco gone, there is no recognized leader in the clubhouse. But different players have assumed different roles. And there are several players -- notably Doug Mientkiewicz, David Wright and Carlos Beltran -- who seem to touch everyone with, respectively, their perseverance, respect for the game and professionalism.

    Ramon Castro provides humor and Mike Cameron provides energy. And the youth of Wright, Jose Reyes and Victor Diaz is good for the veterans.

    Cameron and Cliff Floyd treat Wright like their little brother. Wright always makes a point of involving the three Asian players. There is universal respect for Tom Glavine and Pedro Martinez. Marlon Anderson is quiet and effective. And the bench players -- Anderson, Miguel Cairo and Chris Woodward are treated like regulars.

  • Cario is definitely a solid citizen.

    "I signed here to be a utility player," the diplomatic Cairo said the other day. "That's the job that was open."
  • Monday, May 30, 2005


    Today is an important day in regards to the upcoming draft. It is the deadline for Stephen Drew and Jared Weaver to sign with the Diamondbacks or the Angels. The ramifications of them signing, or not signing has a huge effect on the Mets and their first round pick. Not only that, but it affects Boras' other clients. In a way, he loses leverage with his two top pitching prospects in Luke Hovechar and Mike Pelfrey because they will simply not be able to ask for as much money as Weaver will get and Boras would rather get Weaver inked so no comparisons can be made between the three during negotiations.

    The Angels have offered a $4 million minor-league or $5.25 million major-league deal while Weaver has asked for a $5.5 million minor-league deal or a $6 million major-league contract, with appearance bonuses totaling $750,000. The Diamondbacks have offered a major league deal worth up to $7.5 million dollars falling short of the deal that Mark Teixiera landed with the Rangers that Scott Boras thought Drew should get as well. In reality, unless either of these players fall to the Yankees and they simply overpay just to get a quick deal done, I cannot fathom any of these two getting more than they were already offered. They have less leverage now that they have basically been out of baseball for a year and would be relegated to an entire year of Independent League baseball in 2005 and probably 2006. Holding out twice would be an absolute absurdity. Their price will simply have to come down.

    As for the Mets, if these two are re-entered into the draft, it virtually assures them in having the opportunity to pick a very polished, close to majors player. Drew is currently batting .410/.459/.705 with eight doubles, three triples, and three homers with fourteen RBIs in his first exposure to a wooden bat. Alex Gordon, Troy Tulowitzki, Mike Pelfrey, Luke Hochevar, Ryan Zimmerman, Craig Hansen, Jeff Clement, and Stephen Drew are all guys that are pegged to be extremely talented and relatively close to the majors. Out of the group, I prefer any one of the those position players or Hansen and though Zimmerman, Gordon, and Tulowitzki figure to be long gone, the Mets would undoubtedly have a shot to draft either Hansen, Clement, or Drew. One of them should be around at their spot if Drew re-enters. The Mets should also have shot at either Hochevar or Pelfrey as well if they really wanted to go for more starting pitching, but since they went starting pitching on their first three picks last season, they should look towards position players or Hansen. If Drew happens to sign, there is a chance all of the above position players will be off the board leaving the Mets looking at prep outfielders Jay Bruce and Andrew McCutchen or Pelfrey and possibly Ryan Braun out of the college ranks.

    * * *

  • Kendry Morales looks like the real deal.

    Kendry Morales is making a good first impression on the Angels' organization. Going into Sunday's game, Morales was hitting .343 with two homers, seven RBI and a .571 slugging percentage in eight games at Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He struck out only four times in 35 at-bats.

  • The Mets will host the Diamondbacks, Giants and Dodgers on a nine game home stand. Only the Padres and the Braves have a higher winning percentage than the Mets and I expect no less than a 6-3 home stand.

  • Jon Heyman thinks the Mets could be considered contenders, but they have some issues that need to be addressed before they can be taken seriously.

  • Title of the day goes too....drum roll please...

    Koo felt groovy, and it was blast

  • Beltran is finally going to be returning back to action.

  • Minor update:
    • Norfolk beat Ottawa 3-0 and Jae Seo continues to pitch brilliantly. Seo went 7.2 innings and gave up no runs and struck out six en route to his third win. His ERA is down to 3.49. Juan Padilla also pitched 1.1 innings and struck out two while not give up a walk or a hit. His ERA is down to 1.07.
    • Hagerstown got downed by Delmarva 10-4. Matt Durkin pitched well in the loss giving up one earned run in 4 innings of work, but his control problems have continued. He walked five while striking out four and only allowed two hits. He now has 31 walks to 38 K's in 38.2 innings.
    • St. Lucie beat Clearwater 4-3. Brett Harper went 2 for 4 with a run scored and a triple to bring his average up to .288. Milledge scored a run after being used as a pinch runner after being pulled from the game in the second inning yesterday so it looks like whatever the reason he was pulled, it was not serious. Binghamton beat Trenton 8-4.
  • Sunday, May 29, 2005

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Kaz Ishii turned in a sparking performance last night to close the Mets to within two games of first place. What we knew about Kaz before he came over to the Mets was that he was erratic and had control issues, but could be effective. Ishii has been alternating good starts and bad starts by giving up five, zero, five, one, seven, and one earned runs in consecutive starts. In three of his six starts, he gave up one run or less. In the other three, he gave up at least five runs or more and has been the pitching equivalent of Mike Piazza. It has been feast or famine with Ishii because he either gives you a sparkling game or a completely gives you no chance at winning.

    In his three starts giving up one or less runs:
    IP   H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA   WHIP   BB/9
    20 10 2 0 8 10 0.90 0.90 3.60

    In his three starts giving up five or more runs:

      IP   H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA   WHIP   BB/9
    15.2 15 17 3 13 9 9.77 1.79 7.47

    What's clear here is that when Ishii does not shoot himself in the foot, he is a very, very successful pitcher. On the year, his BAA is .202 and his OBPA is .318 so he is not getting beat with bats too often. When he is on, he is solid pitcher but when he is off, he is walking pitchers with the bases loaded and giving people fits. I'm not expecting him to change to now since it is the way he has always basically been, but if Rick Peterson and Kaz Ishii can figure this enigma out to be a bit more consitant, the Mets will be very happy.

    * * *

  • Game plan for today? Flip the bat, take your time getting down the line on walk, or whatever else that Josh Beckett can get pissed at.

    The most recent episode was last Tuesday against the Philadelphia Phillies. In the sixth inning, Beckett became indignant when Phillies outfielder Kenny Lofton flipped his bat after Beckett walked him. Beckett had words with Lofton as the teams' benches emptied onto the field.

    Beckett said he didn't like the way Lofton threw the bat. The Marlins' pitching coach, Mark Wiley, went to the mound to tell him Lofton had been flipping his bat that way for years.

    Easy big guy.

  • Two Mets make the all-time worst lineup. Eddie Kranepool (sorry Steve if you are reading this) and Al Leiter check in on the dubious list.

  • Anyone up for some hot rumors?

    Cameron is off to a great start, and savvy Mets general manager Omar Minaya is sure to want a quality major-leaguer or a pair of top prospects for Cameron. If the Mets send Cameron to the Astros, top second-base prospect Chris Burke likely would have to be headed to Queens in return.

    In the Mets-Padres rumors, Phil Nevin has been mentioned often in rumors for Cameron. Nevin has a no-trade clause, and nothing in his past gives any indication the former bust could survive in New York.

    Chris Burke is legit and would be perfect for the Mets to build upon for the future and Josh Barlfield is a power hitting second baseman that would be a welcome addition as well. While Nevin would be an OK pickup, the Mets would undoubtedly need more in return as they would with a deal with Astros involving Chris Burke. As good as Cammy has been, Diaz looks ready and able to help this team in 2005 and beyond so this is golden opportunity that Mets do not have very often. For once, they have the upper hand.

  • The Mets are tied for second in the NL and tied for third overall in K/9.

  • Elias Sports Bureau, Friday night's game marked just the fifth time since 1990 that a 1-0 game ended with neither team having issued a walk. It was the second one involving the Mets, who beat Philadelphia 1-0 on June 15, 1994, when Bobby Jones did not surrender a walk.

  • Draft stuff from Jon Heyman and Newsday:

    Omar Minaya and his execs have seen St. John's reliever Craig Hansen so much, you'd think it's a done deal at No. 9. But some insiders suspect the Mets are watching the local product (Glen Cove) partly for positive press and might take Florida prep outfielder Andrew McCutchen, 6-7 Wichita State right-hander Mike Pelfrey or University of Miami third baseman Ryan Braun instead. USC catcher Jeff Clement is moving up but might go to Milwaukee (fifth) or Toronto (sixth).

    One scout is convinced the Mets will take Pelfrey after Minaya saw him in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. "The Tigers [picking 10th] are absolutely sick. He was throwing 95, 96 all game," the scout said.

  • Kent Malmros has a great article on college closers.

  • Minor update:
    • Binghamton beat Trenton 4-2 while Mike Jacobs continues his hot hitting. He went 2 for 3 with a double to bring his average up to .285.
    • Hagerstown beat Delmarva 9-5. Carlos Gomez went deep once and had two RBIs. Jesus Flores was 2 for 3, two runs scored, a homer, and two RBIs.
    • St. Lucie beat Clearwater 7-6. Shawn Bowman and Alhaji Turay both went deep and had three RBIs. Milledge walked in his only plate appearance and I have no idea if he left injured or what.
    • The Tides were the only Met affiliate to lose getting downed 3-1 to Ottowa.